Alhaji Shuaibu Ado Dansudu, National President of the Arewa United Consultative Forum, AUCF, has encouraged Nigerians to focus on competency and credibility when deciding who will run the country next, rather than where the individual comes from.
The Arewa leader stated that the Igbo, like every other ethnic group in Nigeria, is well suited to run the country.
However, he raised reservations about Igbo’s “wrong attitude” in the presidential election of 2023.
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Dansudu elaborated on the ordeals of separatist leaders Sunday Ighoho and Nnamdi Kanu in this interview, saying that their freedom may not be totally in the hands of the federal government. Excerpt:
The argument for a power transfer to the south was recently dismissed by leaders of thought in the North. Do you believe this is reasonable?
Because we live in a democracy, every individual and group has the right to their own opinion in politics. They have their grounds for holding such an opinion. What matters to me, and what I believe every Nigerian should care about, is not where the next president comes from. Rather, we should be concerned with electing a person who is both credible and capable as the next president. Where a person comes from should not matter to us as long as they have what it takes to lead Nigeria forward; as long as they can unite the country and assist improve our economy. It is not our fault that we are in this predicament; it is the fault of the colonial masters who put us there. They did that on purpose because they didn’t want us to live together as one. However, I must state that Nigeria does not want a new driver in the driver’s seat. We require an experienced someone that is well-versed in the system. We know the people who battled for democracy in this country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Take a look at the short time Yar’Adua served as President of this country; he performed an excellent job since he was not a newcomer to the system. He was a governor who knew how to run a government. So, rather than a learner, we need someone who is already in the system. Then there’s the need to repay the kindness that has been shown to you. You must back someone who backs you up. I’m not advocating that power be forced on the South, but if the North wants to be fair, northerners should rally around Tinubu, who has previously supported the North. Apart from that, we are all aware of what Tinubu accomplished in Lagos State, despite the fact that the state was starved of funds by the federal government.
So, what do you say to people who are campaigning for an Igbo presidency in 2023? Since the return to civil rule, this ethnic community has yet to have a chance at power, a factor that is essential to their allegation of marginalization?
The Igbo, like every other ethnic group in Nigeria, have the right to rule. The issue with the Igbo, however, is their approach to power. The Indigenous People of Biafra’s (IPOB) activity in recent years has been a major source of concern. When it first started in the Southwest, the zone’s leaders acted fast and successfully to stop it. I have no doubt in the ability of Igbo leaders to control these individuals, but we have yet to see this happen. As things stand, we have no idea why the problem persists. We don’t know whether this is due to Igbo leaders’ backing for the gang or a lack of capacity to control them. The group has been accused of a slew of crimes, including murder, assassination, and terrorizing their own people. Everyone is terrified of what would occur if they are given the chance to run the country. Taking up arms against the country, no matter how good the cause is, is not the answer. South Africa is an excellent example of a country where the people were treated unfairly but did not succumb to the urge to take up arms. That is why they received the amount of support they did prior to their victory. You can’t expect people to listen to you and sympathise with you if you keep killing, forcing your people to stay at home, and generating all kinds of turmoil. These are some of the reasons why individuals may be reconsidering their position on the Igbo presidency. I disagree with the notion that the Igbo are marginalized. One ethnic group out of three major ethnic groups should not be permitted to grab everything. The North is politically strong, which provides us an advantage when it comes to seeking and wielding power. The Southwest has a stronghold among the government’s parastatals and ministries. The Igbo are in charge of the economy. Aside from that, the South has had more democratic rule than the North. Obasanjo governed for eight years, while Jonathan ruled for six. Only Buhari has the chance to rule for eight years, whereas Yar’Adua only had two years. As far as I’m concerned, the country is divided into only two parts: north and south. The South is ready to label everyone who becomes president in the North as a northerner, forgetting that the North is divided into three geopolitical zones. However, if the person is from the South, you will hear that they are from the Southwest, South-South, or Southeast. The South must come to consider itself as a unit. The Igbo have shown little determination to run this country. This is a group of people who feel they are Biafrans, not Nigerians. So, what do the Igbo really want? First and foremost, Igbos must let go of their agitation and view themselves as Nigerians. That will be the first sign that they are ready to take over Nigeria.
How do you think the continued incarceration of two separatist agitators, Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, with the Federal Government may be resolved?
Sunday Igboho’s fight should not be equated to Nnamdi Kanu’s. I don’t have enough information to refute security agents’ claims that they discovered weapons in Igboho’s home, but I do know that on Sunday, Igboho’s supporters did not go crazy in the streets, unleashing violence and disturbing the calm of their people, as IPOB has done in the Southeast. The only criticism I have of Igboho is that he made the struggle against the Fulani personal. He should have teamed up with security personnel. Igboho failed because of this. Compare and contrast the reactions of Yoruba leaders, as well as how they handled and controlled the crisis, with the situation in the Southeast. I don’t believe the federal government has sole responsibility for the solution. The people will have to take the initiative to bring about peace. If IPOB decides to lay down their arms today and allow peace to rule, the government will release Kanu because his supporters will be able to persuade the government that the tension in the area would subside. But, do you think that if the government agrees to free Kanu today without IPOB demonstrating that they are willing to lay down their arms, the tension in that area will be relieved? No! It is not going to happen. Igboho, on the other hand, may be released, but keep in mind that he is not in the government’s custody. As a result, you can see why I indicated the solution to their problems isn’t only in the hands of the government.
President Buhari has refused to overtly support any of the candidates seeking to follow him in office. What are your thoughts on the president’s impartiality?
Even if he has a favorite among the competitors, a decent father should do this. He should keep it hidden from the rest of them. If he does, the others will band together to oppose the chosen candidate. It is not yet appropriate for him to express his support for any of them. Apart from causing complications for the anointed candidate, the president will face a slew of issues if he makes an open show of support for one of them. The narrative of Jacob and Joseph is well-known. Jacob got himself into difficulties because of his blatant display of fondness for Joseph over his other siblings. To preserve his Joseph, President Buhari must now avoid Jacob’s trap. He might display it later, but not right now.
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