Denying Igbo Presidency In 2023 Will Threaten Nigeria’s Coexistence – Vatsa
Jonathan Vatsa, former Niger State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has warned that any attempt to deny the Igbo the Presidency in 2023 could amount to a big threat to the peace and corporate existence of Nigeria as a country.
He stated this while speaking to journalists in Minna on Friday, at a press conference titled “2023 and the way forward for Nigeria.”
Vatsa said he believes that “every well-meaning Nigerian, every good Christian, every good Muslim must support a President of Nigeria of South -East extraction”.
He addressed those who think otherwise about Igbo presidency in 2023, that it is their right to have a shot at the Presidency in four year’s time and not a privilege.
He said: “The South-East geopolitical zone must be allowed to produce the next president in 2023”.
“I want to seriously warned that we should not take part of this country for granted. If Nigerians have conscience, equity and justice,:it demanded that they should allow the Igbo to produce the next President come 2023.
“If you look at the age bracket of those insinuating that the North can still retain the Presidency in 2023, you will agree with me that most of them have outlived their usefulness.
“I am quite convinced that Igbo have made their consultations from the North, South and majority of them are in support of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction from South-East.
“I don’t think this is negotiable if at all we want is the peaceful and corporate existence of Nigeria as a country”.
The APC stalwart in the state expressed disappointment over some political actors from the northern extraction, who are calling for cancelation of rotational Presidency between the North and South, describing those behind such calls as “enemies of Nigeria”.
Vatsa said Ndigbo, because of their detribalised nature, could be found in the remotest villages in Nigeria, “living peacefully and doing their businesses and paying their taxes”.
He condemned Arewa agitation for power to remain in the North, saying they should realise that South-East extraction is part of Nigeria, and at such, they should be given a chance to govern the country.
“A lot of Arewa have been speaking that power should remain in the North as if it is their birth right; Nigeria belongs to all of us and it is bigger than what we think it is. In the spirit of fairness, if we really want to be together the Igbo should be given a chance in 2023.
“Apart from the time of Dr Nnamdi Azikwe and General Aguiyi Ironsi, we have never had Igbo President, so Igbo should rise up and take what is due to them. The northerners are ready to support them and I am calling on Igbo to speak with one voice if they must win in 2023; they must come together and forget their differences.”
However, he warned the Igbo to be careful about those among them who will receive favours from the North or South, in exchange for the ambition of the geo-political zone.
He further warned political leaders in the country, that Igbos should not be treated as second-class citizens in their own country, adding that the concentration of power in the North would not do Nigerians any favour, but would rather breeds disunity in the country.