2023 Presidency: How not to rationalise the irrational, By Prof Echefuna’ R. G. ONYEBEADI

Posted by News Express | 13 January 2022 | 314 times

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•Aso Presidential Villa

 

Going by the confused emissions from the top echelons of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will PDP as a political party be operating outside the geopolitical space called Nigeria to pick another Northerner to be President of Nigeria under whatever guise, after a straight uninterrupted eight years of a Northern President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd)?

How equitable, fair and just will this be?

Let’s quickly recall that by 2023, Nigeria would have had “self rule” for 63 years out of which the North alone would have produced 10 out of 15 Heads of Government/Heads of State/Presidents at the centre (both military and civilian) and would have ruled Nigeria for 45 years!

The pertinent question at this juncture is, whether Nigeria is now better off after the cumulative long rule by the North for 45 out of 63 years of Nigeria’s independence by 2023? Your guess is as good as mine!

Grouping the leadership of Nigeria since independence by geopolitical zones, it is evident that by 2023, the cumulative years the present six geopolitical zones would have ruled Nigeria is as follows:

North-West - 22 years

North-Central - 18 years

North-East - 5 years.

South-West - 12 years

South-South - about six years

South-East, accidentally for only miserable 6 months, to which the incumbent was even murdered while in office!

The North-West has produced heads of government as follows:

1. General Murtala Ramat Mohammed – July 29, 1975 to February 13, 1976 (7 months)

2. Alhaji Shehu Shagari – October 1, 1979 to December 31, 1983 (4 years, 3 months)

3. Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari – December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985 (1 year, 8 months)

4. General Sani Abacha – November 17, 1993 to June 8, 1998 (4 years, 7 months)

5. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua – May 29, 2007 to May 5, 2010 (2 years, 11 months)

6. Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari – May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023 (8 years), hopefully.

Total = 22 years.

The North-Central has produced heads of government as follows:

1. General Yakubu Gowon – July 29, 1966 to July 29, 1975 (9 years)

2. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida – August 27, 1985 to August 27, 1993 (8 years)

3. General Abdulsalami Abubakar – June 8, 1998 to May 29, 1999 (11 months)

Total = 18 years.

The North-East has produced heads of government as follows:

1. Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa – October 1, 1960 to January 15, 1966 (5 years, 3 months) as the very first and only Prime Minister of Nigeria to date.

Total = 5 years, 3 months

The South-West has produced heads of government as follows:

1. General Olusegun Obasanjo – February 13, 1976 to October 1, 1979 (3 years, 9 months)

2. Chief Ernest Shonekan – August 27, 1993 to November 17, 1993 (3 months)

3. General Olusegun Obasanjo – May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007 (8 years)

Total = 12 years.

The South-South has produced head of government as follows:

1. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan – May 05, 2010 to May 29, 2015 (5 years, 1 month, excluding the period of acting as President following the doctrine of necessity in 2009).

Total = About 6 years.

The South-East has produced head of government as follows:

1. General Thomas J. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi – January 1966 to July 29, 1966 (6 months only)

Total = 6 months.

So, the cumulative period the North has ruled is (22 + 18 +5) years = 45 years out of the 63 years of Nigeria’s Independence by 2023.

The cumulative period the entire South comprising 3 geopolitical zones of South West, South South and South East have ruled is (12 + 6 + 0.5) years = Approximately 18 years out of the 63 years of Nigeria’s independence by 2023!

By the provisions of the operating 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Head of Government of the 'Federation' is designated President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

So, of all the 6 geopolitical zones as presently constituted, only South-East geopolitical zone is yet to have any substantial turn and/or term at the highest level of governance since independence in 1960, having had an accidental head of government for only 6 months out of 63 years of Nigeria’s independence by 2023.

The said head of government of South East extraction for just 6 months over 55 years ago, the late General Thomas J. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, paid the supreme price with his life in the process about 56 years ago!

Judging from the new political dispensation from 1999 to 2023 (24 years):

The North would have produced two Presidents for about 11 out of 24 years in Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (2 years, 11 months) and Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (8 years - hopefully).

The North would have also produced two Vice Presidents for 13 years in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar - North East (8 years) and Alhaji Namandi Sambo - North West (5 years).

So, the total period the North would have occupied the position of President/Vice President in the 24 years under review will be (11 + 13) = 24 out of 24 years!

The South West would have produced President for 8 years in General Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President for another 8 years in Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

So, the total period the South West would have occupied the position of President/Vice President would be (8 + 8) years = 16 out of 24 years!

The South South would have produced the President for 6 years in Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Vice President in Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for 2 years and 11 months.

So, the total period the South South would have occupied the position of President/Vice President in the 24 years under review will be (6 + 3) years = 9 out of 24 years!

The South East would have produced zero (0) President and zero (0) Vice President in the 24 years under review.

So, the total period the South East would have occupied the position of President/Vice President in the 24 years under review will be (0 + 0) years = 0 out of 24 years!

Therefore, going by all the aforementioned, wouldn't it run contrary to the axioms of Equity, Fairness and Justice to deny Ndigbo who were at the forefront in the struggle for Nigeria’s Independence from colonial rule, the opportunity to produce the President of Nigeria come 2023 after 63 years of Nigeria’s Independence?

I think, playing politics without conscience and being insensitive to the sensibilities of other ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria may be the undoing of the country Nigeria if care is not taken!.....

Need I say more?!

•Onyebeadi, Professor and United Nations Fellow, is the Inegbse of Oligbo Kingdom.


Source: News Express

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