ELDER statesman and leading Igbo politician, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has said that there is no going back on the clamour for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2023, even as he announced that he has since embarked on extensive consultations with Nigeria leaders across the country.
According to Iwuanyanwu, from his consultations so far, he was positive that the project would sail through and receive the support of people from other parts of the country.
He said that Nigeria needs Igbo just as the Igbos also need other regions in the journey of 2023 presidency.
Iwuanyanwu however, argued that for Nigeria to stabilize there is need to restructure this country and return it to the federating units to fasten development and give every part of the country a good sense of belonging. He recalled that when Nigeria was operating three regions, the East, West and North, that they largely enjoyed autonomy.
He argued that with restructuring, citizens know when and where their resources are being channeled to and what they are used for.
“Nigeria is a country of many ethnic nationalities. In such a federation you must take the interest of everybody into account in whatever you are doing.
“Remember that Lord Lugard did not hold a meeting with anybody to discuss ethnic nationalities. But it was Richard that brought in this federation idea with the three regions the North, West and East.
It is clear to me that one of the major problems we have is that you cannot have stability in any federation when the interest of any ethnic nationality is not captured.
In the case of Nigeria, Igbos are the major ethnic group but it is clear that over the years, especially recently, there is deliberate effort to treat Igbos with disdain. They know Igbos are not given the opportunity to participate at the highest political office.
In independence, our founding fathers saw this problem, by creating what many called a true federation for all the three federating units before we started having four regions and so on.
“On Igbo presidency, I have consulted many Nigerians, many important Nigerians, all men of conscience and they said that it will be unfair if anybody says it is not the turn of the Igbos and all of them supported the Igbo presidency”, Iwuanyanwu said .
Speaking further, he said: “That time we had only three regions, they have certain level of autonomy, the autonomy was good that they were working hard to develop their own regions.
“They did not have to come to Lagos to beg every month for revenue to service their state; that time there was no oil. That is why I am fully in support of restructuring which is in line with the dreams of our founding fathers’ vision and if we do it, I think Nigeria will be better. The best thing for Nigeria now is to restructure and it will be easier to discover fraud and checkmate other excesses”.
On the rising insecurity in the country, particularly the activities of Boho Haram, Iwuanyanwu retorted: “Who are these Boko Haram; what do they want. At first, they said that they don’t want Western education. They have engaged us for years now. I think that we need to restructure and set up state police including at the local government level.
“Let me tell you, Buhari has fought a very strong war which is corruption. At my age now, I should be able to say the truth. But if he is not careful he will leave Nigeria worse than he met it. But if he restructures this country he will be leaving as a hero and Nigerians will be happy”.