The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has reacted to a recent comment made by a former Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, that the South-East is prepared to kneel or bow before every ethnic group to clinch the 2023 presidency.
The CNG described it as nothing but deception.
A statement by CNG's Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said the Igbo have by their conduct, denied themselves the opportunity to be trusted with power in the near future.
"The bitter truth is that no matter how low the Igbo are willing to go or how long they are willing to keep their knees on the ground, it will be unreasonable to expect other Nigerian tribes, not least the North, to risk entrusting the presidency in them.
"It is said that once bitten, twice shy and the current northern thinking is beyond the repeated deceptions such as this one by the Igbo which at every turn, results in tragedy.
"We see the recent belated desperation by the Igbo as nothing but an afterthought that is downright unacceptable. It is deceptive for them to make such overtures after having encouraged and supported Nnamdi Kanu (leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra - IPOB) and the atrocities committed against other Nigerians, particularly northerners by his IPOB.
"If the Igbo must prostrate to anyone, they should prostrate to Kanu as the North has come of age and shall not be deceived or fooled any longer," Suleiman said.
Speaking at the United for Better Nigeria Initiative National Convention in Abuja on Saturday, Ezeife noted that one of the ways for a Southeasterner to become Nigeria's President 2023 was for the region to swallow its pride and start begging other regions for the presidential seat.
“So I found Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and other groups in this place talking about the need for federal character. If you do it that way, there will be unity, if there is fairness, equity, justice, you will have unity and progress,” he said.
"In the absence of those, you see where we are now. It is not a matter of - to give us president, we don’t give, you have to work for it, the Igbo does not prostrate.
“The Igbo man does not kneel down but this time, we are prepared to kneel down to every part of Nigeria, every group, every ethnic group in Nigeria. We are prepared to even prostrate because we believe in this country.”