By Mokwugwo Solomon
A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma, has called on Nigerians to give Igbo of the Southeast extraction an opportunity to have a shot on the presidency in 2023.
The vocal cleric, who is also the Spiritual Director of the Holy Ghost Adoration Ministry, Uke, and the Parish Priest of Blessed Iwene Tansi Parish and Retreat Center, Umudioka, both in Anambra State, claimed that Nigeria has shut the door of the presidency, and has not allowed Igbo to produce elected president since inception.
Speaking to newsmen at his adoration center, yesterday, Fr. Obimma, who is widely known as Fr. Ebube Muonso, said the country will hardly justify its oneness unless it is fair to all the federating units.
“There are thousands of men and women of Igbo extraction, who have all it takes to move Nigeria forward. Nigeria is continually moving backwards because the Igbo have not been given the opportunity to manage the affairs of the country. Over the years, the rest of Nigerians have refused to give Igbo the change to produce the country’s number one citizen. The Igbo man is best equipped to be entrusted with the destiny of this country; because, Igbo have the greatest stake in this Nigeria. Igbo people are everywhere; at every nook and cranny of the country. They have businesses at every point around the country. They have property everywhere. The Igbo are more interested in the wellbeing of Nigeria than any other ethnic group. It is the Igbo that have what it takes to move Nigeria forward.
“If an average Igbo person can succeed with twenty pounds given to him after the war, I can assure you that he can as well fix Nigeria beyond every imagination. Agitation for Igbo presidency come 2023 is a welcome development, and should be respected for the continued unity and peaceful co-existence of the country. The agitations witnessed across Nigeria, including that of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and others, are as a result of injustice and lack of equal opportunities. If injustices in this country are addressed, some of these agitations will die down. The South East is the only geo-political zone that has not produced elected president of this country. It is sad. I will urge South East elders and the political class to rise up to the challenge. They should speak up. This country belongs to all of us, and continued marginalization of a particular ethnic group is not a welcome development.
“If Nigeria wanted equity, fairness and justice, Igbo should be given a chance in 2023. Continued denial of the Igbo to produce president has been the reason behind agitation for the Sovereign State of Biafra. The last time an Igbo person found himself at the corridor of power was more that forty years ago, when Alex Ekwueme was Vice President under Shehu Shagari. Since then, no Igbo man ever had opportunity.
“I want to warn Nigeria that there is an extent one could be pushed to the wall. The Igbo have been pushed to the wall. They have endured humiliations and marginalization in a country they fought so hard to get. If Nigeria were a country where justice and equity thrive, an ethnic group like Igbo cannot be begging to produce president of Nigeria? Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 is very germane for a number of reasons, including the need to douse the present political and socio-economic tensions that have already enveloped the country. If there were truly one Nigeria, let there be a zoning system, where one ethnic group will take a shot at the presidency after the other; otherwise, the maxim of one Nigeria will be seen as a scam.
The cleric also condemned what he called continued detention of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, describing it as uncalled for.
He said: “Since Nnamdi Kanu was detained at the facility of the DSS, the court has not genuinely heard his own side of the story. His continued detention without any court pronouncement, and without being granted bail, is not a welcome development. It is high time Igbo politicians and elders spoke out concerning Nnadi Kanu, as well as injustice being meted on Igbo people in the present day Nigeria. I am worried that Igbo politicians and elders are not vocal about these issues; rather, they are hiding their voices under the table. Enough is enough. A man who is found with no gun or any weapon should not be subjected to such torture. I will, therefore, urge the federal government to invite Igbo elders and political elites, and release Nnamdi Kanu to them. Let the FG release Kanu to the Igbo elders, so that they would bring him back home for a round-table dialogue, in order to achieve a lasting peace.”
On the arrest of the former governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ebube Muonso said: “I believe that the arrest of the former governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, by EFCC is politically motivated. I sense conspiracy in the entire saga. The intention, to me, is to malign his person, and destroy his hard earned image.
“It is a premeditated plan by his political opponents to deal with him. This is what an average Igbo man suffers today. Willie Obiano, no doubt, has contributed greatly to the development of Anambra State. He has built one of the best airports in this country. When he was building the airport, he was mocked. Many, who did not see anything good in his efforts made mockery of him. To my greatest chagrin, majority of his Igbo brothers joined in mocking him. They never knew that the airport would become a reality. Majority of Nigerian elites and the common people are now benefiting from the airport. In the recent times, Chris Ngige, Olusegun Obasanjo, Andy Uba, bishops, and many political elites have either landed on or taken off from the airport.
“Imagine the kind of humiliation the anti-graft agency has subjected the former governor. How could the agency video the former Anambra number one citizen where he was partly dressed, and went on to spread the video on the social media? This shows that some disgruntled elements are interested in humiliating him. This is provocative, and I say no to it. Good a thing that EFCC said they arrested the officer that released the video. Let Nigerians know the said officer. Let him be punished to serve as deterrent to others.”
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