Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the chairman of the Ohanaeze Council of Elders, says limiting the zoning of the country’s presidency to the North and South is not in the interest of all Nigerians.
Mr Iwuanyanwu stated this at a meeting organised to inaugurate the council’s finance and development committee on Sunday. He said if the zoning principle must be observed, it should be across the country’s six geopolitical zones, giving every Nigerian opportunity to aspire for the presidency.
The 57-man committee of eminent Igbo businessmen, inaugurated by George Obiozor, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide president, was to proffer ways of financing and developing economic activities in the South-East.
According to Mr Iwuanyanwu, the South-East and North-Central are not favoured to win the presidency because of the current North-South zoning arrangement.
“If you want to zone, we have six geopolitical zones in the country. Zone it along the geopolitical zones. If you know you want to zone. You say you are zoning it to the North and South. If you zone the presidency to the North, there is no way somebody from North-Central will get it unless there is mutual cooperation from the North-West, which is very big,” Mr Iwuanyanwu argued.
He added, “And if you zone it to the South, even if a zone in the South has been president several times, by this zoning arrangement, it doesn’t stop them from contesting, which is not exactly what zoning is all about.”
Mr Obiozor said the meeting was also to give effect to matters of immense importance and relevance to Nigerians of Igbo extraction and urged South-Easterners to stop lamenting but take advantage of resources in their region.
“We have all it takes to deliver succour, development and a better and sustainable society for millions of our people and indeed Nigeria. In this wise, our focus will be on economic activities that will engage our youths through employment opportunities and acquisition of skills,” the Igbo leader explained.
Mr Obiozor added, “This should be in line with our known entrepreneurship models, harnessing the potential in the agriculture value chain through processing, small and medium enterprises which are the comer stones of Aslan economics.”