Where Is Justice?

By Casmir Igbokwe

‘Ngaahika Ndeenda’ (I Will Marry When I Want) is a controversial play written by Kenyan authors, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ngugi wa Mirii. The play was staged in some parts of Kenya on June 1, 2022 when that country marked its 59th anniversary of internal self-rule. The drama revolves around Kikuunda, a peasant whose small piece of land is targeted by a local tycoon called Ahab Kioi. The major theme of the play is the class struggle between the worker/peasant population and the greedy Kenyan elite. In other words, it is about social inequities and justice.

There is a replica of ‘Ngaahika Ndeenda’ in Nigeria. Here, a clique of elite have hijacked political and economic power and used it to subjugate the mass of the people. Many of them are old but have refused to retire. They usually play ethnic and religious cards to confuse the masses in order to achieve their selfish ambitions.

That was what largely played out in the just concluded presidential primaries of some political parties. Last Wednesday, June 9, 2022, the former Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, cried like a bird with a broken beak. In his speech during the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he narrated how he and some others sacrificed their presidential ambition in 1999 to assuage the South-West. The North is currently in power and, by the rotation arrangement of the major parties, it is the turn of the South to produce the President in 2023. Dr. Onu, and indeed, many Igbo, had expected that since the South-East has not produced the President since the advent of this democracy in 1999, the dominant parties should give the zone that opportunity in 2023. But that was not to be as the region was completely relegated. This prompted Onu’s now famous outburst, “Where is the justice?”

Obviously, justice is in detention as far as the South-East and the presidency of Nigeria is concerned. Nevertheless, why did Onu wait until the last minute before shouting? Why didn’t he galvanize other aspirants from the region on time to speak with one voice and compel others to bow to their demands? Why didn’t he and other South-East candidates embark on vigorous campaigns across the country to drum home their agitation? And why didn’t they boycott the primary to register their displeasure when it became obvious that the process had been hijacked?

The South-East elite should learn a few things from the South-West if they must collect back what belongs to them. Look at the June 12, 1993 debacle, for instance. Nigerians had voted for a President in an election adjudged the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s history. The election, presumably won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola, a Yoruba, was annulled by the then Ibrahim Babangida junta. In one accord, the Yoruba went to the trenches with other people of conscience and fought the injustice from all angles. To calm frayed nerves, the presidency was ceded to them in 1999. Today, June 12 every year is now marked as our democracy day instead of May 29.

Rather than live in the spirit of this June 12, we have continued to live in denial of the dangers confronting our pseudo-democracy. For instance, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, a northerner, as its standard-bearer, the APC elected former Lagos Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to fly its flag.

Again, where is the justice? The PDP has the zoning principle in its constitution. Why did it not maintain it? Why did it not restrict the presidential primary to the South alone? Why are its presidential candidate and the National Chairman from the same North?

As for the APC, the questions remain, why will a South-West candidate want to assume power again after the region had ruled for eight years as President and will soon clock another eight years as Vice-President? Where is the justice? Where is equity? And where is fairness in all this?

No doubt, many men and women of nobility across various ethnic divides are not happy with what is going on. Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo, is one of them. He has consistently maintained that the 2023 presidency should go to the South-East. The leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, also has the same standpoint.

So, the problem is not with the ethnic groups. It is not with the ordinary people. It is the greed and the hyper ambition of a few individuals to hijack power at all costs. These individuals usually employ ethnic and other primordial sentiments to achieve their selfish interests. They used it effectively during the 2019 presidential election to engineer some hoodlums who attacked the strongholds of the Igbo people in Lagos to prevent them from voting.

The same scenario is playing out again this time. Recently, leaders of some markets in Lagos shut down markets to enable traders to go and get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs). As the traders, mainly from the South-East, tried to obey this call, some hoodlums invaded the venue of some of the registration centres, especially at Alaba area, and attacked them. Again, this is to stop them from exercising their franchise in 2023.  One wonders what the attackers are afraid of.

I have heard a number of people say that power is taken and not given. This is not totally correct. If power is taken by force, why do we resist or frown upon military takeover of government?

Democracy in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria presupposes that some modalities are put in place to enshrine equity and justice in the scheme of things. We did that in the Federal Character principle and quota system that we operate in federal schools. But we have continued to deceive ourselves when it comes to implementing the same thing in the political arena. We adopt rotation when it serves our purpose but reject it when it doesn’t favour us.

