2015 may still be far from coming, the race towards who occupies the nation’s most priced seat is yet to officially kick start but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss sensitive matters that runs the risk of shaking or polluting the political atmospheric condition at the moment just as the one under review. As much as I had labored to get a milder title for this piece, the best I could arrive at is that which you see up there. Forgive my tautology, but I must restate same here at this juncture if for anything, for the sake of emphasis: NDIGBO AND 2015; AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME.
Though at the risk of sounding rather bias or fueling the embers of regional politicism, let me state here with the least of equivocation that this is not in any way an idea meant to achieve mischief or lend weight to the notion that the Igbo race have carefully been excluded from the affairs of the only nation they can call theirs as is being rumored in some quarters neither is the writer a ‘slave’ of the impression sold by the former governor of Abia state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu to the effect that Igbo presidency is a project that must be carried out as soon as possible to keep this nation nearing comatose one.
In the surreptitious gerrymandering and positioning for the prized presidential mandate come 2015, some darts have been shooting out the message that an Igbo candidacy may not be what would heal the many ills of the south East and the nation at large, others have come up to say that a president of Igbo extraction or not, should not be what we should concern ourselves with but rather seek for the election of a president irrespective of roots that will have the skill, vision and intellectual wisdom that is needed to take this ship of a nation to its harbor. Similarly, others of myopic thoughts and reasons that is void of any reasoning have come up to say that ‘an Igbo presidency will set the ball that will divide the nation rolling’ using a possible renewal of the Biafra struggle as a point of reference and also may run a government that will be determined to pay back with evil the many ills that have been mated to the average Igbo man since the day the civil war broke out till the present.
However, these and many more are not what I am concerned about. It is always rife that objectivism take the lead before subjectivism follows. In the affairs of men especially as regards the social intercourse that is not only inevitable but also invaluable to the shared quest for collective advancement, equity and natural justice bleed massively on each occasion we permit truth, even if inadvertently, to be admitted into orphan hood. In the many years of our journey through history, save for the post-independence ceremonial presidency of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the lame-duck six months of Major Gen. J T U Aguiyi- Ironsi- following the unfortunate January 15, 1966 coup d’état, central executive power has largely remained outside the South East sub-region. Now, in playing the equity game it is only apt to note that the North East set the ball rolling in the first republic just like the North West did in the second republic. Even during the aberrant days of military intervention in national politics, the power cake was shared among the North Central and the North West and to some extent the North East since General Sani Abacha, was known to be of the Kanuri stock, not because of any incapacitation on the South East sub-region or for lack of illustrious sons who could also fulfill the same task, but for many reasons not to be separated from sentiments part of which was, to serve as a punishment to the entire NDIGBO for ever being allowed to be cajoled into a secessionist movement by the Biafran war sensation, Dim Odumegwu Emeka Ojukwu.
In the current democratic dispensation, the presidential flight took off from the south West and by the crafty machinations of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, landed in the North West although after the demise of President Umar Yar’ Adua, people especially from the Northern Caucus, saw this as a carefully orchestrated malice to the North in order that the presidential flight will land in the creeks of the South South zone through the chemistry of our constitution and uptil date, the South Eastern sub-region have continued to stand aimlessly in the corridors of power without gaining any official entry where the ‘cake’ lies..
That the south East is in the throes of massive infrastructural challenges is not in doubt just like it is also probably correct to say that the region bears the reality of the least direct federal investment in human capacity development, few number of states and meager revenue accruing to the region, industrialization and capital social infrastructure. One wonders if it wouldn’t appear that Ndigbo are implicitly been made to pay recompense for the unfortunate events of the civil war. However this may have been a deviation from the subject of this piece, it is only for the purpose of clarification.
The project of an Igbo presidency stands to be the only olive branch of the unification of Nigeria little wonder in the words of Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the election of an Onyeibo into the Nigerian presidency will signal the final conclusion of the war. Without the need to proceed on a deep mental exercise, it is glaring that the war was concluded long before I was even born, but the battle has sadly been carried to the present. Ndigbo have endured enough and have sacrificed more than enough to keep the dream of our heroes past alive in seeing that the unity of Nigeria is not bargained like a chattel in any free market and therefore, should be allowed to produce the next president that will chart our national cause if the incumbent president, deems it fit not to cling on to power at the end of this tenure that has already gotten all of us overwhelmed. If possible, it should be made a matter of a national concern and with our every luck, Ndigbo both at home and in the Diaspora will put hands on deck to produce a candidate that will not only be mind blowing but will also have almost what it takes to be a leader for no man has it all.
For the naysayers who have come up to say that the greatest impediment to supporting an Igbo man for president is the fear of what it will be used to achieve. Some say a re-enactment of Biafra as I have already highlighted while others chorus reverse marginalization and discrimination. One need not be told that between the sounding of the last bullet and today, a whole new generation of Ndigbo have been born and raised who know little or nothing about the dark years of Biafra but Nigeria. Some have started raising their own families and for those who started early, may be on their way to becoming grannies. The Igbo man is easily the most integrated in the country and is at home wherever he finds himself. Indeed, the past has been placed where it belongs; therefore such comments remain unfounded and mere calling a dog a bad name just to justify its killing.
To conclude, for the reasons of equity, fairness and justice, the presidential pendulum rightly deserves to be swung eastwards come 2015. There are many astute men of repute and goodwill bustling with political morals that knows no bound willing and ready to deliver the Nigerian project. They should be sought after, and if one is found, on him should the responsibility of steering this ship right be placed. An idea of an Igbo presidency cannot come at a better time.
The writer tweets @yung_silky