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Why Igbo are yet to produce Nigeria’s president, by Afenifere, Uzodimma

By Collins Osuji, Owerri
05 September 2022   |   4:07 am
The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has identified inequality in local council structure of the country as major reason hampering the quest to produce Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu(left); former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Hope Uzodimma at the 80th birthday lecture in honour of Chief Iwuanyanwu in Owerri at the weekend 

The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has identified inequality in local council structure of the country as major reason hampering the quest to produce Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.

The Secretary General of the group, Chief Sola Ebiseni, stated this at a lecture series organised by Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State chapter, in commemoration of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu’s 80th birthday held in Owerri at the weekend.

According to him, restructuring and amendment of the constitution, as well as creation of more local councils in the South East region, would help redeem the situation, as well as give Igbo the desired sense of belonging, justice, equity and fairness in the country.

He said: “Whenever we are discussing the Igbo presidency, I have always said it has been rigged by the Nigerian constitution. This is because any system that is predicated on the unclear number of local councils or a system that is not based on any objective parameter can never guarantee justice and fairness.

“Imagine where the entire Igbo nation has only 95 local councils, whereas two or three states, like Akwa Ibom, have more, then you know the local councils determine the number of delegates that will go for any party convention. So, nobody should blame Igbo for not clinching the APC or PDP ticket. From the beginning, the Igbo man was demoralised in that kind of convention.”

The Afenifere scribe further described Iwuanyanwu as a celebrated Nigerian patriot, whose immense contributions to national growth, development and progress are obvious and commendable.

Also, speaking on the topic of the lecture, ‘Igbo and the Quest for National Unity’ Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State said: “I have made it clear that our desire for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction can only be accomplished through negotiated agreements as no one ethnic group can produce the president of Nigeria without the support of the other ethnic groups.

“Sadly, because we appear deficient in negotiation skills, we have not made headway in this regard. Our poor outing in the last party primaries of the two major political parties speaks volumes in this regard. The apparent lack of understanding, cooperation or unity amongst the candidates from the South East may also have played a role in the poor outing.”