The National Coordinator of the Movement for the Actualization of Igbo Presidency, Comrade Emmanuel Ezechikwelu Chinedu has reaffirmed the commitment of his group to pursue its mandate of seeing to the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, come 2023.
Addressing journalists in Enugu after the group’s executive meeting in his office on Tuesday, Comrade Ezechikwelu noted that the demand for Nigerian president of Igbo extraction “is not only right and legitimate but also based on equity, good conscience and natural justice.”
He added that the defining moment of Nigerian nationhood would be on May 29, 2023, when a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction would take over the baton of leadership from the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari.
Comrade Ezechikwelu recalled that “in the advent of the fourth republic in 1999, the consensual decision by the then two major political parties to zone the presidency to South West, that produced Olusegun Obasanjo of PDP and Olu Falae of ANPP as the leading candidates in the 1999 presidential election was taken to heal the wounds and problems created by annulment of June 12, in 19993 election.”
He urged all Igbos and well-meaning Nigerians to support the project “because the success of this project apart from healing wounds and pains inflicted on the Igbos during the civil war, it would engender a conducive and convivial atmosphere for national rebirth, national unity and unprecedented development, never witnessed in the country before.”
Going down memory lane, Comrade Ezechikwelu recalled that “the North had had the large chunk of the country’s political leadership starting with Alhaji Tafawa Balewa’s five years and three months (October 1, 1960 – January 15, 1966); Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s nine years (July 29, 1966 – July 29, 1975); Gen. Murtala Mohammed’s seven months (July 29, 1975 – February 13, 1976); Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s four years and two months (October 1, 1979 – December 31, 1983); Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s one year and eight months (December 31, 1983 – August 27, 1985); Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s eight years (August 27, 1985 – August 26, 1993); Gen. Sani Abacha’s four years and seven months (November 17, 1993 – June 8, 1998); Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar’s one year (June 8, 1998 – May 29, 1999); Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua’s three years (May 29, 2007 – May 5, 2010); and President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years (May 29, 2015 – May 29, 2023).”
Continuing he said: “In total, the regional North would have led Nigeria for 45 years and three months by May 2023. The Yoruba of the South-West, have led the country for exactly 11 years and 11 months: Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s three years and eight months (February 13, 1976 – October 1, 1979); Chief Ernest Shonekan’s three months (August 26 -November 17, 1998); and Obasanjo’s eight years as elected president (May 29, 1999 – May 29, 2007).”
He further said that Gen. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi (January 15 – July 29, 1966, sat the throne for only six months.
“It is often said Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a ceremonial president because power resided with the prime minister,” he added.
He urged President Buhari, the ruling APC and all well-meaning Nigerians “to support the Nigerian President of Igbo extraction to douse the tension, anxiety and the passion of renewed secession agitation of pro-Biafra movements among young Igbos in the South-East, and also to eliminate completely the genuine fears of Igbo marginalisation.”