PAN-cultural group Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (ONYCW) has expressed optimism that the agitation for the creation of the sovereign state of Biafra championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will end if Nigeria has an Igbo president come 2023.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power in 2015, calls for the recreation of Biafra, the breakaway republic that existed briefly between July 1967 and January 1970 have grown deafening. Nigeria’s 25m Igbos in the southeast geo-political zone feel terribly marginalised by the Buhari administration in terms of appointments and federal investment.
As a result, millions of Igbo youths have rallied behind Ipob and other secessionist groups, believing that they will only get justice by leaving Nigeria. With Nigeria due to elect a southern president come 2023, there are calls for both of the country’s main political parties to adopt Igbo presidential candidates.
ONYCW president Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said that an Igbo presidency in 2023 would make Ndigbo happier and the activities of Ipob would fizzle out like a vapour. He added that the southeast has been marginalised for long and as such needs to be compensated with the presidency at the next election.
Mazi Isiguzoro said: “Ipob activities will bring the realisation of a Nigerian president of Igbo stock. Nigerians might opt for full compensation for the marginalised southeast by voting en mass for an Igbo to emerge as president in 2023 as they compensated the Yorubas in 1999.
“When OPC, Nadeco and the Abiola issue came up, Nigerians compensated Yorubas by voting Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president. We understood that the activities of Niger Delta militants led to Dr Goodluck Jonathan becoming vice president and later president and we equally know how Boko Haram insecurity led to the emergency of President Muhammadu Buhari, so what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide assures Nigerians especially the Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum and Coalition of Northern groups, that we are determined to seal our age longed relationship as old allies since 1960 as we commence our consultation meetings soon. An Igbo presidency in 2023 with a northerner as vice president will end the activities of Ipob.
“Ndigbo will present one of the current southeast governors as a worthy successor of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. We thereby pass vote of confidence on the current leadership of the southeast governors led by Governor Umahi, assuring them of our respect and support and will do anything to protect them from any harassment or blackmail from any desperate group.”