• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Igbo presidency only realisable through President Buhari

Sebastian Uremadu,a professor at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State and a political analyst in this interview with UDOKA AGWU spoke on some issues, including the real national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Igbos chances of producing a Nigerian president, and assessment of the Buhari administration. Excerpts:

What is your take on the national leadership of the APC and President Buhari’s letter to the INEC on who actually the national leader of the APC is?

 It is in order that PMB has to, loud and clear, sound this to all to hear and put to a stop the machination and imaginations of Southwest journalists and to some Southwest leaders who arrogate leadership of APC to Bola Ahmad Tinubu to the extent that the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo was taunting Tinubu of not knowing which position he said he was occupying in the All Progressives Congress. Obasanjo was not really taunting Tinubu, but he wished him to make real the scheming of Southwest to control APC.

It was as a result of how the Southwest boasts of making APC and Buhari’s presidency that emboldens Tinubu and lately Fashola to start reminding the Southwest voters that they should vote for Buhari, because APC winning the Presidential election in 2019 would promise power returning back to the Southwest region again in 2023. That is being day-dreaming and over ambitious.

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By the actions of Tinubu and Fashola and other Southwest leaders who think like them that they would take Igbos, the South-East slot when next power is rotated or zoned to the South and by so doing distort the outstanding zoning of presidential power among the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria of which South-west and South-south have had their turns, remaining the Igbos of South-East from the Southern part of Nigeria.

It goes to portray South-west- the Yorubas to be at the forefront in destabilizing Nigeria through their press and these divisive tendencies they have always pursued at times with some South-south persons and middle belters, joining them to marginalise all the Igbos.

The agenda to make an Igbo Presidency in 2023 after Buhari’s second term has been widely supported by the Edos of South-south, the North-East and Northwest and few middle belters and South-south. The Hausa-Fulani persons have always been in political alliance with the Igbos to produce leadership of Nigeria in the First and Second Republics of the 1960s and late 1980s until a distortion of this political marriage of Igbos being bride to the North in Nigeria politics.

If things start to happen that way, Nigeria will see peace, unity and prosperity as in the days of Zik, Ahmadu Bello and Awolowo. The Igbos are among the three major tribes of Nigeria and that formed the three tripod stands on which the Nigerian nation leans and any effort to distort or destabilise that would never augur well for the nation.

We must all take note of this very seriously, hence all efforts should be geared towards redirecting Nigeria to her natural course of things so that we can see peace and progress.

Therefore, it is good that President Buhari wrote and made it clear to INEC that he is a founding member and national leader of the APC, 2013 till date and it has never been contested. Hence, those scheming to take over leadership of APC from Mr. President for their parochial agenda should think well and desist from doing so forthwith.

The stance of the President was in sharp contrast to the widely but wrongly held belief and perception that former Lagos State governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is the acknowledged national leader of the party. That contradiction has now been put to rest.

It has been good that Buhari wrote INEC to trace back how he has progressed thus far to his present position and that he should not be shortchanged by any single individual and or region of Nigeria. So, it is good and clear that PMB wrote INEC to clarify where leadership power of APC lies, that he was the presidential candidate of APC in 2015 and President and commander-in-chief of the Nigeria armed forces, May, 2015 to date.

What is your view on President Buhari and the issue of balancing political positions?

 Well, we hope after winning 2019 presidential election, PMB should balance allocation of political offices and not allow a lopsidedness that made South-west dominate most positions to the extent that Tinubu’s man, Fashola has been allowed to supervise three key ministries of power, housing and works and he has not been performing in those ministries, it must be noted!

The South-west should allow and give Nigeria a breathing space in allowing equality and equity to operate in Nigeria.

The good people of Southwest of Nigeria by this clarification of President, should allow equitable accommodation of all other tribes in Nigeria leadership so that the nation can move forward, so to speak.

What is your take on position of Ndigbo on Buhari and Atiku option come 2019?

Both options are very attractive to the Igbos more especially when Atiku of the PDP has chosen Peter Obi as his running mate.

However, Buhari’s option with a promise to hand over power to the Igbos in 2023 despite the fact that Osinbajo, a South-west person is still continuing as his running mate seems more promising in that the South-west- the Yorubas- have had their turn of eight years in the person of Obasanjo, who took the first shot in rotational Presidency. When power comes back to the South in 2023 provided Buhari wins presidential election in 2019, it will then be the turn of the Igbos of South-East to produce a Presidential slot since the South-West and South-South (through Goodluck Jonathan) have both taken their turns in ruling Nigeria.

After PMB, three zones, the Southwest, South-south and Northwest must have had their turns in ruling Nigeria at our level of democratic development which encourages zoning power to the six geopolitical zones, it then remains only the South-East and two from the North, the North-East and North-Central (Middle belt) yet to produce a President of Nigeria.

Therefore, the best option for Ndigbo in the present dispensation is to embrace Buhari presidency which promises a surer and nearer Igbo presidency in 2023 and he should be taken seriously for that matter.

What is your assessment of President Buhari’s administration so far?

Buhari’s government has been very serious in the three areas he has assigned to himself to perform – diversification of the economy into agriculture and industry; determined fight against corruption and curbing insecurity in the country especially against the Boko Haram insurgency and minimising farmers-herdsmen life-long clashes in the Middle belt, North-West, South-West and South-East areas of Nigeria.

He does not mince words in what he has set his heart to do in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari is not a politician that talks from the two sides of his mouth. He is ‘ekwueme’ of Nigeria, a leader who does what he says he will do and the Igbos should stop doubting him for I am very optimistic about the Hausa-Fulanis of Katsina origin, I know them!