Politics generally is considered to be a game of number. In advanced countries, quite a few believe that population or better said the number of inhabitants of a particular zone, tribe or ethnic largely determines the chance(s) and progress of such zone, ethnic or tribe.
In Nigeria, this assumption is believed to be true. Since it is the desire of each tribe to say, the President, Vice-President, Senate President among other top-notch politicians of the country are from bonafide sons and daughters of such tribes or kingdoms.
Politically, it is evident that the issue of geopolitical zones or zoning of presidents in Nigeria has never been in favour of the South Eastern people since Nigeria gained her independence in 1960. In fact, the Igbos till now consider this as the highest form of marginalisation from their own fatherland. The question has been, when will South East produce the President of Nigeria?
Historically, since the country’s (Nigeria) return to a civilian regime in 1999, Nigeria has produced four presidents including the incumbent president (Muhammadu Buhari). The first president Olusegun Obasanjo(1999-2007) is from South West region(Ogun State), while the second, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua(2007-10) is from the North West region (Kastina), the third is Goodluck Ebele Jonathan(2011-2015) is from the South-South region(Bayelsa) and lastly, the incumbent president is also from North West region(Kastina).
From the foregoing, it is visible that the South East region has never produced a seating president in Nigeria nor has it produced a day president.
The South East region in Nigeria has five states which are- Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu. According to the 2006 population census record, the region’s population is over sixteen-million. While the South West region is over thirty-two million in terms of her population and is made up of the following states which are- Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo.
Either answered or not, the burden of producing Nigeria president has remained a recurring desire or yearning in the hearts of Easterners anytime the county(Nigeria) is approaching her election year. Irrespective of political party, the Igbos maintained a firm position of producing Nigeria president. This is seen in the candidacy of the following aspirants- Peter Obi(Vice-presidential aspirant, Peoples Democratic Party) Oby Ezekwesili(Allied Congress Party of Nigeria), Kingsley Moghalu(Young Progressive Party), Chris Okotie(Fresh Democratic Party), Chicken Nwachucku(All Grassroots Alliance), Peter Nwangu(We the People of Nigeria Party) Edozie Madu(Independent Democratic Party) among others.
Few of such claims include the Boss Mustapha’s statement to a delegation of Ebonyi state APC supporters in April 2018 that supporting Buhari for Second Term will get Igbo presidency in 2023. Also, Joe Igbokwe’s statement on the 17th of October, 2018 that Igbos support for Buhari will have way for Igbo president in 2023.
In his NextLevel engagement in South West, Prof. Yemisi Osinbajo asserts that supporting Buhari for his Second term ambition will help the region retain her position as the number two citizen of the country and as well get the region(South West) presidency in 2023.
From the above, it is clearly stated that the dream and desire of producing Nigeria’s president in 2023 by the South East people is a dream deferred. It may not see the light of the day. Since politics in Nigeria is a matter of population and the common belief of WHERE DO YOU COME FROM, the 2023 Igbo presidency bid is similar to a restless effort of an individual chasing the wind or engaging in a fruitless task.
As the South West smartly challenge the 2023 Igbo presidency bid, the South East desires and dream of producing Nigeria’s president is now a comedy and will eventually be a tragedy if the region fails to produce Nigeria president in the year 2023.
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