By Ugochukwu Alaribe
A chieftain of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in Abia State, Prince Nnanna Ukaegbu, has said that only the election of a Nigerian president from Igbo extraction will finally heal the end of the Nigeria – Biafra war.
Ukaegbu, in an interview with Vanguard in Umuahia, insisted that the Nigeria – Biafra war still rages as Ndigbo has been denied their fair share in the Nigerian federation and treated as second class citizens.
In his words, “Until an Igbo man is elected Nigerian President, the wounds of the Nigeria – Biafra war can’t be forgotten. Only the election of a Nigerian president from Igbo extraction will mark the end of the war against Ndigbo in Nigeria. It is the turn of Ndigbo to produce the federal president of Nigeria in 2023.
“Until an Igbo man becomes president, the Nigeria-Biafra war still rages. In the United States of America, Until Jimmy Carter who hails from the South part of the USA became the president; the country never really saw their American civil war come to an end. Until an Igbo becomes president, the civil war has not ended.
“Since after the war, Ndigbo have been denied their fair share in Nigeria and treated as second class citizens. As at today, Ndigbo can’t be found in the top seven positions in the hierarchy of political offices in Nigeria. It is unfair that a zone with vast human and natural resources have been relegated to the background.
“So, how do you tell me that the Nigerian – Biafra war has ended when there are still conspiracies against Ndigbo ascending to certain positions in Nigeria? In Nigeria today, the Igbo man can’t rise to certain positions in Nigeria. Denying the Igbo certain positions in Nigeria politics imply that the war still rages in another form. Only the election of an Igbo man as president will finally heal the wounds of the war.”
He urged all political parties to zone their 2023 presidential tickets to the South East region as a mark of solidarity to address the marginalisation of Ndigbo in Nigeria.
Ukaegbu, who is the factional state chairman of the party, warned against denying Ndigbo the chance to produce a president in 2023, would aggravate the already tensed situation in the country.
On the call for restructuring, the APGA chieftain said: “Nigeria has never practised federalism. We only practice straight jacket unitary system strictly controlled from the centre. The need for restructuring cannot be overemphasized.
“Nigeria cannot develop under the present system where the federal government has not allowed the states room to develop at their pace. But I’m aware that Nigeria would eventually be restructured whether we like it or not.”