Careless threats by Igbo leaders may seriously jeopardize their quest to produce the next President of Nigeria, Arewa elder, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has said.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Yakassai particularly expressed disappointment that a notable Nigerian like Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife appears to have joined those speaking in the same manner as IPOB activist, Nnamdi Kanu.
“While I have all along, been advocating for a President for Nigeria from the South East zone, I would like to advice that issuing threats as was reflected in views ascribed to my good friend, Dr. Ezeife is, in my view, not the right approach to achieve that objective in a multi-dimensional country such as Nigeria.
“Besides, the normal way of political advocacy is through persuasion rather than threats and black mail; at his age, with national standing and exposure, I am not happy to hear a person like Dr. Ezeife speaking in the same vein as Nnamdi Kanu and his likes.
“Nnamdi Kanu is only engaging in rhetorics to appeal to the sentiments of young Igbo people who are oblivious of the consequences of what they do; we have experienced how this kind of careless mantra led to the loss of many lives and destruction of many properties during the unfortunate civil war in our recent history.
“Dr. Ezeife as an elder by right and a former elected governor of the most populous state with more enlightened and advanced people in the entire South East geopolitical zone, a retired and seasoned civil servant of note should be above this kind of rhetoric,” Yakassai stated.
According to the Arewa elder statesman, the careless threats from the South East easily overlooks the unequalled benefits they enjoy within the Nigerian economy.
“Dr. Ezeife is undoubtedly aware that the people of the southeast are the major beneficiaries of the 200 million people market of today’s Nigeria; no other ethnic group in other parts of our country is in competition with the South Easterners in the field of commerce and industry today, and this is likely to remain the case in the foreseeable future.
“For anyone to be thinking of any situation that will lead to the pulling out of the South East 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 South East 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 from the North and West, they too can get the opportunity to have one of their own emerges as the President of Nigeria.
“But this can only be achieved in a democratic setting through persuasion rather than threats and black mail.
“Politicking is about debate and exchange of ideas so that holders of different political viewpoints can win support of their rivals by advancing superior arguments an 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,” Yakassai stated.