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2023: Igbo Elders warn against plot to sabotage Southern Presidency

The Igbo Elders Consultative Forum, has  raised the alarm that there were plots by some persons and groups  to scuttle the “patriotic resolution” of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) that the 2023 Presidency of Nigeria should be zoned to the South for the sake of peace, justice, equity and fairness.

It could be recalled that the governors of the 17 states in Southern Nigeria, had at their meeting, which was held in Lagos on July 5, demanded that the Presidency should move to the South after President Muhammadu Buhari, a Northerner, completes his two terms of eight years in 2023. Since that resolution, many politicians and pressure groups have expressed diverse opinions with those from the North advocating that zoning should be jettisoned in the political leadership recruitment process.

Chairman of the Council, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who addressed a news conference in Abuja Monday, alleged that the plot was being hatched in concert with “some of our sons and  political leaders,” describing the move as unpatriotic.  Ezeife, a former Governor of the old Anambra State, said the development was saddening, divisive and condemnable.

Flanked by other leaders of the forum, Ezeife said the group will support any possible sanctions against any Igbo son or daughter associated with what he described as deceit and betrayal of the people’s will and popular desire.

“The Presidency has to be zoned to the South and we believe that our brothers of the South South and South West shall be considerate enough to micro-zone it to the South East, which, except for the six months of Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi’s military regime, has not been given the opportunity to lead the country in that capacity since Nigeria’s political independence in 1960.

“We also hasten to warn that any political party that tinkers with the laudable and patriotic demand that the 2023 Presidency be zoned to the South and do otherwise by zoning it elsewhere, should be prepared to struggle without the votes of our people, because it is against the principle of equity, justice and fairness,” he said.

 Ezeife argued that any political party that preaches democracy, accountability and transparency should first put into practice the principle of equity, justice and fairness by zoning the 2023 Presidency to the South, preferably the South East. According to him, such a move will go a long way in dousing the increasing tension in the polity, arising from cries of marginalisation, nepotism and deliberate exclusion of some regions from the governance system.

 

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