No amount of threat will stop Igbo from demanding rights —Abaribe

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

 The Senate minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has warned that no amount of threat against Ndigbo will stop them from demanding equitable treatment in Nigeria.

He also warned the two major political parties in the country not to use the current insecurity in the South-East to deny the region the 2023 presidential ticket, adding that no region in the country was immune to the problem.

Abaribe, who spoke in Enugu on Monday at the inauguration of the Igbonine Organisation, a group advocating a president from the South-East, lamented that the Igbo had been pushed to the fringes in the country.

According to him, every Igbo person believes that they are part of Nigeria and “that’s why we also want to aspire to be president of Nigeria.”

“But, let no one say to us, ‘because of the insecurity in the South-East, the Igbo cannot be president of Nigeria in 2023’. Don’t use different standards for different people in the same country,” he said.

“Was there no trouble in the North-West when Buhari was elected president? In fact, Buhari was nominated by Boko Haram during President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency as their negotiator.

“No amount of threat should stop Ndigbo from consistently demanding equitable treatment in Nigeria and that which is our due. We are Nigerians and we should be given everything that is due to us, including the presidency,” he added.

The senator insisted that only restructuring could resolve the many challenges facing the country.

“If the dominant position in Nigeria today is restructuring, then the minimal demand of Ndigbo in Nigeria cannot be anything less than that of restructuring.

“We cannot be in a country where my own child will be required to score 120 per cent to enter a unity school, while another child from elsewhere will be required to score just two points to gain admission in the same school,” he said.

Abaribe maintained that the Igbo wanted a united country, where they would be emancipated from unfair treatment.

The guest speaker on the occasion and 2019 presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, in a keynote address, titled, ‘What do we want?’, said in spite of the marginalisation of the Igbo, the tribe must continue to resist “any hegemonic worldviews in Nigerian politics” and assert its political relevance through persuasion combined with firmness and partnerships with other ethnic groups.

The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria added that the Igbo must insist on power rotation to Southern Nigeria in 2023, and with a unique argument for a president of South-East extraction.


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