Igbo leaders have told their counterparts in the North and Southwest to stop arrogating to themselves the sole power to decide the fate of Nigeria, saying the Igbo have come of age and deserve a shot at the presidency in 2023.
They made the demand at a news conference weekend in Abuja under the auspices of Global Movement for Igbo President GLOMIP 2023 and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK & Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the event, a former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife called for a restructuring of the federation. He added that the Igbo are already projecting some persons for the 2023 presidential contest.
He also dismissed concerns that the Igbo are republican in nature and may not be able to unite for a common cause, especially with regards to the 2023 presidency.
Ezeife said: “If you mention some names, they are not Igbo enough and are not acceptable at all to us because we know they will sell out. So, we will bring somebody who will show love to all, show love to Hausa, Yoruba and to his Igbo brothers and to all Nigerians. It is too early to name names, but we are already projecting some people.
“If Nigeria is well organised, everybody will be happy and the Igbos will be the happiest because we want the largest market possible to trade in”.
He recalled that there was a time when the World Bank declared that some parts of Nigeria were growing faster than the rest of the world. “Then what happened? There was a coup in 1966 and from then, we started to take giant steps backwards. We must know where our problems started.
“We need to go back to what used to work and instead of regions, we may use the current six geo-political zones. They can be adjusted but it must be based on fairness. Some people in the North believe that restructuring is about resource control or that when we restructure, they will lose oil money. This is not true. A good leader will nationalize petroleum mining while the people who reside in the area would still get more by far, but it is not a matter of denying other sides access to the resources”, Ezeife added.
President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK & Northern Ireland, Dr Nnanna Elias Igwe, who was represented by the Media Officer of GLOMIP, Mazi Godffrey Azu said the Igbo would no longer play a second fiddle.
According to him, one of the veritable ways to stop secessionist agitations is to cede the presidency to the Igbo in 2023.
He said: “I want to say very clearly and with all boldness of heart and confidence that in 2023, we are not going to be a joker to anyone. We are ready to go after any Igbo man who disrupts the waters because there are Igbo men who take joy in disrupting waters and steering it so that nobody will drink from it. We have told them, we know them.
“Many people we spoke to told us the biggest problem of Ndigbo is Ndigbo and we are saying to Ndigbo wherever they are both in the Diaspora and in Nigeria that when we begin this discuss and progress with this dialogue and get to the point of reaching an answerable report and we find any man among them that goes to stir the waters, God forgive him if he doesn’t become a scapegoat.
“We are sending the message also to our brothers and sisters in the North and in the South West; we call upon the Kaduna and Langtang mafia and the Daura Caliphate and the cabal in Daura and Katsina and the Lion of Bourdillon ,we call upon everyone of them. They know what their plans are and their secrets but we are saying enough is enough.
“We cannot be part of the tripod that formed Nigeria at independence and two legs of the tripod are deciding the fate of everybody in this country. Two legs of the tripod decide what economy we make and what social life we live and who becomes who in politics.
“We in the Diaspora are saying enough is enough and we are telling our brothers to rise to this challenge. We have come of age to have an Igbo president after 50 years of sacrifice. The only way we can kill the spirit of secession is to give Igbo man the presidency in 2023”, the group added.