By Emma Ibekwe
It was a good privilege to be invited to the book launch on the Igbo question in Abuja. It was truly a meeting of Igbo leaders where Professor Obasi Igwe of the Department of Political Science was the Book Reviewer .
The chairman of the occasion was no other person than Chief S. N . Okeke.
Amb. Prof. George Obiozor , President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Wordwide was the father of the day.
Special guest of honor was His excellency, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo. The minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige (Onwa) spoke with a patriotic Igbo spirit, including former minister of Aviation Mr Osita Chidoka among other prominent Igbo leaders, who passed a message to President Buhari through Femi Adesina who represented the President.
It was very clear that Ndigbo are all in agreement that the president should come to the Southeast, this time around, not minding the political party they belong to.
It is a national blackmail to say that the Igbos are not united looking at the number of presidential aspirants from the Southwest.
The author, Chief Dr Chekwas Okorie reflected on the Igbo question. Since we are almost of the same age grade , his reflections reminded me of the Nigerian Civil War and all the falsified history about what led to the ugly events. I will definitely put my thoughts in black and white at the appropriate time. It was agreed during the book launch that history should be returned as a subject in our schools.
For me, it is very clear that 2023 will determine Nigeria’s unity, the fate of the Southeast in a system of conspired injustice called Nigeria. It’ll be a very costly mistake for greedy politicians to boldly insult the sensitivity of the people and ignore the need for healing, equity and fairness in this critical time.
Some may argue that it is never better for the North to keep power than for Southwest to have it but what happens if the Southeast won’t get it. It may be too much injustice for the Southeast. Any zoning that does not put Southeast first in the interest of equity is a fraud.
I wish for the sake of Nigeria unity that Tinubu and VP Osinbajo and other stakeholders in the Southwest will understand this gesture. The cry of marginalisation has reached it’s crescendo.
PDP in particular should zone its presidential slot to the south east, because the region has always supported PDP as a party. For the sake of justice and equity, APC should zone the presidency to the Southeast.
It won’t be wrong for both APC and PDP to zone it to the Southeast. It was done like that in 1999 and can still be done for equity and justice. Remember, without justice, there’s no peace.
The Southwest and South-south should not allow the North to use them to divide and keep ruling the South. Because the same script is playing out. Southwest and South-south should be supporting the Southeast to produce the next President .That’s the only fair and right thing to do.
Anybody from the Southwest who is preaching that the presidency should come to the Southwest is not thinking frankly about a united Nigeria. For now, I don’t care about the party that will produce the president, either PDP or APC or whatever party. For me, it must be Igbo that should produce the president in 2023 just like 1999 with Obasanjo and Falae .
For conscience sake, any party that presents an Igbo candidate will get my vote .Even if they lose the election. It may be a greater injustice for anyone to encourage the north to retain power after eight consecutive years of Buhari.
It should be time for the South and particularly the Southeast to produce president in 2023. But I fear that the Igbos may have no other choice than to refuse to give their votes to PDP. That was well echoed during the book launch. Mr Osita Chidoka was told in clear terms to convey this message to PDP.
The southeast producing the president in 2023 should be a national project that must be done. There is no gimmicks for the South to allow power to be retained in the north beyond 2023, but it all depends.
I am one of those who care less about where the president comes from , all I want is someone who is ready to lead this country to Eldorado. But injustice to one is injustice to everyone.
As we speak Igbos have candidates that can turn the nation around. Why not give them the opportunity for a better Nigeria that will benefit us all and generations to come.