Leaders of Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group meet today in the regional city of Owerri to plan strategies on how best to win the presidency in the 2007 election. The Igbos are Nigeria’s third largest with some 40 million people, but their region has not won the presidency since the end of Nigeria’s civil war in the late 1960s.
Igbo Emeka Atuma represents Adia state in the Nigerian parliament. He explains the objectives of today’s meeting to English to Africa reporter James Butty. “This is a regular meeting where the Igbo indigenes sit down to articulate their position as how it is being integrated into the national issues. The meeting is informed as a result of where the presidency is going to be rotating within the geopolitical zone, and Igbo nation consider very imperative and quite important that the presidency of Nigeria should be taken from Igbo extraction.”
Representative Atuma says the Igbos are entitled to the presidency.
“It is not only an entitlement. I believe that it’s a demonstration of justice. This nation was formulated under three regions, and the regions are within the West, the Eastern region, and the Northern region. This was how Nigeria was amalgamated in 194, and out of those regions other regions have benefited in taking the first slot of office in the first office in this country. And Igbo nation being one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria has never had the opportunity of having that office except that of the military junta in 1966 that last for six months.”
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