*We will host 10 million Awareness Rally in 2021
The National Coordinator, Justice and Equity Group, Prince Mike Akubueze, in an interview with EVAREST EZIHE spoke on the group’s agitation for the election of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023 and why Nigeria may not be the same again if denied the opportunity. Excerpts:
May we meet you prince?
My name is Prince Mike Akubueze. I am the National Coordinator of Justice and Equity Group Promoters of “Not Igbo Presidency, But Nigeria President of Igbo Extraction”.
Can you explain further what you mean?
Thank you very much for the opportunity to clarify or further digest this term the way every Nigerian will understand.
I think we (our group) Justice and Equity Group, is trying to correct the misrepresentation of what we are agitating for. If you should recall, this agitation of electing Nigeria’s President of Igbo extraction started around 2001 but they messed up what is actually a geniune agitation with the kind of grammer and semantics they used then.
They used ‘Igbo Presidency’, which is so scary to the none Igbo. Igbo Presidency connotes that if an Igbo man or woman is elected president, he will be more of President Ndigbo than other Nigerians (replica of the current situation in the country).
The late Chief Ojo Maduekwe of blessed memory, tried to correct this misrepresentation as far back as 2003. Unfortunately, many of our people continued using the term which is at the detriment of the struggle.
In essence, Justice and Equity Group is just a Political pressure Groups with two major objectives which are: First, correcting the Misrepresentation of Igbo Presidency: There is nothing like Igbo Presidency rather we are asking for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction hence our slogan “Not Igbo Presidency, But Nigeria President of Igbo Extraction”. Our second objective is to convince Nigerians to vote for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023. I can boldly confirm to you that we are gradually achieving these aims.
Our slogan has succeeded in convincing and attracting the none-Igbo to queue behind the struggle because we have allayed their fears and made them to understand that come 2023 any Igbo man or woman elected to be Nigeria’s President will serve all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion, creed or political affiliations.
Also, because of us several prominent Northerners and South-Westerners who hitherto do not want an Igbo man to be President have now embraced the movement. It was my Philosopher friend, Victor Hugo, who said: “No Army on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come”.
Because of my group, IBB, Tanko Yakassi, El Rufai, Pa Afenifere Ayo Adebanjo, Pa Edwin Clark, ACF, etc, have all keyed into this struggle and I can tell that you if we push harder as we are doing now, before the end of 2021, more than 75% of Nigerians will not only key into this project, but will also campaign with us to convince the remaining 25% undecided Nigerians to also join the train.
How does your group plan to achieve this goal?
We have our marshal plan which I will reveal some here and keep others for strategic reasons. First, we have written to all the major political parties and explained why they should give only Igbo their presidential tickets in 2023.
I tell you, any political party that gives an Igbo man or woman it’s presidential ticket will win 99% of Igbo votes, plus the sympathy votes from all the other regions and make him or her win the Presidency. My deputy is from Kano, while our National Secreatary is a vibrant Yoruba man.
We have identified 1,000 living statesmen from the 36 states that we are meeting, and we have stated meeting some of them already. And our meetings are yielding the expected results.
Here in the East, we are meeting all the political leaders especially the Governors, Senators, Honourable Members, Religious leaders and Ezes, etc . We are going to have meetings and interactions with every progressive groups in Igboland and convince them to join the struggle.
We have a bold and auducious publicity directorate, busy with our publicity and awareness campaign. Before the end of the year, we shall place 37 big billboards in all the 36 states of Nigeria and FCT with our slogan “Not Igbo Presidency, But Nigeria President of Igbo Extraction” boldly written on them.
We are printing ten million branded T-shirts with the same inscription too in readiness for our 10 million Man Awareness March by the first quarter of 2021.
We will tour all the media houses in Nigeria while our online managers will increase their work rate online . We shall have quarterly National and International Press conferences while our door-to-door campaign will start in January 25th 2021.
Who is financing this project and who among the Igbo Presidential candidates are you supporting?
As of now we are not associated or identified with any presidential candidate or party . Our interest is to convince political parties to cede their presidential tickets to only Igbo presidential candidates and when we get the job done, we will now sit among ourselves to discuss, analyse and delibrate on which of the presidential candidate to support.
We have membership of more than 25 million registered voters accros Nigeria. So, in 2023, Justice and Equity Group is going to play a big role in determining who becomes the president of Nigeria.
We shall organise seminars, conferences, symposia to sensitize our people.
Our group will be the sole group that will organise the first Political debate among all the interested presidential candidates to determine who we shall support. We shall interact with them in open and transparent manner before we endorse any of them.
Which political party will you and your group support in 2023?
I have to be blunt here. I will lead my group to support only the political party that norminates and field Igbo candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election. In case all the registered political parties norminate and field only Igbo Presidential candidates, then this is where the results of our interview and debate with all of them will come handy and we will go with the best candidate and support him both in cash and kind. We will then give such candidate our resource and platforms.
As for financing, this group is self-sponsored . I and like minded members are financing the group 100%. So far, we have spent close to N20 million and we are ready to spend more because we are all passionate in this struggle.
But you know politicians, some of them have approached us to sponsor the 37 billboards, but with a caveat that we must support their candidacy so we refused.
