Some Igbo groups have shortlisted the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, and the immediate past First Lady, Patience‎ Jonathan as their possible candidate for the 2019 presidential election.

The groups are the World Igbo Youth Congress (WIYC), the Igbo Students’ Association (ISA) and the South-East Women Professionals (SWP),

The decision came after the extra-ordinary general congress of the groups held in Enugu on Friday.

The groups equally criticized Igbo leaders over their recent visit to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Aso Rock, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

A communique issued after the meeting was signed by Dr. Ugwu Francis, Deputy President General, WIYC,  Francis Njoku and Glory Izuora, President and secretary, respectively of ISA, and Dr. Mrs. Nkem Nwuzor and Dr. Mrs. Helen Dike-Orji on behalf of the SWP.

It read: “We are outraged over the recent self-serving visit of some Igbo leaders to the Aso Villa Abuja. While we respect their right as Nigerians to visit any place of their choice, we are against the use of such trips for the pursuant of personal glory and goals.

“We observed with dismay that rather than present basic issues affecting the Igbo nation, they merely went there singing songs of ‘Nigeria unity.’

“It is a common knowledge that Ndigbo are grossly marginalized in every sphere of the nation, including the position of presidency.

“These cries of marginalization have consistently fueled Biafra agitation and the only way to end these agitations is to demonstrate, not just in words, but in practical terms that Ndigbo are part owners of the Nigeria project.

“Consequently, we declare that those hosted by Osinbajo did not represent Ndigbo in any form but their personal interests.

“So, having examined these issues, we hereby align ourselves with the position of the Ohanaeze Youth Council Worldwide as we kick-off today an aggressive campaign for Igbo presidency.

“The following names have been shortlisted as presidential candidates of Igbo extraction: the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, immediate past first lady, Dame Patience‎ Jonathan, Air Comodore Ebitu Ukiwe, (rtd.), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd.), Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Senator Hope Uzodinma, among others‎.

These and many more will pass through screening by the Igbo groups.