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2023: Ohanaeze Gets Support To Negotiate For Igbo President From Other Regions |The Republican News

Ohanaeze Ndigbo

…We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere

…There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa

…We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF

…Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF

Apex Igbo socio-political organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said yesterday that it had gotten the mandate of the Igbo-speaking states to negotiate with other Nigerians for the president of Igbo extraction in 2023.

Anambra State president of Ohanaeze, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene said during a press briefing in Awka that the mandate would be pursued with the seriousness it deserved because the South East was the only zone that had not occupied the office of president of Nigeria since the present democratic dispensation began in 1999.

However, different ethnic groups and personalities have reacted to the development with Afenifere saying it would support Igbo Preisdency but noted that there must be restructuring, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said it would look at presidential candidates after they had emerged to evaluate them.

According to Ohanaeze, if in 2023, Igbo do not get the president, Ohanaeze would continue with the struggle until it is achieved, recalling that it took the late Nelson Mandela several years of struggle to achieve it in South Africa.

Okeke-Ogene also spoke on the recent attempt by some people, led by a traditional ruler in Anambra State to factionalize Ohanaeze through what he described as a misguided effort to deceive the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to register a parallel Ohanaeze.

He said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo is an institution of credibility and repute that spans seven states and beyond and should not for any reason be subjected to  ridicule because of selfish interest of self- seeking individuals.

“We want to use this opportunity to advise the said traditional ruler to focus on activities of his kingdom and desist from meddling in the affairs of Ohanaeze so as to protect the integrity of the stool he occupies. I want to assure everybody that Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Chief Nnia Nwodo remains intact and very strong. We want to use the opportunity to apologize to other Igbo states for this dance of shame.”

He also explained that through the intervention of the elder statesman and first republic minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Ohanaeze and the Indigenous People of Biafra,

IPOB, had resolved their differences and had started working together to achieve the collective agenda for the Igbo.

On the recent misunderstanding between some traditional rulers and the Anambra State government, the Ohanaeze president said: “We want to advise our revered royal fathers to emulate the conduct of the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, lgwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, the grand patron of the Council and traditional ruler of Nnewi, lgwe Kenneth Orizu, as well as the traditional ruler of Mbaukwu, Igwe Peter Anugwu, among others and avoid confrontational stance against the state government as there is need to avoid sending wrong signal to the outside world.

“It is necessary to follow laid down processes and procedures in channeling grievances to appropriate authority.  We equally want to use this opportunity to urge stakeholders in the state to avoid overheating the polity and creating opportunity for few individuals to hijack the power structure and hold the entire people hostage and in bondage.”

We’ll support them but there must be restructuring — Afenifere

When contacted, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said though it supports the South East’s agitation, the country must be restructured before the 2023 general elections.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said: “We will support the South East to get the Presidency in 2023 provided Nigeria is restructured.

“We have been on the same page with Ohanaeze as far as restructuring is concerned, but if Nigeria goes into any election before carrying out restructuring, it will spell doom for the country.”

There must be conditions — Balarabe Musa

However, Second Republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa said majority of Northeners were now  in support of the emergence of a President from the Southeast come 2023, particularly of Ndigbo extraction.

According to him, “this time around, it would not be solely an Ndigbo affair, as all Nigerians would participate in selecting the most competent person among the Igbo that will fit the number one seat in Nigeria.

“He must be someone that will bring about peace, justice and equality in the country. He must be someone with the qualities of late Zik of Africa,” he said.

He reiterated that  Nigerians would have to participate in choosing an Igbo person with such sterling qualities, who would be President in 2023 unlike in similar exercises.

We shall look at presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them — ACF

Reacting, Spokesperson for Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, in a terse statement, said: “ACF believes that it is the constitutional responsibility of political parties to produce candidates. Until they do that, the forum will not interfere in that process. We shall look at the presidential candidates when they emerge and evaluate them at that stage.”

But a chieftain of the ACF, Anthony Sani said Ndigbo has the constitutional right to field a president in 2023.

“The decision by Ohanaeze Ndigbo to field a candidate to contest for the post of president in  2023 is their constitutional right under the nation’s multiparty democracy. They should design their winning game plan and canvass support across the nation, considering the president would preside over the whole Nigeria and not president of Igbos alone.

“And as Ohanaeze canvasses support, they should note that democracy is a contest of ideas and reasons and not a bull fight in a sumo ring. That is to say, in a multi-party democracy, threats and intimidation, nor playing victim with lamentation cannot secure power. Reasoned persuasion of the voters devoid of bellicose and percussive posturing are the instruments, while social skills are the requirements. More so,  there is no national consensus on rotation of the president between the North and the South that is binding on the political parties.”

