Rotational presidency is constitutional, Igbo elders insist
Rotational presidency is constitutional by virtue of provisions of the Federal Character principle in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Igbo Elders Consultative Forum has declared.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday, Secretary of the forum, Prof. Charles Nwekeaku, said: “Legally, morally and strategically, it is the turn of the South East to produce the next president of the country, as the other regions have been given opportunity to serve Nigeria at the presidential level.”
Citing section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, he said: “The composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria.
“It also provides that there is the need to promote national unity and command national loyalty, thereby, ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in the government or in any of its agencies, among others.”
He also canvassed the same for some key ministerial portfolios, such as Minister of Defence, Minister of Finance, Minister of Works and Housing, Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Education and Minister of Internal Affairs.
Nwekeaku lamented that the South East has no representative in any of the positions mentioned above, which he said, was a clear breach of the Federal Character principle.
“We decided to search for the section of the constitution, because some people will want to argue there is no rotational presidency in the Nigerian constitution. We, therefore, insist that section 14(3), which provides for federal character implied that rotational presidency is in the constitution,” he said.
He argued that the South East was favoured to produce the next president of the country in 2023 for the fact that it had occupied the position for only six months under the late Gen J. T. U. Agutyi-Ironsi and had not occupied the position since the current political dispensation started in 1999.
“A Nigerian President of South East extraction will bring out the Igbo spirit of ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurship, cooperative and economic disposition to rebuild the country,” he added.
He also pointed out that the well-established Igbo indigenes in the Diaspora would be encouraged to return home and invest massively to facilitate the country’s economic recovery.