Following the recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Malam Mamman Daura, that rotational presidency had been discarded ahead of the 2023 presidential election, prominent Igbo leaders has registered their anger.
Elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, in his own reaction stated that the people of the South East had paid enough sacrifice to merit the Presidency and there was no better time than 2023.
According to him, the ubiquitous existence of Igbo people with their businesses was enough evidence that they have kept faith in the unity of Nigeria.
He gave instances on the sacrifices made by Igbo elite in the course of the country’s independence saying: “No tribe has played the role Igbo have played to make the Federal Republic of Nigeria united. During the fight for independence, everybody knows that Nnamdi Azikiwe was the major crusader, with his colleagues, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi Awolowo, but he was the champion.
“Unlike in Nigeria, those who fought for independence in other places became president. In Ghana, Kwame Nkruma was president, in Kenya, Jomo Kenyata was president, in Tanzania, Julius Nyerere was president, but Zik in the normal behaviour of the Igbo said it didn’t matter to him, what mattered was Nigeria’s independence, that is the character of a typical Igbo man,” Iwuanyanwu said.
Iwuanyanwu said: “We have shown commitment to this country and I wouldn’t like people to take us for granted, we have been taken for granted , Maman Daura is correct in saying whoever is qualified should be Nigeria’s next president , Igbos deserve to be the president.”
He stated that the Igbo were not in short supply of competent people should competence be the yardstick, hence, his call on the two leading parties in the country, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their presidential tickets to the South East.
“What they should just do is to field in an Igbo candidate during election. I have 10 good young men and women I know in APC and PDP who can give a good representation of the Igbo in an election. So I believe 2023 it is the turn of the Igbo, like Daura has pointed out, that any qualified persons can contest irrespective of zone,” Iwuanyanwu said.
Also, former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife every right thinking person in Nigeria knew that it was the turn of the South East to produce Buhar’s successor.
He, however, urged the Igbo not to attack anybody against them, noting that if the prerequisite was merit, that Igbo will dominate the presidency.
“If it is to be chosen by merit, then after one Igbo man goes another Igbo man will take after him. Yoruba have merit, Hausa have merit but there is no part of the country that has more merit than the South East.
“No part of the country is in many other areas as the people of the South East. No part of the country is building the houses anywhere, everywhere as the people of the South East,” Ezeife stated.