- Chief Edwin Clark called on Nigerians to fight for true federalism
- The elder statesman said the presidency should be rotated between the north and south
- Clark however insists the south east should get the presidency in 2023
Chief Edwin Clark has advocated for an Igbo presidency in 2023 saying the region deserves to produce the next leader of the country.
In an interview with Vanguard, the former federal commissioner for information said there is no reason why the north or south west should retain power in 2023.
Clark said no region is superior to the other and everyone should be given a chance.
He said: “Like I said earlier, when Lord Lugard amalgamated us, he did not say northerners are superior to southerners. They had the presidency several times throughout the military era. Today, another northerner is running for eight years. The South-West have had their turn and the South-South had their turn through President Jonathan. It is only the South-East that has not had it. It is the turn of the Igbo to have it.
“Where in Nigeria don’t you have competent people? Where in Nigeria don’t you have intelligent people? Every region in Nigeria has qualified people to run government and be President of Nigeria. That is why people like Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Senator Shehu Sani are talking of giving peace a chance. Let zoning between the South and the North continue. That is the only honest thing to do in this country.”
The elder statesman said the issue of the south east not playing politics properly should be disregarded.
He said: “How do they want them to play it? Have they not been participating in all the elections? Do they not have governors elected in the East? Do they not have National Assembly members elected in the East? Is it because they refused to vote for a particular party? What are they talking about? How does that affect them?
“During the 2019 campaign, we heard Mr Babatunde Fashola (minister) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo saying that if the south-west voted for Buhari en-masse, the presidency would come to them in 2023. The secretary to the federal government went to the south-east to say the same thing. Labour minister Chris Ngige also said same thing to south-easterners. These were mere campaign gimmicks.
“Let us face the reality; most of them who are talking about it were not born when Nigeria got independence and they didn’t know how Nigeria developed. I am now 92. I saw Nigeria in the First Republic and the role the Igbo played. There is no politician better than the Igbo politician. The Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, played politics together with his Igbo counterparts. The Mbadiwes and Aja Nwanchukus were easterners who played leading roles in the development of this country. What of Nnamdi Azikiwe? Nigeria has qualified people from every region, every state. To say they have not played politics well is unacceptable. Is it because they fought the civil war they believed in?”
Clark said the south west should reconsider its 2023 presidency plan saying the south east is equally qualified.
He said: “They should stop thinking of becoming the president of Nigeria. What does Tinubu have to offer that the people of the south-east cannot offer? What is the justification for them to become the president of Nigeria? Is it because they belong to the APC? They should not be thinking of how to divide Nigeria. We must all unite and have respect for ourselves. The south-west should allow other people to have a taste of power. There is no way the south-west would be better than the south-east on the 2023 presidency.”
In an earlier interview with Legit.ng, Shettima Yerima, the national president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), said someone from the north will succeed Buhari in 2023.
He expressed belief that the south east would support the north to produce Buhari's successor in 2023.
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