- An Igbo group has canvassed for the emergence of Nigeria's next president from the Middle Belt extraction
- The group, Nzuko Igbo Bu Igbo, says it is the only way stability could be guaranteed in the already heated polity in the country
- According to the group, the Middle Belt has been shortchanged in the governance of the country since independence
An Igbo pressure group identified as Nzuko Igbo Bu Igbo has said that allowing the Middle Belt extraction to produce the country's president is the only way stability could be guaranteed in the already heated polity in the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by co-conveners, Mazi Nwama Ibe and Okechukwu Onwubere, on Monday, August 27.
The Sun reports that the group said its position is based on the fact that the Middle Belt has been shortchanged in the governance of the country since independence.
NAIJ.com gathers that the group also stated that the Middle Belt leaders have been at the vanguard of the restructuring of the country before others started agitating for it.
Eight leaders from the region were identified by the group as those capable of leading the country in 2019.
Secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former secretary to Plateau state government, Professor Shedrack Best, and Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, are some of those that the group identified.
Others leaders identified by the group are legal luminary, Joe Gadzama, Senator Ali Ndume, Dr Dan Iya and a foremost Banker, Dr Obadiah Mailafia.
The statement read: “In some parts of the country, the feelings of exclusion from the scheme of things is so palpable to the extent that some were forced to demand for sovereignty as exemplified by the agitations of some separatists groups, like the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and other nationalistic agitations from many minority groups in Nigeria.
“These myriad of problems prompted the suggestion in enlightened circles that the solution lies in restructuring Nigeria into eight regions and to return to the 1963 federal constitution as was canvassed by a Jos-based Izu Umunna Cultural Association in an advertorial in The Sun Newspaper of 10 January 2018.
“It is a well known fact that restructuring of the polity to engender inclusiveness in governance is the DNA of the Middle Belt man or woman. It dates back to the days of the military governor of Old Plateau state, late CP Joseph Gomwalk, a University of Ibadan first class graduate of Zoology, who was reputed to have influenced the emergence of Benue Plateau state. Believing that the Northern Nigeria owned newspaper, ‘New Nigeria newspaper’ was not giving adequate coverage to the Middle Belt, he established Nigerian Standard newspaper.
“He pulled Benue Plateau out of Northern Nigeria Marketing Board to set up Benue Plateau Marketing Board. Fearing same of Ahmadu Bello University, he got his alma mater, University of Ibadan, to establish a campus in Jos that became the University of Jos. He broke away from Radio Television Kaduna and established Benue Plateau Television, the first colour TV in Africa.
According to the group, only a president of Middle Belt extraction could be trusted to solve Nigeria's problems.
The group added: “It is no rocket science that he will have the political will to restructure the nation as it will dove-tail with the aspirations of his people, notwithstanding the part of the Middle belt he hails from."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Middle Belt Forum shortlisted four presidential aspirants from the region to be presented to other regions ahead of the 2019 presidential elections.
Those shortlisted are a frontline businessman, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, former minister of information, Professor Jerry Gana, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Obadiah Mailafia, and former Plateau state governor, Senator Jonah Jang.
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