Posted by News Express | 6 December 2019 | 546 times
Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF), on Thursday, at the NUJ FCT Press Centre unveiled plans by the group to organise ‘the Great Debate for national unity centred on Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential Power in Nigeria.’
The press conference convened by Dr. Godwin I. Udibe, Dr. Law Mefor, Dr. Emeka Okengwu, Nze Elvis Agukwe, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, Comrade Auston Ifedinezi, among others, also said that in the same spirit of rotation, that saw other geopolitical zones in the country produce the President, presidential power needs to return to South in 2023, and particularly to the South-East since it is the only zone yet produce a President from the Southern divide in the present dispensation.
According to the statement, “Regrettably, Nigeria is still facing challenges of national unity, integration and development. These challenges are borne out of the fact that the structure of the country and mode of governance has remained too dysfunctional, forcing most indices of development to stubbornly persist on the negative side.
“The other side of the same coin is the knotty issue of presidential power in Nigeria. When the nation returned to democratic governance in 1999, a convention was struck on a rotation of power between North and South Nigeria and between their zones.
“This has led to the production of 2 Presidents from the North West of the country and 1 from South West and 1 from South-South, leaving out the South East, Middle Belt and the North East in the equation.
“Our group recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his maiden media chat, challenged the South East people to organise and assert their rights within an indivisible, indissoluble Nigeria. “We also note that the 5 States in the South East will not make anyone from there Nigerian President. In fact, the Constitution requires a spread of at least 25% in at least in 24 States to produce a Nigeria President.
“This reality is part of what has informed the decision of ILDF in conjunction with Igbo Renaissance Foundation, World Igbo Summit Group and others to convene ‘the Great Debate on Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential powers in Nigeria’ come January 30, 2020, here in Abuja.
“This national conversation to engender unity and equity has become quite inevitable and needs to be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians.
“We plan to invite key Nigerian leaders, groups and critical stakeholders, irrespective of their persuasions and leanings to bring their best and finest arguments to the table. Even God Almighty once told man as recorded in the Holy Book, Come, let us reason together. And like a former Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill once said: Let's jaw-jaw than war-war,” ILDF said.
It also hinted on plans to move round the country to engage other zones and to lobby and convince them about the inherent benefits of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction.
According to ILDF, “One thing is sure in this proposal: the very nature and culture of the Igbo are business-like. Though the leadership of Nigeria by an Igbo man or woman may not be a silver bullet or a cure-all for the leadership deficits of the country, he or she certainly will not run Nigeria in a patronising manner. His or her leadership shall be a win-win for all sections of the country since he lives among all Nigerians in all nooks and crannies of the country.
“While touring zones of the country, one other big issue to engage our team is dispelling the notion that the 1966 military coup was an Igbo coup. No ethnic group carries out a coup against a government in which they enjoy commanding heights and primacy of place; or, botch a coup which they organised to enthrone their own hegemony as Generals JTU Aguiyi -Ironsi and Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did, to stop that first military putsch.
“Ndigbo have been grievously accused in this regard and even more grievously have they borne this burden of fallacious history. To us, therefore, it is high time we set that record straight for the sake of posterity and for the sake of generations of Nigerians who have been fed this lie for decades. “
While calling for the support of the media “on this historic journey of national unity, equity and social justice,” the group asked germane questions.
“If not a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, then why. If not in 2023, then when? If not in Nigeria, then where, adding, “The task of building a united, progressive nation is a task that must involve all patriotic citizens and accomplishing such an arduous task will be impossible if any part of the country is alienated or excluded.”
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