Let Igbos speak with one voice — PANDEF

Also yesterday, the apex socio-cultural group of the South South geopolitical zone, Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, said it will welcome Ohanaeze just as it called on all Igbo leaders and groups to eschew any form of division and support ‘Ohanaeze’ to negotiate with other parts of the country for the 2023 presidency.

National Chairman of PANDEF,  Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, who gave the advice yesterday in Uyo stressed that Ohanaeze must work together with everybody, including those in government to win the support of other parts of the country.

Nkanga said PANDEF would welcome Ohanaeze when approached because the South South had held  that the next president of the country should come from the South East.

His words: “I think what Ohanaeze is trying to do is the right thing and they should have the support of everybody in the Southeast and also in Southern Nigeria. Which other organisation would have done it other than they themselves?

“If they (Igbos) have other organizations, whether women, youth groups, especially those in govermment, they should support Ohanaeze. It should not be while Ohanaeze is negotiating for Igbo presidency, other organizations are negotiating for other regions to take the position. Let the Igbos speak with one voice.For Ohanaeze to succeed, the elders and leaders must make sure they eschew any form of faction in the organization. This is not the time to talk about faction; they should close ranks because when they close ranks they should be able to convince the rest of the country.”

“Though they have not approached us yet on that, Ohaneze will not have problem if they come to us because they are a component of Southern and Middle Belt Forum. And PANDEF over time had supported the idea that we should allow the presidency to come to the South this time.

“And of course if it comes to the South the logical thing will be to allow the Southeast have it. In an open letter our Chairman Board of Trustees,Chief Edwin Clark wrote, he specifically said that the presidency should go to the Southeast” (Vanguard)

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2023: Bola Tinubu, APC And The Cost Of Political Miscalculation |The Republican News

APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Sanusi Muhammad

The godfather of Lagos politics, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2015, led the Southwest into an alliance with the north to birth the All Progressive Alliance (APC). His decision, evidently, was informed by the expectation that the two geopolitical regions will share power, invariably to the exclusion of the Eastern bloc. And ultimately that he, or the Southwest will take power by the time the north completes two terms in 2023. But it has proved to be a miscalculation.

Certainly, power play is about conspiracies and alliances. Tinubu is well within his right to do what he thought would best advance his political interest and that of his region. However, in backing President Muhammadu Buhari, he cut his nose to spite his face.

It may not have seemed obvious to many, but once Buhari took power in 2015, Tinubu’s political career was in jeopardy.

To navigate the president without bruises, the best Tinubu could have done was retire from active politics and assume the role of an elder statesman. He did not, he stayed on, wanting to be president and pushing hard to remain at the centre of political discourse. But power is jealous and if there is any holder of the highest office in the land who would tolerate a co-president, it is not Buhari. Things are beginning to unravel, fast.

Without Tinubu and by extension, the Southwest, Buhari could not have been president today. This is one fact that president’s men who now dominate the political space and brook no opposition will hate to admit, but it remains true, regardless.

But being essentially Buhari’s kingmaker, it was political naivety to decide to hang around in the expectation that he would share power. The old Machiavellian advice is that the prince must first destroy the one who made him king. Reason? Because he could decide tomorrow to make another king.

Writing in ‘The Prince’, the legendary Niccolo Machiavelli noted “… he who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined; because that predominancy has been brought about by astuteness or else by force, and both are distrusted by him who has been raised to power.”

Of course, it should have been obvious that, in helping to make Buhari president, Tinubu wasjeopardizing his political career and plunging the Southwest and by extension, southern Nigeria into political slavery whose only parallel in the country’s political history, is the late Emeka Ojukwu leading the Igbo to war in 1967.

With respect to the Biafra war, blaming Ojukwu for embarking on it could earn one exile in the Igbo country. But if truth be told, the war was avoidable and could have been avoided if Ojukwu had not been too stiff to listen to the likes of Zik and other intellectuals who understood better, international politics and diplomacy. This is not to say, nonetheless, that Ojukwu was not sufficiently provoked by the killings of the Igbo in the north in the aftermath of the July 1966 revenge coup that threw up Yakubu Gowon as head of state, and indeed the actions – or lack of it – of the Gowon-led federal side. Regardless, it was still in his hands to accept to fight or toe the path of diplomacy which, given the circumstances, was the best option and the only way to win international support for his secession quest. In the event, he went to war and only succeeded in sacrificing more Igbo lives and weakening the Igbo politically.

The consequence of that weakening is that it provided fertile ground for the emergence of hegemonic northern power. The imbalance so created is largely responsible for the crisis of Nigeria’s national identity. One mistake many Nigerians, particularly in the south, make is the assumption that the country is already formed and settled as a circular state. It’s not the case. There is the ever present quest to define the country, right of course, from the 1804 jihad.

