A Christian minister and senior Pastor with The Resurrected Assembly (GROM), Abuja, has made a stunning prophetic declaration to the effect that a President of an Igbo extraction will never emerged in Nigeria until the curse placed on the seat during the regime of the first military Head of State, Major Gen. Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi is broken.
Born on March 3, 1924, in Umuahia, in the present Abia state, the late Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi seized power following the chaos that trailed the January 15, 1966 military coup, which decapitated the country’s leadership.
He ruled from January 16, 1966 until his assassination on July 29, 1966 in a revolt against his government by a group of mutinous Northern Nigerian officers and men who were led by Major Murtala Mohammed and included Captain Theophilus Danjuma, Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari, Lieutenant Ibrahim Babangida and Lieutenant Sani Abacha, in what was popularly called the July Counter Coup.
The revelation by Pastor Prize Felix Aluko is coming on the heels of an increasing agitation for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor to come from the South-East.
Those clamouring for the Igbo presidency in 2023 are of the view that going by the rotation of the president between the North and South, it is the turn of the South-East, as the South-West and South-South geopolitical zones had all presided over the country since the Fourth Republic.
Their case is built on a strong historical fact that the Igbos are the only major ethnic group from the southern belt that has not presided over the country.
Already, some leaders of the South East, including the Senate chief whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, among others, had at a meeting in Igbere, Abia State, asked the APC and PDP to zone their presidential tickets to the zone in the interest of fairness and equity.
Except for the short-lived ceremonial presidency of one of the nation’s founding fathers, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, in the First Republic through an alliance of his National Congress of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) with the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) and the equally brief Second Republic Vice-Presidency of late Dr Alexander Ekwueme on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the nation’s plum job has eluded the Igbo, one of the three big political tripods.
However, the revelation by Pastor Aluko has poured cold water on the agitation and aspirations of the South East to produce the next Nigerian President by 2023.
Pastor Aluko who made this prophetic declaration to Daily Sun in Abuja, said an Igbo presidency will continue to be elussive unless and until the curse placed on the exalted seat is broken.
His words; “According to the word of the Lord, the Igbos, the South Eastern has been fighting for the number one position of this nation and a lot of request and agitation has been going on.
“But the Lord said that the Igbos should go back to the drawing board and try to put themselves together and organise their house. What the Lord said is that since the time of Augiyi-Ironsi, a curse was placed on the Igbos never to emerge in the presidential seat of this nation.
And the Igbos has not done anything about that and they are just fighting shadows instead of going back and looking at what is the substance.
He (Aguiyi-Ironsi) was forced to place a curse on the Igbo presidency before he was finally dragged and killed. And the Lord said they should go and put their house together, let the curse be broken and the opportunity will be given to them in Nigeria to sit on the presidential seat of this nation, otherwise, all this clamouring and agitation will be in vain, because, for now, the Igbo presidency is not in view,” Aluko revealed.
Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the dominant political discusse is the mounting political agitation for Igbo presidency and power shift.
Nevertheless, other regions are equally laying claim to the presidency. The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere and a political group, Yoruba Patriots Movement (YPM), have insisted that the South West geopolitical zone must produce the next president to avert a crisis in the country.
The secretary-general of Afenifere, Bayo Aina, said Yoruba people realised it is only the APC that can give Yoruba candidates a ticket.
Speaking also, the publicity secretary of Afenifere in Ekiti State, Chief Biodun Akin-Fasae, said the call by Igbo leaders was a mere wishful thinking.
He said, “The presidency is beyond mere sharing among communities,” stressing that calls for major political parties in the country to allow the zone to produce their presidential candidates for the poll “is at the best a wish”.
On its part, the North Central People’s Forum (NCPF) said it has as much right to demand the presidential tickets of APC and PDP in 2023 as the South East leaders.
The publicity secretary of the forum, Hon Sule Audu, said even though the South East is entitled to vie for the office of the presidency in 2023, the North Central is more favoured if the ticket is zoned to the North.
“If you look at it geographically, and based on the zoning system in the country today, the South East has never produced the president of this country, the same thing with the North Central, although the South East had Aguiyi Ironsi and Nnamdi Azikwe.
“I will put it that Azikiwe was an elected civilian president while Ironsi was a military Head of State, just as we have Gen Ibrahim Babangida and Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar in the North Central.
“So I think going by this, it won’t be wrong or out of place for the North Central to also demand for the president come 2023 because before the creation of the six geopolitical zones, Nigeria was divided into two regions, the North and the South.
“But now we have six zones which are South South, North Central, South West, North East, South East and North West. The South produced Goodluck Jonathan while the South West produced Olusegun Obasanjo who was a military Head of State as well as elected president. So, if the South West has produced both the Head of State and elected president, it is not wise for them to demand for the slot again.