My facebook post on Igbo Presidency in 2023 has generated unprecedented outcry and widespread animosity, especially among the Igbos.
Very sadly is the fact that I have been highly misunderstood and many have also used long-standing but subdued visceral anger to interpret, distort and misrepresent what was clearly stated in my post.
I NEVER asked the Igbos to go and apologise to the North. What I said was that ” the north has not forgiven the Igbos..” I did not say the north is right or wrong. I just made a statement that I considered to be a fact.
I never said that the 1966 coup was an Igbo coup. Neither did I pass any judgement on the said coup. I am neither a tribalist nor an ethnic jingoistic. I cannot disparage or demean the Igbos. My late mum was raised in Onitsha and she spoke Igbo fluently. One of my grandsons is Igbo. I was central to the visit of the late Ikemba, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, to Lagos Island club where he delivered his famous ” Handshake across the Niger” Speech.
I was with him all night while he put finishing touches to the speech and it was the Chairman of Ekenson Motors and I who went with him to Island club for the celebrated event. Also because of our affinity and closeness, he invited me to accompany him on his tour of the North. Ikemba was my Hero.
Many have wondered what was my motive in publishing the said Facebook post. I dare say that my intentions were noble.
I know for a fact that this situation exists. I also know that political equity & fairness cannot be achieved till the Igbos have their shot at the presidency.
So I thought if I can make this “touchy & unspoken” debacle public perhaps stakeholders will find a way to intermediate and bring about a national consensus such as was used to achieve the southwest presidency in1999.
God Almighty who sees the hearts of men knows this to be my intention. But alas, regrettably and painfully, it rubbed the people in a completely different way. Very sad.
I am someone who had invested all my life in building bridges and very strong and reliable relationships both in the north and eastern part of Nigeria. I cannot throw it all away on the altar of crass opportunism. All I have needed in this country God has given me and I glorify His name. I have too much to lose as a consequence of this unfortunate post.
IT IS FOR THESE REASONS THAT I NOW TENDER MY UNRESEVED APPOLOGY TO THE ENTIRE IGBO PEOPLE AND ALL THOSE WHO HAVE FELT OFFENDED BY MY POST. I REGRET THE PAINS AND DISCOMFORT I HAVE CAUSED MY FRIENDS AND FOES NATIONWIDE ESPECIALLY THOSE FROM THE EAST. I AM VERY SORRY AND I SINCERELY APOLOGISE FOR THIS OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS.
I plead with you all to treat this apology with magnanimity for even the best amongst us shall inevitably err yet we must use the best of humanity in us to forgive.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Doyin Okupe, former Senior Special Assistant to the president