2015: It’s presidency or nothing - Northern, South-East elders vow
In a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting signed by the Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Anthony Sani, the group said that the population of people from the region was enough to get the presidency and canvassed for support from other sections of the country.
Also at another forum on Thursday, former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu said the Igbo’s ultimate target in 2015 is the office of the president.
“[The] North will just carry the day for the plum political position," Arewa’s communique said.
However, the forum said that it was too early discussing 2015 because, according to it, it would distract attention from current developmental issues, which democracy is supposed to bring to the people for now.
The ACF also called on all political stakeholders in the region, irrespective of ethnic and religious backgrounds, to embrace peace and unity for the progress of the zone, adding that it was a priority issue that must be achieved to bring back the past glory of peaceful co-existence among the people.
"Leaders in the North would ensure that the Federal Government gives back to Kogi State from Anambra State, the controversial oil deposits found between the two communities. It is illegal for Anambra people to claim what does not naturally belong to them.
“While the forum supports any political strategies that would put the North in a position which will enable it to negotiate with other sections of the country from a position of strength and secure some favourable terms, it was the considered view of the forum that it is too early to start full-fledged political activities for 2015. This is because such early start is capable of detracting from the task of governance at our collective peril.
“The priority in the North now is to bring back unity and peaceful co-existence among the ethnic nationalities and religious faiths through consciously directed efforts at inspiring mutual trust and confidence among the people of the North and indeed, Nigeria in general.
“To this end, ACF must deliberately enlist the support of all stakeholders such as the state governors, local government chairmen, the legislators, traditional rulers and religious leaders as well as political leaders of political parties, for the express purpose of implementing those aspects of the recommendations that are within the purview of their executive authority and sphere of influence.
“The meeting also received in audience a delegation from Kogi State which briefed members about the raging controversy on the oil finds among states of Anambra, Enugu and Kogi. The forum then asked the people of the states concerned not to be agitated unduly, precisely because both the offices of the Surveyor General and the National Boundaries Commission are there to resolve boundary disputes. And that the forum would stand by people of Kogi for what is legally due and payable to them.”
Meanwhile, speaking on Thursday, former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, declared that the Igbo would not settle for any position other than the post of the president in 2015, stressing that it was the turn of Igbo to rule the country.
Fielding questions from newsmen shortly after he delivered a lecture entitled “Leadership: Key factor to a better Nigeria” at the Professor David Ijalaiye annual lecture series, organised by the Equity Chambers of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Dr Kalu maintained that no political arrangement could make the Igbo settle for any position other than that of the president in 2015.
According to him, “anybody that thinks the Igbo will settle for a lesser office in the next presidential election should bury the idea, as we are not ready to compromise our stand on the matter in 2015. We don’t want anything short of that this time, around.”
He, however, sounded a note of warning to Igbo people across the country who might want to compromise on what he described as the collective stand of the Igbo, declaring that “any Igbo man or woman that votes contrary to the stand of Igbo will leave Igbo land.”
He said “In 2015, what will happen is that the Igbo will vote for the Igbo, Yoruba for Yoruba and Hausa vote for Hausa. Then, we will all come to Abuja to discuss and determine who should be Nigeria’s president. Anybody who thinks that there is going to be a straight ballot thing to produce the president in 2015 is only fooling himself and that is our position,” he added.
The former presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) said although he was currently not a member of any political party, he would continue to fight against injustice and all that was in the interest of the good people of the country.
In his lecture, Dr Kalu recalled that since 1966, when the military came into governance in the country, Nigeria had not been able to produce any good leader, as, according to him, most of them were either not prepared for the office or reluctant to take over the leadership of the country.
He noted that “a country of about 160 million people, blessed with great natural and human resources, yet we have no leader. It’s quite sad,” querying “why does Nigeria get reluctant leaders? Is this country cursed or jinxed, why do those who scrupulously prepare for leadership never get it?”Share
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