It’s the turn of South East to produce next President – Chudi Chukwuani
Ahead of the 2023 general election, the two major political parties in the country, the APC and PDP have been reluctant in coming out with definite statement on the zoning of their presidential tickets. This is coming on the heel of the South West angling for the presidential ticket despite the fact that they held the prime position for eight years from 1999 to 2007. AARON OSSAI reports that a prominent politician from the South East, Chudi Chukwuani, during an interactive session with Journalists maintained that it is unconscionable to deny the South East the presidential slot in 2023. Excerpts:
Year 2023 is around the corner and there is this serious agitation that the Southeastern part of the country should produce the President, what is your take on this?
Let’s come to politics, 2023 is at hand, even though we are looking at it like it is far, as an active politician. How have we fair from 1999 till date politically, have we done, has they been any changes – progress from then till now.
What I can say is this, everybody in this country knows the truth – you can never run away from the truth. In 1999 political power was collectively given to the South-West in order to assuage the South-west of what happened on June 12.
When a candidate emerged from the South-West, everybody rallied round that candidate and that candidate became the President of Nigeria in the person of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, our former President; that is what happened in 1999.
He served his term, eight years – when he attempted to serve more than eight years, the whole country also rallied round and said no, what is fair is fair; we must stick with our Constitution architecture which is two terms of four years, we cannot have 3rd term – the 3rd term was defeated.
Since Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was from the Southern part of Nigeria the whole nation said what is fair is fair, the presidency must go to the North – it is what we called an unwritten understanding. Yar’Adua emerged from the North, everybody rallied round again and Yar’Adua became the President. Yar’Adua, unfortunately because God called him, he was unable to complete his eight years tenure – so which means the north was now shot changed somehow, – the North did not complete its eight years.
Jonathan took over as the Vice President, they rallied round again, they say he is from the South-South, they have never produced President, let him be the President, they did doctrine of necessity that was the political compromise, under the doctrine of necessity they said okay let’s allow somebody from the South-South to emerge, he emerged and served. When he came as if he was going to go beyond staying in Aso Rock beyond the eight years as provided for in the Constitution, people said that is not fair, the North has to complete Yar’Adua’s eight years, what will be fair is to allow the North to complete that thing that happened because of the demise of Yar’Adua, everybody rallied round General Buhari to emerge because it is the turn of the North in order to complete what was the slot of Yar’Adua. Buhari is about to complete his eight year term in 2023. During all these manipulations a major block in Nigeria called the South-East has not tested the presidential power. Everybody sheathed their swords waiting because of the things that were developing for every section to have its turn.
Clearly, if we have conscience in this country which I believe we do, everybody knows that 2023 is the turn of the South-east to produce the President. So the South-east should get ready and produce somebody and men of good conscience in this country will rally round him for him to become the President of Nigeria.
We in the South-East, I’m an Igbo man, we supported a Yoruba man, Obasanjo – I was a major contributor, I’m saying it without any fear of contradiction, you can go and ask General Obasanjo whether he knows somebody called Prince Chudi Chukwuani, whether he contributed to his emergence in 1999, I did. You can also go and find out I was a vocal advocate for Buhari when we saw that Jonathan might exceed his time and we said no, 2015 Buhari must come, it must go to the north for them to complete that thing, I was there, I was visible and Buhari emerged and I am telling you now, it is the turn of my people.
Now, how prepared is the South-east to lobby people from other zones to back an Igbo man to be the President of this country come 2023?
Go and ask how prepared was the North, was it not people like me that were working on behalf of General Buhari in 2015? Was it not people like me that were talking on behalf of Obasanjo; was it not people like me that were talking on the issue of doctrine of necessity that we should give the South-south people a chance.
We are prepared, I am saying everybody should go and search their conscience; a nation cannot stand when you decide to cheat one part; you will never make any headway. That was why some of us stood on the part of truth and we said we will not cheat anybody. I remember the time they said Jonathan should go; I know I gave an interview, I said it was the time of the north about a year before the end of Jonathan’s tenure, a year or so – people were busy talking all kinds of things, when Rev. Father Ejike Mbakah spoke about Buhari emerging, I came in defence of Mbakah, you know they were trying to vilify him – I said no. Mbakah may not know the reason for whatever he was talking about but politically, I knew it was the time of the North and I knew that the North had presented General Buhari – that was 2015 and General Buhari became President. General Buhari will not say he does not know Prince Chudi Chukwuani and all the people around him, except if they decide to close their eyes to reality and the truth, that is the truth, the South-East, we are prepared. But what we will not tolerate is cheating, to deny somebody his right, what rightly belongs to him, we are not going to stay there more than eight years – if at the end of that, the same nation will rise up and say it is time for you to go, it’s another person’s turn because when the South-east completes their eight years, it has to go back to the North and it might come from any part of the North which might be either North-East or North-Central. But there is this popular belief that South-East politicians always betray themselves. They betray themselves because most of them there are what we call politicians of cash-and-carry; but they are not the majority they are just a tiny minority – when the drums of politics is beaten and when it is time for serious talk – on the market square the really human being will come out – we will not see cash and carry human beings there. So South-East is not the only zone that has not produced the President, North-Central too. I am saying – remember we have two major lines in Nigeria – North and South.
What lessons have we as a country learnt from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world since late 2019?
The first thing COVID-19 exposed to us in Nigeria is incompetence, total incompetence 99.8%of Nigerians are here in Nigeria only about .2% of Nigerians have that luxury of traveling up and down. Our country decided to sacrifice 99.8% of our people that are in our country for the comfort of that .2% that travel – immediately that thing happened if our airports had been shut, close down, just look at what happened in European Union when the second terrain came out from UK all the major European cities the following day within 24 hours deny flights from UK.
France shut down their border with the UK to protect their people what do we do, we were still paying lips service, flights were coming in, this thing came into Nigeria through flight, if you go to the airport, you will see someone that call themselves big men, they were not subjecting themselves to the simple protocol that was put in place even to take their temperature, they will go around the queue and everybody seems helpless. This is ridiculous. That’s incompetence when the President gives an order, that order must be followed.
If the President says that everybody must be checked – everybody must be checked. Can you imagine the government telling us the people that are manning the airport coming to tell us that people are bringing fake results? You are the government in power and you are coming to tell us that people are going to bring fake result and through the fake result they will enter Nigeria, what kind of nonsense is that – make a policy make a rule enforce your rules without any fear without any favour – if you said everybody must do a test, make arrangement have the testing kits; let them know before they leave where they are going let them know, tell them that when you land in Nigeria, we are going to do a test on you this is the way, this is how long this test is going to take this is what is going to happen, tell them the reality so that they will know what to expect if they still say they want to come to Nigeria after knowing what our protocol so be it, but insists in carrying out the protocol, stop all this nonsense for luxury and comfort of just a few people you subject entire nation in to hardship and nobody is being held to account. The President should call the PTF to order, make an order, they must enforce the order.
Clearly, if we have conscience in this country which I believe we do, everybody knows that 2023 is the turn of the South-east to produce the President.
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