Igbo leaders renew agitation for restructuring
By Steve Oko
Igbo Leaders led by former Minister for Power , Professor Chinedu Nebo, have renewed the agitation for restructuring and rotation of power.
Below is the full text of a press statement read by the group at a World Press Conference on Thursday obtained by Wawa News Global :
TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY IGBO LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ILDF) ANNOUNCING THE GREAT DEBATE ON RESTRUCTURING AND ROTATION OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER IN NIGERIA HELD ON THURSDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 2019 AT NUJ FCT PRESS CENTRE
Gentlemen of press.
We welcome you to this crucial press conference convened by Igbo Leadership Development Foundation(ILDF) and its allies to unveil the plan to organize the Great Debate for national unity centred on Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential Power in Nigeria.
Regrettably, our dear country Nigeria is still facing challenges of national unity, integration and development. These challenges are borne out of the fact that the structure of the country and mode of governance have remained too dysfunctional, forcing most indices of development to stubbornly persist on the negative side.
The other side of the same coin is the knotty issue of presidential power in Nigeria.
When the nation returned to democratic governance in 1999, a convention was struck on rotation of power between North and South Nigeria and between their zones.
This has led to the production of 2 Presidents from the North West of the country and 1 from South West and 1 from South South, leaving out the South East, Middle Belt and the North East in the equation.
We also believe that in the same spirit of rotation, presidential power needs to return to South in 2023, and particularly to the South East since it is the only zone yet produce a President for the country in the present dispensation from the Southern divide.
Our group recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his maiden media chat, challenged the South East people to organize and assert their rights within an indivisible, indissoluble Nigeria. We also note that the 5 States in the South East will not make anyone from there Nigerian President. In fact, the Constitution requires a spread of at least 25% in at least in 24 States to produce a Nigeria President.
This reality is part of what has informed the decision of ILDF in conjunction with Igbo Renaissance Foundation, World Igbo Summit Group and others to convene the Great Debate on Restructuring and Rotation of Presidential powers in Nigeria come January 30, 2020 here in Abuja. This national conversation to engender unity and equity has become quite inevitable and needs to be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians.
We plan to invite key Nigerian leaders, groups and critical stakeholders, irrespective of their persuasions and leanings to bring their best and finest arguments to the table. Even God Almighty once told man as recorded in the Holy Book, Come, let us reason together. And like a former Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill once said: Let’s jaw jaw than war war.
Our group plans to move round the country to engage other zones and to lobby and convince them on the inherent benefits of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction.
One thing is sure in this proposal: the very nature and culture of the Igbo is business-like. Though the leadership of Nigeria by an Igbo man or woman may not be a silver bullet or a cure- all for the leadership deficits of the country, he or she certainly will not run Nigeria in a patronising manner. His or her leadership shall be a win-win for all sections of the country since he lives among all Nigerians in all nooks and crannies of the country.
While touring zones of the country, one other big issue to engage our team is dispelling the notion that the 1966 military coup was an Igbo coup. No ethnic group carries out a coup against a government in which they enjoy commanding heights and primacy of place; or, botch a coup which they orginzed to enthrone their own hegemony as Generals JTU Aguiyi -Ironsi and Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did to stop that first military porsche.
Ndigbo have been greviously accused in this regard and even more grievously have they borne this burden of fallacious history. To us, therefore, it is high time we set that record straight for the sake of posterity and for the sake of generations of Nigerians who have been fed this lie for decades.
Finally, gentlemen of the press,
We crave your support as the fourth estate of the realm on this historic journey of national unity, equity and social justice.
The questions we are set to ask are basic as they are germane:
If not a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, then why?
If not in 2023, then when?
If not in Nigeria, then where?
The task of building a united, progressive nation is a task that must involve all patriotic citizens and accomplishing such an arduous task will be impossible if any part of the country is alienated or excluded.
Together, let us build the Nigeria of our dreams without leaving any section of the country behind.
Yes we can!
Thank you for your kind attention.
FOR: THE CONVENERS:
Dr. Godwin I. Udibe
Dr. Law Mefor
Dr. Emeka Okengwu
Nze Elvis Agukwe
Dr. Ifedi Okwenna
Comrade Auston Ifedinezi