2019: Between ‘Igbo presidency’ and restructuring


The most trending issue on the political cyberspace of Nigeria yesterday, until it was justly and appropriately dislodged today by the ‘Epistle of St. Matthew to the Failed One’, was the inauspicious ‘endorsement’ of President Muhammadu Buhari for re-election in 2019 by the leaders of the South-East chapter of the APC, some of whom are amongst the most opportunistic and self-serving political turncoats in modern history.

The list includes a certain Jim Nwobodo, Governor of Old Anambra State in the Second Republic who was dumped into jail for an interminable term when the selfsame Buhari truncated the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari in 1984, and a Ken Nnamani who served as Senate President in the widely riled PDP government. And other better forgotten names.

As I have noted elsewhere, I do not begrudge the South-East leaders of the All Progressives Congress for the voyage to Aso Rock. It is what took them there that I am concerned. Recall that some mischief makers reportedly referred to them as “Igbo leaders”, without reference to their political inclination and predilection. Those men and women (Not Wise (wo)Men from the East) marched like sheep led to the slaughter house to ask the President to continue beyond 2019, at a time when the groundswell of opinion across the country against Buhari is overwhelming, so that, as they hoped, it would be the turn of Ndigbo to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023! What a warped thinking!

Sadly, the journeymen, most of whom reside in Abuja for fear of the unknown following their serial non-performance in previous political positions and endeavours, did not remember to mention to the President, obviously, for fear of being openly rebuked, of the clamour for restructuring Nigeria which will serve the greater interests of Ndigbo than the so-called ‘Igbo Presidency’.


Sometime ago, it was believed in many quarters that the reason for the continued neglect and underdevelopment of much of the Niger Delta region was because nobody from the area had had the opportunity of ruling the country. In 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan rode on that sentiment to fulfil that destiny. After six on the podium, the relevance of his ascension to power could be seen in the decrepit of the East-West Road, a signature project in the region. The state of the critical infrastructure in most of the South-East, his greatest backers, are better forgotten than written. What of the promised Second Niger Bridge? Our Ebele did not have mercy as to do it. So much for Niger Delta Presidency.

Down here in the West, it is unarguable that the eight years of President Olusegun Obasanjo did not similarly translate to the upgrade of even the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway that passes through Ota, his hometown.

Now to the South-East APC journeymen to Aso Rock, their projection that an ‘Igbo President’ whatever that means will turn ala Igbo into Paradise is unfounded. The same Jim Nwobodo that trudged along to Aso Rock yesterday was one of the principal actors that scuppered Alex Ekwueme’s presidential ambition in 1999 and 2003. This is not to recall the “idiotic” outburst against it by the late Ojo Maduekwe.

What Ndigbo, and Nigeria as a whole, need more to thrive is the restructuring of the country. As long as the country is as it is currently structured and governed, even if the President and Vice President come from one zone, there will be no development, economic growth and prosperity.

Thankfully, Obasanjo, just by the stroke of the pen, showed the APC South-East leaders how politically undiscerning they are. Political neophytes. Novices of the highest order. They did not know that like Saul, the Spirit of God has since left him. Like the man-made gods we sing in churches, they have eyes, but dem no dey see; dem get ear, but dem no dey hear!

@cc: Joel Nwokeoma


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