By Rt. Hon. Stanely Ohajuruka. Barrister Godwin Onwusi
Zikist-Buharist-Movement (ZBM) is a Presidential Action Committee, with sole aim to build grand alliance with the North in the tradition of Rt. Hon. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, the great Zik of Africa, an offshoot of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) South East. Our cardinal objective is to mobilise our kindred on Door-to-Door campaign for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in the 2019 presidential election. A re-election which is a Win-Win-Election-Scenario, foundation of the grand alliance, that will benefit all Nigerians and generations unborn.
Win-Win-Election-Scenario, because of the rewarding indices of President Buhari’s re-election. One of the rewarding indices of his re-election is the truism that he will continue the most massive construction of critical infrastructure since independence, which he has embarked on – 2nd Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-PortHarcourt, Calabar-Aba among other Federal roads, East-West and Bodo-Bonny Roads, Mambilla Hydroelectronic Power Plant, Enugu Coal, Western, Eastern and Coastal Corridor Railways etc.
ZBM is of the candid view that if Buhari is re-elected, it will be a guarantee that the construction of federal projects will move to the Next Level. He will uplift Nigeria because of his prudence and fiscal discipline, which made him to achieve more with little fund. For if N2.7 trillion had been expended on physical infrastructure prior to 2015, the rot, decadence and dilapidation of roads, rails and electricity supply, could have been averted. Buhari’s ethical compass is worthy of emulation and uncommon. He is not a saint or perfect, but a rare Bird.
As at the last count he has on the table ongoing 5,000 kilometers of federal roads, 5,000 kilometers of standard gauge rail lines, additional 5,000 megawatts of electricity and working plan for self sufficiency in food production. In addition is the revamping of social infrastructure like health, education and Social Investment Program as low hanging safety net.
The second arm of the Win-Win-Election-Scenario of Buhari is the golden opportunity his victory provides in the actualisation of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023. We regard this index as vital and shall come back to this crucial index, as power is not dashed, but earned.
To be exact, ZBM is a Bi-Partisan movement launched to go beyond party lines in mobilising and scaling up votes for Buhari; a movement we reason will not only reinforce our bid for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023, a year which is the turn of the South East, but to consolidate the foundation of critical infrastructure being laid by Mr.President. History is not a witness to any leap to industrialisation without electricity, modern transportation and food on the table.
ZBM took a careful analysis of the two front runners in the 2019 presidential race and solemnly thank Almighty God that the two principal fault lines are providentially cancelled – ETHNICITY & RELIGION CARDS. Thus Almighty God that thrust President Buhari and His Excellency Atiku Abubakar as Fulani Muslims saved the country the fuse which normally is ignited by the fault lines. They are also both septuagenarian. It means that the election will be seamless as it will be based on issues and character of the two candidates.
Consequently, being Zikists, to actualise this noble objective ZBM in the tradition of the great Zik of Africa – Rt.Hon. Dr Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe – adopted pragmatism of North-East alliance as the key strategy. Key strategy in the sense that the 2023 president is turn of South East Project is a bid that requires the cooperation of the North. It is also non-partisan bid, which requires all hands South West and South South to be on the deck. This was what Zik did in 1959 and 1979 when he constructed the NCNC/NPC and NPN/NPP alliances respectively.
ZBM wishes also to remind ourselves that before the Zik’s alliance,in May 1953 Malam Umaru Altine, a Fulani cattle dealer from Sokoto province was elected President of the Enugu branch of the NCNC with the support of Igbo middle class. In 1956 Malam Umaru Altine was elected the first chairman of Enugu Municipal Council.
This is the Nigeria of our dream, which ZBM is constructing, Nigeria resurgimento, for whenever Nigeria prospers, every ethnic nationality will be prosperous, every hardworking and entrepreneurial will be lifted out of poverty and Ndigbo who habit every nook and cranny of Nigeria will be one of the greatest beneficiary.
This is our message. A message that united we stand and divided we fall. The unity of the country is what the great Zik worked and fought for throughout his over five decades of political struggle. The standard gauge Western Corridor Railways will not end from Lagos to Ibadan, it must get to Kano. The standard gauge Eastern Corridor Railways will not end from Port Harcourt to Enugu, it must get to Maiduguri. This can only be achieved by a national government with the support of all and the re-election of Buhari, whose government is hands on it.
