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Igbo Youths Assembly (IYA) has said the political and socio-economic challenges facing today’s Nigeria might remain unabated if the North continues to hold unto power more than any other region and therefore suggested that the call by former President Olusegun Obasanjo for power to shift to the Igbos in 2019 be heeded.

The group also suggested a gradual transition of power from the ‘too old to govern’ that entails, encouraging talented youthful politicians to work side-by-side elected leaders in all three tiers of government to enable them learn what is required to end continued dominance by aged politicians, who have continued to recycle themselves to power.

President of the group, Mazi Benard Ifeanyi Egwim Nwaudunna, in an interview in Minna, Niger State capital, said the support for a President from the Igbo extraction in 2019 was to end injustices against the Igbo man since Independence.

The group’s President said, “Since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, the North alone has produced more than 50 percent of all the Presidents Nigeria had in the past. Where is justice, fairness and equity we are all talking about as equal stakeholder in the Nigerian business?”

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Nwaudunna who spoke shortly after a meeting of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo from the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which took place at Doko Hotels, Minna, Niger State capital said, “Of all the administrations, none has been able to answer the Igbo man’s question on, fairness, justice and equity.”

He said they came all the way from Enugu to fraternize with the Igbo people in northern Nigeria when they met in Minna and to try in providing answers to the Igbo man question about Nigeria’s continued existence as an indivisible entity, saying, ‘Obasanjo saw the need for the Igbos to be given a chance to produce the next President in 2019 and therefore should be listened to.

“We are not just asking for rotational Presidency but for the President in 2019 to be an Igbo man because, from independence, the North has produced more presidents than any other group and this is against; fairness, justice and equity for all we are talking about,” the IYA President said.

The group disassociated itself from those clamouring for dismemberment of Nigeria, including the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), noting that nothing was wrong with Nigeria as currently structured if there is equity, justice and fairness to all.

“I have every reason to believe that a President of Igbo extraction in 2019 would end agitations, correct administrative imbalances and as well douse tensions generated by the continued holding unto power by a particular segment against the over 250 other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.”

The Igbo Youths President said the north have had fair share of power from late President Umar Yar’Adua (May his soul rest in Peace) now, Buhari, so power should go back to the south, Igbo man in particular after the two have spent four years each, consecutively eight years.

He said, “Yar’Adua spent roughly four years though couldn’t complete, Buhari came in and will be completing his first tenure in 2019, so should hand over to an Igbo man, anything less of that means the Hausa man will continue in office beyond eight years.”

Meanwhile, IYA has reiterated its support for a government that would allow youthful Nigerians to work side-by-side elderly politicians to enable them learn the ropes ahead of their taking over power from the aged ones in line with global best practices.

The IYA said it was not in total support of clamouring for handover of power to youths who barely know what governance is all about.

“Governance is entirely a different ball game, it is far from natural wisdom and skills which you can learn through daily practical experiences,” he stated.

SOURCE: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER

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