Posted by Willy Eya, Vincent Kalu and Tunde Thomas | 27 October 2018 | 1,411 times
Barely four months to next year’s general elections, the South East and South West zones of the country may have begun a major battle for the 2023 presidential poll.
There are indications that the power brokers will use the juicy position (presidency) to woo the two zones for votes in the 2019 poll.
On Thursday, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had urged the people of South West to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections to guarantee a return of power to the region in 2023.
But some Igbo leaders who spoke to Saturday Sun disagreed with Fashola’s advice to the South West, insisting that the South East will produce Nigerian president in 2023.
Reacting to the development, former President, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike said he was not surprised from the statement that came from Fashola.
He said a similar revelation came from the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, that former Lagos State governor; Bola Tinubu was angling to be the next president in 2023.
Also, elder statesman and First Republic Minister of Aviation, Mbazulike Amaechi said the way Buhari treated Ndigbo when he assumed power in 1983 with the gun, and also since he assumed power in 2015 by democratic process, should show Ndigbo that the president has no room for them.
But the National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr. Uche Achi-Okpaga, said, the apex Igbo organisation has taken a position, and it is not interested in who becomes the president, vice president or any other political position.
According to him, Ohanaeze is interested in restructuring the system.
In his reaction, a prominent Yoruba leader, and Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu expressed shock at the Minister’s remarks.
Accusing Fashola of making the remarks in order to get the Yoruba to vote for Buhari in 2019, Okurounmu said:
“Honestly, I can’t understand Fashola’s logic. Fashola’s views doesn’t represent that of majority of Yoruba. Fashola should not think all Yoruba are fools. He can only deceive some but certainly not all Yoruba. Fashola is only trying to woo Yoruba to vote for Buhari in 2019. Why should Presidency come to the South West in 2023? What about the Igbo? Are they not Nigerians? Since 1999, Yoruba through Obasanjo who was there for eight years have been in the corridors of power. Even now, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, another Yoruba man is the Vice-President. Expectations of well meaning Nigerians are that it should be the turn of the South East.”
He said Nigerians should vote out President Buhari in 2019, adding, “It is our hope that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will defeat Buhari, and then somebody from the South East should now take over from Atiku who had declared his intention to serve only one term in office.”
On his part, the Secretary-General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) Dr. Kunle Olajide said the Yoruba are really not interested in the Presidency but in restructuring of Nigeria to ensure that the nation practises true federalism which in turn will promote good governance.
•Excerpted from Saturday Sun report
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