Northern elders under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development have thrown their weights behind an Igbo presidency in 2023.
In a statement signed by their national coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni and the National Women Leader, Hajia Mario Bichi, the group insisted that the Igbos of South East should produce next president to maintain the culture of rotational presidency between the North and South, which they said has “helped to douse the political tension in Nigeria.”
“We, therefore, recommend that it be continued for now for the good of the federation,” the statement quoted the northern elders as saying.
Their position, they explained, was borne out of the need for all component parts of the country to be fairly and equitably treated in the nation’s political affairs.
The northern elders disclosed that the Igbos have been marginalized in the scheme of things in the country, appealed to both the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), to field candidates of South East extraction.
On the other hand, the Northern elders appealed to all other zones in the country to back the Igbos in their long quest to produce a president even as they vowed to canvass their position to all stakeholders in the Nigerian political projects with a view to achieving Igbo presidency.
The elders said since President Buhari is from the North, the right thing was that “after his eight-year tenure, the next president should come from Southern Nigeria and since South West and South South have occupied the office in the current dispensation, the South East is next in line in the spirit of the rotation principle, fairness, equity and justice.”
“This will bring an end to the manifest marginalisation of the South East. This will foster national unity, and also bring to a close the bitterness of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, which has lingered for 50 years since the end of hostilities and engender unity,” it added.
They thanked the elite and leaders of the South East extraction for not taking cessation as an option despite the inglorious activities of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, which it accused of attempting to destabilize Nigerian’s unity by hiding under the delayed Ibo presidency.