Colonial rule put a stop to it, then in the post war years, the middle belt soldiers who dominated the army acted as a wedge. Tinubu’s alliance with Buhari has served to reenact that quest. Buhari is now, apparently, out to define the country. The Jagaban’s political miscalculation could yet prove too costly.

The old generals who I reckon, understand this are already raising alarm. But of course, the horde of naive, ignorant online crowd of crumb eaters are blurring the resistance line.

As it concerns the 2023 presidency, it should be clear to anyone with a functioning brain that President Buhari’s north has no intention of relinquishing power to the southwest or any zone for that matter. What many may not have realised, however, is that for the next three decades at least, if ever, and should Nigeria remain one, power will not leave the north. But in projecting, one must always leave space for the law of unintended consequences and the God factor.

But given Buhari’s antecedents, was there any grounds for the southwest particularly to have given him benefit of the doubt in 2015? Absolutely none in my reckoning. However, it would appear that emotion rather than sound political calculation informed their support for Buhari in 2015. It was, perhaps, more of spite for the East than love for Buhari. I had been amazed when, in the heat of the moment in 2015, before the election, the news editor of my then media platform branded a fellow reporter who didn’t buy into the Buhari presidential project a “bloody b*stard who is following the Igbo people to betray Yoruba by supporting Jonathan.”

In the lead up to the 2019 polls, I had on several occasions engaged my landlord – a backer of Buhari’s second term project who loves to discuss politics with me – on who between Atiku Abubakar and the president would make a better leader. My insistence was, of course, that Atiku would. After we exhausted all manner of issues he raised against the former vice president, he said finally that he would still back Buhari because Atiku was an “Omo Igbo project” and that “after Buhari, Yoruba will take power and after Yoruba, Hausa will take power again.” According to him, “we will be rotating it like that, Igbo people will never smell that place.” I had more of pity for his ignorance.

When in 2003, Buhari joined presidential race, he did so, apparently to stop the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo. Not because Obasanjo had performed badly as president, having taken power with the return of democracy in 1999, but because Buhari and the section of the north he represented believed that power had to return to the region.

In settling for Obasanjo in 1998/99, the intention of the northern military class was for him to do four years as compensation for MKO Abiola – the Yoruba had become uncontrollably agitated – and hand power back to the north. But not long after Obasanjo took power, it became clear that he was never going to leave it for anybody. This realisation led to agitations, criticisms of Obasanjo government was swift in the north, the climax of which was the Sharia crisis of 2000.
To take power however, the anti Obasanjo forces in the north knew that ultimately, it was about going to challenge him at the polls. Buhari emerged as the arrow head of that challenge. And through speeches and actions that appealed to regional sentiments, he built cult following that saw him win elections convincingly in the north right from 2003.

Until 2014/15, Buhari was a regional hero who believed he could become president by winning elections in the north and never thought seriously about campaigning in the south. However, in 2014/15, the Tinubu led southwest gave him an undeserved national platform, and through heavy media propaganda, dressed him in the robe of a born again democrat. But old habits die hard.
Once in power, Buhari did not hesitate to take off the borrowed garb of a nationalist and democrat to put on his original robe of sectionalism. Right from his first set of appointments, he made clear his intentions. And as it stands, he has completely consolidated power in the hands of the north.
Buhari is an idealogue, usually idealogues are very resolute and persistent people. Say what you will, he is doubling down on nepotism. Shout ‘Fulanisation’ or ‘Islamisation’ all you will, he will only look for a hate speech bill or social media bill to shut you up rather than re-examine his ‘hate’ policies.

Possibly, when Buhari is done with the country – if he has his way – no southerner will, on the basis of election, ever become president except at the behest of the north. By suppressing votes in the south and inflating figures in the north, the administration is only trying to establish a pattern, a dangerous pattern which supporters of his party in the south are evidently too blind to see.

It is clear to the discerning where the president is headed. But the question is whether he would succeed. I had pointed out elsewhere that the project would fail, ultimately, because Nigerians are too many to be subjugated.

It would seem, from the actions of those controlling the levers of power, that there is an attempt to precipitate a national crisis with a view to using force to take over the country. But of course, this is a country of 200 million people. The advantage those who have “legitimate” right to bear arms are enjoying at the moment would be lost if there a total breakdown of law and order. And the country would break into fractions controlled by warlords such that it would take a miracle to have it again as one, stable country for anyone to control.

THE DIRTY POLITICS OF THE YORUBAS! THEY WOULD SUPPORT THE DEMONS FOR CRUMBS OFF THEIR TABLES PURELY TO CURRY FAVOUR!

Lord Abiodun Ogunseitan
Founder of the reform party of Nigeria

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