Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu State and senator for Enugu East, has voiced worry that the continuous marginalisation of the South-East zone in the power equation sends the erroneous message that the region is undesired in the Nigerian Union.
Our correspondent monitored a broadcast on Arise Television during which Senator Nnamani made a statement.
Since Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (Ret.) was removed from the number two position by Military President Ibrahim Babangida, no South Easterner has been considered for President or Vice President.
Nnamani bemoaned that successive central administrations have overlooked and discarded the power equation that traditionally recognised the South-East zone as one of the three legs of the country’s power tripod.
“This is the dilemma Igbo men face. We have been shortchanged by Nigeria’s government. This is not the nation for which our ancestors negotiated. It is contrary to the spirit of a Nigerian union in which tribes and languages may differ, but in which we stand united.
“How can we (Ndigbo) be proud of a union in which we cannot aspire to or be regarded for high positions?
“If 2023 passes without the South East being accommodated in the power arrangements, we will have to wait for the following 16 years, and we will be out of the power equation for 40 years beginning in 1999,” he stated.
He asserted that the PDP has a window of opportunity to remedy the imbalance against the South East, noting that the region has preserved political integrity and a clean slate since 1999.
The member also stated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration’s dismal performance warranted a vote of no confidence in the ruling party.
He cited foreign and domestic borrowings, rising unemployment, soaring foreign exchange rates, inflation, insecurity, labour unrest, a lack of infrastructure, and a tendency to play the blame game as characteristics of the APC government, which he claimed have brought the nation’s economy to its knees.
“If we were under a parliamentary system of government, the APC would have had a vote of no confidence and been fired for non-performance, while the PDP would have taken a bow and been voted to lead Nigeria,” he stated.