By Comr Amos Kalu
The question of Nigeria President of Igbo extraction in 2023 has been christened ‘Igbo Presidency’ and it has taken the center stage of our national discourse, and rightly so at this critical time in the history of our nation.
Without mincing words or sounding apologetic with realities facing us, I will bold say Nigeria has retrogressed since 1960 after independence, rather than progressed and we have continued trying to sound politically correct by being economical with the truth of it when it comes to pointing out those errors that have held us down to state of stagnancy, disrepair and unprogressiveness. Yet I reckon that in all sincerity of purpose and for the love of the possibility of a future for Nigeria, this is not time to sound politically correct, this is time to end the Nigeria Civil War and move on or continue to pretend about it until it causes us the nation. The inevitability is presently before us in plain sight.
I have always argued that Nigeria is a nation that love “playing the Ostrich” with our realities, challenges and shortcomings when we should actually confront them, defeat them or fail while trying. No problem solves itself until a solution is proffered.
An Ostrich is a big bird that is very strong and so powerful that it can confront any danger or probably defeat it if it were to stand its ground. But when an Ostrich senses danger around it or is chased by any other animal, the first reaction to the danger is to escape because the bulky body and long legs can afford it the advantage of escaping the danger.
But when the Ostrich outruns its danger, it takes the advantage of space to dig a very big hole in the ground, put its head under the sand and cover the head up with sand, leaving the whole body outside totally exposed to whatever danger it must have escaped from. That way, Ostrich usually lose its life to attackers without putting up a fight that would’ve saved its life instead. This is how Nigeria has handled all her dangers till now that it have almost consumed her.
The Nigerian civil war of 1967 – 1970 has remained one of the worst challenges to the existence of Nigeria in many respect, as the war ended with a rhetoric of ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’, while the realities of victor and vanquished did place power firmly in the hands of the North who believes they deserve a lot of booty for a war well fought, thereby relegating the surposed vanquished South East to the reality of submission to the truth of 5%ters, hence the failure to reintegrate the East and move on. The Ostrich disposition made rubbish of the powerful RRR proposed by Yakubu Gowon after the war, the rest is now History.
The Ostrich attitude, systematically hid history from her people, shared power among the victors, created policies that only serve to milk the conquered South to Develop the North, yet we all pretend that all is well. It has festered, brewed bad blood, disunity and it gave birth to pockets of agitation that are gaining momentum even as the ‘stick and carrot approach’ has continued to fail, yet the Ostrich is still hiding its head under the sand from realities of her danger. “FOR HOW LONG?”
Possible Solution (Igbo Presidency)
In as much as the people from South East had over the years tried to play along with the guilt of a defeated people whom are constantly reminded that they almost ended Nigeria in their quest for freedom from politically motivated killings of her people, yet there’s limit to how long a man can endure, especially when the generation being punished are different from the generation that actually fought for their freedom, the result is what we witness today.
In retrospect, since the Southeastners have come out to say we are part of this project called Nigeria, we wish to Rehabilitate, Reconstruct, and Reintegrate (RRR), in the true sense of the word, then the North and the rest of Nigeria should see it as the first opportunity to truly end the war existing in the minds of the victors and exploit the opportunity to move Nigeria forward for the first time in her history as no nation progresses under the atmosphere of rencour, distrust, disunity and tribalism in a multicultural, multiethnic and diversity polity like Nigeria.
This is time to end the Civil War by producing Nigeria President of Igbo extraction as the only panacea to salvaging what is left of Nigeria because the North will be mistaken is they ever continue to lay claim to the ownership of Nigeria as the people that have conquered the rest who should always bow to their wills.
The Ostrich must brings its head out of the sand to face her danger or die in its self inflicted dangers.
Comr Amos Kalu is a media practitioner and political analyst, writes from Abuja.