A Northern elder and former Minister of State for Information and Communications, Honourable Dasuki Nakande, has advised the people of Eastern part of the country on how to warm their way into the hearts of the people of other regions of the country so as to produce the next president.
Nakande, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), spoke with Sunday Tribune last week, maintaining that the South-East needed to get more involved in national politics to convince their brothers and sisters from other parts of the country of their commitment to the nation.
“The South-East in this dispensation has chosen to go it alone. I don’t think it is fair to say the igbo are alienated in the scheme of things. I don’t think it will be fair to the country to say that. They have always said, during the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan, that he was their own. They gave him all kinds of names to prove that they were with him. He was called Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan. They made a proclamation that time that all the governors in the South-East, at a meeting in Enugu, said as far as they were concerned, the South-East was with then President Jonathan.
“I remember that during 2011 election, they openly declared that they had no candidate beyond Jonathan, being their own, as their presidential candidate. Nobody alienated the South-East; nobody erected a barrier to prevent them from contesting. They formed a political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The party is more of a regional political party; it does not operate beyond the shores of the South-East. There is no bridge for the party, but it remains in the South-East and it remains there still date.
“The South-East has to change its style of politics. The people there should realise that they have to play national politics to win the confidence of other parts of the country. They must come out, if they are nursing the ambition of ruling the country come 2023.
“The party has adopted a balanced structure which can be said to be all embracing and inclusive. Everybody is given a space, whether at a party level or at the level of governance. Virtually all positions are zoned accordingly to make sure that every part of this country is adequately represented, just to create a sense of belonging for all. Every political party in Nigeria is governed by the rule of law; party constitution is not above the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“There is no way the constitution of Nigeria will be subservient to the constitution of a political party.
“So, when people are talking, you need to look at the context in which they are talking. But the underlining factor is that this country is made up of so many nationalities. They must be given space and sense of belonging. I think when the time comes, everybody, including those trying to cause confusion, will know who is to produce the next president in 2023,” he said.