By Jasper Ikedi Azuatalam
One thing that is paramount in the heart of every Igbo man is the yearning for the emergence of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction. For decades, the Igbos have felt marginalized because we have not been able to produce the president of the nation we live in.
It is important for us to understand what we need to do and how we can actualize this dream in the near future. For so long, we have been yearning for this, but we need to analyze the situation. We need to establish the reason we have not actualized this dream. We also need to know what we have been doing wrong and what we need to do differently, if we have to actualize this dream.
The Igbos should understand that we are in a democracy and the only way an Igbo man can emerge as the president of Nigeria is by the ballot. This implies that a presidential nominee from the Igbo extraction must produce the highest number of votes in a presidential election.
The voters’ statistics in Nigeria as at today shows that the North has 56% of the Nigerian voters’ population, while the South has 44% of the Nigerians voters’ population. In the South, the South West has 21% of the voter population, the South South has 13%, while the South East (Igbos) has 10% of the Nigerian voting population.
These facts imply that for a Nigerian president from the Igbo extraction to emerge, the candidate must get maximum votes from the North which has 56% of the Nigerian voters’ population. The fact is that a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction can never emerge if the nominee is not voted for by Northerners.
The Igbos should understand that the presidency is, indirectly, but surely rotational in Nigeria. In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo, from the South West emerged president and was followed by Umar Musa Yar’Dua, from the North in 2007. Goodluck Jonathan, from the South South became an elected president in 2011 and is still the president till date. It is almost certainly the next president of Nigeria after Goodluck Jonathan will emerge from the North. This will either be in 2015 or 2019.
If the presidency returns to the North in 2015, it is possible for the South east (Igbos) to produce the Nigerian president in 2019, if the Northern candidate serves for one term. If president Goodluck Jonathan serves a 2nd term and the presidency returns to the North in 2019, it means the presidency will remain in the North till 2027. This implies that there will not be the hope of a president from the Igbo extraction till 2027.
There are two scenarios that will deprive the Igbos our dream to produce the Nigerian president in the near future. The foremost and most prominent one is the hate being preached between the North and the Igbos. Many of those who claim they are working in the interest of Igbo have been preaching hate between the Igbos and the North. This is dangerous as the Igbos cannot produce the president of Nigeria without liaising with the North.
The second is the assumption that President Goodluck Jonathan is an Igbo man and as such is serving the term of the Igbos. The fact is the Igbos from the South East are yet to produce the Nigerian president and a Nigerian president from the South South cannot be used to substitute the position of an Igbo man from the South east.
We only remember we want to produce the president of Nigeria 6 months or at most 1 a year to each presidential election. We always throw our support in the wrong direction and do not present our support together to strike a political truce. We allow ourselves to be used to serve the interest of others and we do not fight consistently to achieve a long term goal.
The only way a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction will emerge is for the Igbo to come into alliance with the North, support the North to have the presidency in 2015 and serve for one term, so that the presidency will return to the South in 2019 when it will be the turn of the South East since the South West and South South have taken their slots respectively.
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