2023: Igbos are their own worst enemies – Ex-Minister Aminu Wali

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Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Aminu Wali says South-Easterners are their own worst enemies in their bid to produce Nigeria’s president.

Wali, who is a founding leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said that the zone could have produced Nigeria’s president as far back as 1999 if they worked together.

“South Easterners are their own worst enemies. And maybe, you will ask me why I said so,” Wali told Saturday Sun.

When asked to elaborate, Wali, who is due to clock 80 in August, explained, “Well like I said, back in 1999, I was among the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

“It is very well known within the PDP that I have always been a strong promoter of Dr. Alex Ekwueme to the last. I know what happened when we went to Jos for the party’s convention.

“Why I said that the South easterners are their worst enemies is that at that convention, only Anambra State, which is his own state, voted for Dr Alex Ekwueme.

“Most of the votes that he got he got them from some of us that were able to get other parts of the country to support him. His own people betrayed him. I don’t want to call names because I know that they know that I know.

“But for that action of the Igbo people themselves, Igbo Presidency would have been a forgotten issue by now. We won’t be dwelling on this by now. But somehow it happened.”

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Wali said that the attitude displayed by South-East politicians in 1999 was still being displayed now, more than years later.

“Also up till now, when you look at the way the Igbo people are approaching politics in Nigeria, they don’t come out as a united people. They are always divided.

“Now, (Gov Dave) Umahi says I am leaving because we want the Igbo Presidency, but I tell you that inside the Igbo enclave, there are those people that are aspiring very hard for the position of the Vice President.

“You have to have a united front and reach out beyond the Igbo enclave to get the Presidency.

“We really don’t want an Igbo President. What we want is a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction. We don’t want Igbo President. For example, under Shagari, he was a Fulani man from Sokoto, but he was a Nigerian President. Those that worked with him knew he was a Nigerian President and not Hausa- Fulani President.

“So the approach the Igbo should take is to try and produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, a candidate that is acceptable to everybody that feels that Nigeria is his constituency.

“That is what Ekwueme was able to do…to get out of that enclave and become a nationalist. That was what Dr Azikiwe was able to do. He came out of that enclave and became a nationalist.

“The present generation of Igbo has to go back to history and learn from history.

“And there are a lot of good materials from Igbo land that believe in Nigeria.”

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