BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
Former Senior Special Assistant(SSA) to the Anambra state governor on Community Matters, Chief Chukwuemeka Egwuonwu, “Ochubaradikeoha 1” has said that the issue of Igbo presidency is not for show but a very serious matter which must be pursued with vigour and forcefully grabbed.
Egwuonwu stated this in an interview shortly after attending the general meeting of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo after the lifting of the government ban against any form of meeting in the state.
He said “as a critical stakeholder of the Igbos in Cross River state and diaspora, my take on this issue is that power is not given. Power is struggled for. The Igbos should struggle for it because nobody will willingly give it out to them.”
According to him, ” I have the belief that power is more spiritual than physical. In real contest of politics you must struggle for power. But, however, zoning which is not constitutional favours the igbos to produce the President of Nigeria, but the Igbo’s should work hard enough to merit it”
He further noted that if the Igbos don’t struggle for it, other zones will present one logic or the other to scheme them out and give them some crumps as an appointment.
The former aide said if the Igbos fails to produce the President, as a Nigerian I will not be happy. If you remembered some years ago, i was one of those who invested so much money mounting billboards for the Igbo presidency. I will not fill happy because anywhere I have found myself today, I use to tell people that the tribe that actually believe in one Nigeria are the Igbos, whether you believe it or not”.
Furthering his argument, he said , if you go to Katrina today, you will see an Igbo man and he would want to compete with the indigenes there with quality buildings he will erect there. But we know that other tribes don’t promote such investment. So if we are the people who believe that everywhere is our ancestral home, then we should be given an opportunity to cement that our belief so that other tribes who have been afraid of the igbos will know that what they think about an Igbo man is based on falsehood.”
According to him, “this will go a long way to make other tribes to begin to eliminate those “fears” in them saying “the Igbos wants to form this or that. I will be most delighted if an Igbo man is given an opportunity to become the President of this country”
Recently, “I heard someone saying that the Igbos are not united and I said no. In 1999, the Yorubas were not united, yet every political party secured their candidates from Yoruba right and somebody eventually emerged from there. So let all the political parties this timeAPC and PDP select their presidential candidates from the South East and the Igbo president will emerge. Then, they will all see what the Igbo man meant for the unity of this country”.
On whether an Igbo president will work against the actualisation of the indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB), he said, the reason why someone has gone to school or start a business is to better his life. And I believe that America for instance who keep on acquiring other countries is that “the bigger the better”. So now an Igbo man finding himself as President of Nigeria that will eliminate that agitation because what keep on giving birth to that agitation is history.”
He added, “Most of us may have believed based on history that the igbos have been badly marginalised and that the igbos have not been given equal opportunity like other tribes to be President. That is the reason for this agitation I believe. This is not the best, but I believe, that the bigger, the better for us.”