A former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, rendered a statement strongly endorsing Muslims as the right pick for a leader but discouraging Nigerians from making ethnicity the main factor for determining the next President of the country.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, he spoke against the background of Northern leaders insisting that the presidency remains in the North while some are saying power should shift to the South in 2023.
“I believe that power must be given to the person that has the vision irrespective of where he comes from because tribe cannot put food on the table of the common man or guarantee security,” he said.
The former governor, while admitting that the North had the population to determine who emerges as President, said there must be collective interest in moving the country forward, rather than sentiments.
He added, “As you see the politics of today, everybody looks up to the North because it has the large chunk of votes to determine who becomes the President of Nigeria.
“One good thing I know of the North, especially the Islamic world, is that a good Muslim is a man of conscience who believes in equity, justice and unity.
“That is the only hope for anybody who wants to contest from the southern region. The North can say for equity and not showing tribal and religious differences, that the North, having served as President, let somebody from the South be the President.”
Okorocha stressed that other regions needed the support of the North if power must shift.
“The Igbo alone cannot make themselves the President. The quicker they come together and start shoring up support from the North and other parts of the region, the better it is to realise the dream.
“I know we shall come up to that point one day when who becomes the President would not be based on tribe or religion. For as long we keep promoting tribal and religious sentiments, we are not getting it right.
“We need somebody who can move this country forward. What Nigeria needs now is that man who would emerge as President and continue with the unity of Nigerians just as we see ourselves during football matches.”