Second Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has raised the alarm over the fate of the Igbo in the present political arrangement.
Speaking with The Sun, Yakassai expressed fears that the Southeast might be shut out of the presidency for the next 20 to 28 years, should President Muhammadu Buhari win the forthcoming general elections.
“My general assessment of the 2019 general elections is that it would be something like the 1964 elections, where you had two major groupings, namely UPGA comprising the NCNC, Action Group, NEPU and others and NNA made up of Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), Midwest Democratic Front (MDF) led by James Otobo, Niger Delta Peoples Congress (NDPC) led by the late Chief Dappa Biriye, Chief SLA Akintola’s Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNDP) and some others.
“This kind of divide is what is going to play out in the general elections.
“APC and their allies in the Southwest already have their candidate in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. And the other block is the PDP, which has Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as their candidates. This is a divide with far-reaching implications.
“Now, if Buhari who is now looking for a second term wins the election, he would complete his second term of four years. Since his running mate is from the Southwest, the natural thing is for APC to nominate his running mate from the Southwest. The candidate of the party would then come from the Southwest, who will naturally nominate his running mate among APC supporters from the North.
“If they succeed in winning the elections after Buhari, whoever wins the election on APC’s platform would likely run for two terms of eight years. If you put the eight years plus Buhari’s four years, it would amount to 12 years.
“And that is not all. After the man from the Southwest, it is impossible for somebody on the platform of the APC to aspire to be nominated to contest election from the entire South and, therefore, the candidature would now come back to the North after the Southwest. The North, naturally, with the trend started by Obasanjo, would also like to have two terms of eight years. If you put together that eight years, plus the eight years of the Southwest and the remainder of four years for Buhari’s second tenure, that would be a total of 20 years.
“That would be the time that it would take for anybody from the Southeast to have an opportunity to become the President of Nigeria, if elected.
“That is not all. The scenario is that by the time APC candidate from the North has completed his two terms, the slot will not automatically go to the Southeast or Igbo land, it will be available for both the Southeast and South-South geopolitical zones.
“But if, on the other hand, PDP with Atiku and a running mate from the Southeast in the person of Peter Obi, wins the election next year, they would run the government for a maximum of eight years, that is two successful terms. And after that government of eight years, automatically the shift would go to the Southeast and the possibility is that his running mate, who is from Igbo land and from the Southeast would become the candidate for the position of the President on the ticket of the party.
“In other words, if Buhari wins the coming election, it would take Igbo and the Southeast a minimum of 20 years or more before they can have the possibility of producing the President of Nigeria. Therefore, PDP’s victory in next year’s elections is the surest way of giving the Igbo man the opportunity to have one of their own becoming the President of Nigeria,” he said.