Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on Friday said the agitation by the South East region of Nigeria to achieve self-determination might be difficult since “Igbos own half of the country.”
Mohammed, who is a Presidential aspirant on the platform of People Democratic Party (PDP), however told the Anambra State party delegates that if he is elected the President, he would bring out the best in Nigerians, irrespective of tribe and religion.
Mohammed said Nigeria’s problems are anchored on leadership recruitment, noting that if leadership was fair and just, the country will be better for it.
The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) said: ”Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am standing here before you, offering myself to serve and return Nigeria to greater height and greatness. With you, we will rebuild and relaunch this country so that we can regain our national pride.
“If you are voting as delegates, vote wisely. If you have a better person, vote him or her. If I am not the best, don’t vote for me. But I know I am best.
“I have the experience and capacity to lead this country to greater glory. But if at the primary I am not elected, I will support whosoever that emerges so that Nigeria can get out of the mess.”
He said that he had interacted most actively with the Igbo and benefited from them, noting that most of his mentors are Igbos.
“I have transverse all strata of lives in the country. Being a Minister, senator, worked with various people across the country and I understand the problem of this nation. I believe that every Nigerian should be respected wherever he or she goes.”
“My work as a Minister, Senator exposed me to the problems of the country and I have gathered better experience to lead this great country. I am not unaware of the feelings of south, especially the South East on zoning. But let’s look at the issues in context. The South East and North East are suffering the same. The North East has not been there just like South East. We cannot produce President alone. We have to do it persuasively.”
According to him, the entrepreneurial and enterprise in the South East is a great potential everybody must leverage on for the industrialisation of this great country.
“When I was Minister of Federal Capital Territory, the Igbo capital investment in Abuja was over 50 per cent. That is the true position, not only in Abuja, but in Kano, Lagos, Kaduna and others. So, we are interrelated and connected as a people in Nigeria.
“We need to stabilise that symbiotic that binds us together. When IPOB is talking about self-determination and self-actualization, for where? When you owe over half of the country. God may not give you everything. He has given something to you. That is the truth. Because of this, I am calling for this unity and fraternity among us. If the Igbo youth understand this, they will now know the need for peace and unity in the country.”