Only entrepreneurial Igbo spirit can save Nigeria –Ebonyi PDP
The South-South Elders Forum has said it was the turn of the zone to occupy the plum office in 2023, warning that any attempt by the North to hold onto power would breach the principle of rotation of power and threaten the peace, unity and stability of Nigeria.
National coordinator of the forum, Anabs Sara-Igbe, who stated this yesterday, said the North should not take the South-South and South-East for granted.
Sara-Igbe, who is also the national publicity secretary of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), noted that the North had ruled for about 40 years, South-West, 12 years, South-South, four years, and the South-East only six months.
“For the north to insist on getting the Presidency again, they do not mean well. And that is why the Arewa group came out boldly to condemn the North advocating for another tenure and they put their weight behind the South-South, because if you want stability, we must be fair to all, and don’t underrate anybody.
“If the North wants to hold on to power, then they don’t want peace in Nigeria. I think the North will not do that. If they want chaos, then they can insist on the presidency. But I can tell you that the South-South is a stabilising force in Nigeria. We will stabilise the country and we will not allow Nigeria to get to that level where there will be conflict,” he said.
According to Sara-Igbe, the North must realise that there is no insignificant region in the country, hence the need to respect the aspirations of every section to the highest office in the country.
“Yar’Adua wanted to use military might against the Niger Delta, and within months the economy was crippled. He begged for amnesty and gave us the things that we required. Buhari came and thought he could use military might, the economy was crippled and we went into economic recession. PANDEF came and salvaged the country. So, you cannot say that anybody cannot do anything. Even the Igbo that are not happy today can do something. The Middle Belt can do something. Every part of Nigeria has the potential to do something, because we are a union.
“For us, the race for the presidency has started and it is a clear fact that there is an unconventional agreement that the presidency should rotate between the North and South.
“Presently, the presidency is in the North, and they have completed their two tenures. It implies that it would come to the South. The South-West had their complete tenure through Olusegun Obasanjo; the South South had one tenure through Goodluck Jonathan, the South-East has not got it in the new dispensation. So, it is the right of the South South to complete their two tenures, thereafter, the South-East will have a shot at it.
“Besides, the South-East is insisting on Biafra, they are not insisting on the presidency. In the South-South, we believe in restructuring and are also interested in the presidency. We want to complete our second tenure. Considering our role in Nigeria, we believe we are the hub carrying Nigeria. The nation should be fair to us by allowing us complete our second tenure. When we complete our second tenure, we will now believe that Nigeria is with us.
“We are not interested in dividing Nigeria, but we are interested in repositioning Nigeria. We can assure Nigeria that the present feelings of the Igbo, when the South-South man comes, he would douse it, because the South-East and the South South are brothers. They are of the same mother and the father. If a South-South man comes, it will help Nigeria, our oil production will increase, our gas production will increase,” he said.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State chapter, Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, has said Nigeria can only overcome its developmental challenges by harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of the Igbo.
Nwebonyi, who stated this in Abakaliki, yesterday, tasked Nigerians to look beyond ethnic and religious considerations and elect an Igbo as president in 2023.
He said the Igbo had an innate developmental drive, which propels them to make judicious utilisation of resources to achieve greater accomplishments.
He lamented that the nation was too blessed in human and natural resources to continue to wallow in poverty and infrastructural decay, emphasizing that Nigerians need to turn things around in 2023 with an Igbo President.
Nwebonyi reminded Nigerians that Ndigbo within a short period after the civil war were able to rediscover themselves by investing and contributing towards the development of major cities in the country despite the humongous setbacks occasioned by the war.
Using Ebonyi as an example, the party cxairman, noted how Governor David Umahi within four and half years was able to utilise the meagre allocations to the state to transform its infrastructure and economy.