Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says the chances of Igbo clinching the presidential seat would depend on the vote the region turns in for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigeria is yet to have a president of Igbo extraction.
Addressing the crowd at the All Progressives Congress (APC) south-east mega rally in Owerri, Imo state capital, on Tuesday, Mustapha said the 2019 election will either make or mar the chances of the people from the south-east in producing a president.
“The people of the south-east have the right to make a claim to the rulership of this country,” he said.
“2019 will make or mar the aspiration of Igbo nation. I am calling on the Igbo to make a paradigm shift and think seriously of their position.
“The presidency of Nigeria is negotiable and can only be done on position of strength and the strength of the Igbo will be determined by 2019 support for Buhari.
“You are important in this nation, you control industries, you control trade and commerce, you control every process of our entrepreneurship. I appeal to you, the skills you’ve used in the past to be prominent in this area, bring it to bear in the political arena so that you can navigate your way to the presidency of this country after the second tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Mustapha said the Igbo might not be good starters, but when they catch up, they have the capacity to overtake.
“I assure you that the Igbo people will overtake other part of the country by 2019,” he said.
He also noted that out of the five ministers appointed by Buhari from the south-east, four are of ranking positions— only one is a minister of state.