The highest Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has given stern warning to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that its attempts to zone the presidential ticket to the north will lead to its ugly end.
Ohanaeze was reacting to the resolution by the Northern States Governors’ Forum with Northern Emirs and Chiefs on Monday in Kaduna which vehemently rejected the clamour for power shift.
Spokesman of Ohanaeze Alex Ogbonnia, in a statement, said the PDP can as well consider itself dead forever if it proceeds to zone the presidential ticket to the north.
It recalled there was a gentleman’s agreement between the north and south in 1998 to rotate power, an arrangement the body has been kept to the letters until now.
Ohanaeze berated northern leaders to plotting to retain power at a time the region was consumed by banditry, terrorism and insecurity.
It pointed out the north despite producing most of the nation’s leaders has remained underdeveloped and retarded, an issue it said should have been the focus of northern leaders as against seeking political power at all time.
Parts of the statement read: “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 as 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 over to the North in the person of Musa Yar’Adua. Again, Goodluck Jonathan, a Southerner, respected the gentleman agreement and handed 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.”
Warning against the north’s agenda to remain in power beyond 2023, the body added: “The exponents of this agenda, in their jaundiced calculations, believe that it is a sure way of regaining power from the All Peoples Congress (APC).
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“Experience would have taught them that to zone their presidential position to the North is an orchestrated requiem for the party; because more PDP Governors and grassroots will surely desert them.
“May we remind the PDP that the Southeast has made unquantifiable sacrifices for PDP beginning from the time of Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
“If by way of politics without principles the Southerners in PDP place their personal narrow interests over the interest of their people, the verdict of history will surely be harsh on them.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo led by Ambassador Professor George Obiozor reiterates that the bane of Nigeria is raw injustice especially targeted against the Igbo and until we begin to wean ourselves of the Igbophobia and rather harness individual and group resourcefulness, creativity, ingenuity and initiatives wherever they are found, Nigeria will remain on the downward spiral”.
Ohanaeze warned that the remarks by the northern leaders were indicative of a bleak future for Nigeria.
The body added: “It is most regrettable that the North are undisturbed that Nigeria is fast collapsing under its leadership. The Forum failed to recognize that at the moment, Nigeria is confronted with the most precarious omens full of uncertainty, doubts, insecurity and bloodshed.
“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 solution to Nigerian problems were busy strategizing 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”.
While restating its full solidarity with the position of Southern Governors, Ohanaeze explained that the Governors’ position was simply restating the obvious.
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