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President Buhari conferred with the title of Ochioha Ndigbo 1 during his visit to Ebonyi state (photo: State House)

A northern elder and former Minister of Information and Communications (State) Dasuki Nakande has told Igbo to get more involved in national politics to clinch the 2023 Presidency.

Dasuki urged the South East region to warm their way into the hearts of people from other regions if they wish to produce President Muhammamadu Buhari’s successor.

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According to the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the region has not played national politics well.

“The South-East in this dispensation has chosen to go it alone. I don’t think it is fair to say the Igbo are alienated in the scheme of things. I don’t think it will be fair to the country to say that,” he told Tribune.

“They have always said, during the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan, that he was their own.

“They gave him all kinds of names to prove that they were with him. He was called Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan.

“They made a proclamation that time that all the governors in the South-East, at a meeting in Enugu, said as far as they were concerned, the South-East was with then-President Jonathan.

“I remember that during 2011 election, they openly declared that they had no candidate beyond Jonathan, being their own, as their presidential candidate.”

He added that “Nobody alienated the South-East; nobody erected a barrier to prevent them from contesting. They formed a political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

“The party is more of a regional political party; it does not operate beyond the shores of the South-East. There is no bridge for the party, but it remains in the South-East and it remains there still date.

“The South-East has to change its style of politics. The people there should realise that they have to play national politics to win the confidence of other parts of the country. They must come out, if they are nursing the ambition of ruling the country come 2023.

“The party has adopted a balanced structure which can be said to be all-embracing and inclusive.

“Everybody is given a space, whether at a party level or at the level of governance. Virtually all positions are zoned accordingly to make sure that every part of this country is adequately represented, just to create a sense of belonging for all.”