Chief Nduse Essien the former minister for Land, Housing and Urban Development, has joined the advocacy for Nigeria’s president to shift to the South East in 2023.
The former chairman of South South National Assembly caucus and member, House of Representatives between 1999 and 2007, said having a president from South East would assuage feelings of marginalisation from the zone and further reinforce Nigeria’s unity.
“We have had the government of Nigeria rotate from one zone to the other. So far we have all the zones taste power at the presidency such as the South West, South- South, the North Central during the military administration and the North West is doing so presently. If Nigeria is to have peace and move forward there is need to allow the South East have the president.
“Zoning has to continue until after the turn of the South-East. From 2023 and thereafter, Nigeria should return to elect the best material to govern the country and no longer on zoning arrangement or rotation anymore. We can’t say we have had a peaceful rotation of the presidency if the South-East is not given an opportunity to rule the country. So we are all hoping that the next election will produce a south easterner as Nigeria’s next president,” he said.
Commenting on Nigeria at 60, Essien said things were getting worse.
“Nigeria is now 60 years, but the level of disappointment of Nigerians is reflected in some of the cartoons presently in circulation in the country. Some say that Nigeria has reached retirement age and should be retired. Some say new countries should emerge out of Nigeria. That shows the level of frustration among Nigerians.There is no doubt that most Nigerians are frustrated about the way things are done.
“Personally, I have seen colonial administration, seen Nigeria at independence, seen Nigeria under military rule, seen Nigeria under the various democratic rules, including the one from 1999 till date and it has never been as bad as it is presently. The level of indiscipline, the level of corruption, the level of decadence has escalated instead of declining,” he said.
Essien, who described the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as one which would achieve very little result, regretted that most elders of the region who could have raised the alarm over the corruption in the Commission were silent because they were compromised.