Let me start this piece by making it categorically clear to these aspirants, their families, supporters, friends and loyalists that I have nothing against their presidential ambitions, as it remains their constitutional rights, but just another reminder that justice, equity and fairness we sing daily should also be the portion of Ndi-Igbo in Nigeria.
On 4th December 2017 as reported by premium times ahead of the 2019 election campaign, Senator Orji Uzo Kalu in reassuring President Muhammadu Buhari of Igbos support for him, stated that “After Buhari’s eight years, nobody in Nigeria can tell us that our region cannot produce the president…”.
Tinubu and other and APC bigwigs ahead of the 2019 general election campaign was very clear in emphasising that a vote for Buhari’s second term is a sure bet for Igbo presidency come 2023. That campaign trick obviously triggered a lot of confusion to Igbos voting pattern ahead of the 2019 elections, with Peter Obi as running mate to Atiku Abubakar; a political calculation that might have possible 25% total vote to Buhari in the region.
However, this deceit was turned open (Channels TV reports 2nd August 2018) by the then-Senate president, Bukola Saraki, that “…he (Tinubu) expressed a strong opinion that he would rather ‘support a Buhari on the hospital stretcher’ to get a second term because in 2023, power will shift to the South-west.
This viewpoint of Tinubu’s was not only expressed to me but to several of my colleagues, so much for acting in the national interest. It is clear that while my own decision is based on protecting the collective national interest, Tinubu will rather live with the identified inadequacies of the government for the sake of fulfilling and preserving his presidential ambition in 2023…”
Segun Showunmi, the spokesperson of Atiku presidential campaign, in one of his series of interviews with Channels TV was asked “Will Atiku Abubakar step down after one tenure if he emerges winner of the 2019 presidential election and supports Ndi-Igbo for 2023 presidential election, knowing very well that by 2023 the north should have completed 8years?”; and Segun replies “when we that to that bridge, we’ll cross it.”
Fellow Nigerians, the above references and many more are just part of the many shreds of evidence that Igbos are easily relegated in the scheme of things in Nigeria as a nation. Igbos have always supported every tribe in presidential elections irrespective of party affiliation but it seems unthinkable to switch that support for Igbo aspirants.
With all the support given to the government of Goodluck Jonathan by Ndi-Igbo, I’ve never seen him anywhere conversing for the Igbo presidency, nor condemning the mistreatments on them as a people.
What will happen if Tinubu, Atiku, Jonathan, and the rest come out openly and say “it’s time to end the marginalisation and vote Igbo man or woman president “? Will heaven fall? After all, they’ve been doing that for every other tribe.
This fundamental hateful push that “you can neither be Nigerians nor Biafrans” remains the biggest joke I’m very sure no other ethnic groups can endure in Nigeria. Kanu has severally said it that they will never allow an Igbo man to become Nigeria’s president, which is now very clear even to the blind that his assertion is true, going by the current declarations left and right.
How on earth can someone be talking about yet another president from the North to take over from Buhari? You mean Igbos would again be deceitfully told to wait till the year 2031 for their non-existent turn, or maybe the year 2039 should another southerner other than Igbos emerges winner.
The point is not whether Igbos need others to win the presidential election or not, of course, they do need votes all over, but the naked truth is that there exists collective hate against them. Why not talk about their own interest even in party discussions, because it’s very clear they don’t even discuss it.
2023 remains the turn of the south, and the only region left behind in decades for the office of the president is the southeast. Support the Igbos to produce the next Nigeria’s president come 2023, just as they’ve always supported others all their life. Don’t force a people to become perpetual spectators in the Nigerian project and at the same time preach one Nigeria. Let them be part of the one Nigeria you preach or let them go.