SKC Ogbonnia: 2023: South-East presidency or Igbo presidency

Since zoning of political workplaces has turn into the order of the day in Nigeria, an equitable consensus would practice that Southern Nigeria—the Igbo particularly—will produce the following president of the rustic, come 2023. However such zoning conference has begun to beg the query: Would the candidacy be open to all of the Igbo country or would such alternative be restricted to the South-East zone of Nigeria?

The solution is a no-brainer: The price ticket needs to be open to all of the Igbo country of the Southern extraction. Here’s why.

The proponents of rotational presidency argue that the concept that would make certain a way of belonging amongst Nigeria’s disparate ethnic teams. Of the 3 Nigerian primary tribes, particularly, the Igbo, Hausa-Fulani, and the Yoruba; most effective the Igbo are but to guide the rustic below a democratic environment.

The Igbo country—this is, folks sharing equivalent heritage, together with tradition, names, language, and faith—is past the South-East zone. However many political pundits understandably like to color a marginal image, and the gullible society, the Igbo no longer excluded, by no means hesitates to shop for the gambit. This distortion has perpetuated as a result of the fleeting nature of reminiscence within the Nigerian state, the place true historical past has been tabooed.

But even so Igbo indigenous communities in different states; the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the umbrella Igbo socio-cultural workforce, is a seven-state constitution, denoting spaces with sizeable Igbo inhabitants, particularly: Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states. The important thing workplaces also are dispensed and turned around a number of the member states.

As an example, whilst the present President Normal of Ohaneze, Barrister John Nwodo, is from Enugu State of South-East zone, the Normal Secretary (Barrister Uche Okwukwu) and Vice- President Normal (Dr. Sylvanus O. Ebigwei) hail from the South-South states of Rivers and Delta, respectively. Unnecessary to say that Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, an indigene of Delta State, used to be the Ohaneze President-Normal between 2009 and 2013.

A defining clutter is that, of the seven Ohaneze states, most effective Delta and Rivers are within the South-South zone. The implication is that the Igbo indigenous communities have discovered themselves within the minority a number of the ethnic nationalities that make up the South-South zone. Due to this fact, if the presidency is to be zoned in accordance with the present six zone-structure of Nigeria, a South-South Igbo of this era can’t realistically aspire to guide the rustic, his or her credentials however.

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The foregoing speculation used to be examined in 2007 when the South-South zone lobbied for the presidency. The South-South Igbo, consider, had been advised in unmistakable phrases to discover such ambition each time it’s the flip in their kith and relations within the South-East.

It’s on such backdrop that Pa Edwin Clark, the Chief of the South-South zone, made the notorious (or relatively the rational) commentary that Dr. Peter Odili, a former governor of Rivers state, had no ethical proper to encroach at the flip of the zone. Although Mr. Odili used to be arguably probably the most compelling presidential aspirant of within the 2007 electoral season, he used to be blackballed principally as a result of his Igbo heritage.

The South-South Igbo will have to no longer be allowed to undergo a double political whammy. Having been sidelined through their South-South neighbors in 2007, in accordance with ethnic orientation, it behooves the South-East Igbo to deal with their kith and relations within the race for the 2023 presidency.

Make no mistake about this: The South-East is the one zone in Southern Nigeria this is but to provide a democratically elected president. Due to this fact, embarking at the presidential venture only thru prism of the South-East may also be superficially simple. However the Igbo will have to watch out to not tempt a pyrrhic victory.

Politics is a sport of quantity. We will take a cue from the political genius of our Hausa-Fulani opposite numbers. In spite of their hugely disparate ethnic origins, the Fulani and the Hausa teams within the 3 Northern zones have molded right into a reputedly homogeneous political block. It isn’t unexpected, subsequently, that they display a united entrance within the other political events each time it’s the flip of the North to provide the president.

Regardless that the North-West zone has ruled over time, the folk pass the additional mile to be sure that the inherent zoning association does no longer foreclose the aspirations of the Hausa or Fulani-speaking folks from the North-East. This is how contemporary doyens of the North-East politics, equivalent to Adamu Ciroma, Bamanga Tukur, Atiku Abubakar, and Nuhu Ribadu, had been ready to mount decent presidential bids.

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Broadening the Igbo political map is a win-win. It is going to be offering Nigerians a bigger pool of aspirants to make a choice from. But even so a galaxy of presidential aspirants from the South-East, it could additionally deal with the aspirations of the South-South Igbo, specifically the ones of their top, for instance, Patrick Utomi, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Ifeanyi Okowa, Tony Elumelu, Peter Odili, Mike Okiro, Chibuike Amaechi, and Nyesom Wike, to call a couple of.

Solidarity is energy. A united Igbo entrance has a greater likelihood of successful the zoning debate, first of all. Additional, a Nigerian presidential venture anchored thru all of the Igbo country has the possible to unite the folk against not unusual function. It could possibly halt the defeatist trajectory of postwar politics and de-Igbonization coverage of successive nationwide governments, that have mixed to fracture the Igbo team spirit to the purpose the place some by no means hesitate to disclaim their Igbo heritage both for post-war survival or in change of political porridge. It could possibly similarly instill common-sense to people who use mere political affiliations or barriers to suppose awesome Igbo heritage over the others.

Igbo bu Igbo! The trace is that the South-East and South-South Igbo proportion a not unusual future within the Nigerian revel in. And so they must proportion excellent fortunes, as they did previous misfortunes. For example, the South-East Igbo bore (or have persevered to undergo) the brunt of the primary Nigeria coup, led through Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, a South-South Igbo. In a similar way, the South-South Igbo weren’t spared through the movements of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a South-East Igbo, who led the Biafran struggle. The bond between the 2 Igbo teams isn’t misplaced within the truth that they’ve sustained equivalent vote casting patterns in nationwide elections, regardless of postwar feuds, orchestrated through successive nationwide governments.

A Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is not going to most effective heal the injuries of the previous, it’s also a daring step in harnessing the rustic’s plentiful doable against the better excellent. It is a chance for fairness and justice. It is a chance to soothe the long-standing mistrust towards Igbo-speaking folks of Nigeria. This is a profound alternative for the Igbo to opposite the downward spiral of mistrust created amongst themselves through synthetic post-civil struggle barriers.

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