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2023: Can South-East Nigeria dream of the presidency?

By Akin Irede
Posted on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 16:26

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari receives a gift after commissioning projects during his visit to Imo State
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari receives a gift after commissioning projects during his visit to Imo State, Nigeria September 9, 2021. Nigerian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

The Igbo ethnic group, which is based in South-East Nigeria, is one of the three largest tribes in the country but has been unable to lead the country in the last 55 years. Will this jinx be broken come 2023?

Deserted streets and a tension-soaked atmosphere in Owerri – the Imo State capital – on 9 September 2021, preceded President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit. The capture of this historic city in 1970 forced General Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Biafran president, to flee to Cote D’Ivoire, signalling the end of the civil war and its current historic significance.

Known as the eastern heartland, Imo State – especially Owerri – was hitherto a beehive of commercial activities. However, it has all but become a ghost town due to the strict observance of a sit-at-home order by residents.