Posted by News Express | 11 March 2018 | 2,011 times
The candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election with the expectation of an Igbo born president in 2023 is not enough sweetener to draw Igbo votes to the president, a cross-section of Igbo leaders has deposed.
In separate responses to Vanguard, the Igbo leaders affirmed that nothing short of the restructuring of the country to put the various geopolitical zones on equal footing would appease them. The leaders, including elements from the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, politics, and other Igbo-centred organisations dismissed suggestions that voting for President Buhari in 2019 would make the prospect of an executive president of Nigeria from the Southeast a realisable prospect.
One of President Buhari’s leading canvassers in the Southeast, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, director-general of the Voice of Nigeria, VON was, however, unwavering in his expectation that Buhari was the surest and safest channel to the realisaiton of a Nigerian president from the Southeast. Okechukwu further deposed that the Buhari administration had done enough to earn the confidence of the people of the region.
Among those who spoke on the issue were a former minister of health, Prof. ABC Nwosu, former president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, chairman of the Senate Southeast Caucus, Senator Enyinninya Abaribe, National Chairman, United Progressives Party, UPP Chief Chekwas Okorie, Secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA, Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, among others.
It will amount to slavery to extend APC rule – Prof. Nwosu
Ndi Igbo voting for APC in 2019 hoping to become president in 2023 will be making the biggest mistake of their lives. They will in effect be voting themselves into irrelevance and second-class citizenship in Nigeria. How can the APC where the leadership consisting of President Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo, the chairman of Party, Odigie-Oyegun and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, midwife an Igbo presidency in 2023? How will that happen? It cannot happen.
As Chief MKO Abiola asked: How can you shave a man’s hair in his absence? The best option for Ndigbo is to look for an alternative where they are represented in the center of power in 2019. Ndi Igbo being represented at the centre as Vice Presidential candidate in 2019 will ensure that they are not dealt out in the backrooms where who shall become president and who becomes vice president are settled. If Ndi Igbo are in an alternative political party that absorbs a third force, this will put them at the centre where they will make sure that they are represented. They cannot afford to wait till 2027 and so, the northern presidential candidate in this alternative party shall serve out the remaining four years and no more.
All those advocating that Ndi Igbo should wait till 2027are enemies of Ndigbo and consequently, enemies of Nigeria because Ndigbo are nation builders. For emphasis, the Igbo ethnic group cannot endure beyond 2023. The restiveness in Igbo land and the neo-Biafra agitations are self-evident and only opportunistic ambitious presidential candidates will fail to see this restiveness. The tenure of the president that will emerge in 2019 must be for years only.
If Mandela with all his greatness did four years, the next President of Nigeria must do four years and give way in the interest of peace and political stability. This was what the north had expected of President Jonathan in 2015. The rest is history. Ndigbo must avoid like leprosy any presidential candidate whose body language indicates eight years especially those of them who have no views on restructuring which is the topmost Igbo agenda currently.
For the Igbo, restructuring is top of the agenda. The presidency is second. And good governance can only happen when there is peace and security. Restructuring brings about massive devolution of power and resources from the centre to the federating units and stops the massive roguery at the centre. The Igbo position is that there must be devolution and restructuring of Nigeria. Those benefiting from the present unfair structure are the ones resisting restructuring not realising that they are hurting themselves in the long run.
The summary is that if Ndigbo vote for APC in 2019, they will be voting themselves into slavery in Nigeria. So, the alternative should be for them to look for a platform that offers only a four-year waiting period, a platform where an Igbo man is at the centre, preferably as the running mate. That’s what the Igbo should be looking for. Ndigbo expect that any Nigerian whether from the north, south-west or South-South will show understanding that continuing to exclude a major group in Nigeria from the presidency is wrong and a recipe for political instability. (Vanguard)
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