The Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, deserves some pity. In his campaign rally held in Enugu last Wednesday, January 11, 2023, Tinubu committed an affront to the Igbo people of Nigeria. Addressing a crowd of his South-East supporters and party faithful, the former Lagos State Governor said they would not share from the national cake except they voted for him. “But nobody will give you any credit, you are working hard, you are sweating now. We want you to sweat well now for this party until you deliver victory. Until Bola Tinubu becomes the President of Nigeria, we will not give you but a soaked sliced bread,” he added.
Last December, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, similarly insulted the Igbo at a campaign rally in Awka, the Anambra State capital. Atiku had said, “I am going to be a stepping stone to an Igbo president in this country. I have shown it in my action because this is the third time I am running with an Igbo man. If you really want to produce a president, then vote Atiku-Okowa ticket.”
The PDP standard-bearer had earlier made the same comment when he met with the South-East PDP stakeholders a few months ago. He told them that the best way the region could get the presidency of Nigeria was to wait for him to win and serve out his term. It is either that Atiku sees himself as God, or he is arrogating to himself the power he does not have.
Former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has some words for him: “I was chairman of power sharing committee some time ago when it was agreed that power should rotate between the North and the South but Atiku, as a Northerner, wants to take over from a Northerner. Atiku, as a Muslim wants to take over from a Muslim. Atiku, as a Fulani wants to take over from a Fulani. I think he is the real enemy of Nigeria.”
Yes, Tinubu and Atiku do not wish Nigeria well. Why will I, for instance, vote for Atiku when he has breached the zoning arrangement of his party, the PDP? By that arrangement, it is supposed to be the turn of the South to produce the president. Atiku himself kicked against his party’s leadership when it attempted to usurp the turn of the North to produce the president at its National Stakeholders Conference in 2010. He also staged a walkout together with some northern PDP leaders at the party’s National Convention in 2015 immediately the then President Goodluck Jonathan indicated that he would run for a second term in office. So, why is he now against the zoning principle which has been in practice since 1999? It shows he is not a trustworthy character.
I don’t really blame him and Tinubu. I blame the people of the South-East who clap for them whenever they vomit some nonsensical statements. If not for selfish interests, how will any true Igbo, nay Nigerian, clap for those who do not wish this country well?
To show you that these people know the game they are playing, it is this same Atiku who told his audience in Kaduna last October that an average northerner does not need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate but somebody who is from the North, and who also understands the other parts of Nigeria.
Tinubu, on his part, claimed it’s his turn to be President. Here is a man whose South-West region had occupied the presidency and currently occupies the vice-presidential position. With his money, he has been able to garner a few Igbo people who clap for him. Poor souls!
Some of them believe the Igbo will never become president except they belong to the so-called mainstream parties. That was why Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State and Hope Uzodimma of Imo State urged South-East people to vote for Tinubu so as to reintegrate the South-East into the national politics. What a fallacy! Where was the APC before 2015? What did the support some of these Igbo politicians gave Buhari in his re-election in 2019 bring to the South-East? Has the outcome of last year’s APC primary election not taught them any lesson?
It is only a fool who fails to realize when the breadfruit wood is being shared among his kinsmen. If equity, fairness and justice mean anything to those clapping for Tinubu and Atiku, then, they need to have their conscience examined. If competence and character also mean anything to them, they also need to sincerely swear in the name of whatever they worship that their children and children’s children should take after the life of their preferred presidential candidate. Among the three main characters jostling to become President of Nigeria, Peter Obi of the Labour Party is number one in terms of credibility, competence, character, physical fitness and even zoning.
As Obi has rightly observed, Nigeria is sick. We cannot afford to entrust a sick country to a sick man. It will be political suicide. Those championing the idea do not love this country. They need to retrace their steps before the wrath of God descends on them.
They need to realize that the people of the South-East and other oppressed people of Nigeria have resolved to vote out those who have made life unbearable for them. They have resolved not to play the second fiddle anymore. This country belongs to all of us. On no account should any part thereof be kept behind. Nobody should be second-class citizen in his own country.
