The zoning of the Nigerian presidency to the south-eastern part of the country is no longer negotiable, The World Igbo Summit says.
Since Nnamdi Azikiwe presided over Nigeria from 1963 to 1966, the country has never elected a president of Igbo extraction into office. That story must change, prominent Igbo leaders say.
The 6th World Igbo Summit took place in Abia State recently with attendees mandated to begin clamouring for an Igbo presidency come 2023.
That “is the right time for Ndigbo to occupy the seat of the Presidency of Nigeria,” a communique issued at the end of the summit says.
The World Igbo Summit, themed, “Enduring Future for Ndigbo: Expectations and Challenges”, held at the Gregory University in Uturu of Abia State from December 18-19, 2020.
The leaders met to “x-ray the historic and contemporary realities in Nigeria today, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the EndSARS phenomenon and its resetting agenda on the socioeconomic and political landscape of Nigeria, and proffer options to achieving the set targets for Ndigbo going forward”.
“The summit aimed at reawakening the Igbo consciousness and ensuring that Ndigbo become more organized and cohesive, making their voices and demands for restructuring Nigeria and networking for Presidency of Igbo extraction loudest.”
Igbo leaders from around the world participated in the two-day meeting both physically and virtually.
Here are the resolutions reached at the summit:
- As Ndigbo, we shall continuously seek for a system or polity that guarantees and secures our social, political and economic interest in Nigeria, based on equality of citizenship, equity and justice
- We shall diligently and boldly work hard to convince other Nigerians to support Igbo’s quest to become the President of Nigeria as 2023 is the right time for Ndigbo to occupy the seat of the Presidency of Nigeria
- To this end, the summit, therefore, urges Igbo politicians to ensure that their respective political parties produce candidates of Igbo extraction as presidential candidates of their respective political parties
- We call Igbo legislators in the National Assembly to seek collaboration with members from other zones to amend the Electoral Act to accommodate a provision that compels the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure rotation clause in parties constitution as a requirement for registration, while all our sons and daughters in any political party strive to ensure “rotation of Presidency”
- The Summit urged Ndigbo to remain politically active and conscious to ensure that the about 26 million registered voting strength of Ndigbo all over Nigeria are effectively mobilized, through regular voter education to strengthen the capacity of the zone to negotiate and ultimately win the Presidency.
- That Ndigbo know that they can only realize their aspiration through the persuasion of other Nigerians and are, therefore, ready and are engaging other Nigerians and people, and are not antagonistic and abusive as some people are wrongly asserting
- The summit reaffirmed the urgent need for restructuring Nigeria to allow for growth and development in line with resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and The Awka declaration of Ndigbo on the restructuring of Nigeria
- The Summit acknowledge the fact that Ndigbo have substantial investments and is doing business in various parts of the country, and so call on the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and property of all Nigeria, particularly Ndigbo, as they are usually the main target of hoodlums in times of crisis
- The Summit expresses their appreciation to the Chancellor and Management of Gregory University for being a wonderful host and for their commitment to the re-engineering of Igbo growth and development through her Igbo Renaissance Centre
The summit was chaired by former Chief of General Staff/Vice President of Nigeria, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd).
Attendees included the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who also declared the Summit open.
The Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onuh; and former Senate President and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim also attended the summit.
Other attendees included:
General (Sen) Ike Nwachukwu; Prof Joe Irukwu; Prof George Obiozor; Prof Ihechukwu Madubuike; Gregory University chancellor, Professor Greg Ibeh; Iyom Josephine Anenih; Dr Ifedi Okwenna; Prof Augustine Uwakwe; and Dr Okey Ikechukwu.
Many other Igbo intellectuals, professionals, businessmen, activists and advocates also tuned in from different parts of the world.
The communique was signed by Sen (Gen) Ike Nwachukwu, Prof George Obiozor, Prof. Greg Ibeh, Iyom Josephine Anenih and Dr. Ifedi Okwenna.