An All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has called on Ndigbo and people of the South Eastern part of Nigeria not to trade the 2023 presidency for anything, saying “it is your right.” He expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that some political actors of the northern extraction have called for cancellation of rotational presidency between the North and South for what they termed as meritocracy. Vatsa, who is a former Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said during an interview with journalists in Minna yesterday that: “Every well-meaning Nigerian, every good Christian, every good Muslim must support a President of Nigeria of South East extraction.”
He added: “An Igbo President by 2023 is your right and not a privilege. The South East geo-political zone must be allowed to produce the next president.” This, he said, would make Nigeria to actually move to the next level of social, economic and political emancipation.
He noted that: “If Nigerians have conscience, equity and justice demand that they should allow the Igbo to produce the next President in 2023. “I am quite convinced that Igbos have made their consultations from the North, South and the majority of them are in support of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction (South East).” Vatsa said Ndigbo were highly detribalised and could be found in the remotest villages in Nigeria, living peacefully and doing their businesses and paying their taxes. He, however, condemned Arewa’s agitation for power to remain in the North, saying they should realise that South East was part of Nigeria and at such the Igbo should be given a chance to govern the country.
Vatsa said: “A lot of Arewa politicians have been speaking that power should remain in the north as if it is their birthright, Nigeria belongs to all of us and it is bigger than what we think it is.In the spirit of fairness if we really want to be together, the Igbo, should be given a chance in 2023.
“Apart from the time of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe and General Thomas Aguiyi- Ironsi, we have never had an Igbo President. So, Igbos should rise up and take what is due to them. The northerners are ready to support them and I am calling on the Igbo to speak with one voice if they must win in 2023, they must come together and forget their differences.”
He further warned the Igbo to be careful about those who would go and collect money either from the north or south west to sell their consciences, adding that enough should be seen as enough, Igbo people should not be treated as second class citizens in Nigeria The former commissioner also warned that the concentration of power in the north would not do Nigerians any favour rather it would bring disunity in the country.