Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Igbo leaders, elders, and academics across Nigeria and in the Diaspora rose from a summit at the weekend with a call for an enabling law compelling all political parties to insert rotation of presidency clause in their constitutions.
This was contained in the communiqué issued by participants at the end of the sixth World Igbo Summit held at Gregory University Uturu, Abia State.
It was chaired by a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.) with several prominent Igbo leaders in attendance either physically or virtually.
The communiqué was endorsed by Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Prof. George Obiozor, Prof. Greg Ibe, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, and the Director-General of World Igbo Summit Group, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, who read the document to journalists at a post-summit press conference.
“We call on 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 INEC to ensure rotation clause in parties’ constitution, as a requirement for registration,” the communiqué said.
To further push for the entrenchment of the rotation of the presidency, the Summit urged politicians of Igbo extraction to carry the campaign to their various political parties and strive to ensure rotation of presidency clause in their party’s constitution.
The clamour for Nigeria to elect a president of Igbo extraction in 2023 dominated much of the deliberations at the summit, hence Igbo politicians were enjoined to work hard to convince their political parties to give presidential tickets to Igbos.
It stated: “We shall diligently and boldly work hard to convince other Nigerians to support the 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.
“As Ndigbo, we shall continuously seek a system or polity that guarantees and secures our social, political, and economic interest in Nigeria, based on equality of citizenship, equity, and justice.”
It urged Ndigbo to remain politically active and conscious as well as ensure effective use of their voting strength of about 26 million registered voters all over Nigeria.
It, therefore, called for the mobilisation of Igbo voters through regular voter education to strengthen the capacity of the zone to negotiate and ultimately win the presidency.
However, the summit acknowledged that the presidential aspiration of Ndigbo would only materialise through the support of other zones of the country, adding that Ndigbo are ready and are engaging other Nigerians and people without being antagonistic and abusive.
On the nagging issue of restructuring, the summit reaffirmed the urgent need for restructuring of 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, which lasted for two days (December 18 – 19) was also attended by representatives of socio-cultural groups from South-west, South-south and Middle Belt, who brought goodwill and support.