2023: Denying Igbos presidency may destroy Nigeria – Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum 


The leader of Afanifere, Yoruba social cultural group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo and his Middle Belt counterpart, Dr Bitrus Pogu have warned that denying a part of Nigeria (South-East) access to the presidency may end-up destroying the country.



According to Adebanjo, the presidency has already moved to all parts of the country and that 2023 is the turn of the South-East to produce who should be there in the overall interest of the federation, saying that any attempts to deny that part of the nation will impact negatively on our nationhood.



He said to build a great nation that can only happen on a platform of peace and justice as nationhood cannot be built on injustice and decrimination.



The Middle-Belt Forum leader who was represented by Mr Simon Rif said it was the belief of the people of the North Central that after eight years in power by a Northern Muslim President, justice demands that power should return to the southern part of Nigeria.



Both men were speaking at a lecture organized by Ohaneze Ndigbo at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Lagos tagged: ‘Nationalism and Nation Building Nigerian History.’




Eminent Nigerians who graced the occasion include the keynote speaker at the event, Profesor Jide, President, Prof George Obiozor, General Atom Kpera (Chairman of the occasion), Prof. Uche Azikiwe (wife of late Nigerian first President), Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe former Chief of Army Staff, General Ike Nwachukwu former Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Hakeem Baba Ahmed of Northern Elders Forum (NEF) among others.



Osuntokun in his exposition posited that Ngerian nationalism was actually achieved via painful fight by nationalists back in the early 20th Century, saying the nationalist were black men from varied origins.



He pointed out the epocal role played by Lagos in that melting pot of fervent nationalism, saying that efforts were made to kill the fervency of the battle but that they couldn’t quell it until the 1930s and 40s when Herbert Macauley rose to organize it better and was later joined by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe who it was that helped in translating into a West African phenomenon.




For Baba Ahmed, Nigeria’s nationhood is negotiable and needs to be negotiated from time to time in order to update and transform the country in the overall interest of all and sundry.



He however said that Nigeria’s power sharing should not be based on primordial sentiments but on vital national ethos and values.



Obiozor maintained that history is important and that there is a need for us to keep an eye on our history because those who forget their history are bound to re-live it, saying that our nation’s crisis of the 60’s as well as those during second republic era and the current crisis bedeviling Nigeria are same problems.



Former Governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife said that Nigeria was built to be a super-power and that going forward, we must ensure that the vision is realized.



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