2023: Shelve presidential ambition, Ohanaeze spokesman writes Tinubu - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

2023: Shelve presidential ambition, Ohanaeze spokesman writes Tinubu


LAGOS - National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos state, Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has been called upon to abort his presidential ambition for 2023 to pave way for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction.


The national publicity secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Alex Ogbonnia made the call in an open letter to Tinubu.


Ogbonnia pointed out that Tinubu was one of the pillars of democracy who fought military rule for the interest of equity and fair play after the June 12 annulment.


The Ohanaeze spokesman stated that Tinubu being a champion of democracy should know that equity and fair play were some of the hallmarks of democracy and as such, he should rather support Ndigbo’s quest for one of their own to emerge as the president of Nigeria in the next political dispensation.


According to him, by allowing Igbo presidency, the agitation for Biafra restoration and cry against marginalisation among Ndigbo will cease while peace, progress and equity would prevail in Nigeria.


Tracing Tinubu’s antecedent as a dogged fighter for equity, Ogbonnia in the emotion-laden open letter wrote in part thus:

“Your Excellency had, in the years before now, played the avant-garde role of championing the rule of law, justice, equity and fairness in the governance structure of Nigeria.


“But in the present circumstance, it appears that because of your ambition to contest for the presidency, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu we know has succumbed to the allure of power.


“Your strong ambition for presidency is no longer in doubt and on a daily basis, is further accentuated by the activities of your close associates.


On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor, joined other Lagos APC members in launching the South-West Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ‘23), a campaign group championing the candidature of Tinubu for the 2023 presidency. 


“On October 1, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, led some members of the National Assembly from the Northern region to pay a solidarity visit to Your Excellency, shortly after you were discharged from a London hospital. The visit also offered the opportunity to drum up your aspiration for presidency in 2023.


“Your visit to Alhaji Tanko Yakassai on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 also highlighted the 2023 presidency as part of the reasons for your visit. It is also on record that the Arewa Support Group (ASG) in November 2021 handed a scroll from the Emir of Kano, Alh Ado Bayero to Your Excellency urging you to fire on for 2023.


“Your Excellency, the journey for a post-military Nigeria began with the Constitutional Conference of 1994/95. It was the Conference that sired six-geopolitical zones for the country; namely, South East, South South, South West, North East, North Central and North West.


“It was also from the conference that most of the immortal members of the G-34 were drawn. The G-34, led by Dr. Alex Ekwueme, was very patriotic and audacious. They took three remarkable steps, which endeared them to Nigerians. First, they pressed for the release of Chief MKO Abiola and the restoration of his mandate.

 

“Second, they stood firmly against the transmutation of General Sani Abacha to a civilian President even when most Nigerians were falling upon themselves with “one million march” in support of Abacha. Three, when in June 1998, Abacha died and General Abdulsalam Abubakar took over, the Ekwueme group pressured Abubakar to specifically extract a handover date by the military to the civilians.


“Others that worked with Ekwueme included Jerry Gana, Isa Kaita, Sule Lamido, Abubakar Rimi, Bola Ige, Solomon Lar, Iyorcha Ayu, Sunday Awoniyi, Adamu Ciroma, among others.


"The above men were courageous advocates of social justice, equity and fairness. They were variously described as men that dared a ravenous lion in its den. Throughout those turbulent times, Your Excellency was in exile, outside the country.


“The above noble patriots conceded to zoning and rotation of political offices such that it will be fair to all the geo-political zones in the country. It was then agreed that presidency should rotate to the South after the incumbency of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.


The meeting was held at the NUC Event Centre at Abuja. It was based on the foregoing that the mainstream political parties, namely the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)/ Alliance for Democracy (AD) produced their presidential candidates from the South-West of Nigeria given the fact that grave injustice has been done to the South-West by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was won by a son of the South-West.


“The next rotation was to the North in the person of President Musa Yar’Adua; then to the South-South, in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan; and thereafter, another Northerner in the person of the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari. It is therefore hoped that after the Buhari incumbency, the presidency should again rotate to the South, and this time to the South-East region of Nigeria.


“Your Excellency, the major cause of the agitation in the South-East of Nigeria is the obvious alienation of the people from the various centres of power which has attained its crescendo under the present APC led government. The extreme form of the agitation is the yearnings for secession by groups such as Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. 


“Evidently, the ongoing activities of IPOB in the South-East should be of great concern to every patriotic Nigerian. For the avoidance of doubt, the followers of IPOB insist on leaving Nigeria for a country of their own, if the injustice against them persists unabated. On the other hand, the more deprived the South-East, the more the crises in the region.


“Unfortunately, some Nigerians outside the South-East are playing the ostrich. When confronted with danger, the ostrich instinctively buries its head in the sand dunes in the hope that it is shielded from the enemy. The ostrich often forgets that the entire body is exposed to the danger. In other words, it is foolhardiness to believe that the ripple effect of the South-East agitation and restiveness will not affect the entire Nigeria. My fear is that to deny the South-East the very opportunity and in fact, the right to produce the next president of Nigeria will increase the agitation and ultimately spell disaster for the country.


“I am convinced that Your Excellency, in your typical manner of fighting for equity and justice should be in the vanguard for a Nigerian president from the South East of Nigeria, come 2023. This is the mark of a true statesman. One would also appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and all the former Nigerian leaders, namely General Yakubu Gowon, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and some others such as our only Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Edwin Clark, etc to speak up in defence of peace and unity of Nigeria by insisting on fairness to the South East of Nigeria….”

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