Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development has supported a president of Igbo extraction. The coalition insisted that the presidency should rotate to the Southeast.
The group, which said its support was borne out of the need for every zone to have a taste of the presidency, flayed the marginalisation of the Southeast since 1999.
National Coordinator Zana Goni, and National Women Leader Mario Bichi, in a statement yesterday, appealed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zone their tickets to the region.
It emphasised the need for all political interest groups to allow the Southeast rule Nigeria for the sake of justice and equity.
The statement reads: “Since President Muhammadu Buhari is from the north, the right thing is that the next president should come from Southern Nigeria and since Southwest and Southsouth have occupied the office, the Southeast is next in line in the spirit of the rotation principle, fairness, equity and justice.
“This will end the manifest marginalisation of the Southeast. It will foster national unity, and also close the bitterness of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war…”
Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) has supported the quest for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023.
The union however said integrity, competence and credibility must be considered in selecting the candidate.
A communiqué read by the president, Emeka Diwe, after a two-day retreat in Enugu State, lamented that ‘the over-concentration of power at the centre has not helped the development, peace and security of Nigeria’. It added that power must be urgently devolved in such a way to engender involvement, participation and progress.
The communiqué reads: “The 1999 Constitution is in itself an encumbrance to the progress of Nigeria. It is a unitary document which ensures that backwardness, insecurity and agony subsist at the local levels while all the affluence of the country is placed under the control of a few in Abuja.
“It is a fraud which does not have the people’s consent, and does not reflect our aspirations as a country. The 1999 Constitution must be discarded in the interest of peace, unity and prosperity.”
The group also frowned at the exclusion of the Igbo from the security leadership of Nigeria, saying it cannot be rationalised on any grounds.
“It is a threat to national unity for Nigeria to continue to have preponderance and dominance of one ethnic group in all the security agencies in the country. This defeats the notion of federalism, and we reject it,” the group insisted.