By Ochiaka Ugwu
An interest group, Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF) has strongly made case for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
The group in a world press conference in Abuja yesterday noted that they believe that in the same spirit of rotation, presidential power needs to return to South in 2023, and particularly to the South East since it is the only zone yet to produce a President for the country in the present dispensation from the Southern divide.
Speaking on behalf of the group, one of the conveners, Dr. Law Mefor who lamented that Nigeria is still facing challenges of national unity, integration and development, noted that hese challenges are borne out of the fact that the structure of the country and mode of governance have remained too dysfunctional, forcing most indices of development to stubbornly persist on the negative side.
Mefor said when the nation returned to democratic governance in 1999, a convention was struck on rotation of power between North and South Nigeria and between their zones which he said led to the emergence of two Presidents from the North West of the country and one from South West and one from South South, leaving out the South East and North East in the equation.
“We also believe that in the same spirit of rotation, presidential power needs to return to South in 2023, and particularly to the South East since it is the only zone yet produce a President for the country in the present dispensation from the Southern divide.
“Our group recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his maiden media chat, challenged the South East people to organize and assert their rights within an indivisible, indissoluble Nigeria. We also note that the five States in the South East will not make anyone from there Nigerian President. In fact, the Constitution requires a spread of at least 25% in at least 24 States to produce a Nigeria President.
“This reality is part of what has informed the decision of ILDF in conjunction with Igbo Renaissance Foundation, World Igbo Summit Group and others to convene the Great Debate on Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential powers in Nigeria come January 30, 2020 here in Abuja. This national conversation to engender unity and equity has become quite inevitable and needs to be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians.
Also speaking, former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said the time is now for other Nigerians to support Igbos for the presidency saying that Igbos are well spread in Nigeria.
Founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Dr. Udenta O. Udenta said as a matter of national compassion Igbos should be allowed to produce the president in 2023.
The conveners include, Dr. Godwin I. Udibe, Dr. Law Mefor, Dr. Emeka Okengwu, Nze Elvis Agukwe, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna and Comrade Auston Ifedinezi.