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2023: Farooq Kperoogi ‘Attacked’ Over Call For Igbo Presidency

2023: Farooq Kperoogi ‘Attacked’ Over Call For Igbo Presidency

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Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, and former Secretary General, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Anthony Sani, have chided Professor of Journalism, Farooq Kperoogi, over his call for the election of a president of Igbo extraction to ensure peaceful co-existence among Nigerians of diverse ethnic nationalities.

Kperoogi had recently advocated the election of a President of Igbo extraction in 2023 as a possible solution to the disunity in the country.

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The elder statesmen in a joint statement argued that the Presidency of any country is a product of deep-seated and extensive negotiation, rather than a mere wish by a people or group.

The statement read in part: “There can be no caveat with the significance of the submissions by Farooq Kperoogi, which he considers as needed to bring about the desired unity, harmony and peaceful coexistence that is sine qua non for meaningful socio-economic development of Nigeria. This is because a diverse country as Nigeria, tends to be fissiparous and constantly pulled in different directions by centrifugal forces.

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“It is against this backdrop, that Nigeria has instituted many policies like quota system of admissions, and federal character in distribution of access to national employment, projects and major contracts, for the expressed purpose of promoting sense of belonging in the polity. This comes with inclusiveness of the diverse people in the belief that it is very possible to make the most of our God given diversity, thereby ensuring that every segment of the nation is given a true sense of belonging.”

According to them, “similar countries have also attempted to introduce policies with the objective of nation binding. For example, Ethiopia, which has never been colonized, practices ethnic based federalism, yet it has prevalent challenges of nation building.
.“Somalia, a country with only a few ethnic groups and predominantly singular faith, faces the challenges of nation building. Lebanon, on the other hand, has policies for balance of its religious diversity. Where the Christians produce the President, the Sunni would produce the Prime Minister, and the Shi’ite would produce the Speaker. Yet, they have governance challenges. All these go to show that, the tasks of nation building, go beyond mere balancing of public offices as an end in itself.

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“All these are also a testimony to the fact that, though politics goes beyond ideals, it also includes who gets what, how and when, because it is driven by group interest, group goal, group coherence, group cohesion and even group conspiracy.

“Good governance is an art of balancing competing demands amongst not only constituents but also among socio-economic sectors; and what unites a nation, as they constitute national ideals and shared values.”

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They disagreed with the notion that Igbo people have been marginalized over the years, saying “both the military and democratic governments have given Igbo people fair representations in the federal government and its agencies, such as Vice President, Senate Presidents, Speakers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Coordinating Ministers, Service Chiefs, Governors of Central Bank of Nigeria , CBN and chairman of the ruling party.”

[b]The statement continued: “This solid integration of the Igbo people into the Nigeria affairs had enabled them to settle unperturbed in various parts of the country, giving them the unlimited latitude to pursue their business activities, which currently run into substantial net-worth.

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“Similarly, there are projects situated by the federal government of Nigeria (in pursuance of policy of Reconstruction) in Igbo land (particularly the construction of the second Niger Bridge) to amplify and demonstrate government’s concern for the South-Eastern region.
Conversely, when the Igbos threaten to leave Nigeria, if an Igbo President does not emerge in 2023; one wonders the wisdom and the basis of this agitation without facts and figures to justify the intuition.

“Igbo people like any other Nigerians, are entitled to contest for the office of the President of the nation under the current multiparty democracy. To that end, they are expected to devise their winning game plans and use that to convince the Nigerian electorates to vote for one of their own.”[/b]

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