Democracy is the rule of the people by the people and for the people. It is also a rule based on fairness, justice, equity and equality. It is a rule in which political power is derived from the sovereignty of the people as a community.
Therefore, the claiming of power monopoly to be exercised by any one group in such a system is both unacceptable and anti-democratic.
It is a very simple and clear-headed idea that if in such a system the North has ruled for eight years, power should automatically go South next. And when that power goes South, because both South – West and South–South have already had their turns, that power should automatically go to South – East.
This logic is clear-headed, open, transparent and unarguable! However, because in our politics what should be clear-headed is deliberately distorted to serve other than the public interest, we will try here to straighten out the issues that other-wise will block clear-headedness in this matter.
Some misguided Nigerians have floated the erroneous idea that since democracy is the rule of the majority, the North which forms the majority group should continue to rule. But we also know that democracy is also the rule of justice, fairness, equity and equality”
In fact proponents of consociational democracy have condemned the majority rule theory of democracy on the grounds that the majority rule theory subjects non-majority groups to the insufferable status of permanent political powerlessness. Such ideas as zoning and rotation have the merit of salvaging modern democracy from subjecting any of their citizen groups to the status of permanent minorities and powerlessness, thus producing a system that lacks fairness justice, equity, and equality.
According to the proponents of consociational democracy therefore, the majority rule theory of democracy is unacceptable in multi-ethnic societies such as Nigeria. In such societies, consociational theorists employ the practice of zoning and rotation to prevent power monopoly in one set of hands. This is the suggested ideal for a multi-ethnic society like Nigeria.
There are other factors that make the Igbos of the South–East most qualified for the 2023 Presidency!
•The Igbos of the South–East regard every part of Nigeria as home. That is why they are in every part of the country.
Therefore, an Igbo President will not engage in discriminatory action or marginalization of any group or region since all parts of the country are home to him or her. Given the political discrimination which has been practised in this country since 2015, recommending Igbo President in the 2023 period will help demonstrate to subsequent rulers of this country that political marginalization or discrimination can be avoided in this country. It takes a ruler who sees all parts of the country as home to end marginalization and discrimination.
In other words, by regarding every part of the country as their home, the Igbos of the South – East have demonstrated more Nigerian nationalism and patriotism than the others. This their level of nationalism and patriotism qualifies them (the South–Easterners) to be even the first choice for Presidency.
•Moreover, the Igbos of South – East have been at the forefront of Nigerian nationalism and colonial liberation. This leadership role in Nigeria’s economic and political development qualifies the Igbos for a front-line consideration for leadership and governmental rule.
Unfortunately, in spite of Igbo leadership role in the nation’s political development, the Igbos have suffered the greatest political discrimination and marginalization in this country. Therefore, supporting the South – East for Presidency in 2023 will be a good compensation for the multiple political discrimination the Igbos have suffered so far and over the years.
•The Igbo secessionist bid and the resulting civil war was not Igbo rejection of Nigeria. Rather it was a provocation foisted on the Igbos by Northern intransigence and authoritarianism.
This was provoked by the pogrom of July 1966, the Federal Government’s violation of the Aburi Accord, the unilateral State- Creation of 1967, and the subsequent war declaration against the Igbos in 1967 after making them run for their lives,
Thereafter, the Igbos still accepted the surrender of 1970, the “no Victor, no vanquished” post-war declaration and reconciliation, and the underlying promise of equality of all in the Federation.
By the same logic, the current Igbo Youth support for Biafara should not be regarded as rejection of Nigeria either. Rather, it is a reaction foisted on them by the current Federal Government’s policy of discrimination and marginalization against the Igbos even to the extent of undermining our Constitutional Federal Character Principle. The solution is to end Igbo marginalization rather than use Igbo rejection of marginalization as evidence of Igbo disbelief in one Nigeria.
•The right to rule belongs to all Nigerians, and since the Igbo have supported other groups to rule in previous times, they (the Igbos) also deserve to take their turn this time around in the hope that others will also support them. The Igbos supported the Tafewa Balewa rule of the First Republic, the Shehu Shagari rule of the Second Republic, and the aborted Mushood Abiola victory of the Third Republic. And since the Fourth Republic, the Igbos have supported the Olusegun Obasanjo of the South – West, the Musa Yar’ adua of the North -West, the Goodluck Jonathan of the South – South, and now again the Muhammed Buhari of the North – West.
In the name of fairness, justice, equity and equality, every one of these groups now owe South – East support in 2023. One good turn deserves another!
We should also remember that the Nigerian Federation that was put together in 1914 incorporated the three dominant ethnic groups of Hausa – Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba on the basis of equal status. Now, whereas both the Yorubas and Hausa–Fulanis have all taken presidential turns, and even a minority group of the South – South has also taken a turn, yet the Igbo majority group has not had a chance. Therefore, no matter the criteria to be used in 2023, whether merit, competence, equity, justice, fairness or equality – whatever the criterion – should favour Igbo choice in 2023.
•Igbo cultural traits include the following: competence, hardwork, entrepreneurial spirit, independence, egalitarianism, republicanism and democracy. Since the average Igbo is a carrier of these cultural traits, an Igbo President that emerges from this cultural area will be an asset to any modern nation – state including our dear Nigeria. Therefore, Nigerians should in the public interest support an Igbo President in 2023.
In other words, Nigerians should support the South – East in 2023 not only because the Presidency rightly belongs to them then, and not only also because the South – East has so far supported other groups for that position, and one good turn deserves another, but also because it is in Nigeria’s Public interest to produce an Igbo President in 2023.
However, because political power is always won by struggle and competition, the Igbos (or South – Easterners) should develop a broad based strategy for selling their very good case to the rest of their Naija brothers and sisters.
From now on, Ndigbo should be putting their house in order preparing to give our great Country in 2023 a President that the nation and the world will be proud of. This will be a glorious healing of the historic wounds Ndigbo have suffered so far.
There are two obstacles to this Igbo project. One is the conventional wisdom that in politics nobody gives you power. You have to fight for it.
Therefore, since the Igbos want the Presidency, let them get ready to fight for it. Second, a well known political philosophy says that no one who has tasted political power even for one day will willingly give it up. This means that even all the zones that have already tasted the presidency will still want more of it.
But just as in 1970, Nigeria taught the world the lesson that a civil war can end in reconciliation rather than continuing victimization, Nigeria can still teach the World another lesson, namely, that because it is God who gives power, you do not have to fight for it, and that even those who have tasted power can also allow their brother citizens to also taste it.
This is a way to demonstrate that Nigeria is a national community of equal citizens.
Undoubtedly, Ndigbo have a lot of preparation to make for this top job. One way to begin this preparation is to justify to the nation that it should be the turn of Ndigbo this time around. This is exactly the aim of this write – up!