By Rev Fr Gerald Nwafor

It is the time for the Southern Nigerian People to produce the would-be president of Nigeria. In the south, we have three geo-political zones made up of east, west, and south. In all, since the new democratic dispensation which started in 1999, two southern zones, namely the south-west and the south-south, had romanced the power in 1999-2007 and 2009-2014, respectively.

The south-east has not had a glimpse, not even to talk of romance, in the corridors of power. Obasanjo and Goodluck should speak up and tell the people from the south-west and south-south masquerading themselves as presidential aspirants to take the back seat and support the south-east. If they choose not to do the needful, there will be a storm in a teacup which will not be favorable to any of the candidates from the south.

I don’t want to discuss the greedy behavior of the northern elites who want to keep the power for another 8 years after their mistake of Buhari. I have heard about the PDP zoning committee and the languages of the north-central that produced Yakubu Gowon from 1966 to 1975, thanks to Murtala Muhammed and company. Let me not go into the yesteryears of the government, because it will bring back the worst memory of the Nigerian State (O ga emeka mu onya). It will open many wounds.

Now the south has the onus probandi (burden of proof) to produce a good candidate that will sell across the country. I am not interested in the good people who refused to join the contest because they don’t want to lose their money or risk their lives. From Abia to Imo; from Anambra to Enugu, and Ebonyi, the center of the teacup, I have not seen enough candidates showing up.

I wonder why Ngige is not aspiring. Please let me know if there is anything wrong with aspiration. If people like Roachas Okorocha and Okezie Ikpeazu and Orji Uzor Kalu can aspire I don’t see any reasons why Ngige and co in the APC in Anambra state should not buy the ticket and aspire, except for one person. “It is not from my mouth that you will hear say Babangida wife born pikin.” So let the likes of Stella Oduah jump into the teacup.

This is our chance, and we should not be taking our shower in the ocean, and we are wrestling with soap going into our eyes (Anyi ama ano na mmili ncha aba-anyi anya). Even APGA should produce an aspirant. Let the Nigerian State know that we are serious about our rights and privileges.

I do not want to make this write-up about Mr. Peter Obi the former governor of Anambra state who has thrown his hat into the ring. We know his pedigree, we know his antecedence, and we know what he can do. But Mr. Obi is in the opposition party. If there is a grand scheme by the ruling party to rig the election by all means, which is not strange to any Nigerian, it means we are already out of the equation.

This is a very disadvantageous position for our people and that is the reason why I am clamoring for the APC members of Anambra state to throw their hats in the ring. That is, except for one person, who should not think of it or dream of it at all. Kama mmanwu umu nwanyi si rapuba (We do not want a goner as an aspirant). I have looked around the candidates from all the south-east states and none of them can march Peter Obi.

Politics and elections are not always kind to the best candidate. I want to rouse the APGA stakeholders and the present governor of Anambra State to front a candidate. There is no harm in a trial. It is good to dare. There are a lot of qualified candidates in the APGA System, not those who engage in political prostitution that look for a convenient party every election cycle.

The South-east should be ready to wrestle with the rest of Nigeria to pinfall and bring the presidency home in 2023. When I saw Mr. Godwin Emelife, the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) governor, his poster, and a fleet of cars with his name advertising his run for the presidency, for one second, I was happy. The next day on national television I saw the man denying the whole thing, that he was not involved in the campaign.

He further said that those people were doing that so that Buhari would fire him as CBN Governor. I pitied him when I saw the amount of fear on his face and the level of uncertainty in his eyes. If you saw it, you would be worried for him. Is he a slave to the government? Because last time I checked, the constitution said that the governor of CBN cannot be fired by the president, because he is a creature of the constitution?

Anyways, I am calling on all the political parties in Igboland to wake up and brandish their parties and give us a presidential aspirant. Let the game start in full and we are going into overdrive. Remember the Ichida musical band known as Opanda, you cannot get the dancing beat until you inculcate a little bit of madness (Agbaro opanda Ichida ka ana-apu ala anaghi gbata ya).

Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi, please rise to the occasion. This opportunity will not come again in our lifetime. We should not be a slave in the sharing of the animal we killed. The unity of Nigeria hangs on the ability of the South-east to travel across the length and breadth of Nigeria, investing our wealth and resources. Therefore, we can stir the teacup.

(Fr Gerald Nwafor is a priest of Awka Diocese, and writes from the USA)