Recall that after late General Sani Abacha arrested and detained late Chief M.K.O. Abiola for declaring himself President of Nigeria after the June 12, 1993, presidential elections, Yoruba leaders rose as one man and formed the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) with which, in addition to their Afenifere, they fought the Abacha military dictatorship to a standstill.
That was brilliant! Most of them went into hiding while others escaped to countries abroad and still attacked the Abacha dictatorship from their bases in the United States and Europe. It took courage on their part to do what they did. They also went to the Lagos High Court through their lawyers to nullify the military’s annulment of that election.
When Abacha organized his “Million- Man March” in Abuja to further his self-succession agenda, the Yoruba leaders in conjunction with certain pro-democracy groups and activists, organized their own “2-million man march” in Lagos to counter it. It was quite an epic struggle. All these piled up enormous political pressure on the Northern cabal to eventually cede power to the Southwest, especially after Chief Abiola died suddenly in federal military detention in 1998.
The Yorubas fought and got the Presidency which was later given to retired General Olusegun Obasanjo in May 1999. The South-south fought similar battles over their marginalization and the degradation of their environment from oil exploration and concomitant pollution. The Southeast certainly has a serious battle ahead. The Northern oligarchy never relinquishes political power to any other geopolitical zone in this country on a platter of gold! Any other Southern geopolitical zone has to fight for itself.
It is in this context that the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. John Nnia Nwodo, must be commended for taking the bull by the horn in that television interview yesterday. His message, our message – the message of the Igbo nation, is very loud and clear – it is either a President of Southeast extract in 2023 in Nigeria or the Southeast will go for a REFERENDUM to be conducted by the United Nations to determine the destiny of the Southeast.
Let the likes of Alhaji Mamman Daura and their cohorts in the Northern cabal take serious note. It is the Southeast (IGBO) turn to rule Nigeria in 2023! There can be no compromise about that. Talking about “competence” and being “most qualified” for the Presidency to succeed President Buhari in 2023, as Mamman Daura alluded to in his remarks recently, we make bold to remind him that no other ethnic group in Nigeria is more “competent” or more “qualified” to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari than the IGBOS of the Southeast Geopolitical Zone looking at those criteria from any conceivable angle or parameters.
Let the Alhaji know this – ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY cannot die or be scrapped in Nigeria until the Southeast geopolitical zone has taken its own turn at the Presidency just like the North, Southwest, and South-south. The Alhaji and his cabal cannot change the goal post when it comes to the turn of the Igbos! That is UNACCEPTABLE! The Igbos have overpaid their dues in this country in every sense of the word. Anyone standing in the way of the Southeast presidency in 2023 is the very enemy of Nigeria and will certainly bear the consequences of such action.
(Dr.G.A.Onuoha, LL.M, Ph.D (UNN)