Zik Sacrificed Prime Ministerial Ambition for Ahmadu Bello – Mefor
The late Nnamdi Azikwe sacrificed his ambition of becoming Nigeria’s first Prime Minister for Tafawa Balewa to prevent the North from leaving Nigeria, Dr. Law Mefor told Elombah Television during a video conference anchored in United Kingdom (UK).
It could be recalled that Azikwe was just a ceremonial President at Nigeria’s independence, Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) was Premier of Northern region while Tafawa Balewa (The Sardauna’s nominee) emerged Prime Minister.
The country at that time was practicing Parliamentary system of government.
Speaking on the need for Nigeria to allow South East to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023, Director of Public Affairs , Project Nigerian President of South East Extraction (Project- NIPSEE) explained that by allowing by conceding to the Sardauna and allowing Balewa to become Prime Minister, Late Azikwe paid the sacrifice for the unity of the country.
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Zik could have taken easily the prime ministerial post by entering into an alliance with Late Obafemi Awolowo.
Mefor added that Igbo Presidency will put an end to the various challenges facing the country.
“It is only the South East that has not tested the presidency. The presidency has to move to South East and it is a valid argument. It is matter of right, honour, Justice and Equity.
“Apart from the rotation principle, there is also some fundamental reasons why rotation is inevitable, Mefor argued.
“The country is constructed on many imbalances which has not made the country to move forward. The office of President is indivisible and the only way you can apply federal character is through rotation.
“Another reason why rotational Presidency is inevitable, in 1953, the first constitutional conference of course we have one in 1946, which culminated in the Richard Constitution.
“The real major conference of Nigeria to negotiable the nation’s independence started in 1953, at that conference, Northern Nigeria wanted to leave because they felt that they would not have a chance, a fair play and level playing ground.
“Southern Nigeria have qualified people, but people like late Nnamdi Azikwe has to come to the North and negotiate with the Premier of Northern Nigeria, his excellency Sir Ahmadu Bello and prevailed on him and other leaders of Northern Nigeria on the need to remain in Nigeria and they agreed to remain in the Union.
“Zik has made sacrifices to keep the country one and there is no reason to remove South East from the power equation. There is no need for it. Apart from Sacrifice of Zik in persuading Sarduana and the North to remain in the Union, Zik had the opportunity to become Prime Minister but he sacrificed that too.
“Zik left the office of Prime Minister which he could have taken as the one that led the independent struggle of Nigeria, and decided to become ceremonial President of Nigeria”, he argued.
He added, “A President of Igbo extraction is now, this is the best time for it. It is most auspicious . There is no better time to have a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction than now as a matter of fact.
“If we base our conversation on current democratic dispensation which started in 1999, you can see that power has been rotating between the Southern and Northern Nigeria.
“South west was in power for eight years under Olusegun Obasanjo, South West has also produced Vice President, in the person of Yemi Osinbajo, and South South also had a Share in the presidency, Goodluck Jonathan was in office for five to six years.
“In 1999, many Nigerians may not know this, Olu Falae and Olusegun Obasanjo emerged as Presidential candidates as a consensus, that made Ekwueme to cede Presidential ticket Obasanjo in PDP.
“Everybody knew that Ekwueme could have become the President of Nigeria in 1999, there was very serious need to heal the wound at that time, the wound inflicted by the annulment of the June 12 presidential election won by late Chief MKO Abiola, there was need to placate the South west.
“If Ekwueme had proceeded with his push to become the president of Nigeria, it could have affected Obasanjo’s Presidency, many people didn’t also know that Ogbonaya Onu won in Kaduna to be the flag bearer of APP, but he was prevailed upon to step aside for Chief Olu Falae to consolidate the ticket of Alliance for Democracy and APP. ”