Prelate Advocates for Igbo 2023 Presidency
By Oginyi Ruth
Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Emeka Kalu Uche on Tuesday advocated for Igbo presidency in 2023 to engender peace and unity in Nigeria.
His Eminence, Dr. Uche, who is on an apostolic visit to Ebonyi state, made the call during a courtesy call on the Governor of the state, Engr. David Umahi at the executive council chambers.
He said an Igbo man should be supported by all ethnic nationalities of the country as a litmus test to the leadership prowess of the Igbo man.
He, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of some Governors of southeast extraction, saying he is ashamed of some Governors in the South East who have not performed to the expectation of the masses.
He expressed joy over the rapid transformation of governor Umahi in Ebonyi state especially in empowering the people and clerics in the state, pointing out that Umahi’s performance outweighs that of other southeast governors.
According to him, there were Governors he was ashamed to mention because they had brought stigma to Igbo people when it comes to leadership.
Kalu, who is the first prelate from Igbo extraction to be elevated to the position since 1842 also solicited for cordial relationship between the Federal, State and Local Government, and called them to pay attention on the education of the young people.
He said, “We are here on an apostolic visit to our churches. We will like to go to the grassroots to see our members and less privileged. We have come to pray for people so that they will have a divine touch.”
“What I saw in Ebonyi state is like a miracle. Your Governor is an uncommon transformer. Every governor should come to Ebonyi to learn. I read about the monthly allocation, Ebonyi gets the least, but you have done something monumental. I felt I was in Washington Dc and in London. I was flabbergasted. I can see that the working relationship between you and your governor. I was also told security is also tight.”
“I saw many young Hausa boys at Roban Stores buying something. My wife was afraid, but the Bishop here said you have been living with them without crisis. I also see that you want to empower your people. We are very happy. We feel at home.”
“I gave messages that some governors must return and Umahi was one of them. If we are projecting anybody to go to Aso Rock from South East, Umahi is the person. There are governors we are ashamed to mention in Igbo land. They should not stigmatize us that every Igbo man is bad. The Igbo man is marginalized.”
“I am not happy that we have not been appointed as any service chief. If they want this country to have peace and progress, the Igbo man should be made to be in the scheme thing. The Igbo man fought for the independence of the country. The government should empower and pay attention to education. They should resuscitate industries. When they generate employment, crime will reduce.”
While calling on Nigerians to defend themselves against insecurity in the country, the prelate also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the resolution of the national conference in order to implement it. He further spoke on other national issues including the new minimum wage, which he said was a peanut to Nigeria workers, constitution and revenue formula review.
He said, “Our constitution if implemented the way it is from 1979 and 2000 constitutions is wrong. Buhari should go back to the resolution of the national conference. There are some salient points in it. We want peace, we do not want violence. The problem is that some people hate Nigeria.”
“Nobody should see Nigeria as his father’s property. Wherever I lived, I make sure that everybody is treated fairly. In my compound, any Muslims working for me has a place for prayer. I support them during their festivals. I want a Nigeria where there is freedom of worship.”
“Buhari should submit the resolutions of the national conference to the national house of assemblies. We do not want authoritarianism. We want true democracy. Nobody should oppress us. There should review the revenue formula of revenue allocation to states and local government areas. For me, the N30,000 minimum wage is a peanut. I have earlier said that the Methodist church would implement the N30,000 wage.”
The prelate also had media interaction with some journalists before proceeding on tour of the state.
In a remark, Ebonyi state Governor, Engineer David Umahi, who said the state government had done much in the empowerment of its citizenry, said the government has perfected plans to establish special schools, one each in the three senatorial zones.
The governor represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe said he believes that an Igbo man would reshape the economy of the country if he is given the opportunity to lead.
He noted that the apostolic visit to Ebonyi is a blessing to the state and that Ebonyi is working hard to become number one economy state of the nation and if Umahi should be given the opportunity to become the president, Nigeria economy will grow rapidly.
“The man has set this state on autopilot; it is difficult for anything to go back. Your mission to Ebonyi is not a strange or ordinary visit. It is not always that the leadership of Christ should do what you are doing. We receive you with our two hands open.”
“This Governor has taken up new templates on education. Just last week, we designated three schools as special schools. Their feeding and accommodation will be taken care of by the government. In the area of empowerment, he has done tremendously well. We have done so much in human empowerment that transcends the borders of Ebonyi”, he stated.