2023: Northern leaders’re not God – Maxi Ukuta


Second Republic politician and former commissioner in old Anambra State, Chief Maxi Ukuta, has picked holes in comments of some northern leaders including Professor Ango Abdullahi that the presidency would remain in the North after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

President Buhari has said that he is not interested in a Third Term as being canvassed by some politicians, with a senator going to court, this week, to get a favourable decision to allow third term for the president and governors.

Northern leaders angling for power to remain in the North, argue that democracy is a game of number and the North has the number to hold onto power beyond 2023.

However, Ukuta said such position is capable of creating disunity and injustice and expressed surprise that a person of Prof. Abdullahi’s status would be supporting something that could divide the country.

His word: “I am surprised at some of the statements being ascribed to Ango Abdullahi. One would expect that with his age and level of experience he would be a jolly patriot. But if he feels in his conscience that after all these years of presidency rotating between the North and West that it is right to say it will not come to South-East, I wish him good luck. Ango Abdullahi and some other Northerners are not God to decide the next presidency.”

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Ukuta said that he has nothing against Igbo presidency but more concerned about development and provision of infrastructures irrespective who provides them.

“Let me tell you, I don’t have anything against Igbo presidency or disposed about Igbo presidency. Not too long ago, we had too many of our eminent sons and daughters in very sensitive positions of government. As you are now talking, we have no impact on infrastructure or human development of our people.

“What I am passionate about is the development of our people more especially infrastructure and human development. That is my concern but I can’t tell you that by 2023, the presidency will come to South-East, we must put our house together. There must be unity among our people. They have shown very bad aspect of our people to other Nigerians.

“When a presidential candidate picked an Igbo son to be his running mate, I expected that we team together and work with him not to castigate him. With this type of attitude, we are going nowhere.”

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On the agitation for Biafra, Ukuta said: “If I have to be honest with you, what the South-East require s is justice. I remember a lecture by the great Zik of Africa in 1972 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, with the title: “Unity with diversity”, where he told us that there are greater advantages when we remain as one. What is disturbing us is definitely the injustice.

“The answer to your question is that I prefer all of us being in a united Nigeria but justice must be the key word. The advantages of being united are enormous.”

Reminded that Asaba people recently held a ceremony to remember the massacre of Biafrans and if he believed that the world has fully been informed of what happened during the civil war, he said that it was necessary that people who advised General Yakubu Gowon to declare war, speak out and say why they waged the war.

“I tell you something: this is a mere academic exercise. Nobody has gone back to look into the causes of the civil war. There is need for that. It was only General Gowon that Nigerians praise on his outfit that went to Asaba to say sorry for what happened to them.

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“But to me, it should be a national approach where we as Nigerians will say to the Biafrans that a lot of injustice has been meted out to you and say, we are very sorry and promise that we will all work hand-in-hand to make sure that such thing will never happen again. Not only in Asaba but also other parts of the country that injustice has been meted on.

“It is true that some of us participated in the war but never know what was the cause of the war; and how they influenced General Gowon to allow the war erupt. It would be interesting if those alive now that participated in influencing Gowon tell us what their motive was to allow us build a better Nation and stop all these agitations here and there”, Ukuta said.

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