This is the moment for the leadership of Ohanaeze to prove that it has the interest of Ndigbo at heart and the capacity to drive the destiny of the Igbos
Matthew Onyebuchi Agu
The emergence of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, last week as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeared to have thrown some observers of Nigeria’s political trajectory into wild excitement.
But those schooled in Nigeria’s political intrigues and who desire the best for this country received the news with caution. It is the constitutional right of every qualified Nigerian to contest for any political position in the land. All the 12 presidential aspirants of PDP, and indeed candidates of other parties, are backed by law.
However, a deeper reflection of the multifarious challenges and the forces of darkness holding the nation down from making progress for the past 58 years of its independence would compel any informed patriotic Nigerian to support President Muhammadu Buhari for second term to complete the sanitization work he is doing in the country.
It’s pertinent, therefore for the Igbo, particularly the apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo to take a deep reflection and review her position ahead of the 2019 general elections. Every well-meaning Igbo adult should indeed join hands in appealing to Ohanaeze to be circumspect, as difficult as it might be, because of the appointment of their son, Peter Obi, as running mate to Atiku. Ohanaeze should rather support President Buhari’s re-election bid.
This is the moment for the leadership of Ohanaeze to prove that it has the interest of Ndigbo at heart and also the capacity to drive the destiny of the Igbos entrusted today somehow in their hands. For strategic reasons, Ohanaeze must jettison sentiments, and demonstrate maturity and patriotism by mobilizing Igbos to support Buhari. This is not about the political party one belongs to, but about the soul of the country and best strategic political interest of Ndigbo.
There is no doubt that President Buhari is a leader Nigeria needs today, despite the challenges. He demonstrated this in 1984 as a military head of state, even though his regime was short lived lived. His famous ‘War Against Indiscipline” was felt in every part of the country. President Buhari has proven, time and again, that his is a divine mission. His vision is to create a corrupt free society, or at least a society that will punish mindless looting of national patrimony and where corruption will be reduced to barest minimum, if not eradicated.
The abysmal failure of successive regimes necessitated President Buhari’s second coming. Voted into office again in 2015 to continue his divine mission from where it was terminated in 1985. And as his trademark, he again went into the business of clearing the deep mess created by economic and political buccaneers.
For any objective observer of political and economic trends prior to 2015 general elections, there was no doubt that the economy was already in recession due to mindless looting and mismanagement of her resources. Nigeria was virtually a fiefdom in the hands of a very few highly placed individuals who turned themselves into neo-colonialists holding Nigeria down, cascading the presidency, the states, the local governments and wards. President Buhari’s mission must not end without liberating Nigeria from the claws of the neo-colonialism moulded in the garb of godfatherism and the transgressional decay to deceit and criminality that have pervaded our national political firmament since 1999.
In my write-up of March 29, 2018 I exhausted my frustration and do hope Mr President must have taken judicial notice of my admonition against his bowing to the criminal scheming over the realignment of the opposition forces against his government on his second coming. Therein, I also enjoined Mr President ever to allow himself to be deceived by the niceties of democracy as none has ever existed in Nigeria since 1999.
A PDP stalwart was fair to his conscience in this respect and the local government elections…j where governors shared the local government authorities to individuals they consider powerful enough to aid their elections and appropriate resources meant for rural/ grassroots development in the provision of government patronage to such individuals without any consideration for the downtrodden masses in the rural dwellings. This has been on and on since 1999 and this also explains why the National Assembly has repeatedly failed to accord the local government the autonomy it deserves. It is only Mr President Buhari that can extricate the nation from this awful malady.
Mr President should recall also that in the same outing, I referred him to the great Russia Republic where President Vladimir Putin is committed to turning around the fortunes of Russian economy. Rodrigo Duterte of Philippines and Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza are all patriots and nationalists, who our dear President Muhammadu Buhari should emulate and ignore totally the tantrums of the heartless and criminally minded hawkers who parade as politicians in Nigeria.
Mr President must not leave until and only when he must have reinstituted the smeared politics administration dichotomy in the nation’s administration which gave rise to the unbridled access to the vault without the due process of the bureaucracy. No nation can survive with the current mode of administration in Nigeria where bureaucracy is almost non-existent, having been stripped of her independence and the capacity to ensure accountability and financial discipline.
Unfortunately our President would be confronting this herculean task almost alone. The entire segments of the society have been compromised in the scheme of conspiracy that destroyed the foundation of Nigerian economy. The public service, the civil service, the private sector and the business community. Worst still the religious organisations are not left out in the determined efforts of several years of looting and bastardization of the national treasury.
Our leader, therefore, must maintain his increasingly impatient disposition to put a stop to this national hemorrhage, ignoring a segment of the nation in memory inertia and to be able to turn around the moribund fortunes of the Nigerian citizenry. The masses are behind you our President. Above all, God is your inspiration.
As earlier stated, the moment of truth is now and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo should for once ever since the inception of the current executives demonstrate leadership, patriotism, maturity, sincerity of purpose and nationalism.
Let the mantra of the President of America in his famous “America First” resonate in Ohanaeze with “Igbo First” by aligning fully with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
READ ALSO: Trump to unveil ‘America First’ strategy
Agu writes from Enugu