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… for the presidency to go to the Igbo in 2023 – Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala has opined that if Nigeria were to survive the ticking time bomb of … 2019 presidential election, one of the prerequisites would be that there cannot be a Yoruba president in the country for at least another 20 years.

Igbo Presidency

Aribisala in an article titled: ‘No Yoruba president in Nigeria for another 20 years’ said ‘before it can be the turn of a Yoruba man again, 20 years should elapse. This is the breakdown: 2015-2023: Northern president. 2023-2031: Igbo president. 2031-2038: Northern president. That is 20 years before you can get another Yoruba president from the South.

He also said that; ‘even the blind must know that it is in the interest of national unity and cohesion for the presidency to go to the Igbo in 2023, after a denial of over 50 years. In the intervening period, the other two major ethnic groups of the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba have had their share’

‘Any right-thinking Nigerian must see that it is not only high time for this to happen, it is essential for our national integration. It will also signal to all intents and purposes that, after 50 years, the civil war is finally truly over.’

Going further he said: ‘There is an unwritten understanding in this fourth Nigerian republic that the presidency should rotate between North and South. We started with Obasanjo, a Yoruba man from the South in 1999. That election was a straight contest between two Yoruba candidates; Obasanjo and Olu Falae. Obasanjo won that election and was president for 8 years.

‘Thereafter, it was the turn of the North and the 2007 election was essentially a Northern affair. Yar’adua ran primarily against Buhari and Atiku. He won but, unfortunately, he died in office after barely 2 years. Goodluck Jonathan, his vice-president, then became president. However, he was from the South, so there was hue and cry in the North that he had usurped the Northern slot deemed to be for 8 years.

I can crown anybody as an Oba if I want to ― Oluwo(Opens in a new browser tab)

Below are parts of the article

If Nigeria were to survive the ticking time bomb of … 2019 presidential election, one of the prerequisites would be that there cannot be a Yoruba president in the country for at least another 20 years. Otherwise, we would be further stoking the flames of disintegration. The Yoruba have provided the president in 8 of the last 20 years. They have also held the vice-presidency for another 4 years. That will do for the next 20 years.

Our country is the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not Oduduwa Republic of Nigeria. Neither is it the Federal Republic of the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba. Nigeria is bigger than the North-west and the South-west, no matter what the bogus population figures used for elections in these geopolitical regions indicate. Therefore, the choice of president cannot be reduced to a ding-dong between them.

Osinbajo presides over FEC(Opens in a new browser tab)

Ethnic jingoism

During the 2019 election campaign, Vice-president Yemi Osibajo tried to seduce Yoruba votes for Buhari on the promise that their vote for him would be rewarded with the presidency in 2023. Since the election, a bogus group calling itself the Afenifere Renewal Group has also come out to say the Yoruba will produce the next president in 2023.

We have also witnessed already a lot of jockeying by self-styled Yoruba presidents-in-waiting for strategic positioning vis-à-vis the 2023 presidential election.

This is the height of deceit and irresponsibility.

What, if I may ask, did the Yoruba man-in-the-street get for having Obasanjo as president for 8 years? The answer is nothing: Zilch! Nada! Niente!

The people who are already projecting a Yoruba president in Nigeria for 2023 are charlatans. They are up to no good and only hankering after juicy appointments for themselves or their godfathers, the better to rob the country blind. Believe me, they could not care less about the Yoruba.

Ask the Almajiri in the North what they have benefitted from the last 4 years of Buhari’s presidency. If they are sincere, they will tell you it is also zilch, nada, niente!

Moreover, I don’t remember Nigeria passing a constitutional amendment now zoning the presidency exclusively to the North-west and the South-west. These irresponsible people don’t mean Nigeria well. Their ethnic jingoism, greed and selfishness is part of what is killing Nigeria today.

Turn of Ndigbo

The democratic experiment has been ongoing now in this fourth republic in Nigeria for 20 years since 1999. In that period, the Yoruba have provided the president for 8 years and the vice-president for 4 years. In the unlikely event that the … results of the 2019 election are confirmed by the courts, by 2023, a Yoruba vice-president would have been in power for 8 years.

Therefore, it is preposterous to still insist that the same Yoruba should simply transition from vice-president to president in 2023. What then is to happen to the other ethnic groups in Southern Nigeria? When did they become consigned to be only the hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Yoruba?

The Igbo, one of the three major tribes in Nigeria, have provided neither president nor vice-president in the Fourth Republic. An Igbo man has only ever been head of state in Nigeria for merely six months, after which he was assassinated with extreme prejudice. Nigeria then fought a civil war for 3 years during which the Igbo made an unsuccessful attempt to secede. In that calamity, over a million Igbo were slaughtered and killed.

Accordingly, even the blind must know that it is in the interest of national unity and cohesion for the presidency to go to the Igbo in 2023, after a denial of over 50 years. In the intervening period, the other two major ethnic groups of the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba have had their share.

If federal character is an indelible principle of the Nigerian Constitution, that principle must also find expression at the presidential level. If it does not, it is tantamount to consigning the Igbo to the status of second-class citizens in their own country of Nigeria.

That is why the statements already making the rounds about a Yoruba president in 2023 needs to be stopped immediately before even the mere expression does irreparable damage to the fragile Nigerian psyche.

Rotational presidency

There is an unwritten understanding in this fourth Nigerian republic that the presidency should rotate between North and South. We started with Obasanjo, a Yoruba man from the South in 1999. That election was a straight contest between two Yoruba candidates; Obasanjo and Olu Falae. Obasanjo won that election and was president for 8 years.

Thereafter, it was the turn of the North and the 2007 election was essentially a Northern affair. Yar’adua ran primarily against Buhari and Atiku. He won but, unfortunately, he died in office after barely 2 years. Goodluck Jonathan, his vice-president, then became president. However, he was from the South, so there was hue and cry in the North that he had usurped the Northern slot deemed to be for 8 years.

Jonathan served for two years and was elected for another four years. Thereafter, the North cried enough and Buhari was elected to replace him.

The just-concluded 2019 election was also essentially a contest between two Northerners from the two major parties of the APC and the PDP: Buhari and Atiku. Whatever the conclusion of the tribunal about the fraudulent nature of that election, a Northerner would nevertheless have served as president for 8 years by 2023.

This means it will be the turn of a Southerner to be president again in 2023. That Southerner must, without controversy, be an Igbo man. Any right-thinking Nigerian must see that it is not only high time for this to happen, it is essential for our national integration. It will also signal to all intents and purposes that, after 50 years, the civil war is finally truly over.

So this is my reasoning. Before it can be the turn of a Yoruba man again, 20 years should elapse. This is the breakdown: 2015-2023: Northern president. 2023-2031: Igbo president. 2031-2038: Northern president. That is 20 years before you can get another Yoruba president from the South.

Even then, there is no guarantee that the 2038 president should be a Yoruba man. There are other tribes in the South that can also come into contention in that year. So, in the interest of national unity, 2023 is out of the question for the Yoruba.


Disclaimer

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