Nigeria is like a nation under a spell, a hostage to lies and deceptions. As a people, if we expect to be ignorant and free, then we expect what never was, and never will be. It behoves us to be alert, vigilant and willing to confront official injustice whenever and wherever we found them. Like the saying ‘nothing good comes out of Egypt,’ I do not see anything good coming out of our current situation; I do not see hope in a regime that is all motion no movement.
I have commented on this page that we must be prepared for the best and the worse. I reached this conclusion having realised that the administration has no interest in nation building, it has no common interest in developing a common agenda for the common good of all rather it is poised promote a systematic exclusion of a section of the country and comfortable settlement of their own at the expense of others.
At the receiving end are the Igbo. Never before, in the history of Nigeria have we suffered political persecution, exclusion and threat of political extinction than they are now passing through thus confirming the worst fears of the people who justifiably refused to buy into PMBs ‘trust me, I am a changed man and now a democrat’. Predictably, President Buhari has made sure no South Easterner is allowed within an ear shot of the Presidency by ensuring that the security caucus and kitchen cabinet did not include a single South Easterner; whereas Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen remain undefeated, abducting, kidnapping, raping and maiming hapless civilians, defenceless Igbo youths are being killed for flying the colourful flag of Biafra and for singing the good Biafra anthem in praise of the rising sun. Need I remind that no Hitler and no Jupiter can stop the sun from rising from the East.
I have heard people say the Igbo are being flogged with scorpions and razor blades for massively voting for former President Jonathan in the last election. Voting Jonathan wasn’t a mistake. Ndi Igbo do not owe Buhari our votes just like the Kanuri’s never owed former President Jonathan their votes. Jonathan enjoyed the massive support of the Igbo because he ran an all-inclusive government of which Ndi Igbo were fairly accommodated and given sense of belonging. Buhari can do same and sit at the table with Nigerians of all diversity not just people that pray like him or look or dress like him!
President Buhari as the leader of a democratic Nigeria owes every section of the country fairness, equity and social justice irrespective of how they voted or didn’t vote. Therefore, seeking to punish the Igbo on account of our voting preference by denying us deserved appointments and proper accommodation is a violation of his oath of office. Recall that from 1966 to 1970 we fought a bitter civil war to have an independent state of Biafra and Nigeria wasted millions of lives from both sides to keep the country together.
President Buhari like successive leaders is duty bound to ensure that Igbo are accepted, accommodated and made part of the political process in the country not excluded. My task for the Igbo is that we must seize the moment and redefine our destiny within the context of one Nigeria. Nobody will love us more than we love ourselves. We must preserve our cherished values, stick together as one and work together with a single determination to survive Nigeria and succeed in Nigeria no matter the burden. We must continue to pursue education for our children and ensure or children excel in science and arts. We must maintain our leadership in scholarship, craftsmanship, commerce, industry, innovations and creativity. Rather than fight to pull each other down, we must be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. As endangered people we must always see any injury to one is an injury to all Onye Aghala Nwanneya. We must show strength in solidarity ‘Igwe Bu Ike’. We must ensure our political leaders at the state and local government’s level are the best that any nation can offer.
We must be willing to learn from other tribes especially on what works in Nigeria. In 1999 the Yoruba nation justifiably rejected former President Obasanjo but when they found him the only hope of retaining power in 2003, the rallied round him and voted with their thumbs and toes. In 2003, 2007 and 2011, the Hausa Fulani rejected President Buhari . But when in 2015 they realized he was their best possible shot at the presidency, they sacrifice individual ambitions, mobilized resources and opinion including waging an undeclared war against the rest of the nation to achieve his presidency. This is a lesson that should not be lost on us as Ndi Igbo. Onye Ajuru, Anaghi Aju Onwe Ya.
I have no doubt in my mind that God loves the Igbo, that Ndi Igbo are God’s own people and that despite our shortcomings, flaws and imperfections that God stands with the Igbo in good and in bad times . We must always seek the face of God and His guidance at all times for in spite of the conspiracies and wickedness aimed at denying us a place within ear shot of governance , God helped us out in a miraculous way by installing Senator Ike Ekweremadu as the Deputy Senate President , yet the enemies of the Igbo are not prepared to accept the will of God. The travails of Senator Saraki are aimed at Ekweremadu whom they tried to use the police to distract and persecute but failed hence they dug up Saraki’s asset declaration in a desperate move to embarrass and indict him. After assaulting the Senate, the Judiciary will be next in this mindless pursuit to install a Nazi Nigeria.
For us as Igbo, we have seen despair, we have seen desolation and we have seen the worse of Nigeria. Though our wives, daughters and mothers may have been raped, our lands taken and gates to our city burned down, we must not give in to frustration. Our quest for justice and what is fair to all must not give up, never now, and never in future. To overcome we must anchor our new political road map on the philosophy of ‘Aham Efule’, a philosophy that transcends all religion and political barriers. It’s a philosophy that will guarantee our collective survival in a hostile political wilderness.
In the order of official protocol, Senator Ike Ekweremadu is the 4th in hierarchy. It is our duty to rally round him and support him along with our friends from the South-South, North Central and parts of South West. The cabals determined to exclude us from Nigeria must be made to realize that our survival cannot be compromised neither shall our existence be negotiated away. We must continue to build bridges and hold firm the hands of our cousins in the South- South and North Central.
It’s unfortunate that President Buhari is a poor student of history for if he is, he would have realized that we are his best partners in the supposed quest to reposition Nigeria to greatness. As a people we are not a threat to his presidency, neither is Senator Ekweremadu a threat to him. What he needs to do to win our support is let Ekweremadu be, fast track the completion of second Niger Bridge and extend his anti-corruption search light on Igbo governors who embezzle public funds in the South East, leave Biafra agitators alone and stamp out all manner of kidnappings and harassment by miscreants and these Fulani herdsmen from hell.