South-East Should Wait Till 2023 For Presidency, Says Igbo Group
A Igbo socio-cultural group, The Igbo Conscience (TIC), has advised political leaders of the South-East geo-political zone to set their sight on 2023 as the year the zone could produce the president. The TIC gave the advice in a communique issued at the end of its meeting on 29 January, saying a president of Igbo extraction is not a realizable aspiration in 2019.
Signed by Messrs. Onyekachi Monday Ubani and Peter Claver Oparah, Protem Chairman and Protem Secretary respectively, the communique said while TIC agrees that the Igbo deserve the nation’s presidency, it disagrees with the view that 2019 is the time to realize the goal because of the existing power-sharing agreements between the Northern and Southern parts of the country.
“TIC does not align itself to the opinion of some who have contributed to this debate that Igbo should take a shot at the Presidency in 2019 because such view is not strategically grounded and not backed by the existing understanding that guides the country’s power rotation arrangement.
“At best, it is like a shot in the dark, which will only exacerbate our political woes at the end of the day,” stated the group.
It argued that the North is still entitled to one more four-year term, which runs till 2023, and warned the South-East against fielding a presidential candidate in 2019.
“We therefore fully align ourselves with the widespread view that Igbo should get the presidency in 2023. We believe that Nigerian presidency is for every Nigerian to give and an Igbo presidency should be a broad and all-encompassing project involving all sections, tribes, religions in Nigeria and not for only Igbo to realize,” reasoned TIC.
It called on Igbo leaders, politicians, traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society groups, market women and grassroots organizations to work towards targeting the presidency in 2023 by beginning to organize themselves into a formidable political bloc.
This, said TIC, will take the shape of building understanding with other sections of the country, engaging in strategic political alliances and eschewing hate and divisive campaigns with the potential to arouse resistance of other sections of the country to the Igbo presidency project in 2023.
“We warn Igbo that inasmuch as there is an understanding for power to go round, power is not given on a platter of gold so we must all direct our focus towards earning the trust, confidence and understanding of other Nigerians en route 2023 because these are vital steps towards the realization of the Igbo presidency project.
“For a cosmopolitan and widely travelled people, this should be an easy task, which all Igbo must embrace as Nigeria warms up for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023,” TIC counseled.
The Igbo Conscience (TIC)
SaharaReporters, New York