Nollywood veteran actor Pete Edochie has said the APC Chieftain and presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu, is ‘‘too old to run for President’’.
The 75-year-old thespian said this on Friday during a BBC Igbo Town Hall Meeting.
Mr Tinubu, who turned 70 on Tuesday, might be among the frontrunners to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure as president ends in May 2023.
He says he is in the race for the 2023 presidency to bring hope to Nigerians.
Some of the panellists who spoke at the meeting were, The managing director and chief executive officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka, Uche Nworah; UK-based Nigerian lawyer and human rights advocate Chinwendu Nduka: actor and writer Emeka Amakeze; President of the Council of Igbo States in Americas (CISA), James Ogbuka and Nollywood producer, actress and politician, Rita Daniel.
Other issues addressed during the town hall meeting were the zonings system in Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu continued incarceration and South-Eastern Nigeria politics.
Regarding the February 25, 2023, general elections, Mr Edochie cited reasons for saying Mr Tinubu is not strong enough to be Nigeria’s next President.
He said: “It has been a long time since Tinubu has been nurturing the ambition for that position. Right from the time APC was formed, there was something that seemed to be an agreement that after Buhari, he would be the next president.
“If you watch, this person is too old, let’s be honest with ourselves, today I am 75, merely looking at me: I look healthy, but if I tell you how much I spend on drugs, you will pity me. So it will be a shame to say, okay, let’s support this man for this position, and when he emerges, he will spend most of his time in foreign countries for medical treatment,” he said.
Mr Edochie, who shot into prominence in the 1980s when he played the lead role of Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s all-time best-selling novel, ‘Things Fall Apart, also spoke on the need for a president of Igbo descent.
He emphasised that an Igbo presidency would solve the problem of marginalisation, which has been a constant outcry of the Igbos.
He said: “The Igbos agitation today is for a chance for an Igbo man to rule this country, but anybody that says that Igbos are supporting Tinubu is doing it for his benefit. Generally, Igbos want an Igbo aspirant so that if he falls, we all fall together. If he is dancing, we will dance with him.”
He also lamented that Nigeria has yet to produce an Igbo president since the coup that led to Agunyi Ironsi’s death and the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil war.
“Why has the power not returned to the Igbo people? Is there a plot by the political elites to sideline the South-East? I’ve lived in the North. I speak Hausa. But it’s long overdue for Nigeria to have a leader of Igbo extraction,” Mr Edochie said.