PAN-Igbo cultural association the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has warned all other component parts of the country to stay clear of the presidency come 2023 as the position should automatically go to the southeast.
Under an informal political arrangement, Nigeria’s presidency rotates between the north and south of the country and come 2023 when President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends, it will be the turn of the southern half of the country top produce a president. Each half of the country is made up of three geo-political zones, which in the south is made up of the southeast, south-south and southwest geo-political zones.
However, since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo. while the south-south has produced President Goodluck Jonathan. Consequently, the ADF has called for the rest of the country, including northern Nigeria, the southwest and the south-south to steer clear of the presidency come 2023.
ADF president Professor Uzodinma Nwala, said it was the turn of the southeast because all the other regions have taken their turns to lead the country. He noted that the zoning formula which was fought for to ensure that every region occupied the office of the president in the country have been messed up.
Professor Nwala added: “I was in the 1993/94 constitutional conference, the first time that zoning was raised and I was one of those that fought for it. The idea was to move the presidency round among the six geo-political zones and between the north and south.
“The presidency goes to one zone in the north and next time to another zone in the south until it goes round among the six political zones but you can see that they have messed it up. The north has no business asking for presidency in 2023, as the presidency should go to the south and in the south, the southwest should not look towards that direction as Obasanjo has taken their turn, while in the same way, in the south-south, Jonathan has taken their turn.
“It is the turn of the southeast but the problem is that if we are not united to decide who should represent us, you find out that they will from long range pick a candidate for us. I’m happy with what happened in the last election, the Igbo voted as one people, as they voted for Atiku and Obi and if we sustain this when 2023 comes, we should be able to determine who will be there for us.”
He added that as things are now, if there is no rigging and the field is left open, a majority of people in the southeast, southwest, south-south, Middle Belt, southern Kaduna and the talakawas in the north will vote as one people. According to professor Nwala, what is important now is for Igbos to try and hold themselves together as a people, president or no president and fight for internal autonomy.
“If we do that they will be looking for us and by right and if things are done correctly, 2023 has to be the turn of the Igbo. We should also make sure that agents who have become very rich and who are fooling themselves playing all sorts of devilish politics have no place representing us,” Professor Nwala added.
Founded in 2104, ADF is a registered non-governmental organisation that brings together Igbo intelligentsia, elders, clergy, patriotic public figures, women and youth at home and abroad. One of its cardinal aims is to address the absence of internal cohesion within the Igbo nation.