By Ali Baba-Inuwa
Kano, Aug. 23, 2020 A Kano based industrialist, Chief Kalu Ogbonnaya, has newed calls for the South East to produce the next president of the country after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Ogbonnaya, also a philanthropist, said this while speaking with newsmen, on Sunday in Kano.
“Everybody knows that the right thing to do is to allow the South East to produce the president in 2023, because it is the only zone in the country that has not tasted it.
“Olusegun Obasanjo became the president after the return to civil rule in 1999, after Obasanjo, it was Alhaji Umaru Yar Adua and then Goodluck Jonathan, after Jonathan, Buhari came.
“I think the right thing to do is to give it to the South East after Buhari, I believe it will be an injustice to take it back to the South West after him, when the South East has not tasted it.
” I think it is the turn of the South East , let them have a shot at the presidency in 2023,” he said.
Ogbonnaya said that the proper thing was for major political parties to field candidates from the South East for the 2023 presidential election to ensure fairness.
“The right thing to do is for major political parties to field only presidential candidates from the zone because it happened in 1999, when President Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae were the candidates for the major parties and eventually Obasanjo won.
” This will assure us the people of the South East that we are wanted in Nigeria, ” he said.
Ogbonnaya also criticised the Federal Government for not including the South East in its rail project.
“The federal government has not been fair to the South East in terms of projects, how can we secure a loan for a rail project and then decide to exclude the South East from the project.
” When the time to repay come, all of us are going to pay.
” I don’t support the idea of dividing the country, but I don’t like the way we are being treated, ” he said.
Ogbonnaya also blamed the National Assembly for not exerting its independence against the executive.
“To me, the current National Assembly has not been able to exert its autonomy as an independent arm of government, it has been acting like a rubber stamp to the federal government.
“The situation was quite different when Sen. Bukola Saraki was the Senate President, I remember the Senate turning down the federal government loan request for lack of merit during the period.
” That is what Nigerians want to see and not a rubber stamp legislature,” he said.
By Ali Baba-Inuwa