Again, the people of the South East region have clamoured for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023, even as they insisted on restructuring of the country.
Chancellor of the Nigeria Presidential Project (NPP), Walter Oji, told Igbo people during its inauguration in Enugu at the weekend that it would integrate the South East region into Nigeria’s political power equation with particular regard to the office of the President.
Oji stated that there was no better time than now for the South East region to produce Nigeria’s President, insisting that the full political rehabilitation of the zone into the country’s political power distribution remained the most glaring unaddressed area.
He explained that the clamour for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction was not in any way in conflict with the nation’s restructuring, stressing that while restructuring of Nigeria was encouraged, the South East should claim its right for the presidency.
He noted that General Yakubu Gowon’s “No Victor, No Vanquished” declaration after the civil war with reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction was unsuccessful and could only be fully realised with reintegration of the Igbo in the political arena.
Oji argued that Nigeria’s power rotation had been “a North-South and South-North arrangement” with the office of president rotating majorly between the two divides.
“Under this arrangement and with an incumbent President from the North, the presidency is obviously to rotate to the Southern region, which comprises the South West, South-South and the South East.”
“It is trite that the South West geopolitical zone produced former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, while the South-South region produced former President Goodluck Jonathan from 2009 to 2015.
“Therefore, there should be no doubt, question or equivocation about the demand by the South East zone to produce the next President of the country in 2023,” he stated.
He, however, agreed that realising presidency for the South East may not be easy as power was ‘usually not given but taken’ and urged Nigerians to work together for its actualisation and for all political parties to zone their presidential candidate to the region.
Oji pointed out that the group had commenced talks in Niger and Benue states and would soon reach out to its southern neighbours, assuring that the NPP was prepared to commit huge resources to the actualisation of what he described as “a noble cause.”