* Say 'Buhari's re-election will pave way for Igbo Presidency in 2023'
The Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has urged Ndigbo to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019 as it would would pave way for an Igbo person to become Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Okechukwu argued that the quest for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction could be better achieved if Ndigbo support Buhari, warning that “if any other Northerner becomes president in 2019, the person will naturally seek another four years in 2023.”
Apart from the prospect of an Igbo presidency after Buhari, the Southeast region would also benefit in terms of infrastructural development and social security, posited Okechukwu, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
The VON boss who bared his mind at the 10th Coronation Anniversary of traditional ruler of Olo Kingdom, Enugu State, Igwe Ambassador L. O.C. Agubuzu, assured Ndigbo that Buhari has plans to reconstruct most federal roads in the South East and construct the second Niger Bridge.
Okechukwu who represented Buhari at the event, said the administration would also revamp of Enugu Coal mines and modernise the agricultural sector as a means of generating employment for youths in the zone.
He pointed out that embracing the Buhari government would return Ndigbo to the mainstream and open the window to appeal to their South West and South South brothers to give them the chance in 2019, based on equity and justice, especially when both regions have served their turns in the 4th Republic that started in 1999.
He said Ndigbo have a choice now to either agitate for Biafra and alienate themselves or to harvest the 2023 presidency, relying on equity and justice under the zoning convention.
He urged those agitating for Biafra to respect the views of those who believe in the path charted by Zik that an alliance between the North and South should be followed.
His words: “I have a dream of the goodies, progress and prosperity a president of Igbo extraction will bequeath to our dear country.
“This is our golden opportunity to actualise our dream for president in 2023. This roadmap is the best option, which our support for President Muhammadu Buhari definitely will enhance. For after his eight years the president will go South.
“Now, the important question we must ask ourselves at this juncture in the 4th Republic, is which trajectory will ZIK (Nigeria’s first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe) chart if he were alive in the circumstance where the zoning convention of rotation of president is a major determinant? ZIK will naturally follow the zoning convention.
“Zoning convention consolidated in the sense that since the 4th Republic took off in 1999, the president has rotated from the South, with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to the North, with Umaru Yaradua of blessed memory and to South, with Goodluck Jonathan and now back to North, with Muhammadu Buhari, and going South in 2023.
“If we embrace this government, we stand to appeal to our South West and South South brothers to give us the chance, based on equity and justice, especially when both had served their turns, since our entry into the 4th Republic in 1999.
“This is the option the great ZIK will adopt if he were alive, as any other option is fraught with danger, will be more tortuous and uncertain.
“Nigerians are ready for Ndigbo; they admire our hard work and enterprise and are ready to vote for Ndigbo from Abuja to other parts of Nigeria, if and only if we follow the trajectory of our political father, the great ZIK of Africa.
“For the benefit of the young ones amongst us, may I repeat that the great ZIK in the collective interest of Ndigbo and Nigeria in general designed, chartered and followed a trajectory of One Nigeria, and North-South-Allaince, which benefited our people immensely in appointments and projects and which today is classified in political parlance as Zoning Convention, where the president rotates between the South-North and North-South.”
Okechukwu answered those who query that zoning is not in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, saying it has its moral weight and is the major determinant of the 2015 presidential election and the stabilizer of the nation in 1999, after the political instability that trailed the June 12 1993 presidential election which M.K.O. Abiola won.
He warned Ndigbo to stop agonizing with ancient grudges or the propaganda that Buhari will Islamise Nigeria and that he hates the Igbos, but to organise for 2023, so as to produce the president of Nigeria of Igbo extraction, which will be a win-win for Nigeria.
Okechukwu recalled that the great ZIK of Africa, who led Nigeria to independence, designed and charted the convention of political alliance between the North and Ndigbo in 1960 and 1979 and it was highly beneficial to both parties and the nation.
He said the intention of ZIK that power should rotate between North and South could have worked and sustained democracy, but the failure of the two alliances led to the civil war from 1967 and 1970, which regrettably denied Ndigbo their turn to produce the president.
Okechukwu maintained that former president Shehu Shagari could have handed over to Dr Alex Ekwueme but for the military coup of 1983 which truncated the Second Republic and again denied Ndigbo the opportunity of producing a Nigerian President.
He insisted that the Zik’s option remained the most pragmatic, realistic and sure footed in the quest by Ndigbo for national integration, progress and prosperity.
On the agitations for a Sovereign State of Biafra, he stated that majority of Ndigbo want to remain in Nigeria, and even those who agitate for Biafra prefer it comes through democratic means and not by force.
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