South-East, South-South, Northern Leaders, In A Big Fight For The 2023 Presidency

By Post-Nigeria: September 21, 2019 12:46

South-East, South-South, Northern Leaders, In A Big Fight For The 2023 Presidency

The controversy over the alleged witch-hunt of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, ahead of the 2023 Presidency by a pro-North group in the Presidency is far from over, as prominent Leaders of the South-West, South-South, and South-East, have lent their voices to the matter.
They are Leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Elder Statesman, Chief Edwin Clark; and a former Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
They spoke just as other groups from the South also queried the motive behind the cabal’s action. They are the Yoruba Council of Elders, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC.
President Muhammadu Buhari during week, replaced the Economic Management Team, EMT, headed by Osinbajo, with the new Economic Advisory Council, EAC,
The seven-member EAC headed by Prof. Doyin Salami, is to report directly to the President. There are also reports that Osinbajo has been directed to henceforth seek clarifications before taking major decision on the Agencies which he supervises.
The moves have been seen by many as actions deliberately taken by the cabal, to reduce the influence of the VP ahead of the 2023 Presidential election.
This is coming barely two months after Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, said that there is a need for the country to drop zoning in future elections, including the 2023 Presidency, to enable the country have a competent Leader.
While Adebanjo warned that the North should not be trusted, Clark and the IYC stated that it will only be right for power to return to the South, at the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.
Clark, who said that he is not going to comment on any issue about Osinbajo, said: “I do not want to talk about the Vice President, because he has been dancing to their tune. All I want to say is that in 2023, the South-East will have it. However, when I am ready to speak on it, I will let you know.”
Speaking along the same line, the President of the IYC, Eric Omare, noted that going by an unwritten power rotational agreement between the North and the South, it would be dishonourable for Northern Leaders to attempt to project one of their own for the 2023 Presidential election.
Ezeife maintained that the South-East would lobby other regions to support its bid to land power in 2023. He, however, said that if all its efforts failed, the region would know that Igbos were no longer wanted in Nigeria.
His words: “A newspaper quoted me wrongly, that I threatened that Nigeria must be given Igbo President in 2023, but there was nothing like that. We should not use threat; we should employ lobbying as our approach. It is not just a matter of what we like, we would do what it takes to get power.
“We would organise ourselves in Igboland, make sure that it is only one person that we would bring out. Then, we would lobby, and not threaten, all the other ethnic groups to look at our case. We know that when they see our case, it is a must that an Igbo person would become President.
“If we do all that and we fail, then we would know we are not wanted in Nigeria anymore. If in 2023, they do not encourage an Igbo to become the President of Nigeria, then you do not want Igbos as citizens of Nigeria, and it should not surprise you if they feel pushed away to join IPOB.”
On the alleged sidelining of Osinbajo, Ezeife said that in the kind of Presidential system run by Nigeria, all Executive powers derive their root from the Presidency.
He said: “Therefore, the President may need to give his consent to certain actions, and if he does, that does not mean he is running down that Office. I think concluding that way is not fair.”
Like Clark, Omare stated that it would be the turn of the South-East to produce the next President, adding that, it is time for the South to allow the East to produce their Candidate.
He stated: “I think it would be too early to make a categorical statement as to whether the North wants to deny the South power in 2023 or not, at this point.

“However, it suffices to say that by 2023, based on the unwritten power rotational arrangement, it would be the turn of the South to produce the President of Nigeria.
“It is on record that Northern Leaders have been strong advocates of power rotation; hence it would be most dishonourable and unpatriotic for Northern Leaders to attempt to deny the South power in 2023. In any case, no particular section of the country has the power to determine who becomes President, without the support of the other sections.
“Only the North cannot produce the President, without the support of the South. Furthermore, even in the South, the point must be made that it is the turn of the South-East to produce the President in 2023.
“If the South wants justice from the North, those of us from the South must also be fair to each other, by conceding power to the South-East in 2023, to give them a sense of belonging.”
Adebanjo, who said that he would speak on the matter in due time, simply noted: “I have said it before, but they would not listen. Do you just know that it is their (Northerners) plot? Do not trust all these people.”

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the YCE, Dr. Kunle Olajide, in an interview, warned against scuttling the rotation of the Presidency between the North and South.
Olajide, who said that Osinbajo’s exclusion from the newly formed EAC looked suspicious, stated that it would be unfair for the North to hold on to power beyond 2023.
The YCE Chief, said that he is one of the people who believed that the combination of Buhari and Osinbajo is okay, but expressed surprise at what is happening.
He noted: “I want to let everybody know that we have yet to build a nation out of Nigeria, and this is not the time to jettison the rotation arrangement between the North and South.
“There is heavy mutual suspicion in the country. People are suspicious of the Fulani and their domineering nature, and if they do not want to cause confusion, they should allow the rotation between the North and South to continue, until we build a nation out of Nigeria.”
He disclosed that the North should be cautioned against any statement that could further trigger suspicion.

Olajide revealed that the statement attributed to a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, that Nigeria needs a competent President, irrespective of their region in 2023, showed what some Northern Politicians are planning.
Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, stressed that the actions of the President, allegedly under the influence of a Fulani cabal, against the wishes of the majority of Nigerians, did not come to them as a surprise.
The group also noted that though the National Assembly ought to have risen to its responsibility of checking the excesses of the Executive arm, its Leaders have come under the control of the Presidency.
The Spokesman for the organisation, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, said: “If they (cabal) could dismantle the judicial system by removing a former Chief Justice of the nation, what else will they not do? Is it the Vice President? They can do anything with him.
“The rule of law has faded into oblivion; we have been politically handcuffed. There is a Fulani cabal that wants to be at the helms of affairs by hook or by crook.”