Chuks Ibegbu, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, on Friday accused Nigerian political elites of ganging up against the Southeast.
Ibegbu made the remark while insisting that the Igbos have not been fairly accommodated within Nigeria’s political sphere.
Ibegbu called on all political parties to address the matter in 2023 by zoning their presidential candidates to the Southeast.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo chieftain described Igbos as hard-working and patriotic people who should rule Nigeria in 2023.
He said: “Under normal circumstances, wherever a president hails from does not matter; what should matter is performance and who will deliver the dividends of democracy. But in a pluralistic and diverse society like ours, every section of the country must have a feeling of political belonging.
“There must be fairness in the distribution of political powers, and because of the nature of our society which is an evolving one, every sector should have a sense of belonging.
“The North has dominated power for more than forty years, either military or civilian. The West also has had its fair share either as military or civilian, and recently the South-south too (Jonathan).
“Nigeria was built on a tripod, North, West and East. A significant bloc of that tripod is the Igbos, and they have not been given political fairness; they have not been politically accommodated. That does not mean they have not been participating in political activities in Nigeria. There seems to be a political gang-up against the Igbos and the irony is that Nigeria is suffering from it.
“Igbos are a very patriotic set of people and very conscious of developments, so why won’t all the political parties Zone their presidential candidates to the Southeast.
“In the first republic, there was a kind of zoning; that was why Abubakar Tafa-Balewa became the Prime Minister while Zik from the South became a ceremonial president. In the Second Republic, Shagari was from the North, and Alex Ekwueme was from the Southeast. When Yar’ Adua was President from the North, Jonathan was from the South. So zoning has been a feature of our political stability, so there is nothing wrong with zoning due to our society’s nature.
“Zoning is necessary until such a time when we are mature enough not to care where the president comes from, either from Daura or Ogbomosho, so long as the food is on my table, but we have not reached that stage yet. So, that is why it is very apt that all political parties zone their presidential candidacy to the Southeast and the Igbos. Eight years is not too much; let the power go round. After that, we can now sit down and say where the president comes from does not matter.”