Against the background of comment by a chieftain of Arewa Consultative Forum that the North would support a Northern presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, pan Igbo sociocultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has fired back, saying that those trying to circumvent the emergence of Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction in 2023, were being unjust.
Speaking in Enugu weekend, President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, reinterated his earlier stand on restructuring of Nigeria before the next election in the country and that besides restructuring, it was the turn of Ndigbo to produce the next president of Nigeria, after the North in 2023, for the sake of equity, justice and fairness.
Nwodo, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Chief Emeka Attamah, said those opposed to the emergence of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 were not only unjust but courting trouble.
He said it was for the same consideration for equity and justice that made the entire country concede the presidency to the Yoruba in 1999, thereby ensuring that the two major political parties at that time, the All Progressives Party (APP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) produced Yoruba presidential candidates leading to the emergence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president.
He said: “The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had earlier said it that even though Ohanaeze would have preferred that the country was restructured before any election, the fact remains that undoubtedly it is by every sense of justice and fairness, the turn of Ndigbo to produce the president of this country.
“So anything contrary to that will be gross injustice and certainly continues to reinforce the belief in some areas and some young people of Igbo extraction that they are not accepted in the country called Nigeria and should be allowed to go their separate way.
“So, for the continuity of this country, it is important that a president of Igbo extraction is allowed to emerge because the genocidal killings that took place in the 60s against Ndigbo in this country and even during the war up to 1970 should be enough to warrant that Ndigbo be allowed to be reintegrated; that there should be some kind of, if you like, recompense, as a healing process.
“This is because the time they felt (Chief M. K.O) Abiola was denied the presidency through some dubious means, they allowed the two major political parties in the country then to produce Yoruba presidential candidates which led to the emergence of Chief Obasanjo as the president of Nigeria and he had a full two-term of eight years uninterrupted tenure.
“And the death of one man cannot be equated to more than three million Igbos that were massacred in that period of history in this country.
“So when you are talking about assuaging feelings, Ndigbo should be assuaged and made to belong in this country, if not, then it means we are not being fair to a particular region and we are courting trouble.”