By Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
A group, Ndigbo Lagos, (the umbrella body of the Igbo nationality groups), on Friday said that the Nigeria’s 2023 President should rotate to the South East geo-political zone and not to any other Igbo speaking geo-political zone.
The group stated this in a statement signed by its President General, Gen Obi Umahi, Rtd.
According to the group, Igbos from other geo-political zones can seek for the office of Nigerian President when it is the turn of the zone they fall into, South-South or North Central.
The group also noted that that Nigerian’s 2023 President should rotate to the South and that South East Geo-Political Zone should take the slot.
It said: “we are asking for “Nigerian President of South East” extraction. We are not asking Nigeria for “Igbo President because that will amount to asking Nigeria to possibly alter geo-political-zones-based rotation arrangement for Presidency in Nigeria”.
“We are asking Nigeria to stay true to it. Igbos in South East will give their aspirations resounding support when presidency rotates to their geo-political zone”.
“However, we would be excited if there could be boundary adjustments that would unite all of us as one entity. But before then, let’s exercise our political franchise where we presently are as our Zone.”
“The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo (umbrella organization of Igbos worldwide), Chief Nnia Nwodo, and an array of great Igbo leaders making contacts with leaders from other geo- political zones and interest groups for support for SOUTH EAST PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA”.
The group further stated that in 1993, General Sani Abacha created six geopolitical zones in Nigeria – South East, South West, South-South, North East, North West and North Central adding that the creations were to help streamline the way the country was structured.
Umahi pointed out that the creation was for the purposes of using the zones as yardsticks towards ensuring equity, justice and fair play in the sharing and allocation of Nigerian economic, political and social resources among the component parts of the country.
Read Also: Ndigbo’s peculiar claim to 2023 presidency
“Since the inception of the six geo-political Zones, it has become a standard for component parts of each of the zones to lean on this arrangement in demanding for fair play in interactions for allocation of resources.
“Ndigbo Lagos, the umbrella body of the Igbo nationality groups resident in Lagos, desires to stand on this Zone arrangement to make a point on 2023 Presidency that is of grave importance to South-East Geo-political zone in particular and Nigeria in general.
“It is pertinent to recall that following the long stretch of military rule that was almost completely dominated by the North as heads of government, it was generally felt that power should shift to the South.
“Preparatory to there turn to civil rule in 1999, the then two major political parties (PDP and AD/APP) chose their presidential candidates, namely Chiefs Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falaye respectively, from the south West. This opportunity was given to the South West for two major reasons.
“First, power rotation to the South and secondly as compensatory gestures arising from the tragic and toxic MKO Abiola’s presidency saga.
“This power shift was to the South West Geo-political zone and not referred to as “Yoruba Presidency”. This clarification is important because the fact that power shifted to the South West Zone didn’t open the doors to the Yorubas in North Central Geo-Political Zone (Kwara and Kogi) and those in South-South Zone (Edo North) to throw themselves into the ring in contest”.
“The reason is because the power shift or rotation was to South West as a Geo-Political Zone and not to Yoruba ethnic nationality.
“Similarly the Yaradua presidency was collectively regarded as a North West Zone Presidency without being held captive by a Hausa/Fulani nationality group that traversed and lived in other Northern geopolitical zones.
“The Jonathan Presidency, though sort of fortuitous in the nature of its emergence, was in its first full term a South-South Presidency rather than Ijaw.”