- Says it’ll be unfair to disclaim South-east presidency in 2023
Emma Okonji and Nosa Alekhuogie
The President-Basic of the apex Igbo socio-political organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, wednesday weighed in on the raging debate on energy shift, saying the argument for competence towards zoning is self-serving, subsequently, not sustainable within the face of the electoral historical past of the nation.
He contended that it was denigrating to speak of competence as a criterion for selecting the president in 2023 when it’s the flip of the South-east to take a shot on the presidency.
He mentioned it could be unfair to not zone the subsequent presidency to the South-east, including that it was time to renegotiate the premise of the coexistence among the many element models of the federation and to restructure the nation’s political system.
Nwodo, who was a visitor on The Morning Present, the flagship breakfast programme on ARISE NEWS Channel, the published arm of THISDAY Newspapers, described the decision for competence as a yardstick for selecting leaders of the nation moderately than the agreed zoning system as misconceived.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mallam Mamman Daura, thought of an influential determine in authorities, had stirred the hornet’s nest final week when, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC, he canvassed that competence, moderately than zoning, ought to decide the selection of Buhari’s successor in 2023.
Daura’s advocacy had elicited widespread criticisms from high politicians and different regional curiosity teams equivalent to Afenifere, Southern and Center Belt Leaders’ Discussion board (SMBLF) and Pan Niger Delta Discussion board (PANDEF), which insisted on zoning and restructuring.
Nwodo expressed comparable sentiments yesterday as he described restructuring of Nigeria as the one option to save the nation from whole collapse and lack of confidence from the youths.
He expressed the readiness of the South-east to provide a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
He mentioned: “Our precedence is about restructuring of the federation and returning Nigeria to its outdated system earlier than the Second World Warfare, the place each sector of Nigeria has sovereignty over its pure assets. These calling for competence as a yardstick for selecting leaders of this nation moderately than the agreed zoning system are usually not honest to themselves. Their agitations for competency reveals they don’t consider within the competence of Nigerians within the numerous zones of the nation.
“I’m assured that we now have competent folks in numerous zones of the nation and the Easterners, whose flip it’s to provide the subsequent president of the nation in 2023, have a whole lot of competent folks that may rule our nice nation Nigeria. If the Easterners are given their rightful likelihood, Nigeria as a rustic will smile once more. The restructuring we’re speaking about is to make state governments impartial of the federal authorities by way of management of pure assets within the state.
“Nigeria should develop its agricultural sector and will be capable of export merchandise out of her loads cassava produce. The concept of importing nearly every little thing ought to be discouraged. We now have cattle in abundance in Nigeria but we nonetheless import milk, we now have cassava in abundance and we nonetheless import flour. In immediately’s digital know-how period, there are development alternatives for agriculture, solar energy and we aren’t exploring the alternatives round them.”
Restructuring, he added, would promote nationwide unity and dilute the ethnic factions in Nigeria in addition to the craze for who turns into the subsequent president of the nation.
In keeping with him, it’s flawed for anyone to say that qualification and competence ought to be used as standards for choosing the president within the 2023 basic election when persons are rooting for a president of Igbo extraction.
He defined that such advocates are assuming that competence belongs to a selected set of individuals within the nation.
Nwodo mentioned Nigeria had many competent folks throughout all elements of the nation.
In keeping with him, “The problem I see about choosing the president of Nigeria is within the means of choice. The method of choosing the president and leaders of the nation is corrupt as a result of it’s monopolised by a number of folks within the nation.
“It’s so corrupt that folks don’t turn out to be even native authorities councillors with out the nomination by a category of people that suppose they need to be those to determine the destiny of Nigeria. So, election into political positions don’t have anything to do with the competence and recognition of the candidate in his or her constituency and as such, the political events have gained management of our electoral course of in a way that’s troublesome for brand new political events to emerge and rise and it’ll take sturdy protests on the a part of the folks to alter the sport.”
He described Nigeria as the one nation on this planet the place election disputes linger for one yr after the conclusion of the election.
He cited the gubernatorial election in Imo State as a typical instance.
