From Maurice Okafor,Enugu
In the interest of equity, fair share and continued co-existence of Nigeria as one united nation, a political pressure group angling for Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023, known as ‘Coalition of South East for Presidency, COSEP 2023, has called on the two major political parties in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress(APC) and Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) to zone their presidential election ticket to the South East zone of the country just as it was obtained in 1999,which enabled South West zone of Nigeria to have produced the president of the country.
The group argued that going by the rotational principle of sharing power between the Northern and Southern part of the country obtainable since 1999, courtesy demands that the South East part of the country merits the opportunity to produce the nation’s next president in 2023, after President Buhari tenure elapsed, based on the fact that the South West zone and South South zone had enjoyed similar opportunity previously.
The COSEP National Coordinator,Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, gave the task while speaking to newsmen after a zonal meeting of COSEP held in Enugu at the weekend. He cautioned that the pressure group which had consulted and agreed with some other tribes of the country on this particular subject, will change direction of its advocacy if the APC and PDP fail to take the plea, whuch he insists is for national interest.
His words, ” if the major political parties fail to zone the 2023 presidency to the South East, our body language will change. It is not a threat: it is a reality. For peace to reign in Nigeria, they have to cede the presidency to the South East,” he declares.
Answering questions He explained that the clamour for an independent state of Biafra by a fraction of Ndigbo is not an excuse to deny them the right, insisting that over 95 percent of the Igbo population including those who owns business enterprises in different parts of the country, sternly believe in the unity of the country.
Rev.Obioha stressed the problem of alleged call for disintegration is even worse in Northern part of the country as calls for the creation of an Islamic state has continued to emerge from North East zone of the country, with it’ s consequent destructions aftermath of violence amidst the fact that the North is presently holding political leadership if the country.
Obioha said the South East zone is presently reckoned as the most peaceful zone in Nigeria by the United Nations, therefore the voices clamouring for Biafra even with nonviolent approach, are highly infinitesimal to be considered as a reason to elude the South East zone the opportunity of producing Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
His words, ” 95% of South East are not for Biafra. We cannot separate from Nigeria. The issue of separation is neither here nor there. We are part and parcel of Nigeria. With the Igbo Presidency, the agitation will stop.”
Speaking earlier, the representative of ‘AREWA Grand Alliance’ in the meeting, Alhaji Idris Inuwa, disclosed several organisations in the North have also reached a common understanding that 2023 is the turn of the South East zone to produce the president of the country and they are working in tandem with COSEP towards the realization of this objective for the sake of peace and unity of the country.
He expressed optimism that Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 will put into practise the ingenuity the Igbo people are contributing in the economy of Nigeria, to chart a new course for socio economic and political advancement of the country for the better.
Addressing the meeting earlier, the President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Okwu Nnabuike, said that now was the time for Ndigbo to rule in Nigeria and called on politicians in both PDP and APC to support the Igbo Presidency Project.
“This is the time for Ndigbo to rule in Nigeria. Those in PDP should see those in APC as parties in the Igbo Presidency Project,” he urges.