2023: Anger in Igboland over APC, PDP snub

• Denial of Igbo presidency will come with consequences, says Ohanaeze
• Lauds Onu, and other Southeast aspirants for courage in face of betrayal
• Nwajiuba: I boycotted the convention because of APC’s failure to zone the presidency to Southeast
• Uzodimma: Real reason Igbo can’t produce Nigeria’s next president

With the dismal performance of aspirants from the Southeast in yesterday’s presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), there are strong indications that the leadership of Igboland will converge in Enugu State next week to review political developments in the country, with a view to charting a way forward for the region in the next dispensation.

One of the aspirants and immediate past Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, had, at the APC convention on Tuesday night, during his speech, pricked the conscience of the nation with the question ‘Where’s the justice for Southeast?’ However, despite the soul-stirring remarks, he ended the contest with one vote.

Also, the immediate past Minister of State for Education and another presidential aspirant, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the failure of APC to zone the presidency to the Southeast was responsible for his boycott of the national convention.

Abdullahi Adamu, newly elected chairman of the ruling Party All progressives Congress, addresses delegates during the party’s primaries to elect the party’s presidential flag bearer for 2023 election at the Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria on June 8, 2022. – Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party voted on Wednesday in key primaries to choose a candidate for next year’s election to replace President Muhammadu Buhari.

In what was described as a curious twist of the event, Nwajiuba was absent from the convention venue when he was called upon to address the delegates on Tuesday night. He was nowhere to be found and there was no official explanation regarding his absence until he issued a statement yesterday.

Only a few days ago, he was tipped as one of the possible choices of President Muhammadu Buhari for the number one job in the country.

There had been clamour that the APC should utilise the opportunity offered by the zoning principle to take a firm stance, by micro-zoning the presidential slot to the Southeast geo-political zone.

To reinforce this clamour, six APC presidential aspirants – Onu, Nwajiuba, Rochas Okorocha, Dave Umahi, Ikeobasi Mokelu and Uju Ken Ahanenye – had written a letter to President Buhari, dated June 6, 2022, seeking for zoning of the party’s candidate to the region.

They had argued that for the sake of equity and unity, it was only fair that the APC zoned the ticket to the Southeast, which is yet to produce a civilian president for the country, but this was not the case as the election was open to candidates from all parts of the country.

Speaking on the development, Nwajiuba urged his supporters not to be despondent or disappointed by his action.
APEX Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has, however, reacted to the emergence of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the APC presidential flag bearer. In a statement, Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said the refusal of the leading political parties to give the presidential ticket to the Southeast would come with consequences.

Recall that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had earlier emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Ohanaeze scribe, however, saluted all the aspirants from the Southeast for their “heroic outing.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo salutes Igbo presidential aspirants in both the APC and PDP for standing firm to the end, in the face of utter betrayal by both parties.

“Indeed, the usually calm Onu appropriately captured the mood of Ndigbo, when he asked a very pertinent question while speaking at the APC primary: ‘Where is the justice?’

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo also salutes the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SAMBA) for insisting that it is the turn of the Southeast, come 2023.

“We commend in a very special way, elder statesmen like Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Niger Delta leader, Pa Edwin Clark; former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Middle Belt leader, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, and others for rising above ethnic sentiments to be true heroes of Nigerian democracy,” he stated.

Meanwhile, sources told The Guardian that Ohanaeze Ndigbo is championing a meeting that will attract religious, political and business segments of Igboland.

Its leadership, which was contacted at the convention of the APC, declined comments on the matter “until after the meeting”, stressing, however, that “Ndigbo will not accept this plot to relegate us to nothingness.”

Another source also revealed that the meeting may centre on how to pull support and resources for Peter Obi, who is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, to enable him realise his aspirations since his platform appears to be more acceptable to the people.

But a leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Chekwas Okorie, said, yesterday, that Tinubu’s victory has vindicated his earlier position that none of the two leading political parties would cede their presidential ticket to the Southeast.

Okorie stated that the outcome of the convention had again indicated a serious dislocation in the polity, stressing that Ndigbo must come together under APGA and use the party to bargain for their political emancipation.

Emeritus President General of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, described the emergence of Tinubu as a “travesty of justice”, stressing that it was an indication of the “deep hatred” the Igbo was passing through.

He said: “It is a travesty of justice. In this country at independence, there were three regions. Today, the principal region that led in the struggle for independence is being treated as a big minority. Since the end of the war, every effort is being made to classify Ndigbo as bad people.

“Using the PDP as an example, this was a party founded by Alex Ekwueme from G34 and when it came to the time for him to vie for the presidency, he submitted and supported the emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo. When it came to the turn of the All Peoples Party (APP), another man from Igboland, Ogbonnaya Onu, gracefully stepped down for Olu Falae, also from the Southwest in 1999.

“Now, we have always said it is our turn. But what happened last night (Tuesday)? There was a gang up to ensure that Igbo was denied the opportunity. Even those that benefited from the sacrifices we made refused that Igbo men should emerge. When Onu was speaking last night, most people didn’t understand what he was saying because there was a conspiracy to deny Igbo opportunity for the presidency.”

Also reacting, a former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, said there was no justice and conscience in both the APC and PDP. He stated that the emergence of Tinubu should not excite anybody that loves Nigeria, but rather should get people into wearing the thinking cap.

He said the future of the country was endangered should the level of lip service being paid to continue. “I pray God gives us a president of Southeast origin next year. There are no two ways about it, the two parties – APC and PDP – have lost their consciences. Nigerians will take over their country. It is no more party business.

“I am very proud because Peter Obi accepted the injunction given by Igbo elders that he should not be Vice President to Atiku and told him to go and look for his own presidency. I want to tell you that we are going to get Obi the presidency of Nigeria and that is the best that will happen to us.”

HOWEVER, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and Vice Chairman of the APC Special Convention has said the Southeast, which should produce the next president, was denied the opportunity due to the lack of equity.

Speaking with Channels Television, the governor said the Southeast can’t produce Nigeria’s next president due to injustice.

According to Uzodinma: “From the view of political calculation, the sentiment of the people in the Southeast is that they deserve to produce the president because the reason this power is moving from the North to the South is that the current president is from the North, having served for seven years.

“The reason the Southeast is asking for it is that when the power came to the South, it went to the Southwest and was there for eight years and the next time it came to the South, it went to the South-South and it was there for six years.

“The natural thing to do and the justice of the case is that now that power is coming again to the South and since it is only three geo-political zones that made up the South, it should come to the Southeast.

“In a situation where equity should be the issue we don’t need to struggle for it. But here again, you see how it has come. We will continue to hope that one day, God will touch the hearts of our brothers and sisters to give us that which belongs to us.”

Source: Guardian.ng

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com