Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
USAfrica: Afenifere, PANDEF, Middle Belt Forum at GNC make strong case for an Igbo as Nigeria’s next President.
The Greater Nigeria Conference (GNC) at Abuja yesterday brought together the influential network of key political and socio-cultural groups, namely the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) of the Southwest, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) and they spoke in agreement that the the presidential ticket of the major political parties should be specifically “micro-zoned” to the Southeast Igbo.
Nigeria’s elder stateman and PANDEF leader, Chief Edwin Clark, made a strong case when he stated: “Let us do what is right; let us accommodate one another, and be fair to one another. Let all other Nigerians support a Southeastern candidate for President, come 2023. I repeat, very soon, I will be 95 years old. I have spent more than 70 years of this period in Nigerian affairs. I have seen it all.”
He cautioned that “For the peace and sanity of the country, I appeal to all, in the name of the Almighty God, to make this concession to the Igbos, to present a President Nigeria.” He made references to Nigeria’s 36 States as being the country’s “36 legs.” He noted that: “If any part of these 36 legs gets broken, the country would not be at ease and that is exactly what the country is experiencing today.”
He added that “The young ones who belong to the disadvantaged legs are fighting and people are pretending not to know why. Why the Southeast should have presidency is because the children from that geopolitical zone are asking whether their leg is k-legged or deformed or broken, thus resulting in the inability of their zone to present the President.”
“So, the clamour for a president for the Southeast geo-political zone is supported by me…. Today, with no other tangible reason for still wanting to hold on to power, some people are talking about merit and competence. To these people, my response is simple: we must all woo, and win each other because every part of this country has a beautiful bride and every part has a handsome groom.”
MBF chairman Dr. Pogu Bitrus, reminded the attendees that in 1999, “In the collective wisdom of the departing military and the political class, it was agreed that zoning presidential power to the Southwest was the most expedient thing to do. The (2023) situation we are in now calls for a similar approach by Nigeria”, for “justice, equity and fairness”, to the Igbo Southeast.
The GNC event was spearheaded by an Igbo think-tank, Nzuko Umunna — with the communique, stating “The GNC resolved that for equity, fairness and inclusion, it is right that all political parties should zone the Presidency to the Southeast…. GNC resolves that a president from the Southeast will usher in unity, peace and progress in Nigeria and, being grounded on justice, equity and fair play, will help to douse all manners of agitation in the Nigerian state.”