Sunday, 15 November 2015

Biafra agitation could scuttle Igbo presidency – APC warns

The All Progressives Congress (APC) South-East zone, has appealed to the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and similar groups to stop “their war drum”, as it could scuttle the quest for Nigeria president
of Igbo extraction in 2023.

The APC’s stand came in reaction to the spate of mass action by Pro-Biafra agitators.

Spokesman of South-East APC Leadership Caucus, Mr Osita Okechukwu made this appeal in a statement on Sunday.

He stated that “whereas we agree that there is gross unemployment, discontent and despondency among youths in the land; however it is not peculiar to the South East alone. The gross unemployment is nationwide and would be addressed holistically, luckily our son distinguished senator Chris Ngige is the minister in charge of employment.”

Okechukwu appealed to pro-Biafra agitators to stop their mass action and drums of war in the overall interest of the Ndigbo at home, across the country and abroad.

He noted that “our record shows that it’s better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Dialogue is the best solution,albeit we are doing relatively well across the country and our human development index is one of the highest.”

According to the APC chieftain, “Ndigbo must be strategic in our agitation, as every evidence suggests that we would be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the progressive and prosperous Nigeria being constructed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We cannot act like the rodent inside the deep hole for years, only to revolt when it was about to be freed. Methinks that this is not the best of times to hype and escalate the agitation for Biafra, because President Buhari has pledged to resuscitate the dilapidated federal roads in the South East, revamp Enugu Coal, fix 2nd Niger Bridge and other physical infrastructure.

“For Mr. President, his word is his bond. Critical analysis posits that after his 2nd tenure, it will be the turn of the South East to produce Nigeria president of Igbo extraction.

“Is it not paradoxical that the Pro-Biafra agitators were not this hyper-active in the sixteen years when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party Ndigbo gave unprecedented and overwhelming support, without commensurate reward, was in power at the center?

“Does it mean that the promoters didn’t see anything wrong when former president Goodluck Jonatlhan, our adopted son, allowed federal roads in the South East to unimaginable decay, couldn’t award the 2nd Niger Bridge on contract bases like Owete Bridge and couldn’t revamp Enugu Coal?

“Available evidence shows that the promoters of the mass action are suspect, as they neither sampled the views of majority of Ndigbo at home or in Dutse – Jigawa, in Akure – Ondo, in Oron – Akwa Ibom nor Ndigbo in Lagos, Kano and Abuja.”

When asked what made him think Ndigbo would produce president in 2023, Okechukwu quipped: “Going by the zoning convention, equity and natural justice, surely the president will rotate to the South in 2023.

“And when the president rotates to the South in 2023, we have all the cards stacked in our favour to appeal to our brothers in the South West who have had eight years stint and our South South brothers who had five years plus in the presidency since 1999 when the 4th Republic commenced.”

He remarked that “every rational indicator favours Ndigbo and so, we need to guide our hate propaganda and wait patiently to harvest the turn of the South East. To be frank this is the golden opportunity for us to join the mainstream, and it should not be scuttled by Pro-Biafra agitators.”

On whether the APC would honour zoning convention when it is not in its constitution, Okechukwu said that “in liberal democracy, there is the law and there is the convention, but convention more often prevails than the law, because of its moral weight.”

Okechukwu maintained that more than any other factor, it was breach of the zoning convention that signaled the exit of the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan from Aso Villa.

When asked the role played by corruption in majority of Nigerians voting Jonathan out, he agreed that corruption definitely was one of the factors that led to Jonathan’s defeat, but that the most prominent was the breach of the zoning convention.

Okechukwu noted that APC benefitted immensely from this zoning breach, as the North out of enlightened patriotic interest in 1999 zoned the president to the South, expecting that in eight years it will be their turn, but were short changed.

Okechukwu expressed his sincere belief that the two major political parties, the APC and PDP would obey the zoning convention after President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years regime.

“Therefore, instead of agitating for Biafra, Ndigbo should think out of the box and put all hands on the deck, support Buhari to actualise this noble objective”, he advised.


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