As we gear towards the 2023 election it is important to remember that the key tagline for the 2023 election should be anchored on equity. Equity which will permit each of the geopolitical components that make up Nigeria to feel wanted.
It is pertinent to remind us that the Federal Character Act demands equity in all affairs within Nigeria; as such the President and the Vice-President position can not be an exception.
No doubt, in 2023, it should be the turn of the South East and North Central. Anyone who believes in equity and fairness need to rally around this project and support this two zones to partake in the political leadership of Nigeria
There are six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and it’s within this six geopolitical zones that political power is shared in Nigeria. However, since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, four out of these six zones have had a stint at the centre as either the President or vice-president. In 1999, Olusegun Obasanjo from the Southwest became President and had Atiku Abubakar from the North East as his Vice president. In 2007, Musa Yar’dua from the Northwest became President with Goodluck Jonathan from the South South geopolitical zone as his Vice.
He governed for two years before succumbing to the cold hand of death in 2010. His deputy Goodluck Jonathan took over, contested and won the 2011 Presidential election and governed till 2015 in a joint mandate with Namadi Sambo from the NorthWest. The current President, Muhammad Buhari is from the North West and took over in 2015 and got re-elected in 2019 to handover in 2023, his vice Proffessor Yemi Osibajo is from the Southwest.
In all, the cumulative hold on Power by the six Geo- Political zones in 2023 all things as is would be as follows:-Northwest has held power at the federal level for 16 years, the Southwest 16 years, Northeast 8 years and the South South 8 years while the North Central and the South East have had nothing to their credit. It is on this basis that we demand and seek fairness and equity. Equity is the only method through which brotherhood is lived. Equity is justice. It gives everyone a sense of belonging and a motivation to commit to the federation.
The success of any governance system is built on perception, or if you may, optics. Optics is what people see and from it draw inferences on whom they are . So far, the people of the South east and North central having been so far maligned from occupying either the offices of the President or vice President of Nigeria, do not see themselves as part of Nigeria as they have been largely excluded from the power sharing agreement in Nigeria. The Nigerian system must collaboratively work together in 2023 to dissuade any of its components from feeling unwanted or despised. Stakeholders must rally round and prove to the South East and North Central that they’re part of Nigeria and the only way to do this is by zoning the 2023 President and vice-president position to the South East and North Central in no particular order by all political parties withinn the federation.
With the current agitation bedeviling Nigeria it’s only proper and politically strategic to appease the agitation with inclusiveness and that inclusiveness is to cede Power to the South East and North Central in 2023.
Mazi Anamezie Nwagu
Convener, New United Nigeria Movement for Socio Political Equity, Nigeria.