“It is really the turn of the South-East to produce the president because the South -West had it for eight years under Obasanjo.”
Chief Mishak Nnanta is President-General, Igbo World Union (IWU). He speaks on 2019 poll.
Do you think it is feasible for the South-East to produce Nigeria’s President in 2023?
The truth of the matter is that it is really the turn of the South-East to produce the president because the South -West had it for eight years under Obasanjo. And for them to have it, the political permutation was done in such a way that two Yoruba sons, Chief Olu Falae and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged the two major candidates. Eventually among the two, Nigerians settled for Obasanjo of the PDP and he ruled for eight years. After him, the slot shifted to the north and the late Umar Yar’Adua had it until death cut the journey short. Thereafter, the South-South under Goodluck Jonathan had it until President Muhammadu Buhari from the north also took over. So among the entire geopolitical zone, it is only the South-East that has not had it. So that is why it could be logical for one to align with those who argued that it should be the turn of the region to produce the president in 2023. In line with this school of thought, IWU was the first among other socio-cultural groups to tell Ndigbo to wait for 2023.
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We believe that if the Igbo were given the chance in 2023, equity and justice would have been done to the people of that geopolitical zone. Though IWU is a non-partisan group, we can give advice on how knotty issues can be resolved amicably.
In this regards, there should be political alignment and balancing in such a way that all the political parties in 2023 should ensure that Igbo are given the presidential ticket.
As 2019 election approaches, what is the stand of IWU?
Our sole aim is the promotion of peace among all the tribes in the country. We want our leaders, regardless of their political divide to eschew inflammatory comments that could heat up the polity.
In the time past when the Arewa Youths gave Igbo quit notice in their region, Igbo Word Union was up and doing in ensuring that the crisis was resolved amicably. We were able to travel to all the northern states where we met with traditional rulers including the Sultan of Sokoto who was ready to lay down his life in the protection of Igbo. We thank God that after much negotiation, the issue was resolved and Igbo once again are allowed to live in peace and harmony with their northern brothers.
In like manner, we are also appealing to Igbo that regardless of the political party they belong; their goal should be to ensure that at all time, promotion of peace, is their watchword.
On our part, we were able to mobilise and sensitise Ndigbo in the Diaspora to register to vote so they can get their Permanent Voters Card. My joy is that they complied.
Now that names of those who registered have been published, I also want them to go out there and crosscheck their names. When it is time for collection, they should also go and collect their cards and keep it very well. With the card, they can be able to choose the right person to rule them in 2019.