It would be easier for those who do not want a President from the South East to say so clearly, plainly. Would that not be more understandable than the niggling issues that are raised?
The South East supports IPOB that wants a different country, they claim. Has Boko Haram not declared a caliphate more than a decade ago? Was the burden heaped on presidential candidates from the North? Why would Igbo leaders be expected to rein in IPOB and their mates in the North are not held responsible for the behaviour of Boko Haram?
A lack of unity of Ndigbo has been another reason why we cannot produce a President of Nigeria. When Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari contested in 2019, it was a great show of the North’s unique unity. Was it not?
Years back when the National Party of Nigeria zoned the Presidency to the North, there were more than 20 aspirants, with about 10 of them participating in the primaries in Lagos. Maybe we have forgotten that.
There were five presidential candidates in 1979. Shehu Shagari, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Waziri Ibrahim, Aminu Kano. Three of them being from the North didn’t stop Shagari from winning. By 1983, the parties were six. Tunde Braithwaite joined the others, plus Khalifa Hassan Yusuf who stood in place of Aminu Kano who passed two years earlier.
Northern Nigeria had three presidential candidates in each of those elections. Nobody accused the zone of lacking political sagacity, disunity, or being too many in the race. Of course, the South East is different.
Insecurity in the South East, the killings, the disruption of public activities have been another reason advanced to disqualify an Igbo from being President of Nigeria. Which parts of Nigeria witness killings, kidnappings, vandalisation of settlements and farms more than Northern Nigeria? Has it been an issue in the aspiration of their candidates? What are the differences in the insecurity in the North that has become perennial, persistent, and ever present.
Muhammadu Buhari was elected and re-elected with the incidents escalating.
Presidential candidates are sprouting from the North. As condolence visits are being made, so are presidential declarations. Some say it is the power of the North, the same power that makes the North support zoning when it is favourable.
The North is deemed strategic, fore-sighted, and the best managers of power. Have they used these for the benefit of the North?
Sometimes the same laughable issues are raised in the South West. We are reminded that we are aggressive, loud, out to make money. We are accused of all manners of crimes though the crimes records show more parts that are more involved than Igbos.
Igbos are ready to provide Nigerians with worthy presidential candidates across the parties. We have them. Agreed, others have too.
Nigerians should assess the aspirants, who will be candidates on verifiable values that would improve the conditions of Nigerians all over the country. If we ignore spurious issues, we would find them worthy.
Whoever wins among them will be a great President of Nigeria for Nigerians with Nigerians. Why the distractions that deny them opportunities to share their insights about Nigeria’s challenges?
They are educated, their origins are known. They are willing to answer questions on anything and everything. Their parentage is not a subject of everlasting disputes. They attended schools where the alumni know them.
Certain forces decide who becomes President. They have been at play since 1999. We are asking them to act in national interest as was the case in 1999.
All those who feel so entitled that they claim a Nigerian President from the South East, the only zone in the South that has not produced a President since 1999, should ask themselves what they are offering beyond entitlement.
A line in our national anthem urges us to build a nation where peace and justice shall reign. We have ample opportunities to start that journey in 2023 with the election of a President from the South East.
ALTERNATIVE logic reigns supreme. President Muhammadu Buhari thinks his promised postponement of price increases of petroleum products is a deft economic decision that we should applaud. He has completely forgotten he promised turn around maintenance of refineries and building new refineries seven years ago. There were hints that we would export refined products. For a government that is not loud about its achievements, it is possible he had done these and more, quietly.
STATISTICS confirm increase in rice production. The same statistics indicate higher prices of the product. A logician has said that the projections didn’t anticipate increase in population. So much for statistics.
WHICH law permits money lenders to scandalise alleged defaulters on social media? There are too many of these cases. Just wondering if one of the conditions for the loans is the resort to the social media.
IN case you have money to lend the Federal Government please indicate. If the Chinese have stopped lending to us, we can look inwards. There are Nigerians who believe so much in Nigeria that they would grant the loan knowing “we do not have another country to call ours”.
GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State made a show of rescuing two young out-of-school girls on his way to an assignment. The out-of-school situation demands more than a perfunctory approach. For more details he should ask UNICEF. He is said to have awarded the girls scholarships as they could not afford school fees. When did free education cease in Lagos State? Hopefully, the Governor has plans for thousands of out-of-school children who have just be let into the secret path to free education in Lagos State.
Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues