Still On Igbo Survival In Nigeria

Casmir Igbokwe

My piece last week entitled, “Igbo survival in 2019 and politics of 2023”, evoked a lot of mixed reactions, especially from the Igbo. Some called and engaged me for hours on phone. Some others sent messages through different platforms. It goes to show the seriousness the Igbo attach to the issue of their survival in Nigeria on one hand, and having a president of Igbo extraction on the other. It also shows the republican nature of Ndigbo. They never agree on any issue and would want you to toe their own line of thought.

READ ALSO: Igbo survival in 2019 and politics of 2023

This same issue of Igbo survival also took the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and some South-East governors to Aso Rock last week to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari. The delegation, which included Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, denied going to Aso Rock to campaign for Buhari. According to them, they demanded 50 per cent release of the contract sum to Julius Berger that is handling the Second Niger Bridge and another 50 per cent committed to bond. This was to ensure speedy completion of the project. The Federal Government had reportedly released N7bn mobilisation fund to the contractor, which is less than 15 percent of the total cost. According to Umahi, they also discussed appointment of a service chief from the South-East.

It behoves the current rulers of Nigeria to give the Igbo a sense of belonging.

Please read some of the reactions below:

Thank you for your write-up, “Igbo survival in 2019 and politics of 2023.” For me, whether we have a Yoruba or Igbo president in 2023 is immaterial. What matters most for me, is that this country should be restructured along the line of our Republican Constitution of 1963. This is very important, because it will re-enthrone equity and fair play in our polity. The 1963 constitution took into consideration, the plural nature of this country.

I don’t think and I am saying this with all sense of responsibility, that Igbo will produce the president of Nigeria in 2023. My reasons are threefold. First, we as Igbo have never agreed on anything among ourselves and this attitude will definitely throw a spanner on the Igbo presidency project so to speak. Secondly, there is this conspiratorial attitude of other Nigerians especially those I will refer to as G2, the Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba, apology to Jimanze Ego-Alowes, a Sun columnist. Before the civil war, Nigeria was on a political tripod i.e. the Hausa/ Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo referred to as G3. Please, no disrespect meant to other ethnic groups. However, since after the civil war, the political power equation changed, with Igbo relegated to the background on account of the defeat they suffered during the civil war. Since the end of the war, the G2 have been in control of the political and economic life of this country. It follows therefore that for an Igbo presidency to materialise, the G2 must agree.

Going by Saraki’s earlier revelation that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is angling for the office of the president in 2023, which seems to tally with Fashola’s admonition to his Yoruba kinsmen in his town hall meeting, even though he did not mention any name, it will be an uphill task for Igbo to produce the president in 2023. The Hausa/Fulani arm of G2 may prefer a Yoruba presidency to an Igbo presidency, for the reason of the deep seated political animosity between them. The other problem that will militate against an Igbo presidency is the issue of IPOB. The rest of Nigeria will see it as a paradox, that an ethnic group whose youth, are calling for the disintegration of the country, will at the same time want to produce the president of Nigeria. However, if wise counsel prevails, an Igbo presidency is possible in 2023.

– Anonymous, +2348033119751

May I comment on your article in Daily Sun where you posited that voting Buhari by the Igbo people means return of South West in 2023. I believe that if the Igbo support Buhari, they would rather have a bargaining power in 2023 that will force the South West to bow to a superior argument in terms of who should present a presidential candidate going by the fact that they have had their turn.

But if the Igbo people decide to work with Atiku, it is clear his working government has no plans to run only for a term. You don’t need to be convinced that he will like to do a second tenure. So I wonder what your calculation is for insinuating that the Igbo man’s best bet is to vote for a man who has constitutional right to do eight years. I don’t know about you but I believe that any arrangement that will scuttle Igbo presidency in 2023 is not in the best interest of the Igbo man; their status would have been demeaned and respect lost till end of this century. Make no mistake about this, the Igbo man has a chance in changing the original plan of APC if they vote massively for Buhari. This will change the status quo in APC and consequently launch the Igbo into the political orbit once more.

Atiku and Obi ticket will not fly because Obi has no electoral value in Igbo land. He did not carry the PDP in the South East along with respect to the process that produced him against the backdrop of aftermath of the primaries.

Recall that we have been VP in the past and produced four Senate Presidents. We are done with deputising; we don’t also need to be under anybody’s tutelage. The next option is to produce a President or nothing. Any postulation that okays Atiku whom we know will never ever do one term thus prolonging northern leadership is a misnomer.

– Kierian Umeayo,

Re: Igbo survival in 2019… Well crafted piece. Two pertinent posers for Ndigbo: 1. Will any Python Dance be sent to Plateau state to dislodge the well-known motley gang of murderers who, according to the report received by the state government from a Committee last week, killed thousands and then took over their communities for, of all things, grazing of cows? Conversely, we all know what happens to Ndigbo anytime lPOB boys sneeze or breathe.

– Sonde Abbah, +2348032159249

Why do we Ndigbo always forget things so soon? In 2015 general elections, we put all our eggs in one basket because of one person; after the election, what was the result? Now, we have started again to endorse candidate where we have so many presidential candidates eyeing Aso Rock. Ndigbo must be wise in endorsing candidates as we are approaching general elections to avoid past mistake of 2015 general elections where we put all our eggs in one basket. It is time we play politics with maturity and forget about money politics.

– Gordon Chika Nnorom, Umukabia, +2348062887535

Prof. Ben Nwabueze is too old and almost senile to steer the affairs of the Igbo. Olisa Agbakoba, the kid Biafran soldier, is now Obj’s failure weapon of the kabukabu coalition. Casmir, you as a writer are even confused. I don’t know if it is the sickness of your forefathers of always being politically naive.

– Anonymous, +2348033171359

Igbo destiny does not lie in the hands of any human being or political party, and if Igbo should put their hope or aspiration in any political party at all, that party should not be APC because APC is an anti Igbo party. Why will anyone in his right sense believe that APC has anything to offer to the Igbo, including sincerely working for Igbo presidency and handing over power to the Igbo in 2023; to me that will only be a mere fallacy. For close to its four years in power, what has the APC as a ruling party done for the Igbo other than to pretend to be partnering with them to facilitate and support their presidential ambition in 2023? If they did not deem it fit to accommodate Igbo in their juicy and important appointments other than the statutory ministerial slots by virtue of federal character principle, they should stop deceiving themselves that they have Igbo interest at heart. It is the Igbo elite in the APC that are campaigning that the Igbo presidency fate lies in the APC, an average Igbo person knows that they are only fighting for their self interest. The truth of the matter is that the APC will never succeed in deceiving the Igbo into believing that their sudden love for the Igbo is real but mere make-belief.

– Festus Okeke

They have used and deceived us through our deceptive elderly ones. Enough is enough but once they flaunt few naira notes some will sell their birthright again and again, let us be watchful before they relocate us elsewhere and exchange our glaring destiny.

– Ifeoma Nwosu Chukwuma Eke.

  • First published in The Sun of Monday, November 26, 2018.

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