Infact, one of them approached me and we had a meeting at the Abuja Airport a fothnight ago and he wanted to release N100 million to us to support us with our auducious task of placing 37 Billboards across the nation, but we rejected the offer.
Do you know why ? He wants us to include his pictures in all the Billboards and our branded T-shirts . To us, that is silly and selfish . What it means is that if we have acceded in such ridiculous offer, we are no longer fighting for Igbo and Nigeria’s interest; we are now fighting for such personal interest.
My conscience is intact. I have been a political activist since 2023. I hate injustice. I fight injustice in my household. I will fight my father because of injustice. I will fight my mother because of injustice. I will fight my wife and children because of injustice, because an injustice to one is injustice to all.
Denying Ndigbo the opportunity to be the president of Nigeria in 2023 will be the mother of all injustices and it may likely lead to the disintegration of our beautiful country but God forbid . This is why we are calling for every Nigerian who believe in Justice and Equity to support a Nigeria President of Igbo extraction so that we can nip this impending doom in the bud.
Recently Maman Daura said in 2023, that competency should be preferred instead of zoning. What is your take?
The last time I checked, Maman Daura is not a member of any politician political party nor even a government appointee.
Maman Daura is just an irritant and illegal occupant in Aso Rock who has succeeded in polarising the president’s immediate family and is now trying so hard to polorise the entire country with his hate speech.
We all know that Daura is just flying a kite. Unfortunately, he has been scolded, deserted and denied by the people that matter in the country, especially from his side of the country because they know within themselves that they are the beneficiary of zoning arrangement. My joy again is that the presidency has disassociated it’s self from Daura’s hate-filled statement.
Let me respond to him on behalf of millions of competent Igbo personalities who are qualified to be president. We agree with Maman Daura that only competent Nigerians should be allowed to rule Nigeria. Let him know that Igbo have more than ten million men and women who are competent enough to rule Nigeria for more than 500 years because Igbo people are more educated than every other part of the country .
For example, only one state in the South-East has more PhD holders than all graduates in all the Northern Region. Imo state alone has more professors than all the graduates in both the North-East, North-West and North-Central put together. If competence is the only yardstick to determine who rules Nigeria, then the Igbo will rule Nigeria forever because of their competence .
But Mamam Daura should hold on until we restructure the country and place more emphasis on competence as the deciding factor in who becomes the president. We will then include in our constitution that the minimum educational qualification for the office of the presidency should be PhD or double master’s degree. That is competency.
You shouldn’t intermediate a zone with the likes of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Prof. Nath Aniekwu, Prof. Bath Mmadu, Mr. Peter Obi, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Chief Orji Uzor kalu, Dr. Emeka Nwajiuba, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Prof. Ngozi Okonjo Iwela, Prof. Chinyere Okunna, Dr. Valerie Azinge (SAN), etc, etc, who have exhibited great competencies, unless Maman Daura’s definition of competency is different from what we know from its ontological meaning.
The likes of Maman Daura should be reminded that Democracy is like marriage. No two marriages are the same, likewise no two democracies are the same.
The kind of democracy that works for America might not work in Nigeria. While the type of democracy that works for India might not work in the UK.
In Nigeria Rotational Presidency is the best unifying factor in a country with our kind of divisive factors. Rotational Presidency will give every region a sense of belonging.
In 2023, Nigerian president of Igbo extraction will signify the end of the Nigeria Civil War and put a final end to all these agitations here and there.
Democracy is not like mathematics where 2+2 equals 4 every where .
It is in this same Nigeria that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was brought out of prison and made the President of Nigeria just to placate the Yoruba on the killing of MKO Abiola . It is in this same country that we coined the doctrine of necessity to make Dr. Goodluck Jonathan the President when Umaru Musa Yar’Adua the former President was sick.
Electing a Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023 is both a necessity as well as to appease the Igbo over the injustices metted out to them before the Civil War, during the war and after the war.
What do you make of too many Igbo indicating interest in contesting the presidential election?
This is the beauty of democracy and this is where the competency comes in. Like I stated above the Igbo have more than one million competent men and women who are ready to serve Nigeria as president. I hope you are not expecting me to follow the bandwagon and criticize them? No way. The more the merrier. And I should tell you, no person from any zone came out all alone. Was Obasanjo the only candidate from the South-West, or Buhari and Yar’Adua the candidates from the North-West or Jonathan the only one that contested from the South-South? A capital NO is the answer. Why then should anyone imagine that a zone that has truly more competent personalities with certificates, not affidavits sorry doubtful certificates, would just put all their eggs in one basket? That’s preposterous. It is like beating up somebody claiming he or she blinked n eye lid while both of you were sleeping.
Let all the political party zone their presidential slot to South-East first and watch us select the best among them. Mind you, many of these potential Presidential candidates have spent the fortunes and their entire political careers building bridges across the Niger in anticipation of the D-day and the period is 2023. Please allow them to test their popularity. If you have it, you flaunt it. South East is not like other regions where one person is the Lord of the Manor.
Sir, with the way you are passionate about 2023 are you contesting?
Contesting for what?
Contesting for presidency?
No. Am not contesting for presidency even though am more than qualified to be Nigeria’s President by our current standard. But my group will play significant role in determining any Igbo man or woman that will be the president in 2023. Take this to the bank. 2023 will be the game changer in Nigeria’s politics firmament.