Nigeria will never move forward with this kind of attitude. There is serious agitation in the South-East on account of perceived marginalization of the zone in the scheme of things. The natural thing we should have done to douse tension is to zone the 2023 presidency to the region. But we have failed to do that. The days ahead are ominous and pregnant. What it will bear still wears a hat.

To bring genuine peace and unity, which we desperately need in Nigeria, we must find a way to put the rotation clause in our constitution. Zoning should no longer be between the North and the South. It should rotate among the six geo-political zones: North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-East, South-West and South-South.

By the way, in ‘Ngaahika Ndeenda’, the working class, who no longer find their poor situation funny, prepare for a revolution to achieve economic parity with the greedy elite. From what I have seen so far, it appears the Nigerian working class across all regions are also gearing up to take back their country from greedy and self-centred politicians. The Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, are coming up strongly. Will they succeed?

I leave you with the often quoted words of the late former President of Mali, Modibo Keita: “When the citizens of a nation deem their most accomplished thieves as the most electable, then they lose the right to complain when theft becomes their national creed.”


Re: Intrigues and APC’s presidential primary

Dear Casy, as can now be deduced from the recent outburst of one of the ruling party’s political Gurus, Nigeria has become a ‘settlement item’, a political relay race baton whose handover for continuity of  pulverization is, first, clandestinely, negotiated in the inner crevices of the private abode of our ‘Dealers’, who,   conversely, are unfortunately, regarded as our leaders! Now that the heavily dollarised primaries of our frontline political parties have thrown up heavyweight gladiators, both of whom are injury time players, each desperate to update his CV as President of Nigeria before it is completely time-up for them, we are going to witness, further, heavily dollarised campaigns where we will have a hard decision to choose between the DEVIL and the DEVIL’s alternative.

-Steve Okoye, Awka, 08036630731.


Casmir, with the ‘happy and unhappy/sad’ conclusion of the ‘jamboree/bazaar primaries’ of both PDP & APC; in which ‘the silver(N40m) and golden(N100m) tickets’ were sold to the highest or most desperate bidders in the person of Tinubu and Atiku, I guess we can now heave a sigh of relief as we go into half time! They both have ‘U’ as the last alphabet in their names, meaning ‘we are united’ in assaulting the  treasury of Nigeria to recoup ‘our dollars’ that was spent during the primaries and that would be spent during the general election! Wonder how much money that would be left to run Nigeria after using most of our revenue to pay backlog of debts and deducting ‘their/our money’ that were re-invested in this latest round of electioneering business!

-Mike, Mushin, Lagos, +2348161114572


The South East-have the brightest chances in the PDP which they have greatly invested as opposed to the APC which their investment is insignificant. Politics is a democratic game of interest and not ‘our turn’ stuff. Some have invested in APC. You don’t expect them to stand aside and watch people sing the recurring song of our turn. And even with the song of our turn, moral support, preaching and drumming for a South-East presidency, are the very South-East not the people who are atomistic and perpetually at war against themselves? Their number one enemy is within. Why did the PDP delegates of South-East dump Pius Anyim? Why did Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and other South-East delegates dump Ogbonnanya Onu, Umahi and Okorocha for others at the primary?

-Ediye James, +2348108095633


The process of dumping Tinubu began the very moment Buhari assumed office. Buhari did say at an interview that he had a preferred successor but would not name him for fear of his elimination. That bill fitted Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi like a well-tailored trousers. The Yemi Osibanjo direction was just a joker in the pack to checkmate the emergence of Tinubu as APC’s standard-bearer. The emergence of Atiku of PDP merely further expanded the coast for Lawan’s inclusion to cage not just Atiku but also to stall Tinubu’s chances. In this plot, the ‘hairy’ hand of APC chairman – Abdulahi Adamu – might have played out. But the loud voice was certainly that of Buhari. The Oyegun screening panel also had Tinubu as its target but it appeared Tinubu was anchored and more prepared for all the arrows aimed at him. Buhari certainly played some political manoeuvring: it accidentally earned him the attribute of a democrat who’s for ‘everybody and for nobody’.

-Edet Essien Esq. Cal. South, 08037952470


As political activities begin, all candidates should play the game according to rules and regulations and avoid violence during and after the election.

-Chika Nnorom, +2348062887535    


Dear Casmir, the plan to divide the South by zoning APC ticket to it cannot kill the prospects of Peter Obi. He should canvass for northern votes amongst Aminu Kano’s civilised electorate. The whole youths know him and his potentials.

– Cletus Frenchman Enugu, +234 909 538 5215

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