PAN-Igbo secessionist group the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) has lashed out at those suggesting Ndigbo should plead to be allowed to produce Nigeria’s next president in 2023 saying that Igbos are not beggars.
Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria.
Since the return to democracy in 1999, the southwest has produced President Olusegun Obasanjo and the south-south President Goodluck Jonathan, so come 2023, the presidency should automatically go to the southeast. Amid claims that the southeast is being marginalised by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, numerous Igbo groups have argued for the recreation of the defunct republic of Biafra that existed briefly between July 1967 and January 1970.
It is believed that the zoning of the presidency to the southeast come 2023 would end all these secessionist clamourings and both the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have been urged to field presidential candidates of Igbo extraction in two years time. This has led many political analysts to urge Ndigbo to mend fences with other ethnic groups, so they will back an Igbo candidate come 2023.
Massob leader Uchenna Madu, said the southeast would fight tooth and nail to produce Nigeria’s next president but will not beg for it. He added that Igbos are not beggars and it would be an abomination for the region to stoop that low.
Mr Madu said: “How do you think that your enemies will trust you? Even if you kill your wife or children to show your loyalty to them, just as our so-called Igbo/Abuja politicians are killing our brothers to please the northern caliphate, yet they never gain their trust.
“A beggar only begs for something that does not belong to him. A beggar is always inferior to the giver. Ndigbo are not beggars.
“It is an abomination that Igbo elders will kneel down to another in begging, even though that the lives of Ndigbo are at risk. We can never beg, rather we devise our own means of fighting back because Igbos must survive. Ndigbo are not cowards or weaklings.”