Nwodo additionally lamented the docility of the youth, including that though this can be as a consequence of the truth that they’re fed up with the system, they need to do one thing to point out they’re offended.
He defined that in 1959, Nigerian college students got here out en mass to struggle for Nigeria’s independence, including that Nigeria wants younger folks to face for the rights of the nation, communicate out in issues of public points and make it doable for actual political agitators to have followers who consider in them and in what they symbolize.
He said that no person would give the youthful era an opportunity to rule and urged them to be extra energetic within the political course of via persistence and demonstration of their functionality to make them related.
Nwodo mentioned: “I used to be 27 years outdated after I grew to become the Secretary of the NPN (Nationwide Get together of Nigeria) political occasion. For me to emerge winner as secretary, I contested with 10 different contestants and through our manifesto presentation, the 10 spoke earlier than me and after I completed with my speech, I had a standing ovation from the Electoral School and the 10 different contestants needed to withdraw. On three events after I went to the nationwide government assembly of the occasion, I used to be refused to talk and I needed to shout out and compelled myself on the occasion leaders in such a approach that compelled them to provide me an viewers to talk. So, youths should be aggressive to alter the corrupt construction of our political system.”
When requested to level few Igbos which have integrity and are able to rule Nigeria, Nwodo declined to call anyone, saying that will probably be divisive to take action.
However he defined that every one political events within the east have candidates with integrity that may rule the nation.
“The younger folks of Nigeria are drained with unhealthy management of governance on this nation. However I’m of the view that the youthful era should rise and do one thing that can make the political leaders recognise them,” he mentioned.
Reacting to youths agitations throughout the nation, Nwodo mentioned usually occasions folks would are inclined to isolate the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose chief is Nnamdi Kanu, and model them as unhealthy youth’s motion, forgetting that the nation has harmful teams like Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram who’re harmful teams that kill folks and burn down homes.
He additionally cited the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) from the South-west and puzzled why folks solely single out the IPOB group.
“A scenario the place Fulani herdsmen kill folks and they don’t seem to be arrested is a typical instance of corrupt authorities,” Nwodo mentioned.
He added that if Nigeria stays below its present political construction, it is going to have an effect on the longer term development of the nation.
Reacting to calls from the Northern elite that the Igbos should first construct ‘bridges’ with folks from different elements of the nation earlier than clamouring for the presidency, Nwodo mentioned: “There is no such thing as a ethnic group in Nigeria just like the Igbo ethnic group that has reached out to folks greater than their very own folks.
“There is no such thing as a a part of this nation that you’ll not discover an Igbo man residing in consonance with the folks of the land and doing helpful enterprise. The Igbos have contributed immensely to the event of the nation from each a part of the nation. They put money into faculties, hospitals, inns, retail and manufacturing companies amongst others.”
Nwodo, nonetheless, mentioned the best risk to the nation remained its ethnic range, which is meant to be its collective power.
“We are typically extra loyal to our ethnic concerns than to the nation that all of us belong to; and that is in opposition to our nationwide structure, which upholds a real federal character,” he mentioned.
Nwodo additionally mentioned the composition of the present management of the nation’s safety businesses had proven a flagrant violation of the federal character precept because the appointments of the heads of navy, military, air power, police, customs, immigration, highway security and civil defence had been drawn from a selected part of the nation.
He described the association as harmful to Nigeria as a rustic and unacceptable.
On insecurity, Nwodo mentioned the structure should be rejigged to allow folks to partake in group policing.
“We’d like native policing who perceive the native communities higher to deal with the problem of insecurity within the nation. Underneath our structure, each governor is meant to be the chief safety officer of the state and it is for that reason that the majority states are creating safety outfits for native policing locally,” he added.
Nwodo known as on the federal authorities to institute a judicial inquiry into the allegations of corruption within the Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC), including that members of the Nationwide Meeting can’t be judges in their very own case.
“If I’ve my approach, I’ll dissolve all of the completely different commissions within the nation which might be embezzling the assets of the nation,” Nwodo said.