From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has cautioned that the Northern leaders’ remarks on Monday on the demand by Southern Governors that Presidency should go to the South in 2023 indicate a bleak future for Nigeria.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation which was disappointed by the unanimous condemnation of the Southern Governors Forum stand on 2023 by the leaders of the North, regretted that the North was “undisturbed that Nigeria is fast collapsing under its leadership.”
The organisation was referring to the resolution reached by the Northern leaders at the meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum with Northern States Emirs and Chiefs held on Monday, September 27, where part of the resolution read: “The Forum unanimously condemn the statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the Presidency must go to the South in 2023. The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended ….”
Ohanaeze in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alex Ogbonnia, also expressed shock that the leaders of the North had failed to recognise that Nigeria at the moment was confronted with the most precarious omens full of uncertainty, doubts, insecurity and bloodshed and instead of seeking a solution to the problems were busy strategising on how to keep a hold on power in 2023.
“The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong can attest that the people of Plateau State had never in history witnessed the number of deaths as has taken place under his watch as governor. The banditry in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa States is terrifying. Benue State has turned into a killing field. The States of Yobe and Borno are worst hit by the menace of Boko Haram, etc.
“Several schools in the North could not open because of kidnappers and millions of children are on the street as beggars. The Nigerian currency has lost its value. Unemployment has skyrocketed, and Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world…..and the Northern Governors, the Sultan and the Emirs instead of seeking solutions to Nigerian problems were busy strategising on how to retain power in 2023. This is most unconscionable, to say the least.
“Let it be made abundantly clear that if Presidency is a panacea to people’s problems, the North would have become the Netherlands of Africa. This is because the North had Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Mohammed, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Abdulsalam Abubakar, Musa Yaradua, Muhammadu Buhari, yet the problems of the North are on the increase.”
Reiterating that the crisis in Nigeria was a product of greed, injustice, religion without sacrifice and impunity, the organisation said: “It is most worrisome that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, the spiritual leader of the Nigerian Muslims, one of the most respected Sultans in recent history and the living conscience of the North, took part in such subversion. For the avoidance of doubt, there is peace in the progressive societies because men of conscience are more in number.
Ohanaeze recalled that the issue of the Presidency shifting between North and South was a gentleman agreement reached between the two regions in 1998 and wondered why the north which had enjoyed the cruise to the latter would want to sink the ship now.
“The position of the Southern Governors is simply restating the obvious. A gentleman agreement was reached at the NUC Conference Centre, Abuja in 1998 between the North and the South. The Late Dr Chuba Okadigbo spoke for the entire South and Alh. Abubakar Rimi, also of blessed memory spoke for the North. It was agreed that after Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar was the Head of State, that the presidency should shift to the South. That accounted for the emergence of the presidential flag bearers of the mainstream political parties from the South West. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo respected the agreement and handed it over to the North in the person of Musa Yar’Adua. Again, Goodluck Jonathan, a Southerner, respected the gentleman agreement and handed it over to the North in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. Therefore, the least that is expected from the North is a show of profound gratitude to the entire South for their large heart, equanimity and sportsmanship.
“Furthermore, it is in the interest of every Nigerian that there should be a paradigm shift to governance techniques. Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide unequivocally stands with the 17 Southern Governors and any black leg among them will incur the wrath of history.
“Nigeria has two major groups of people. Those that cherish the corporate existence of Nigeria on one hand and those that do not value the unity, peace and progress of Nigeria on the other. The latter indulge in reckless nepotism, ethnocentrism, avarice, supremacist mentality, hollow expansionism and poor judgment of history. It is the law of nature that light illuminates and that in religion, both the Lord Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed stood for truth.”