By Progress Godfrey, Abuja
As the clamor for zoning of the presidency heightens, the Indigenous People of Nigeria (IPN), has called on the government, political stakeholders and the elite class to support the Southeast in its clamour for the Presidency seat come 2023.
The call, according to the group, became necessary owing to the obvious fact that the Southeast is the only zone in the region that has not had a representative in the Presidency since the return of democracy in 1999.
Mazi Nnamdi Iroegbu, the Convener IPN, who delivered the speech at the inaugural press conference of the group in Abuja on Friday, outrightly condemned the profiling of regions, explaining that the Igbo ethnic nationality has more than any region, contributed to the development of all parts of the country.
The group recalled that during the military administration of General Sani Abacha, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekweme, proposed the subgrouping of Nigeria into geopolitical zones. Hence, he proposed 6 zones, which was adopted and ushered in democracy as seen today,
The statement averred in part, “ Since the return of democracy, three of these six zones, that is southwest, south-south and northwest have had opportunity to govern Nigeria through Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“IPN therefore, reasons that, for the interest of justice, equity and fairness, the only zone in the Southern region, the Southeast, that is yet to produce a President or Vice President since 1999, should be supported to produce the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nevertheless, IPN is not unmindful of the constitutional rights of indigenous People of Nigeria to elect whosoever they desire.
“Apparently, IPN condemns the notion that any particular indigenous ethnic nationality is the architect of Nigeria’s problem. Rather, the gross failure of leadership is wholly responsible for every ills bedeviling the federal republic of Nigeria.
“IPN condemns the wrong notion that the Igbo ethnic nationality of Nigeria is unpatriotic, and is at war with other ethnic nationalities and by extension Nigeria. It is an indisputable fact that Igbo ethnic nationality of Nigeria has more than any other indigenous group, investments and assets spread across every part of the federation. It is folly therefore, for anyone to think that the Igbo wishes for the destruction of a federation that houses its assets.
The group in its believe in oneness of Nigeria stated that, “IPN supports the call for restructuring of the Nigerian State by various stakeholders”
It further said that the challenges bedeviling Nigeria is a function of bad leadership and also proposed the abolishment of the Almajiri system, “We propose the abolishment of the Almajiri system, which grossly debases the rights and dignity of of these innocent northern children of Nigeria,” the group added