By Joe Igbokwe
Last week, a high-powered delegation of Igbo leaders stormed Dover Hotel at Lekki Phase 1 Lagos to woo Ndigbo Lagos to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential bid. The meeting was well attended and this mission was clear: It is President Jonathan or nobody! The mission has indeed thrown up some big questions on what Igbo agenda is in Nigeria. What does Igbo want in Nigeria? What is their strategy? What is their mission? What is their plan for Nigeria? What is their strength? What is their thinking? What is wrong with Igbo politics?
Few weeks an Igbo youth whose name I cannot remember posted a question on his Facebook wall, . Hear him: “Why is it that Igbo are always in the forefront to work for other people to be Presidents in Nigeria? Is it that no Igbo is good to be president of Nigeria?” He traced the days of IBB and Abacha when Chief Arthur Nzeribe and one Daniel Kanu played prominent roles to extend their tenures in office. If Ndigbo help President Jonathan to remain in Power till 2019 where does this leave Ndigbo? By 2019 Southern Nigeria would have been in power for 18 years. Now do you think the North will just sit down to continue to be spectators in a democracy? Is this what we struggled for from 1985 to 1999? The South did not struggle for power shift to the South so as to keep it for 18 years. It will be a threat to democracy, a threat to national unity and a threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria as a political entity. This is a timely warning!
As 2015 draws near, our prominent and eminent Igbo leaders are not thinking about the state of the nation. They are not worried about insecurity in the land. They are not worried about the tragedy in the power sector, they are not worried about outrageous corruption, impunity and mediocrity at the federal level, they are not worried about the threat to national unity, they are not worried about colossal decay of infrastructure, they are not worried about the decay in our schools and hospitals, they are not worried about Nigeria’s monumental battered image and they are not worried about Nigeria’s threatened future.
There is no strategic alliance with the major ethnic groups, the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba just for the sake of Nigeria. They abuse them and call them names forgetting that they need their votes to rule Nigeria. They allow their flanks to be infiltrated for a mess of porridge. It is money for hand back for ground. It is give me money and I kill myself (Inyem ego egbuomonwem). The truth is that Igbo has been left behind in matters of Nigerian politics. There is no strong presence in PDP and no strong presence in APC, the two major parties. Igbo politics worries me to the bones!
But it is not yet a hopeless case for Igbo. Things can get better if we sit down to discuss strategies and think properly. If you do not know where you are going, nobody can help you. If you do not stand for something, nobody will take you serious. If you do not love others, then they can never trust you. If you do not show some seriousness in anything you do, nobody will take you serious.
The truth is that South-south and South-sast votes cannot make President Jonathan president again in 2015 if politics is still a game of numbers. Given the situations in the country, given the gamut of failures staring us in the face in every department in Nigerian and given the bloodshed we have recorded in the past 15 years of democracy, President Jonathan ambition to rule Nigeria for 10 years is a difficult pill to swallow.
Joe Igbokwe lives in Lagos