Home COLUMNISTS If Only Igbo Can ‘Win’ Presidency, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

If Only Igbo Can ‘Win’ Presidency, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

ozi

It is interesting that Igbo people in the South East have declared that one of them must be President of Nigeria come 2019. Though, the confusion caused to such agitation by another group agitating for Biafra cannot be swept under the carpet, the fact remains that Igbos, like any other ethnic groups in Nigeria, deserve to take a shot at the Presidency.

However, in agitating for Presidency, with aggressive language such as IGBO MUST be President in 2019, something seems to be missing, which is what an English teacher would call Qualifier. In this case ELECTION.

In other words, the Igbos who are demanding for an Igbo President in 2019 have never say it properly, such as Must be elected President of Nigeria in 2019. It is a universal fact in democracy that it is by election that a person, irrespective of where he comes from, is ELECTED by people from all parts of the country.

This is saying that an Igbo man or woman that will be President of Nigeria in 2019 or any other time, must campaign, convince and get the votes of people from the North East, North West, North Central, South West, South South and of course, South East.

But the way Igbos have constituted themselves into haters of anything North and, to some extent, anything South West, looks as if they think that there is other way, other than election, one of them can ever be President of Nigeria.

[quote]If only the Igbos would calm down and develop neighbouring love for other ethnic groups, their dream of being President would be realized in no distant future.[/quote]

If only the Igbos would calm down and develop neighbouring love for other ethnic groups, their dream of being President would be realized in no distant future.

All they need to do is to ask to be given a lesson or two from late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, aka MKO Abiola, through those who were close to him during his political and electoral exploits.

Because MKO Abiola built bridges across the ethnic and religious divides, he defeated even his political opponent in his own State to win Presidential election, though, the power-that-be at that time denied him the fruit of the victory.

Igbos cannot continue to be antagonistic to the people in other parts of the country and still expect them to be sympathetic to their course in a democracy that we are operating.

[quote]Igbos cannot continue to be antagonistic to the people in other parts of the country and still expect them to be sympathetic to their course in a democracy that we are operating.[/quote]

Indeed, when Igbos cry about marginalization, the impression one gets is that they have been confined to their own side of the country while those who marginalize them are governing: that they are not in the government at all.

But this is the ethnic group that has its brilliant men and women in strategic offices, even in this Muhammadu Buhari’s government. What about the powerful minister of State for Petroleum Resources (next only to the President himself)?

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What about the ministers of Trade and Industry: Labour and Employment; Mines and Solid Minerals? What about the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; the Chief Judge of Nigeria and several other key positions?

And in the immediate past government, of Goodluck Jonathan, Igbos dominated almost all the strategic federal positions, to the extent that one Igbo minister was in fact, the de facto President while the other held sway at the only source through which Nigeria got income to operate as a government: Petroleum.

The point here is that what different does it make for Igbo nation now that they feel they are being marginalized and at the time, during Jonathan government, they had everything going in their favour?

Except if there is some ulterior motive, which still borders on pathological and open hatred for anything North, Igbo as an ethnic group has had its own fare share of the nation’s distributive resources and positions, based on circumstances prevailing.

It means that they should learn to properly integrate and blend with other parts of the country, instead of clamouring for more attention on top of the attention they are already getting or more attention than the other ethnic groups.

And, to let a political none entity and dual-citizen Nnamdi Kanu to take over the available political space in the South East and or sponsor him to be assailing the rest of Nigerians with a call for a Biafran Republic, a thing that even a very intelligent, Oxford-trained military officer like Emeka Odumwgwu Ojukwu could not achieve, is to carry the joke too far.

And to think that Nnamdi Kanu and his sponsors from the Igbo elders can succeed in twisting the hands of, or confusing another intelligent military officer who now leads the country in democratic robe, Buhari, to part with any part of this great country, is a dream from where they need to wake up.

In other words, it is foolhardy for Nnamdi Kanu and his sponsors to think that President Buhari, who fought the civil war to keep Nigeria one from 1967 to 1970 would let go of any part of Nigeria to such cheap blackmail.

By the way, why did they not agitate for Biafra in Jonathan government?

Indeed, Igbos need to really put their act together, resolve to properly integrate themselves in Nigeria, extend hands of genuine brotherhood to people in other parts of the country, respect other people’s feelings and cultures and, above all, determine to make Nigeria a country they can be proud of. It is only by so doing that their ambition to become the President will be realized, because, people in other parts of the country are wise enough to know who to vote for.

You can’t vote for those who hate you, insult you, call you unprintable names and make you look worthless.

Can you? [myad]