ZBM is calling on Ndigbo at home and abroad to join us to end the age long cry of marginalization, which voting for President Buhari will engender. We are not saying that Buhari will single handedly make an Igbo President, No! No!. But his supporters nationwide naturally will not forget those who made the victory possible, especially his cult followership in the North
2023 proclamation that it is our turn to produce president is based on EQUITY, NATURAL JUSTICE & GOOD CONSCIENCE. For it is a historical fact that Rotation of President Convention from Southern Belt to Northern Belt, introduced by patriots in 1999, 4th Republic, when Nigeria returned to civil rule, is based on Equity, Natural Justice and Good Conscience for the peace and harmony of our country.
We must bear in mind the profound statement of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Barrister Boss Mustapha, “This obviously might not be most appropriate time. You remember there was a programme in the south-east where Mr. President asked me to represent him and I flew the kite by telling the south-eastern states that their quickest and easiest means to presidency is to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term. Meaning that they can short circuit the period in terms of only having him there for another four years and whatever they do in 2019 will determine what will happen thereafter because politics is a game of numbers and it is like a cooperative society.”
“Whatever you bring as an investment when dividends are going to be shared, you will get proportionate with your investment and your investment in politics is what you bring to the table and I urge the Southeast to look at this matter seriously that every time we have a presidency in Nigeria, it is negotiated in several ways. Either negotiated by votes or what you bring to the table and you must negotiate from the position of strength”.
If we reminisce Ndigbo’s glorious days with Zik’s grand alliances with the North, consider seriously the germane advice of the SGF and match it with the advantage of equity, natural justice and good conscience on our side, it will naturally win over our brothers and sisters in the North, South West and South South to support our quest for Nigeria president of Igbo extraction.
In 1999, 2003, 2010 and 2015, Ndigbo voted overwhelmingly for ex-president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. It is clear that we supported our two Southern brothers, even when South West in 1999 refused to vote for Obasanjo. In simplicita, meaning that Ndigbo not only paid our dues, but we are our brothers keeper, as we never voted for Buhari in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015. 2019 Haba Ndigbo?
ZBM in deep reflection asked ourselves, what option in a scenario where two Fulani Muslim brothers are front runners in the 2019 presidential election, would the great choose if he were alive?
In answering this thought provoking question, we said two major critical issues will readily come to Zik’s mind. One whom between Buhari and Atiku has more support of the North? Two, what are their manifestos?
As Zikists, we took a cursory glance into Zik’s inner recesses as a pragmatist and presupposes that he would readily choose Buhari who has uncommon integrity and cult followership in the Northern Belt. Zik will also recognise the common trait Buhari shares with former American President, Dwight D. Eisenhower – Gently in Manner and strongly in Deed. The choice we share with Zik is predicated on the pragmatism that for us to achieve our goal of 2023 president, we need Buhari’s supporters not only in the North, but nationwide.
We drew analogy of the support and adoration we shower on the street to non-Igbo Rangers players, which sometimes is more passionate that the one we shower on Igbos who are playing for Rangers. Same shower disparity is applicable to Kano Pillars supporters.
On the second issue, the great Zik would be attracted by His Excellency Atiku Abubakar’s promise to restructure the country in six months in office. But as a pragmatist he will ponder on the probability of whether it can be done with Fiat-Executive-Order? The answer is no, for the core issues bordering on restructuring are fundamental.
In this context, whereas Atiku Restructuring mantra is appetizing, the truism is that it cannot be done by Fiat-Executive-Order, but by the amendment of the rigid 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Which means that, “All that Glitters are not Gold”, as the sage says.
ZBM wishes to state that APC and by extension President Buhari is not against restructuring per se, otherwise we couldn’t have set up the Mallam Nasiru El-Ruffin Committee on Restructuring. A report which is receiving attention.
On the issue of 4 years to 2023, Buhari’s remaining 4 years is cast on constitutional stone, while Atiku’s 4 years is a mirage or at best a pledge.
In sum, Ndigbo’s support for President Buhari is a Win-Win Election Scenario; because we sincerely adjudged it will be abundantly rewarding and fruitful, and will end the age long marginalization of Ndigbo, permanently heal a national wound.
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