By Tanko Yakasai
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 a President for Nigeria from the zone, I would like to advise that issuing threats as was reflected in a view 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. Eziefe speaking in the same vein as Nnamdi Kalu and his likes.
Nnamdi Kalu is only engaging in rhetoric to appeal to the sentiments of young Ibo 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 destruction of many properties during the unfortunate civil war in our recent history.
Dr. Eziefe as an elder by right and a former elected governor of 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.
He 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 seeing 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 brethren’s from the North and West that too got the opportunity to have one of their own emerge 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 the support of their rivals by advancing superior arguments and reasons.
This what democracy is all about. There is no other way of going about it. The sooner this is appreciated and respected the better in civilized discourse.
All Nigerians should appreciate the need to subscribe to its sustenance.
Tanko Yakasai OFR, an elder stateman writes from Kano