A former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, declared that the South-East Region will be forced to break away from Nigeria if an Igbo man is not allowed to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
According to him, not giving the presidency to the South East means denying the people of the region their citizenship of Nigeria and whatever they do in consequence of being excluded is justified.
The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, had recently stated that the next president after the tenure of Buhari should come from the southern part of the country. But, his position was vehemently kicked against by the Northern Elders Forum and also some youth groups from the region, who are insisting that the zone should retain power after Buhari
Ezeife, in an interview with The Sun, said, “My view is the general view. We are talking of equity, we are talking about fairness, and we are talking of justice; all these considerations require that power should move to the South and within the South, it should go to the Southeast.”
He noted that the North has dominated the presidency while the South West and the South-South have had a fair share too.
The former governor maintained that the only group in the South, which has not had any at all, is the Southeast, adding that, “Unless some people are not interested in what happens to Nigeria then they can deny the Southeast.”
“However, I’m happy with what I’m seeing. On the 9th, there’s a group led by Yoruba that is working on a conference for 2023, and its own decision is for Southeast to have it, and Afenifere says it’s Southeast,” he added.
“Tanko Yakasai, who was not quite sure before, is now saying it should be Southeast. Balarabe Musa says Southeast, and about four youth groups in the North are saying it is the South.
“This gives me the feeling that Nigeria may survive if people begin to think in a logically equitable way like that.
“But if some people say they don’t care about Nigeria, let them deny the Southeast, and then the Southeast people will know that they are no longer Nigerians, as their fellow Nigerians do not see them as part of them.
“The consequence is there, the reaction also there. I know anybody who really thinks will know this is what will happen.
“We have had an agreement long before now. Why did Buhari become president after Jonathan? We agreed and I have been participating in many of the conferences, and we agreed on rotation.
“I was chairman of not the presidential rotation, but rotation of other offices, and we agreed on rotation of the office of the governor by senatorial zones. So, this is not a new thing, we agreed on it.
“I’m told that some people thought that since after the civil war, there was an agreement to exclude our people from government. You can’t do that and hope to have the same people in the same country.
“If they are talking of any agreement to exclude Igbo from presidency, you are excluding them from citizenship and whatever they do in consequence of being excluded is justified.”