SECESSIONIST group the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) has warned ex-president Dr Goodluck Jonathan and All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu not to run for president in 2023 because it is the turn of Ndigbo.
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 Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria.
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, so Nigeria’s 18m Igbos believe that the next president should come from the southeast geo-political zone.
Already, several Igbo groups have begun scouting for ideal candidates but there are indications that the ruling APC may not respect this zoning arrangement. Late last year, several APC governors went to visit Dr Jonathan amid suggestions that they were trying to get him to join the party and run for president in 2023.
Also, Asiwaju Tinubu’s aides have already begun campaigning for him, while several northern candidates such as former vice president Atiku Abubakar and Kogi State’s Governor Yahaya Bello, have also launched campaigns. Warning all non-Igbo candidates to respect the principle of zoning, Massob said it appears there is a plot to sideline and frustrate people of the southeast.
Massob leader Uchenna Madu, said: “Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and his Ijaw kin should be wise enough to discern this subtle and hypocritical move of Arewa governors. The Sultan of Sokoto, the Aso Rock villa cabals, the frontline emirs, the Arewa opinion leaders and Islamic gurus, both Nigerians and foreigners, are perfectly aware and systematically pushing for a Goodluck Jonathan one tenure administration.
“Their ultimate political aim is to sideline and frustrate the golden chances of Igbo man or southeast zone to emerge as president of Nigeria. Massob also warns Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to bury their presidential ambitions in 2023 because it is solely and sacrosanct for the southeast zone to produce the next president of Nigeria.
“It is not about sentiment or selfishness to support the southeast zone. It is the turn of the southeast zone to produce the next president of Nigeria according to the zoning arrangement.”
APC’s national caretaker chairman, Governor Mala Mai Buni of Yobe State has dismissed claims that the party was trying to convince Dr Jonathan to contest in 2023 on its platform. However, Mr Madu described the denial as a hypocritical move aimed at causing a political discord among people of the southeast.