The Chairman Emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, Raymond Dokpesi, has stated that agitations for Biafra led by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) will undermine the southeast push for Igbo presidency in 2023.
Reacting to an article on Monday slamming him for his views on the presidency, Dokpesi stated that although he holds nothing against Igbos, they cannot win the presidency in 2023 due to agitations to leave Nigeria.
According to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, the Southeast and the Northeast are the only zones yet to produce a leader for Nigeria since Independence in 1960.
Raymond Dokpesi claimed that an Igbo president may be pressured by Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB to declare the South East independent of Nigeria.
Dokpesi also stated that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is the best man to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 as he is a friend of the southeast.
According to him, Atiku is a believer in the restructuring of Nigeria, which both in the short term and in the long term, is necessary and critical to the growth of the nation.
Read Dokpesi’s statement below:
“I unapologetically believe in one Nigeria and believe Nigeria can only remain united and in peace on the basis of fairness, equity and justice. I believe like-minded Nigerians understand the ideological principle of zoning as a form of affirmative action to guarantee the opportunity of leadership to every part of the country irrespective of the geographic and demographic dominance of any regions’ size or population.
“Since 1960, only 10 states have produced presidents or Heads of State in Nigeria, whilst some of these 10 states have produced more than one president. The entire South East region hasn’t produced a President or Head of State since the First Republic and still another region, the North East has never ever produced neither President nor Head of State since 1960 – date. Likewise, until the assumption of office by President Goodluck Jonathan, the South-South had never before then produced a president or head of state.
“Clearly the politics that have governed how leadership is determined under both military and democratic systems of governments have been unfair to both the North East and the South East regions. I have both the belief and the confidence that both regions have more than eminent and capable sons for the leadership of this country, as indeed all regions (have), but in determining my position based on consultations across the country, I have found that going into the 2023 elections, the North East is better positioned to negotiate victory in 2023, given the peculiarities and national security challenges confronting Nigeria today.
“By the grace of God I will be 70 years in just a few days, so I have nothing to fear in saying what so many others may not have the courage to tell you. I have said the truth before and paid the price for it but that will not deter me from saying the truth as I know it and as I see it again, so let me indulge you in a short history lesson and correlate it to the context of present day Nigeria against which the South East will be negotiating power with different regions of the country:
“On 14 January 1966, Soldiers of mostly Igbo extraction led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, an Igbo from Okpanam near Asaba, present day Delta state, eradicated the uppermost echelon of politicians from the Northern and Western provinces.
“This and other factors effectively led to the fall of the Republican Government. Though Aguiyi-Ironsi, an Igbo, was purportedly slated for assassination, he effectively took control of Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory (at the time). With President also an Igbo Nnamdi Azikiwe refusing to intervene and ensure the continuity of civilian rule, Aguiyi-Ironsi effectively compelled the remaining members of Balewa’s Government to resign seeing that the government was in disarray, he then allowed the Senate president Nwafor Orizu, another Igbo who was serving as acting president in Azikiwe’s absence, to officially surrender power to him, thus ending the First Nigerian Republic".
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