Elder statesman Tanko Yakasai has advised Nigerians of Igbo extraction to stop issuing threats in their struggle to achieve Igbo presidency in 2023.
Yakasai, who was reacting to an interview by Dr. Chukuemeka Ezeife published by the Sun on Sunday, said threatening other Nigerians would not make it possible for an Igbo man to be Nigerian president.
“I would like to comment on the views expressed in today’s issue of The Sunday Sun by some Nigerians on the issue related to the need for the emergence of the President of Nigeria from the southeast geopolitical zone.
“While I, all along, have been advocating for a President for Nigeria from the zone, I would like to advice that issuing threats as was reflected in views ascribed to my good friend, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife is, in my views, not the right approach to achieve that objective in a multi-dimensional country such as Nigeria.
“Besides, the normal way of political advocacy is done through persuasion rather than threats and blackmail.
“At his age, national standing and exposure, I am not happy to hear a person like Dr. Ezeife speaking in the same vain as Nnamdi Kalu and his likes.
“Nnamdi Kanu is only engaging in rhetoric to appeal to the sentiments of young Igbo people who are oblivious of the consequences of what they do.
“We have experienced this kind of careless mantra that led to the loss of many lives and distruction of many properties during the unfortunate civil war in our recent history.
“Dr. Ezeife, as an elder by right and a former elected Governor of the old Anambra state, the most populous state with more enlightened and advanced people in the entire southeast geopolitical zone, a retired and seasoned civil servant of note should be above this kind of rhetoric.
“Dr. Ezeife is, undoubtedly, aware that the people of the southeast are the major beneficiaries of the 200 million people market that made up of today’s Nigeria. No other ethnic group in the rest of our country are in competition with the southeasterners in the field of commerce and industry today, and this is likely to be the case in the foreseeable future.
“For anyone to be thinking of any situation that will lead to the pulling out of the southeast people from this huge market is without any doubt making a wrong calculation.
“I am an ardent supporter of seing the emergence of a Nigerian President from the southeast geopolitical zone. My stand is informed by my patriotic desire to see equity and justice is done to Nigerians from that area so that like their brethrens from the North and West, they too got the opportunity to have one of their own emerges as the President of Nigeria.
“But this can only be achieved in a democratic setting through persuasion rather than threats and blackmail. Politicking is about debate and exchange of ideas so that holders of different political viewpoints can win support of their rivals by advancing superior arguments an reasons.
“This is what democracy is all about. There is no other way of going about it. The sooner this is appreciated and respected the better in a civilised discourse. All Nigerians should appreciate the need to subscribe to its sustenance,” Yakasai said in a statement.