Doyin Okupe, a former presidential spokesperson, has said no president of Igbo extraction will emerge until the northern region forgives the Igbo soldiers who killed Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria, and other northern leaders in the 1966 coup.
Okupe said this in a series of Twitter posts on Saturday while discussing his ambition to become the country’s president in 2023.
According to the former presidential spokesperson, the current Igbo leaders must accept the reality and be at the forefront in ensuring the reconciliation happens.
He also indicated that an Igbo presidency is possible only when there is a national consensus to zone the position of the office to the president to the South-East region as it was done for the South-West region in 1999.
An Igbo President is only possible if we are able to evolve a grand National Consensus on the project such as that which was enacted in 1999, when the 2 presidential candidates were Yoruba.
— Doyin (@doyinokupe) March 20, 2021
“A national consensus for Igbo Presidency cannot evolve until the core north forgives the Igbos for the killing of Sardauna of Sokoto by nigerian soldiers of igbo extraction in the 1966 Coup.
“This is the political Knot only the Igbo leaders must spearhead and with the support of other well meaning Nigerians, resolve with a high level of humility and political dexterity,” he tweeted.
Okupe noted that if the consensus agreement emerges, he will shelve his presidential ambition and support whoever is chosen as a candidate by my party “in the interest of equity, fairness & national unity”.
“However, in the event that this national consensus is not achievabe, I WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2023 by God’s Grace,” he added.
Okupe pledged to be a one-term president, saying his mission, if elected, will be to “restructure, reset a new agenda for the nation and re-unite the country”.
The 1966 coup was carried out by officers mainly of Igbo extraction, with the majority of the causalities being northern politicians, their staff, as well as military and police officers from the region.