A raging debate was ignited yesterday, by I don’t know who, but a prominent twitter user, Dr. Joe Abah waded into the debate,
He tweeted the following on his verified twitter handle, @DrJoeAbah “I am minded to support #IgboPresidency2023 in ALL political parties. It is not because I am Igbo but because I am Nigerian. It is about fairness and inclusion. Can you give me any reason why I shouldn’t? Let’s have a debate.”
By the time I set out to write this piece about 12 hours later, the Igbo Presidency issue has become the second trending topic on twitter with over 7000 tweets and retweets, this goes to show the sensitivity of the issue to Nigerians.
The Igbo ethnic stock are originally from the south eastern part of Nigeria, highly industrious and resilient, they have at a certain time sought to cede from the artificial conglomeration called Nigeria, which came to be without adequate inputs from the various regions.
By whatever design, be it artifical or natural, Nigeria is now bonded and governed with the aid of the 1999 military promulgated constitution and that is the major problem of Nigeria today.
The enormous power vested in one individual at the centre as President has been a reason of mutual suspicion among all tribes but more pronounced at the regional levels especially between North and South divide, on a religious divide, between Christians and Muslims.
The next item after the powers vested in the President in the constitution, is the ownership of resources, this partly was the reason for the 1967 Biafran war, the war which was waged against the Nigeria state by mostly Igbo people with a sole aim of carving out an independent nation of Biafra stretching from Ogoja down to Abakaliki, covering Owerri, Onitsha, Aba, Port Harcourt down to Nembe in the oil rich Niger Delta.
Two other regions saw it as a spite, moreso that other regions had the believe their resources was used in the development of the country which got independence 7 years earlier in 1960 and a bloody coup led by Aguyi Ironsi earlier in 1966 in which most casualties were of northern extraction.
Ever since then, the fear that an Igbo President will lead to the ceding of that part of the country has been pushed further by selfish political elites who are more interested in keeping political power for their continues feasting on the national patrimony, rather than for the development of the nation, the closest an Igbo man has come to the seat of power is in the 2nd republic as the Vice President, between 1979-1983 under the Shagari administration.
The advent of the 4th Republic in 1999, saw the political parties in their little way making efforts to heal the national wound and foster Unity by deliberately planting rotation of power in their internal power balancing arrangements, the arrangement saw the emergence of two Yoruba men?Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae emerging as the Presidential candidates of the two major parties, this unepressedly was to appease the Yoruba nation of the Southwest over the demise of their son, Chief MKO Abiola who has before then won the 1993 election which was annulled by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and he, MKO Abiola would be later arrested, detained and died in Government custody under the Military regime of Genaral Sani Abacha in 1998.
Ever since 1999, Gen Obasanjo from South West led the country for 8 years ending in 2007 and President Yar’adua from the north took over but was short-lived as he died in 2010, few days to his 3rd year in office, when then President Jonathan from the south south took over and led the country till 2015, Jonathan lost to General Buhari a northerner and from the opposition party the All Progressive Congress.
Again Jonathan’s refusal to stick to his one term agreement and the raging Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast part of Nigeria contributed immensely to his lose at the polls, unfortunately his loose under the People’s Democratic Party who was in power for 16 years and abided by the Rotation formular would later Prove fatal to the Igbo Presidency, had President Jonathan allowed for a Northern candidate in 2015 under the PDP, the north would have splitted votes and President Buhari and APC would have lost the election, and the PDP candidate who wins from the North would have served out the left over part of its 8 years broken as a result of the death of Yar’adua.
By 2019 President Buhari who claimed he was a converted democrat and came with a promise of change, himself has changed, Buhari clearly rigged the election by frustrating all electoral reforms and even refused to sign the amended electoral act that will improve the electoral process that brought him to power, he even denied most of his campaign promises, even his promise to serve just a single term earlier in his 2011 campaigns was denied, worst of all; APC, his party does not have a Zoning arrangement like the PDP, meaning anyone can contest, with an unwritten arrangement with Tinubu, who is also from the South west, a so glaring plot by the cabals surrounding President Buhari, it is very difficult if the arrangement with Tinubu will be kept, talk more of Igbo Presidency under APC, many observers and insider sources are saying the cabal already have a candidate from the north east for 2023 Presidency, so Tinubu and Igbos only have one option, PDP!
On a second thought most political parties in Nigeria follow the trend of the ruling party, these means that PDP will likely field it’s candidate from the north if not, north east, when the APC settles for the north east candidate. Where then can you situate the Igbo Presidency in 2023?
Now these are the possibilities, if the Supreme courts declare Atiku President then Peter Obi from the South East is vice, Atiku on completion of tenure he is expected to handover to the Igbos of the South East either after 4 years or 8 years.
Save that! For now, 2023 Igbo Presidency is unlikely, the most likelihood is 2028 under PDP, though it is good that the debate has started in earnest instead of thinking of ceding, strategize on taking power, map out strategy and form alliance especially with at least 2 regions from the north, that is the surest way.
Wth Presidency in your hand you can kick start restructuring which I see as much more beneficial than Nnamdi Kanu’s hypocritical drumbeat of war as vehicle for achieving political power balancing.