FOUNDER of Daar Communications Raymond Dokpesi said the South-East would not be trusted to produce a Nigerian president because of the overwhelming influence of founder of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu in the region.
Dokpesi said this in a statement on Monday.
He disclosed that some Nigerians believed that Kanu would force and blackmail a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction into declaring South-East independence.
He stressed that Kanu and IPOB had complicated the agitation of the region to produce a Nigerian president.
“The emergence of IPOB and its influence across the South East has complicated and undermined the agitation for patriotic Nigerians of Igbo extraction to lead this nation as far as the 2023 election is concerned,” he said.
“If nobody has told Ohaneze Ndigbo before, the concern today from some other regions is that if Nnamdi Kanu plays the role of Aguiyi Ironsi in leading a militant revolt against constitutional government in the southeast under Igbo presidency, the president will be pressured by his base to facilitate the UN processes for the South East to call for independence from Nigeria.
“Thus an Igbo President may be compromised in protecting the political and geographic boundaries of Nigeria whilst Nigeria remains under the threat of IPOB’s secessionist activities.”
Dokpesi had been in variance with the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo over his comments that no candidate in the South-East or the entire South could win the presidency 2023 under the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The South East cannot win the election for the PDP. That is just the truth of the matter. I don’t beat around the bush; I treat issues as they are and as I understand them,” Dokpesi had said during an interview with Daily Trust newspaper.
“There is no candidate from the South East, even I dare say there is no candidate from the South that you put in the North today that will be able to win. It is going to be a humongous challenge.”
Reacting, Ohanaeze, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Alex Ogbonnia, described Dokpesi’s comments as unfortunate.
Ogbonnia noted that the comments negated the position of the 17 southern governors that the presidency should return to the South in 2023.
“Dokpesi’s assumptions are unreflective, weird and unworthy. Any person who loves Nigeria should be an advocate of power rotation, especially between the north and the south; and those our sons and daughters who lay claim to leadership should not, under any guise, give the impression that the south is a lame-duck, an electoral liability; and therefore must depend on the north to define the political trajectory of Nigeria.”
Ohanaeze regretted that as one of the leaders of the South-South People Assembly, Dokpesi should seek to promote the South-South people of Nigeria with his fortune instead of playing to the gallery to appeal to his benefactors in the North.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural body said it would have ignored his comment as a mundane distraction but was constrained to react to “save the gullible public from his shibboleth.”
It maintained that until there was justice in Nigeria, there could never be peace.
Dokpesi is an ally of one of the presidential hopefuls from the North-East, Atiku Abubakar.