Strong indications emerged Wednesday that Second Republic Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme, and renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, may have refused all entreaties by some respected Igbo leaders for them to lead delegates from the south-east geo-political zone to the forthcoming national conference.
THISDAY checks revealed that the two respected Igbo leaders had been under intense pressure in the past couple of weeks to become delegates to the conference.
While Nwabueze, who leads the Concerned Igbo Leaders of Thought made up respected Igbo leaders including high ranking politicians, religious leaders, private sector operators as well as traditional rulers has been actively involved in drawing up an Igbo position for the conference, Ekwueme on his part is said to be involved on advisory level.
In an interview with journalists, the Deputy Secretary of the Concerned Igbo Leaders of Thought and founder of the Igbo Youth Movement, Elliot Uko, confirmed that the two leaders had been under pressure from across the country to be part of the conference, noting however that they have declined.
He disclosed that the former vice-president is due for overseas trip before the end of the month and would stay for more than two months before returning, adding â€œyou can now see that he is not going to be around for the conference.â€
On Nwabueze, Uko said what was uppermost in his mind is for Igbos to have a position paper which would be defended by whoever that eventually made it to the conference from the zone and not about who becomes delegate to the conference.
â€œToday, everybody is interested in becoming a delegate and not about what should be the Igbo position. People are not concerned about the pitiable condition of our people,â€ he said, adding however that the leaders of thought have drawn up a position paper which would be canvassed at the conference.