2023: Southern, Northern leaders storm Awka for Igbo presidency | NN NEWS

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By Theo Rays

Awka the capital of Anambra State will today play host to socio cultural and political leaders from the Southern regions of South East, South South and South West along with their counterparts from the Northern regions which includes North Central, North East and North West for a gathering to discuss on how to lend support to the people of the South East geopolitical zone towards actualisation of their interest to produce the next President of Nigeria who will take over from President Muhammadu Buhari when Buhari’s tenure elapses in 2023.

The discussion which is holding at the popular Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, is tagged 2023 Power Rotation Inter-Ethnic Dialogue with a ridder: Exclusion of Igbos from Presidential Leadership since 1999 and the Need for 2023 Igbo Presidency as a Critical Factor for National Unity and Ethno-Political Reconciliation. According to the lead organizer Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze Key Conference Officials and Special Guests are Prof. Uche Azikiwe (Wife of Nnamdi Azikiwe) is the chief host while Guests of Honour includes b:Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader of the Yoruba Nation and Afenifere Group; Chief Edwin Clark, OFR, CON, National Leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

Other are His Excellency, Dan Suleiman, Former Military Governor of Plateau State and Chairman of Middle Belt Elders Forum (MBEF); Dr Kunle Olajide, Secretary-General, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) Co-Hosts are Dr Nwachukwu Anakwenze (Onowu of Abagana) and US-based Frontline Physician, President, Igbo World Assembly (IWA); Prof Anthony Ejiofor, Top Instructor at Tennessee State University (USA) and President of World Igbo Congress (WIC) Distinguished Guests of Honour are Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, GCO, Former Nigeria’s Vice President; Chief (Sir) Emeka Anyaoku, CFR, Former Commonwealth Secretary-General; His Grace,Archbishop Valerian Okeke, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha; His Grace, Archbishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, Anglican Archbihop of Enugu Province of the Church of Nigeria; His Excellency,.

Also expected are Arc (Obong) Victor Attah, CON, Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, BOT Co-Chair of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF); Dr Bitrus Pogu, Chairman, Middle Belt Forum (MBF); Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Former Deputy Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate; His Excellency, Cornelius Adebayo, Former Governor of Kwara State, Ex-Minister of Communications and Former Senator; Chief Nnia Nwodo, Nigeria’s Former Transport Minister, Former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, National Coordinator of Southern and Middle Belt Forum (SMBF). His Excellency, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Former Governor of Anambra State; Her Excellency, Chief Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State.

Other expected attendees are Iyom Josephine Anenih, Nigeria’s Former Minister of Women Affairs; Prof Osita Nebo, Nigeria’s Former Minister of Power andPast Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). His Excellency, Dr Samuel Gani, Former Deputy Governor of Taraba State; His Excellency, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Former Governor of Enugu State; Prof Pat Utomi, Renowned Political Economist, International Polymath, Founding Instructor at Lagos Business School (LBS) and Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL); Dr Tanko Yunusa, Spokesperson of the National Consultative Front (NCF); Rt. Hon Jonathan Asake, President of Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) and Former Member of House of Representatives; Chris Isiguzo, National President of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Many others not listed above.

The statement issued by the organisers reads in part “since the inception of Nigeria’s modern democracy in 1999, the Northerners and the Yorubas have both produced presidents and vice presidents, as two of Nigeria’s existing three major ethnic groups. But the Igbo have remained the only major ethnic group deprived of the opportunity to serve, either as president or vice president over the past 22 years. The marginalization of Igbo, both as a people and a geopolitical region, is indeed a deliberate act of political injustice and victimization, which must be addressed in 2023 for obvious reasons that are critical to Nigeria’s national unity, peace, ethno-regional integration and political survival

“In 2023, no other tribe or region but only the Igbos will truly deserve to produce the next president, especially in compliance with the existing agreement of rotational presidency, operational since 1999, which in 2023 will again be in favour of the “Igbos” and the southeast geopolitical zone, hinged on the moral need for political justice, equity and fairness. But how can we actualize Igbo presidency in 2023? Over the past 22 years of Nigeria’s modern democracy, the Yoruba have produced Olusegun Obasanjo who led for 8 years as president and also Prof Yemi Osinbajo who is currently serving for 8 years as vice president.

“Likewise, the “Hausas” have produced two presidents (Musa Yar’Adual), who served for 3 years; Muhammadu Buhari who is presently undergoing two consecutive tenures of straight 8 years; Atiku Abubakar who serves as vice president for 8 years and Namadi Sambo, who served for 5 years. With these illustrations, it is undeniably obvious that the Igbo, being one of Nigeria’s three major ethnic group, is unjustly sidelined in presidential leadership by the other two – the Hausa and the Yoruba. Aside from the above-indicated analysis, it is also on record that the present northern presidency led by Muhammadu Buhari has conspicuously marginalized the Igbos and southeast region far beyond human imagination.

“Under the Buhari-led northern presidency, none of the foremost key political offices, is headed by a Nigerian of Igbo extraction. As a result, Nigerians in their large numbers have regarded the chronic marginalization of Igbos in Buhari’s government, as a deliberate act of political victimization.Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (ZIK of Africa) and other elites of Igbo extraction were among the frontline nationalists who championed the struggle for Nigeria’s political independence and seeing the way Igbos are being treated today like political slaves or bastards, their bodies will not rest in their graves. During the anti-Abacha struggle for Nigeria’s return to civil rule in the nineties, prominent Igbos were among the key drivers of NADECO and other related civil movements.

“Igbos got themselves deeply involved, even to the extent of risking self-exile or jail terms and many of them were indeed victimized. After a vigorous struggle, democracy was eventually restored in 1999. Nigeria has recorded twenty two (22) years of unbroken civil rule and Igbos are still being discriminated and deprived of the opportunity to produce a president. This unfair treatment is really too sad!Igbos are known to be the major drivers of the Nigerian economy and their business investments cuts across different sectors and all geopolitical regions. Having their businesses domiciled across all parts of the country, “Igbos” have demonstrated that they believe more in Nigeria’s unity than other ethnic groups. More than other ethnic groups, Igbos have made immeasurable contributions towards Nigeria’s economic development.

“Therefore, the recurring political victimization, discrimination and marginalization of Igbos, especially by the “fulanis” and other ruling elites of the core north, is indeed undeserved, most unfair and inhuman. As a way of compensation for their past and present losses, the 2023 presidential ticket should be unconditionally zoned to Igbos and the southeast region.Background:The body language of many northern ruling elites has clearly shown that the “Hausas” and the northern region still want to retain the presidential seat beyond 2023. Several northern elites have declared their interest to run for presidency in 2023 and these include Atiku Abubakar, Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, Bala Muhammed, Yaya Bello, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Atiku Bagudu, Danjuma Goje, Ahmed Lawan and others. Also, some Yoruba elites, such as Bola Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo, Kayode Fayemi and others, have publicly disclosed their intentions to contest for presidency in 2023.

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