A Referendum Or Presidency: What Exactly Does The S-East Region Want?

South-East region of Nigeria

The security challenge in the South-East region of Nigeria has become a source of concern to many Nigerians. The region which is home to the third-largest ethnic group in the country has suddenly become a place for gunmen attacks and killings. Before now, the South-East region was known to be relatively peaceful despite the agitations for Biafra by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Apart from the IPOB’s agitations for the secession of the old Eastern region known as Biafra, another noticeable agitation among many in the region is the demand for the APC and PDP to zone her candidacy for the 2023 Presidency to the South-East, to allow an Igboman emerge as the next President of Nigeria. Although the agitations for Biafra is not new in the region, one could not have expected it to give birth to violent attacks on security facilities in the region.

Arguably, it appears like there is a disagreement between the South-East political leaders and the youths. This has made it a little difficult for these leaders to influence the youths to key into the ideas of the ruling class. Recall that these politicians have always shown their support for a united Nigeria, but many of the youths in the region appear to have bought the Biafra ideology. This has created a form of disagreement between the leaders and the youths.

While the political elites are demanding for the 2023 Presidency, the IPOB is demanding the actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra. The differing demands have made it difficult for one to know exactly what the collective need of the region is. The efforts of the Governors of the five states in the region to persuade the agitators to give up on the Biafra dreams have arguably pitched some of them against the leadership of the IPOB.

Looking at the disagreement between the South-East leaders and IPOB, we may begin to ask ourselves that what is it that the region truly wants as a people. In my opinion, the region should sit down and discuss with its stakeholders and agree on one thing. Because the leaders have shown interest in the 2023 Presidency whereas some groups are demanding for Biafra, it is arguable that the region is not united and has failed to collectively decide on what they want as a group.

The inability of the South-East region to collectively decide what the region want has made it very difficult for anyone to understand the demand of the majority of people in the region. Biafra agitators are demanding for a referendum, while the political leaders from the region are demanding for an Igbo President. The disagreement of the two groups over what is in the best interest of the region has made me to once again, ask the South-East to collective tell Nigerians if they want a referendum or Presidency.

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