Greetings to all of us. I am of the belief that we are all witnessing the recent spate of events unfolding daily in our part of the world. From whichever school of thought you might come from, it seems you, myself and ‘them’ will arrive at one conclusion: that nowhere seem to be safe in this 1884 British Project that was dangerously patched up in 1901 By Fredrick Lugard. This essay however is not the usual ‘lamentation’ that most of us are used to. It is, however, a consciousness raiser.
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Ndi Igbo and The Myth of Igbo Presidency -By Chinwendu Carlos
To think is to exist. For, as noted by Descartes the philosopher; I think, therefore I am. To ‘be’ of course is to exist, and to exist one should be aware. ‘Thoughts are things and conditions are effects.’ Wrote Napoleon Hill.
The condition of the Igbo in present Nigeria is, whether you like it or not, a product of thoughts. For instance, in 2019, most Igbo people actually believe that their votes and online campaigns will usher in Atiku Abubakar as president of Nigeria but at the same time believe that their campaigns for regional governance done with the same energy they used for their ‘Atikulation’ campaign cannot bring about restructuring. Apart from the Igbo, the general Southern and Middle belt Youths usually depict this defeatist mentality during elections: they will tell you the youths have the numbers to beat the so-called elders. But if you ask them why they all wouldn’t vote for youth in a ‘youth’ party using their numbers to defeat the elders, you’d be begging to hear the most annoyingly foolish excuses ranging from ‘but the youth party have no structure…’ etc, which is only a way of saying the youths are not actually voting for structures, not persons.
I am worried that the Igbo is tilting towards emotional disaster once again by closing both ears to reason and reality. The rational fact on the ground did not support the emotional run around most Igbos are doing. The epicentre of this current emotional run around is the so-called Igbo Presidency. Based on the obtainable reality of today’s Nigeria, Igbo Presidency is a myth and hence a delusion. It is at best, fictitious and hence a fiction. Chinua Achebe had in “The Trouble With Nigeria” while lamenting the overthrow of reason by religion, drawn his reader’s attention to what he called harmless and harmful fiction. This means fiction itself is of two categories: the harmful and the harmless ones. In my assessment so far as someone deeply attracted to reality and not emotions, Igbo Presidency is simply a harmful fiction and here are my reasons:
1. Igbo Presidency as a term does not mean South East presidency. It means a president of Igbo-speaking extraction.
2. Igbo Presidency, should it be renamed ‘South East’ presidency, will create a huge crack. First is it will silently pass a confusing message to non-South East Igbo that there are Igbos in Igbo. Secondly, the Igbo who keep shouting about non-South East Igbos allowing Nigerian divide-and-rule politics separate them from their Eastern Igbo ethnic or linguistic brethren will have their mouths shut or they openly agree that they, not the Nigerian so-called divide-and-rule is actually pioneering the decimation of Igbo people.
3. No matter how you look at number two above, the trouble it carries is nearly inescapable. If you tried to argue that it is south East turn, then you are simply admitting that you are after all, in support of the said divide-and-rule the moment you realized it will favour your interest. And that you will always put your personal interest first over igbo interests and should never be trusted.
4. Ndi Igbo will not ‘especially’ benefit anything tangible thing from an Igbo Presidency. Go and ask Ijaw people what they benefited from the Goodluck Jonathan led Ijaw presidency. If you are not satisfied with whatever Ijaws told you, go and ask Yoruba people what they benefited from the Olusegun Obasanjo lead Yoruba Presidency.
5. An Igbo president will not change the Nigerian narrative to favour ndi Igbo. He will become a suspect by other Nigerians from where you and I know. The Igbo president will know too. He will be focusing on gaining the trusts of people that will never trust him: people that will find the tone of his good morning too harsh or too weak or unemotional.
6. Because this Igbo president is a politician that unlike you, will not be thinking about Igbo people or Nigerians but himself, your prospective Igbo president will be more interested in winning a second term, and so, will focus on those he is convinced will make it happen than your so called Igbo nonsense — because that is what he’d call it then: Igbo nonsense. He may not say it aloud but will act it by telling you to ‘desist from making ethnic remarks capable of heating up the polity or threatening the unity of “our dear country “‘.
7. Igbo president will not defend ndi Igbo as he is elected to defend ‘Nigerians’. Igbo presidential aspirants have shown you this by not condemning the murder of Deborah or the burning of an Igbo wood market in Abuja…you already know why they all couldn’t and why you didn’t want us to point same out either.
Igbo presidency will shockingly not happen. Those of you in the Peter Obi delusion camp are supposed to know, but your emotions will never let you. Let us take our dear saint Peter Obi for example. How is going to win? You and I know very well that right from the days of MKO, the Nigerian electoral field suffers “money for hand” syndrome and delegates will always be bought. We know Atiku Abubarkar have the money to dole out. We also know that St Peter Obi is stingy and according to you, does not spend anyhow. But even if he decided to do what he has been condemning in interviews, will he match Atiku in money spending? Nyesom wike is already a joker. If he dare spend a fraction of what Atiku will spend, EFCC will pick him up so fast he wouldnt tell how it happened.
To those in Amaechi camp, you honestly think Amaechi can beat Tinubu in money politics??
Conclusively, Igbo Presidency is a myth. It is simply a delusional fiction that will not happen but succeed once again in distracting Igbo people. Igbo Presidency, like Kanu’s umuchineke Biafra, is purely a day dream and dangerously a huge distraction.
The only thing ndi Igbo need is restructuring.
An Igbo Presidency will not make it happen.
An Igbo president will not even happen.
But the division the white elephant Igbo Presidency project will bring will stay.
REGIONALISM is the song.
Now, go and sing it.
It is the music of reality.
It is the song of victory.
It is the song of freedom.
It is danceable in the West and South.