All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart in Niger State, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa has taken a shot at northerners, saying the age bracket of those who want North to retain Presidency in 2023 are mostly people who have outlived their usefulness.
Vatsa stated this while addressing newsmen during a press conference titled “2023 and the way forward for Nigeria” in Minna, on Friday, October 18, 2019.
He also warned that any attempt to deny the Igbo the Presidency in 2023 amounts to a big threat to the peace and corporate existence of Nigeria as a country.
Vatsa reminded those who think otherwise about Igbo presidency in 2023 that South-East deserved the right to lead Nigeria not as a privilege but by right as an equal stakeholder in the Nigerian business.
“Igbo Presidency is a right and not a privilege, hence the South-east geopolitical zone must be allowed to produce the next President in 2023, without this the next level socio-economic and political emancipation cannot be actualized,” he said.
The APC stalwart 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.”
“Every well-meaning Nigerian, every good Christian, every good Muslim must support a President of Nigeria of South East extraction.”
“I want to seriously warned that we should not take part of this country for granted. If Nigerians have conscience, equity and justice,:it demanded that they should allow the Igbo to produce the next President come 2023.
He expressed disappointment over some political actors from the northern extraction who are calling for cancelation of rotational Presidency between the North and South, describing those behind such calls as “enemies of Nigeria”.
“If you look at the age bracket of those insinuating that the North can still retain the Presidency in 2023, you will agree with me that most of them have outlived their usefulness.
“I am quite convinced that Igbo have made their consultations from the North, South and majority of them are in support of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction from South-East.
“I don’t think this is negotiable if at all we want is the peaceful and corporate existence of Nigeria as a country”.
Vatsa said Ndigbo, because of their detribalized nature, could be found in the remotest villages in Nigeria, “living peacefully and doing their businesses and paying their taxes”.
He condemned the Arewa agitation for power to remain in the North, saying they should realize that South-East extraction is part of Nigeria and at such they should be given a chance to govern the country.
“A lot of Arewa have been speaking that power should remain in the North as if it is their birth right; 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 Aguiyi Ironsi, we have never had Igbo President, so Igbo should rise up and take what is due to them. The northerners are ready to support them and I am calling on Igbo to speak with one voice if they must win in 2023; they must come together and forget their differences.”
He, however, warned the Igbo to be careful about those who will go and collect money either from the North or South West to sell their conscience, adding that enough should be seen enough; the Igbo man 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 will bring disunity in the country.
Meanwhile, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has expressed confidence that nothing would prevent the Igbo from getting the presidency in 2023, noting that there is no going back on that decision.
Ohanaeze youths stated members of the group in the diaspora will raise millions of dollars at the end of 2022 to support whoever the youths nominate amongst the current southeast governors, or former governors as Igbo presidential candidate ahead of 2023 presidential election.