As the agitation for South-East presidency in 2023 continues to resonate across the nation, notable Niger Delta activist, Joseph Evah said former President Goodluck Jonathan should be considered for a second term if the South-East fails to display seriousness.
Evah, who is the National Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), lamented that despite support from within and outside the region, political leaders in the South-East have continued to display a lack of consensus to enhance the region’s chances.
He said that the same scenario played out when the region was expected to produce the Senate President in 2019, which was eventually lost to the north.
Asked if he believed that the South-East should produce the president in 2023, he said, “I think that should be the decision of all Nigerians, all lovers of unity, equity, etc.
“That has been our slogan and we hope that the Southeast themselves should encourage themselves because we don’t want to say if they don’t want it the leadership should go back to the North. We will not say so. But if the Southeast is not prepared any other Southern part of Nigeria will take over.
“I have called the Southeast leaders over and over and I have been warning them, if they are not ready, if they continue to play gamble like the way they did when they were given the position of the Senate President, when they will produce not less than five Senate presidents as if they are out of their minds.
“This is time they have to organise themselves well because we don’t want such insult again where they will be attacking their own without caution. They allow themselves to be used against their own, they should wake up to the reality of the moment.
“If they continue with such sell-out character they will shoot themselves in the foot.”
Evah, who spoke with Sunday Sun, added, “There is a saying that you can force the horse to the stream, but you cannot force the horse to drink water. We want to ensure that Ndigbo gets the presidency in 2023, so they should resist their children who are displaying this sell-out character.
“They should stop selling out their political destiny. This is the right time for Ndigbo to also become the president of Nigeria.
“Nobody can say again or call us, the Niger Delta people second class citizens because of the honour that our son Jonathan has given to us. Nobody will call a Niger Delta citizen second class.
“We have produced the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In those days they call us second class citizens, but not now anymore. Jonathan’s presidency has cancelled that insult, that abomination in the history of Nigeria. Ndigbo should put their house in order, so that their children’s children will be proud of what they did, to cancel their identity from that of a second class citizen as some perceive it today.
“If the Igbo are not ready for the presidency we will scout for any other person from the South to warm up.
“We don’t even care to ask Jonathan to come back, to come and complete his second term. We are already telling Jonathan to prepare, he should not be afraid, he should be courageous.
“If the Igbo are not ready we will show up, after all, we were also part of the old Eastern region so Jonathan will continue with his second term and we are going to back him.”