The Eastern Region Assembly (ERA) is a socio-economic and political organization that comprises the people of the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones in Nigeria. It is an indefatigable group advocating for the growth and economic development of the two geopolitical zones which covers eleven states, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Rivers, Delta, and Edo state.
The Eastern Region Assembly (ERA) advocates for fairness, peace, and harmony in Nigeria, demanding for the people of the South-East Nigeria, Ndigbo are allowed and supported to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023, requesting other geopolitical zones in Nigeria, North-Central, North-East, North-West, and South-West to support the South-East to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023.
In a multi- ethnic, cultural, and religious nation as ours, there is need to support President of South-East extraction in 2023, it is for fairness, equity, and justice to foster peace and harmony in the country.
In the spirit of fairness, equality and knowledge of our history, the South-East should produce the next President of this country without any resistance from any zone in the country.
Marcus Garvey said, “A people without knowledge of history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”. So, by implication, knowing your past will help you shape or reshape your future for more growth and prosperity. As a people, we know our history, we know where we come from, we know where we are, and we know where we are heading to.
A British activist, John Lewis during a protest in London where statues of British people erected in the public places, people looked to have done what is regarded as inhuman and discriminatory to the people, especially to the black community during the slave trade were pulled down and destroyed. The Britishness and who they are were challenged. There were a lot of destructions in the city by the protesters. And when John Lewis was approached by the press to have his reactions over the protest and destructions, he said, it is a “good trouble and necessary trouble”. John Lewis saw the protesters as people doing what is right and just.
It is right, justifiable, and fair to support the people of the South-East to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023 but denying the zone the President of Nigeria in 2023 will remind us of what and why the British activist, John Lewis said “good trouble and necessary trouble”.
The implication of denying the South-East the opportunity to produce the next President of Nigeria will also remind us of the recent communique, released after the conference held by the leaders of ethnic nationalities that includes, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders, Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, leadership of major socio-cultural groups from Southern and Middle Belt of the country where they concluded that the country will have a brand new constitution, stating that the country will be restructured before the 2023 general election in Nigeria. The political parties were advised not to submit its candidate’s names to the INEC unless there is a new constitution.
Mr. Peter Obi, former Anambra state governor and PDP Vice-Presidential candidate in 2019 compared Nigeria as a vehicle with a knocked engine.
Nigeria needs to be fixed and those in control of the country need to see the six geopolitical zones in the country as equal and must be allowed and supported to produce the President as others. In the spirit of fairness, people of the South-East should be allowed and supported to produce the next President of Nigeria in 2023 and any act to deny the zone from producing the next President of Nigeria in 2023 will bring the country to what the British activist described as “good trouble and necessary trouble”.
The people of South-East are aware that power is not given, but taken, we have started the process through engagement, negotiations, and collaboration with various stakeholders. It has come to the point, we must take it by stepping up, speaking out, and letting the country know that it will be unacceptable to resist the South-East from producing the next President of Nigeria in 2023.
The people of South-East have endured enough over the past six decades without producing a Nigeria President of Igbo extraction, except in 1963, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe was made a mere ceremonial President under Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as the Prime Minister. Major General Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966 under military that lasted for seven months before the civil war broke out.
Since 1960 till date, the South-East has never been in the position of power as President of the country. It is very, very unfair, and undemocratic. Various zones in the country have been on that seat as President for decades, while the South-East has never been. This is unobtainable in a democratic setting. The South-East will no longer tolerate any act or omission to deny the zone the President of Nigeria in 2023.
Marcus Garvey, said, “A people without the knowledge of past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots”. Knowing your history will help you shape your future. It is time for the people of South-East to take the bull by the horn and reshape their future in Nigeria.
In 1960, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (North-East) led this country for six (6) years as the Prime Minister which ended in 1966 when General Yakubu Gowon ((North-Central) took power from him which lasted for nine (9) years and ended in 1975. On July 29th, 1975, Murtala Muhammed (North-West) was the Head of State to 1976, before General Olusegun Obasanjo (South-West) took power from him for three (3) years that ended in 1979 for Shehu Shagari (North-West) that took over for four (4) years that ended in1983.
Major General Muhammadu Buhari (North-West) became the Head of State, his government lasted for two (2) years between 1983-1985, before General Ibrahim Babangida (North-Central) took power from him.
General Ibrahim Babangida led the country for eight (8) years from 1985-1993.
Chief Ernest Shonekan (South-West) led the country for three (3) months in 1993, before General Sani Abacha (North-West) took power from him in 1993 as Head of State that lasted for five (5) years in 1998.
In 1998, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (North-Central) became the Head of State that ended in 1999 when General Olusegun Obasanjo (South-West) took power and led the country for eight (8) years that ended in 2007, before Umaru Musa Yar’adua (North-West) became the President that lasted for three (3) years between 2007-2010 when he died.
In 2010, Dr Goodluck Jonathan (South-South) became the President after the death of Musa Yar’adua in 2010 and his government lasted for five (5) years and ended in 2015.
In 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari (North-West) was elected as the President till date and has lasted for six (6) years, remaining two (2) years for the country to elect a new President. Since 1960 till date, the North-West has occupied the Nigerian seat of power for six consecutive times. North-Central, 3 times. North-East, 1. South-West, 3 times and South-South, 1 time.
- Murtala Muhammed, 1975 – 1976 (1 year)
- General Muhammadu Buhari, 1983 – 1985 (2 years)
- General Sani Abacha, 1993 – 1998 (5 years)
- Shehu Shagari, 1979 – 1983 (4 years).
- Umaru Musa Yar’adua, 2007 – 2010 (3 years).
- General Muhammandu Buhari, 2015 – till date.
- General Yakubu Gowon, 1966 – 1975 (9 years).
- General Ibrahim Babangida, 1985-1993 (8 years).
- General Abdulsalami Abubakar, 1998 – 1999 (1 year).
- Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, 1960 – 1966 (6 years).
- General Olusegun Obasanjo, 1976 – 1979 (3 years).
- Chief Ernest Shonekan, 1993 (3 months).
- General Olusegun Obasanjo, 1999 – 2007 (8 years).
- Goodluck Jonathan, 2010 – 2015 (5 years).
How the country is led since 1960.
North-West, twenty-three (23 years).
North-Central, eighteen (18 years).
South-West, eleven years (11 years & three months)
North-East, six (6 years).
South-South, five (5 years).
In the spirit of fairness, peace, and harmony for the country, it is imperative and necessary to enable the South-East to produce the next President of Nigeria in 2023 and any act to stop it will raise necessary dust, noise, and trouble. The South-East is being put by the corner in Nigeria and it has lasted for several decades, the zone will no longer tolerate it anymore. Our silence is enough, and the zone shouldn’t be taken as cowards, so what is necessary to do in this country now is to support the South-East to produce Nigeria President in 2023, and any act to frustrate it will be frustrated.
The Eastern Region Assembly (ERA) has started engaging the necessary stakeholders in and outside the zone.