Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:48 am
There was a shouting match between Rotimi Amaech, the transport minister and Peter Obi, Vive Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party over the former’s comment on Igbo presidency.
According to Amaechi, “Peter Obi said I’m not an Igbo man and that I don’t have the locus to discuss whether Igbo Presidency will be or not in 2023. That comment is a very sad and cheap one from him…..But the truth is that Peter Obi too does not have the locus to speak about Igbo Presidency because he and his party couldn’t win the Presidential election. Aside from that, it’s most unfortunate that Peter Obi, a man I defeated to become the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum(NGF), when we were both governors, can wake up today to say I am not relevant in the polity to talk about national issues when journalists ask me questions about it.”
The Ikwere is, according to historians, one of the many native ethnic groups in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. They are part of the larger Igbo ethnic group. The Ikwerre constitute the majority of Rivers state, they speak the Ikwerre language and are predominantly settled in the Ikwerre, Obio-Akpor , Port Harcourt and Emohua local government areas.
The Ikwerre are, according to wikipedia, considered by a great majority of scholars as a subgroup of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. It went further: There are several theories over their origin. They would be descendents from an Igbo migration from Awka and Orlu areas towards South. Igbo scholars take Ikwerre as part of the Southern Igbo. Amadi, an Ikwerre scholar, says that the Igbo origin theory has some support even inside Ikwerre themselves, with Ikwerre would be descendants of a migration of Arochukwu Igbo, with Okpo Nwagidi being the leader of the Ikwerre tribe.
Before the civil war, there had been dissident voices that claimed that Ikwerre could have migrated from Owerri, Ohaji, Ngwa, and Etche areas of Igboland. But when Port Harcourt was conquered by Nigeria during the Biafran War and the Igbo people from other parts of Igboland fled the territory, a UN report says that the Ikwerre decided to claim that the Ikwerre were non-Igbo for convenience. The Ikwerre are recognized officially as a separate group in the 1979 Nigerian Constitution.
Notable Ikwerre People
– Elechi Amadi, writer. Mighty Prince, Composer, MusicianTemplate:Leader of The Garden City Band
-Emmanuel Onunwor, former Mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio, USA
-Chibuike Amaechi, former Governor of Rivers State
– Obi Wali, Writer, Politician and Minority rights activist
– Abuchi Ogbonda, Medical Director Alma Hospital, Port Harcourt
-Austin Opara, former Deputy Speaker House of Representatives
– Tonto Dikeh, Actress, Musician
-Celestine Omehia,former Governor of Rivers State
-Monalisa Chinda, Actress
– Duncan Mighty, Musician
Amaechi also said right from when he became Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly till date his name has been in the front burner of national politics far more than Peter Obi.
Amaechi said that for the Igbos to get the Presidency in 2023, they must be part of “National Politics”.
“I think what is important which I have said to the Igbos severally is that they need to be part of National Politics. If they are not part of National Politics they cannot be President. National Politics means that an Ikwerre man must have his interest covered by the Igbos If they want to be President. The Yoruba man must have the Igbos cover their interests, the Hausa, Fulani people must also be confident that their interests are covered by the Igbos”.
“I support Igbo Presidency. I believe that It’s the Igbo turn to produce the next President of Nigeria because they have not been there before. The country will be unfair to the Igbos If they say It’s not their turn. But It can’t be your turn and you don’t want to fight for it. You want us to wake you up from sleep and say come and take, it is your turn? It doesn’t work like that and It will not work that way. So, Peter Obi should close his mouth.”