The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been urged to allow its presidential candidate to come from the southeast.
A political activist, Honourable Shu’aib Darki, stated this while interacting with journalists in Bauchi, saying that the zone had been politically shortchanged.
According to him, instead of saying it has zoned its presidency to Southern Nigeria, comprising the south-west, south-south and south-east, the party should be specific on which of the three subregions in the south would produce the candidate.
“It is no longer news that the governing APC has zoned out the 2023 presidency to the south without making it categorically clear to the electorate as to which of the South it is referring to,” Darki said.
He said that the APC was yet to state if its candidate would come from the south-west, south-south or south-east, declaring that the party should allow the South-East take a shoot at the presidency, adding that this would mitigate against political tribalism in the country.
“I suppose it’s high time they stopped pulling the wool over the eyes of the electorate by coming out to tell us who gets what as we are rapidly inching towards 2023 when Nigerians will go out in their hundreds, thousands and millions to decide their own destiny by electing the next President who will take over from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“To avoid adding insult to injury and mitigate political tribalism to the hilt, they should as a matter of nitty-gritty allow the South-East this time around to produce an Igbo-speaking President for the first time in the political history of this country,” he submitted.
According to the political analyst, Nigeria’s social problems were a result of political disequilibrium, adding that the only solution to this is for the South-East, which had been democratically shortchanged to be given a sense of belonging by allowing to produce the new President.
Darki further warned that there are dangers in depriving one region or religion of its rights to vote and be voted for as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The long-standing social problems bedevilling Nigeria is generally believed to be the by-products of political disequilibrium where one geo-political zone feels cheated upon our treating it as a pariah by being denied their constitutional rights as citizens of this country as it has always been the case with the South-Eastern part of this country which has always felt democratically shortchanged.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999, there never was a time when any of the major political parties in Nigeria ever dreamed of fielding an Igbo man as its presidential flagbearer for fluffy reasons that could best be explained by these so-called political power brokers.
“Since then, the presidency has always been dominated by the two Nigeria’s major ethnic groups i.e Hausa and Yoruba, ditching the Igbo people.
“This advisory piece tends to draw the attention of so-called Nigeria’s political power brokers to the dangers of depriving one region or religion of its rights to vote and be voted for as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” he declared.
According to him, the rotational system of governance adopted by virtually all the political parties to rotate power among the three major ethnic groups in the country had so far proved to be inimical to the Igbo dominated south-eastern part of Nigeria.
“Moreover, it could easily be remembered that from 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule, the Igbo as citizens were not given the opportunity to produce even the Vice President much less of occupying the much-coveted presidential seat,” he asserted.
Quoting a former American President, Barak Obama, Darki said, “we are not pro-democracy until democracy manifests itself in our words, actions and convictions.”
He submitted that all Nigerians, including the political class, had to do everything humanly possible to save this country from totally collapsing in totality by being fair to all ethnic groups.
This, according to him, was “a sure-fire way to achieving a lasting solution to all the long-drawn-out problems of insecurity confronting Nigeria on all fronts”.
“It is believed that in a country where justice prevails no tribe is going to harbour any ill-feeling against another,” he explained.