We’re more than ready –Ohanaeze
Era of feudal arrogance over –Afenifere
The Arewa Consultative Forum has said that despite the current alliance of Ohanaeze, Afenifere and Ijaw leaders over emerging political issues ahead of the 2019 elections, none of the socio-cultural groups will determine who emerges the next President of the country.
Speaking with Sunday Telegraph, Chairman of the Forum and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, said much as there is nothing wrong or unusual about the current alliances and fence-mending among prominent groups, the election will be determined by the people.
“Wait till 2019 elections. I can tell you that these groups will not determine the direction of the elections in 2019. Rather, the only people who will determine it are the electorate. They are the people who will make the choice and go to the polls to cast their votes,’ he said.
The leaderships of Afenifere, Ohanaeze and the South-South including first Republic Information Minster, Chief E. K. Clark, have held series of meetings since the emergence of Dr. John Nwodo as President-General of Ohanaeze, in a move to enable the South to speak with one voice on topical political issues in the country. Before going into a closed door meeting Thursday, leaders of the South-South and South-East geo-political zones had called for restructuring of Nigeria to make all citizens of the country equal partners and partakers.
They said the situation where some people are reduced to second class citizens was not good for harmonious co-existence, unity and development of the country. The South-South leaders and Ohanaeze insisted on restructuring of the country, adding that a synergy among the nationality group was critical to the political and economic development of the country, especially as it affects 2019 election and beyond.
But reacting to the ACF’s leader’s statement, an Ohanaeze chieftain and former governor of old Anambra State, Dr. Chwukwuemeka Ezeife, said much as the Igbos need the support and cooperation of all ethnic and professional groups to produce the next President of Nigeria, the statement reflected the psychosis of some northern leaders who see rulership of Nigeria as their birthright. Ezeife, who attended one of such meetings with other leaders drawn from the 11 states of both zones including former Foreign Affairs Minister, Major. General Nwachukwu (rtd); Alobo Tonye-Douglas; Senator Ewa Henshew; Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi; Chief Guy Ikokwu; Prof. G.G. Sarah; Dr. Steve Oru; Chief Albert Horsfall; Mr. Nduka Obaigbena and Uche Okwukwu at the residence of Chief Clark in Lagos, Thursday evening, said it was not unusual such statement came from Coomassie.
“Such statements reflect the psychosis of superiority; they believe that Nigeria depends on them and they make all the decisions on issues that affect Nigeria. They have continued with that mentality, but they should remember that God created all of us equal with the capacity to aspire and we all have the rights on the basis of equity. “God did not create Fulani and make them superior to other people in Nigeria. Do not mind the Jihad they fought and took over the kingdoms of Hausa land.
We are all waiting for 2019 and then we will see who laughs last. “We need their cooperation, we must say that. The Igbos in the South-East need the cooperation of the North-East and North-West to produce the President of Nigeria to liberate the country.
But we must avoid statements that point towards arrogance,” Eziefe said. Similarly, Afenifere has taken a swipe at the ACF position, urging Coomassie in particular to wake up and smell the coffee because the era of ‘feudal arrogance, where his section of the country delude itself of owing the country is over. Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, who said this, added that such statement smacks of a mentality that is not only anti-progress and insensitive to the needs of other sections of the country, but also negates the feelings canvassed by other sections of the country which are vital for success. “He is deluding himself by giving the impression that his corner of the country owns Nigeria.
That is the deception of the century. All that is required is for all other nationalities to be united in speaking with one voice about the need to restructure the country, because there lies our development.
“We must promote equity and fair play and we cannot go on as usual and expect different result. This was the same Coomassie, who, as the Inspector-General of Police, detained some of us under Gen. Sani Abacha. Not too long ago, during the tenure of Goodluck Jonathan, he even made case for Boko Haram, stating that they were protecting his section of the country. We all know better today. He should wake up and smell the coffee,” he said
Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie