NORTHERN socio-cultural group the Association of Arewa Community in Igboland (AACI) has called for the emergence of an Igbo person as the president of Nigeria come the 2023 general elections.
Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country. President Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from one of the three geo-political zones in southern Nigeria.
Since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo and the south-south President Goodluck Jonathan, so come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast. Echoing this sentiment, Alhaji Mohammed Umaru, the AACI national president described Igbo people as accommodating.
Speaking in Umuahia, he harped on the unity of the country and stated that it was important to support the Igbo people actualise their presidential ambition come 2023. According to Alhaji Umaru, his group is a non-political organisation made up of members from all the northern states living in the southeast geo-political zone.
Alhaji Umaru said: “The north, west and south-south have all ruled the nation as executive president, so this is the time we should give our consent for an Igbo executive president. Our people should give them the benefit of the doubt to lead the country in the next political dispensation and if they perform well, we can allow them a second chance.
“We, all the northern people living in Igbo land are highly in support of an Igbo executive president. Here, we live and earn our living in Igbo land and we will like to continue to live as an indivisible entity to work and operate our businesses.”
He, therefore, appealed to the Igbos to unite and produce a detribalised person that would contest the 2023 presidential election. Alhaji Umaru said his group had begun consultations and expressed optimism that other political zones would support the Igbo agenda.
He sued for peace and called for a replica of the founding fathers’ attitude for the unity and progress of the nation. Alhaji Umaru urged Nigerians not to fan the ambers of hatred because where there is war, nothing is secure.