2023 presidency: Obi’s quitting PDP won’t stop Igbo presidency project — Iwuanyanwu

Posted by News Express | 29 May 2022 | 709 times

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Chairman, Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has assured Nigerians that Peter Obi’s dumping of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Labour Party to pursue his presidential ambition will not in any way affect the chances of the Southeast to produce the next president of the country.

Also in this interview with our correspondent, he called for restructuring of the country before the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari as the best thing that can ever happen to Nigeria. Excerpts:

Do you think Peter Obi’s withdrawal from PDP will dim the chances of Ndigbo in producing the next president in 2023?

Peter Obi is front runner, he is a good material, he is somebody judging from his past record, his character, humility is accepted by many people, we didn’t see him losing, we thought that if he continues the way he was going that he would win and we are still fighting, however, what he has done has not dampened our resolve to win, we would fight like gallant soldiers, we would fight to the end, we’re not going to surrender, we are going to continue to tell Nigerians that we Igbo are people who believe in justice, equity, we are people who believe one’s  words should be his bond, but unfortunately when the thing is in writing everywhere that the zoning is between North and South, people are still thinking of changing it , I think it doesn’t tell good of Nigerians, I believe at this point we must sit back and think what best to do, let me tell you my greater concern, my greater concern is what happens after Buhari, everybody is blaming Buhari for what is happening today, I want to tell you that what is happening today is beyond Buhari, if you look at the countries in West Africa, they are suffering the same phenomenon even most of the world, this question of insurgency and Boko Haram and it’s being compounded by social factor such as unemployment and poverty ,my concern is by May next year when we would hold election and a new president is sworn in ,what type of miracle is such president going to perform to change the situation. I’ve been listening to the comment of these people (aspirants), I haven’t  been able to see any of them who has given a solution to what could help to solve the situation ,because whoever comes to power would work with the same Nigerian army and police, all over the world the Nigerian army is very highly rated and respected, the Nigerian army that is having problem with Boko Haram is the same army that stabilised Congo ,Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Liberia ,Nigerian army has played a major role in bringing peace and stability to many parts of the world ,now if these people could have the problem they are having, then it’s a fundamental problem . I think what Buhari should do now is to take steps and make it easy, so that whoever succeeds him should be able to take charge from where he stopped. So, I think what these aspirants should be doing now is to be telling Buhari to take some certain steps and not just all about succeeding him ,immediate steps that can remedy the situation . It’s clear to me that the structure of this country is faulty ,that’s why people are talking of restructuring and I think the president and National Assembly should listen ,Nigerians cannot be foolish to be talking of restructuring ,people in South-south said they want restructuring, people in Southeast said they want restructuring, Southwest said they want it, even in the North , North-central, East, they said they want it ,I think we need to restructure now, we can’t postpone it, ,if we continue postponing it, we may not have a country ,this insurgence have taken over many countries ,in a place, I heard they are taking over seven local governments, what type of a thing is this and we are all watching, going round for elections ,even when we want to elect a new president, what can he do,we must restructure now and the major thing to consider is security. The security apparatus of this country must be restructured , 200 million people, you cannot continue to control a police force centred at Abuja ,that is not possible,we must have local government police force ,we must have state police force ,this is the practice all over the world, I don’t know why pwople are finding it difficult to accept the fact. When Lugard amalgamated the country, he did not consult the ethnic nationalities of Nigeria  ,there are so many ethnic groups in this country, some of them are large and some of them are small, but they have their different culture and tradition ,to bring these kind of people together you must be able to agree on the terms of how to bring them together ,that was why it was difficult to agree on an independent constitution ,at a point they had to go to London for a constitutional conference ,these are some of the problems we had in the country that time ,we had  constitution then which was good, but this was changed by the military. Nigerians have been telling our politicians that this constitution must be changed so that the various federating units can feel happy . When it is rotated among the six geo-political zones,the acrimony will reduce, when it comes to the turn of the Southeast, for example, they would know that it’s their turn.

Considering the short time the president would be leaving office, do you think the restructuring you mentioned  is  achievable ?

It is achievable ,it is very easy if they have the will and recognise that this is very important ,if it is not done now,anybody who steps into that shoe will have difficulty, I don’t see any ,I have read so many things all the aspirants have been saying, but I don’t think they can perform any miracle ,they are going to use the same security structure and it’s not going to change anything ,believe me, there are some people benefitting from this problem ,they may not like it to be changed, but it has to be changed.

Following what is happening in APC and PDP, do you think Igbo still have chances of emerging president?

We still have Igbo people in APC and PDP, at least they have not told us that they have withdrawn .

We give thanks to some of the elders from other zones who are saying it is the turn of the Southeast, people like Adebanjo and Edwin Clark, he celebrated his birthday recently ,I want to on behalf of the Council of Elders of Ohanaeze wish him a happy birthday ,he is a man of integrity and honour ,he has served Nigeria well and we are praying that men like him should be preserved because without people like him who has the courage to say the truth, it will be difficult for this country . (Sunday Sun: Excluding headline)


Source: News Express

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