No good student of history will take with levity any form of threat from the southeastern part of the country, of course, the Igbos constitute one of the major ethnic groups in the country. Between 1967-1970, Nigeria witnessed civil war to hold back a secessionist state, the Republic of Biafra which had declared its independence from Nigeria, one could say the existence and activeness of a group like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the Southeast with the aim to restore an independent state of Biafra often points to the fact that the aftermath wounds of the civil war are unhealed. There are grievances around marginalization and poor allocation of resources in the region.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has not hidden its willingness to actualize the Igbo presidency in 2023, this apex Igbo socio-cultural group revealed it has set aside N10B (Ten Billion Naira) in support fund for this course. The main argument for the necessity of an Igbo presidency in 2023 is to enable fairness and justice. The actualization of this dream is expected to indirectly douse the tension and put an end to the agitation in the region. How effective a solution could this be?
Agitation in the region comes from the masses in the quest for better management of resources and governance. Unemployment, poverty and poor infrastructural facilities have made IPOB enjoy more support especially from the youth of the region over the years. The people are angry at the sight of an apparent lopsided appointment into federal positions. Many of the elites around the corridor of power appear to feel so indifferent about this cry. Conversely, the Igbo presidency call is to the favour of the elites.
Moreover, the menace of insurgency and banditry in the Northeast have not ended despite the love and overwhelming support people of the region gave to our current president. Ironically, the insurgency and banditry have even spread their ugly tentacles to the Northwest that is the home of Mr President. I doubt the aspiration of a common man in any part of Bornu which is to sleep with his two eyes closed has been achieved under this administration. Will the story really be different if the paradigm shifted to the East?
Truly, a federation can properly thrive on inclusion and justice. The Southeast parades a pool of credible individuals that can lead this country, however, as the region permutates, consults and canvasses for Igbo presidency in 2023, a visionary aspirant who can rescue the state of the Nigeria state should be presented. An aspirant that will be able to break into one of the two major political parties, because as it stands, none is likely to give its platform as a vehicle to Aso Rock to an aspirant from the Igbo extraction on the platter of ‘it is our turn’. The argument that there are six geopolitical zones in the country of which only three zones (Northwest, Southwest and Southsouth) have produced president in the current political dispensation often surfaces.
While a group feels they have the number to keep the presidency, a group feels it’s their turn for fairness and equity sake, another feels it is their time to reap from where they have sowed, and all Nigeria need is a visionary president.