Tuesday, 7 April 2015

On Ndi-Igbo, APC and the Nigerian Politics

Prior to the Presidential elections, I took time to reflect on the two major contenders - President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari; to state what I expect from either of the two if elected; and to say why I shall support one instead of the other. Well, that election has come and gone and GMB emerged winner. I congratulate him just as I congratulate GEJ, Jega and all Nigerians who contested and/or voted during that election. I intend to share with you my reflection on all that played out during and after the presidential elections...but today, I shall concentrate on the ‘impact’ of the elections on the Igbos.

The Igbos dominate the south-east geopolitical zone which is made up of five states: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States. The main regional political party in this zone is the APGA with PPA trying to find its footing. The APGA had been in control of Anambra for 3 consecutive tenures. It was under the APGA that Imo’s present Governor (Rochas Okorocha) was elected before his defection to APC. PPA hasn't really been sleeping; under it, the Present Governor of Abia State (T.A Orji) and the immediate past governor of Imo State (Ikedi Ohakim) were elected before they defected to the PDP. However, the PDP has had relative dominance in this region.

During the Presidential and National Assembly elections on the 28th of March 2015, although there was a significant number of people who voted without tribal and regional sentiments; these factors were the major deciding factors as always. The Northern belt voted for one of their own and the party that best reflected their interests (APC), while the south - especially the south-east - voted for one of theirs and the parties that best reflected their interest (PDP or APGA).

Prior to the election, not one "political analyst" came to prophesy the "political doom" that would befall the Igbos if they failed to vote GMB and/or vote APC contestants for Senate. Fast forward to today, they have come out of their shells to call the Igbos a lot of derogatory names: from stupid, to myopic, to politically naive and what have you...why? Because the south-east voted PDP National Assembly candidates and not one APC contestant won a place.

With hindsight bias, these "political analysts" who are now suddenly so full of wisdom claim that because Igbos were so blinded by hatred for Buhari/persons of Northern extraction, they failed to see the consequences of not electing a single APC candidate into the National Assembly. What are these consequences? According to them: since an Hausa man shall be President; Yoruba Vice President; it was expected that an Ibo shall be Senate President. However, this is not to be because the APC is expected to field the next Senate President having attained a majority status in the senate house with about 62-64 seats out of the available 109. PDP is said to have won between 45-47 seats while the remaining seats went to the Labour, Accord and Social Democratic parties. They argue that without an Igbo man in APC both at the upper and lower chambers, there is no way that an Igbo will head either of the chambers. 

Why Igbos have become the go-to guys when people need to wag their mouths beats me. In the present government, though not by their own making- there is no Yoruba occupying the seat of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker or Deputy Speaker House of Representative and they still haven't gone under or become politically irrelevant. Why would Igbos die if the same happens to them? Why are APC politicians and Foot soldiers painting it as such a sorry situation? What improvement have previous custodians of such positions brought to their tribes as a whole? A person who calls the Igbos idiots for not working towards having their son or Daughter as Senate President is a much bigger idiot for not realising that being a Senate President is to the CV of the individual and not the Tribe from which he comes nor the people whom he represents. As far as I am concerned, each State and Constituency has sent people to the National Assembly to be duly represented and not necessarily to become heads; so as long as APC wouldn't deny the Igbos and people of south-east extraction their seats and contribution at the National Assembly, then all is fine. 

In all honesty, people can really be so stupid. Even Owelle Rochas Okorocha publically termed Igbos as myopic and senseless because APC senatorial candidates were not voted. No other ethnic group or region embarked on the level of "thinking" which Rochas and his kind believe the Igbos should have embarked on in order to vote candidates that will ensure that the Igbo nation remains relevant in Nigerian politics. The Northerners for example simply voted for a Party and or persons of their choice; they never came out to say "let's vote some people into PDP and others into APC so that we remain covered no matter the outcome of the election"; so why must it be the Igbos that will do such? I believe that Rochas and his ilk are either point-blank stupid or delusory. Even if before the election there was such a beautiful “thought” and plot (there wasn't), how on earth was that supposed to be achieved? Hypnotism and mind control? I think the fools should just shut up and live with the fact that ndi Igbo voted the candidates they wanted.

In my opinion, the Igbos have consistently voted on individual basis and for those who they believe will serve their individual interests; they have never allowed the Ibo versions of Oba, Emirs, self-proclaimed statesmen and warlords to dictate their political decisions as is the case to a significant extent in other parts of the country. Even when a top Igbo son in the person of Odimegwu Ojukwu vied for Presidency in a very flawed election under the watch of an obvious devil who now claims he is saint Obasanjo, Igbos were not fully in his support; so if they could neglect Ojukwu and the dominant regional party in 2007…who is Buhari and what is APC? Whether this individualistic characteristic will be to their benefit or detriment in the typical Nigerian context is another topic for discussion; however, it must be pointed out that in this state of individualism, there is unity...a popular voice and choice emerges and that is the what we call DEMOCRACY. the Igbos clearly demonstrate and represent a school of thought and practice which if adopted by other regions of this country will push us closer to true democracy devoid of religious, ethnic and tribal wrangling.

I acknowledge that it is all part of politics that things that ordinarily shouldn’t be said eventually get voiced; however, I think it is gradually turning into a politics of insults against the Igbos. Just yesterday, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu had threatened any Igbo who votes Jimi Agbaje on Saturday with death by drowning in the lagoon within seven days…why Igbos must be singled out in a cosmopolitan State for such a threat beats me. The electorate in Lagos must surely include the Yorubas, Hausas, Efiks, Tivs, Igbos, etc. who are free to vote any of the contestants in Saturday’s gubernatorial election...so why has the monarch made it excusable for other tribes to vote PDP but a capital punishment if Igbos do?

You see the same trend with Igbos being warned to vote APC gubernatorial candidates down south-east if they don't want to go on a political exile under Buhari/APC's government; this is the recent campaign strategy adopted by Rochas and his fellow APC gubernatorial candidates. Under the guise of “protecting the interest of the Igbo nation and the south-east geopolitical zone” they fight for their own political interests thinking they are dealing with fools. They want Igbos to vote APC in, even if the candidates presented are not trustworthy or the Igbo nation will be in for else a hard time politically...see blackmail naa!! Rochas now appears to have forgotten that APGA was minority in 2011 (still is) when he contested under that political party and won; now in 2015 it has suddenly become taboo to vote someone who doesn't belong to the ruling party. Rochas shall never cease to behave like a common thief.

Well, unless things have changed now...the Igbos, especially in Imo state, do not care about such nonsense. Imolites voted a PPA candidate when PDP was dominant; they voted out a PDP candidate and replaced him with an APGA candidate even with PDP's dominance and I do not see why they wouldn't vote out an underperforming APC candidate in the person of Rochas Okorocha if they wanted to. Heaven hasn’t fallen before now and it wouldn’t fall if no APC candidate is elected governor, Rochas especially.

For people like Eze-ndi-Igbo of Amuwo-oriade in Lagos who promised Oba Akiolu that all Igbos in Lagos will vote for APC on Saturday; for all the Ezes and different versions of Ohaneze-ndi-Igbos who have made promises to one political party or the other that they will get the Igbos to vote in their favour...you all better sharpen your skills at hypnosis and mind-control or wake from your slumber because the Igbo man wouldn't give a hoot what you say; he would vote for whom he wants. In case you have never heard... Igbo enweghi eze. An Igbo man is king to himself and as a King he will make his own decision on the 11th of April 2015 as it concerns who governs him for the next 4 years.

The Oracle has spoken!!

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