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The nation’s political wind was agitated last Monday, when the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, revealed that the resolve of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to support President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, was primarily driven by his desire to consolidate his private agenda of securing the return of power at the centre to the South-West, and more importantly, position himself for a shot at the presidency in 2023, thereby dashing and scuttling the Igbo quest for the coveted office.
Expectedly, the revelation was like stirring the hornets’ nest. It set off a firestorm of angry reactions from key Igbo voices, who felt that the energetic efforts to woo the Igbo into the APC were only intended to sweep in a far higher share of the Igbo votes in 2019 for Buhari, but with no real intention to support the South-East quest to produce the president in the 2023 general elections.
The Igbo hope for the presidency was rekindled sometime ago when the leaders from the South-East visited Aso Rock and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, assured them that 2023 is the most auspicious time for the Igbo to ascend the presidency, advising them to go home and support President Buhari in 2019 so that it would be easy for them to take over from him.
Respected elder statesman and Nigeria’s First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, viewed the alleged Buhari-Tinubu pact to be the continuation of the political, social and economic injustices meted out to the Igbo in the country.
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He also noted that the subterranean moves to scheme out the Igbo in the 2023 electoral calculations were reminiscent of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s collaboration with the northern military regime in the aftermath of the aborted implementation of the Aburi Accord between General Yakubu Gowon and the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
“What Saraki said is obvious because those who follow the politics of Nigeria know that it is the game that is going on now. We are not surprised. The Igbo have been neglected and not seen as part of the federation of Nigeria, but as slaves in the country.
“I have read in the papers that the military is going to launch Operation Python Dance 3 in Igbo land alone. If they don’t want the Igbo in Nigeria, let the people of the North and the West say they don’t want the Igbo again in Nigeria and Igbo will go their way. We are not equal partners in the federation and the earlier they conduct a plebiscite the better for us, so that the Igbo can go. And that is where the case of the IPOB is justified.
“We are not begging to remain in Nigeria. Let them allow plebiscite in Igbo land and Igbo will decide whether they will continue to be part of this nonsense or not.
“In my own point of view, which is the general point of view, Buhari should be contented with one tenure. He should not contest in 2019. Somebody from the North should contest for the remaining second tenure to enable the North serve out two tenures. Then after that somebody from Igbo land should contest for the presidency in 2023 and should be supported to become the president. Equity, justice and fairness demand that.
“It was the same thing that Chief Obafemi Awolowo did, he hated the Igbo all his life. He fought the civil war against the Igbo and when the war ended he came up with the idea that every Igbo man should be allowed only 20 pounds no matter what he had in the bank when he was the Minister for Economic Development and a member of the federal executive council. The Igbo begged him to reverse the policy to no avail. Not only that, it was Awolowo who advised the Federal Government that starvation was the best instrument of war. So, we are pained to remember that,” he said.
More knocks for the revealed agenda came from the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB), Mr Uchenna Madu, who said that the lingering crisis and disaffection in the ruling party, which led to the revelation by the Senate President regarding Tinubu’s hidden agenda against Igbo interest in 2023 has finally concretized the compelling reasons for the thunderous outcry by Ndigbo for self-determination.
Madu, however, said that MASSOB would not shift a millimeter from its position that Buhari is the last president of Nigeria because the country is already sitting on a time bomb, which would likely explode soon.
He said: “To us in MASSOB, the current government of Nigeria under President Buhari is a huge monumental failure which can never be redeemed again. We have seen the hypocritical handwriting, which was as a result of the secret and deceitful pact/agreement reached and agreed by the Hausa/Fulani representing Arewa and the Yoruba representing Oduduwa against the people of old Eastern Region on the platform of APC.
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“It is very obvious and clearer that President Buhari will hand over the relay baton of APC to a Muslim-Yoruba man after his tenure. They are seriously working on this Islamic agenda, which no APC bigwig from the old Eastern Region can stop. Chibuike Amaechi, Rochas Okorocha, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige and others from Igbo land that later joined APC as a national party are all political errand boys and stooges of the real owners and controllers of APC.
“With President Buhari’s body language and Osinbajo’s consistent defense of his master, the appointments of all security service chiefs from Buhari’s Islamic kinsmen, his continuous defense and protection of his foot soldiers popularly known as killer Fulani herdsmen, his insensitivities against non-Muslims and inability to protect the citizens are all clearer signs and evidences that Buhari is executing an arranged and planned agenda that is detrimental to non-Muslims in Nigeria.
“The rot, imbalances and inequalities in education sector where there are special and preferential laws for northern citizens against the southern citizens, the economic harsh policies against the people of Eastern Region, the continuous tribalism and sentimental hatred exhibited against the people of Eastern Region and Christians in Nigeria are all manifestations of the worst government Nigeria has ever had.
“MASSOB still maintains and insists that President Buhari will remain the last president of Nigeria. His secret pact with Bola Tinubu and other top selected Islamic leaders in Nigeria will never be achieved. Nigeria is already sitting on a time bomb, which will likely explode soon. The consciousness of future survival of the people of Biafra, Middle Belt and Oduduwa have been reawakened for total defense of our lands and our people from every maneuvering of Buhari and his kinsmen.
“Historically established, Yoruba forefathers led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo actually betrayed the trust and confidence, our fathers bestowed on them. They eloquently proved that they couldn’t be trusted politically,” Madu stated.