By Rev.Fr. Evaristus Offor
The devil is always the father of all lies, perfidy and insidious promptings and manipulative tendencies for offhand actions and especially to hamper human decisions. He denies any pact done with others in order to retain the status-quo. He doesn’t keep to his words, but mesmerizes, and selfishly loves greed, as well as oppressively hurting scruffily. He doesn’t respect common agreements but slogs for tangled and claptrap mendacity. He is always opposed to veracity, synchronization, fairness and reasonable innuendo, justice and equity. That is the devil, the driver of ethnic and political slither. His angels have been on the political décolletage of the wheezing Igbo of the South Eastern Nigeria who lived mutually as a united people before the glum synthesis of 1914. They were peacefully and autonomously organized, crammed by common cultural and traditional routines, religious and tribal cohesion. They lived in suppleness, had sense of the sacred, sense of purity and grace of commonality, but all these have became buckled through a concave marriage with other disquieting ethnic groups.
In short, the Igbo have been marked to be hushed forever. For example, in 1966, they were slaughtered in the North through inflexible pogrom and ensuing but hardnosed coup designed to constrict them. From 1967 to 1970, they were brashly slammed by allied forces, during the chirpy civil war; and affianced to a hodgepodge of economic woes with a view to stamping out the Igbo in the surface of Nigeria. They slogged for the extensive mass murder of Biafrans despite losing both property and billions of currencies in today’s Rivers State after the war. They declared “no victor, no vanquished policy but have continued the heartless nepotism, oppression and banishment of the Igbo. Whereas the post-war declaration of 3Rs policy to integrate the Igbo was an only optical illusion and ploy to cuckold the world. The famous rotational presidency that was already practiced by the PDP is about being truncated by the same party, because now it’s the time for the Southeast to rise to the political pyramid in Nigeria. For the 2023 epic, the party seems to be eye-catching and reneging on the policy, in order to continue Igbo marginalization and intimidation.
Some youths are impishly docketed, ‘’terrorists’’, in order to hang them, while their parents weep and lump their teeth. There are instances of anarchy, sectional favoritism, ethno-religious prejudice, nepotism, detestation and bitterness against a declared nemesis of the country. Some dine and wine with real terrorists in the name of dialoguing with terrorists and walk free on our streets making unnecessary noise and rudely insulting people. Why are there no dialogue with Igbo youths? You have only succeeded in enthroning anarchy and slip-up in the Southeast. Remember there were dialogues with the then Niger Delta forces and now the dreaded Boko Haram. Fulani herders are prancing and extinguishing both human and inhuman resources down in the South undisturbed by the Federal Government. Every killing in the Southeast is attributed to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB. Why are we fooling ourselves? Did words of wisdom not tell us that the truth shall make us free? There is free militarization of the Southeast more than it is in the North where we have more terrorism, banditry and kidnapping for ransoms. Now is the time to uplift the dignity of the Igbo in Nigeria. This true reconciliation and process of healing the wounds of Biafra shall begin with respect to the rotational presidency being reserved only to the Igbo, the Southeast. As an Igbo man (Chief Alex Ekwueme) created this project, they must not rebuff the fruits of his effort by denying all presidential slots to the Igbo person, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Therefore, any opposition to the 2023 power shift to the Southeast amounts to a continuation of Northern and South Western impiety, voraciousness, parochial fanaticism, wilful nepotism, marginalization, injustice, inequity and nauseating ruse. Will history ever forgive those that might oppose the Igbo ascendency? How can rational beings be talking of power remaining in the North or in the hands of another Muslim, having seen our afflictions under this era. Do they still want the region to continue to be a patch and a cracked political pariah in this country? By giving them 2023 presidential tickets will start the reconciliatory and healing wounds of the Igbo marginalization by both the North and Southwest. It will end the piety of politics being thrown into the chasm of repugnance and selective opportunism. It will inter the gorge of personal enhancement and tribalistic endorsement. Nigerians must traverse the flecked zone of satanic enclaves and droning schemes to make it work. Our politics must be fixed on good ideologies and practicable strategies based on justice and equity, respect to the originality, the grittiness and political tact of the Igbo man, and make progress as a country. Only evil goaded minds will try to prevent Igbo ascendency in 2023. Christians must now ensure and work for justice and equity which is only proper in God’s eyes. How many times have both the North and Southwest failed Nigeria in leadership? Nigeria is fading because of their misdemeanors. The Igbo person can be of help in revitalizing our fortune with his nimble-fingered and humane character. We need Nigerians with the fear and respect of God to vouch for political balancing? The North has colonized our vital security and economic apparatuses for too long either through military counter coups or civilian regimes. They only use and dump the Igbo in our national politics of disaster and bereavement. They mindfully shunned the celebrated 2014 CONFAB or the Justice Oputa Panel recommendations, lest the Igbo get freedom. Must the Igbo person be blustery in eternity because of soulless tang? We need the Igbo person to succeed in Nigeria because, he is not a coward but has a subtle character, self-confidence and animated in defiance to pressure. He independently possesses a dignity and self-esteem that make things happen. He doesn’t desecrate mutual agreements. He is gutsy, pushy, feasible, sphinx-like and always committed to every good cause he has assumed. He is pretty religious, irreplaceably imperative and astutely utilitarian. Therefore, any opposition to the 2023 Igbo ascendancy is of the impish sprit, since the refutation of justice is of mistiness and kismet. The Igbo must collectively agree not to serve any other region again because the Igbo are born to lead. We must say no to any other region in 2023 presidential election. Honorable Nigerians, we need a geopolitical balancing in the leadership of Nigeria. This is even the time for the Church to fight for justice and equity as the Vatican document, (Gaudium et Spes no 1) rightly opined: ‘the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joys and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. The Igbo of Southeast have been in anguish and affliction for many years now. He has endured limitless injustices and inequities since the civil war. The Igbo race is grieving over continued political exclusion in Nigeria. The Church in Nigeria must now add her voice in the needed geopolitical and ethnic equalization. It must strongly campaign for equality and justice, as the late Jomo Kenyatta said: “That is why we need the Church in our midst to tell us when we are making a mistake. The Church is the conscience of society, and today society needs a conscience. Do not be afraid to speak. If we go wrong and you keep quiet, one day you may have to answer for our mistake”. Is the fusion of Nigeria not the first asinine mistake and now the scheming for the jettisoning of rotational presidency another? Whether there was any mutual agreement among the political parties on such a pliant project or not, it is Igbo’s turn. So now, we need to hear the Church’s collective voice, because to leave our politicians in their eccentric mistakes and gobbledygook will only mash this great country into the cavernous chasm of silhouette? The Church must tell us, especially our politicians that it’s only natural, justifiable and aligning to back up every presidential aperture for the Igbo person, so as to maintain the beauty of rotational presidency, which has calmed our electoral processes in many states. Why should we live in lies and falsehood? They wanted to may be kidnap or kill Justice Odili Mary, but every force has denied such a move. Many obnoxious and unethical things have been enthroned in this country as cultural trends, and we pretend as if we were not around. Remember that God will arbitrate on our commissions and blunders. Our slips are when we tolerate evil and their committers.
• Fr Offor writes from Enugu