If Rishi Sunak, who is of Indian descent and a Hindu, could become the Prime Minister of Britain, why must an Igbo man take permission from an Atiku and a Tinubu to become the President of Nigeria? If Barack Obama, who is of Kenyan descent, could be President of the United States of America, why should an Igbo man wait for Atiku and Tinubu to serve them a slice of soaked bread?
This is partly why there are agitations by the youths in the region. Today, we have sundry separatist groups agitating for one thing or the other. The Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has been in detention for over one year now. Even when a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered that he be released, the powers that be still decided to keep him in detention.
This situation has heightened the spate of insecurity in the South-East. Hoodlums have hijacked the agitation and turned it into a criminal venture. Every effort by different governments in the region to tackle the problem has failed. This has seriously affected the economy of the region.
To put it mildly, Atiku and Tinubu’s soaked sliced bread is poison to Ndigbo. I can assure these politicians that they will fail woefully in the forthcoming election in the South-East. They will also fail among the other oppressed people of Nigeria. Win or lose, what the Igbo people mostly care about is equity and competence. If it is the turn of the North to produce the president, I can tell you that they will vote for a competent hand from that region. Enough of this condescending attitude against a people!
Re: Peter Obi as Nigeria’s man of the year
Dear Casy, those awards to Peter Obi came from people whose hearts are temples of God — men and women who reckon with and cherish true patriotism, especially, in governance. Were Peter Obi to have come from such climes that are models of democracy, where patriotism exists in its real meaning, the other two self-acclaimed frontline presidential gladiators, one ‘Otapiapia’ and the other ‘Sniper’, masquerading as patriots, would have stepped down on self-recognition of their physical and, most importantly, intellectual incapacity to save Nigeria from the brink of total collapse. The duo have continued to gloss over the fact of having passed over their Best Before Date (BBD) Product cycle and, instead, continued to post ethnic jingoism, self entitlement, in addition to their dollarized deep pockets, as superior credentials! The reason for all this is that Nigeria has become a permissible address where power wielders, having tasted the ‘forbidden fruit’ therein, and plotting to remain in power, have given patriotism an inverted meaning of unalloyed love of oneself to the detriment of one’s country. This is the reason the country has remained unfortunately on sick-bed till date! But for how long shall we continue like this? The flurry of awards to Peter Obi is, euphemistically, a clarion call to Nigerians not to be purchased with ethnic card or very deep dollarized pocket(s) but, rather, to shine our eyes and vote wisely for someone with sense of patriotism and capacity to get Nigeria re-animated.
-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.
It is a truism that the Obi revolution is a Nigerian project that has assumed a worrisome dimension to the big wigs of the frontline parties. Occasioned by the general sentiments being expressed by some members and adherents of other parties, the presidential election will definitely witness Nigerians voting across party lines. Nigerians of South East extraction must also avail Obi the advantage of that cult-like or bandwagon approach that is usually synonymous with the North and South West. For the first time in a very long time, let there also be charity from home for Obi before extending the same to abroad.
-Edet Essien Esq. Cal South, +234 810 809 5633
Casmir, that Obi has become a phenomenon in this political dispensation is in itself, a major feat that is worthy of commendation. Win or lose, he is no longer a pushover in politics at the national level! With multiple endorsements coming left, right and centre for him, he is definitely on the right path to success. I wish him the very best in this gigantic race to Aso Rock! May the favour of God encompass him IJN. Amen. Obi should work harder in the N/West & N/East zones to see his dream become a reality! He needs a reasonable degree of votes (30%) in both zones to scale through. All arrogant politicians should be rejected at the polls. They should be made to realise that ‘power’ as delegated by God belongs to the masses! It is time to make them come down from their high horses. A politician who said “Lagos sleeps when he sleeps and wakes up when he wakes up” is definitely about to do the same with Nigeria and to Nigerians should he become the president! But, God forbid! Let there be a ‘revolution’ in terms of our voting! ‘Change the ragamuffins, change party by knocking and kicking APC out next month. We need a new breath of fresh air; a clean break from what we have now!
-Mike, Mushin, Lagos, +234 816 111 4572
If Nigerians fail to vote Peter Obi as president, it means God created Nigerians to suffer.
-Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +234 807 316 5732
- Also published in the Daily Sun of Monday, January 16, 2023