Events of past few days inspired today’s outing. For those who may not have missed the fire as it raged, Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo sometime towards the end of the penultimate week released what many Nigerians have come to term a “bomb” against Peter Obi, former governor of the same state and now presidential candidate of Labour Party for the February, 2023. Soludo, an academic with long standing interest in politics would have thought it is the usual joke but the adventure he chose to undertake was far more than a funny drama. It was war with all deadly weapons deplored to make captive and possibly inflict ultimate demage.
He unleashed his full arsenal but missed his main target. His act left visible destruction and hence was to naturally become the issue for the moment. If there were to be an award for the biggest issue of the moment this Soludo adventure in classical politics would have won it so very easily. It arrested interest of all, never mind that those from outside the South East region, after reading the Soludo diatribe, would have chuckled and perhaps flipped the page with the mindset that «it is essentially an Igbo on Igbo matter,” which when taken on the surface doesn’t concern them. This disposition is perhaps the reason many non-Igbos held back their views and reactions on an engagement that says so much about the way the Blackman does his things, his definition of power, its deployment and this tendency to show off linkages to superior external power centres and cells.
The people suddenly are coming to terms with why our country has refused to move from society to country, much less seeing the sense in becoming a nation. They see clearly that there exists a Nigerian philosophy known as «Soludoism.» The crux is selfishness, me before others. It is one that says without me no other person exist.
The principle of this ideology says «pretend to be large hearted, feign friendship with all but when the jungle matures, maul down with vehemence anyone who foolishly thinks he can assume the place of messiah or share the space with you while you are still around and solidly entrenched in power. This ideal says deal with such person using all arsenals available to you and never be bothered about the effects of your actions on the society. To be successful you must have helpful linkages outside your immediate area of origin or control. If you are from South East for instance, you must look out for collaborators from say core North in this case the Sultan, Emirs, Babangidas, Abdulsalamis, Buharis, Atikus or South West, talking about Obasanjos, Tinubus etc.
If from South South or South West you take either to the West or the North. President Goodluck Jonathan went South West and Bola Tinubu went North West. His cry in his native language in Abeukuta from where we got the now popular political lexicon, “emilokun”, which means, “it is my turn” emanated from a sense beholdenment, clear sense of entitlement. I have ran to you, did all your bidding, now is time to lift me up from the outside slave status to the in-house slave position where prerequisites of the free born can reach the person even if in small measures.
At the country level, many Nigerians make reference here to those who pride and prance about as our leaders have such belittling linkages with developed countries. Some are intelligence networking centres for these countries. They receive funds and other backings from those countries that enable them grab power where they never do anything or take steps without first consulting and getting approvals. This sense of false assurance is very destructive. It is the key reason our leaders don›t care what pains their acts in power bring on the people. They know the ordinary people are helpless and by the way can›t do much to halt or harm them.
The rich class know these linkages and their potency so they do everything to stay off fire lines. How many of us ever wonder why developed nations use visa denials and travel bans to threaten our rich and mighty and get them to quickly fall in line. Politics and political adventure can be very rewarding to gang members as individuals and as a group but destroy society and the people in it. Let’s begin from the national level, it makes a country subservient and their leaders tentative about policies to pursue.
We see it in having crude oil yet no requisite expertise and no serious effort towards owning refineries. Everyone talks about importation even when its disadvantages make a total mess of our development efforts. Today, perhaps this might change tomorrow, we depend on external statistics to say how we are doing. No productive base, we have to rely on foreign countries for virtually everything. Persons getting to power without a whim of what it is they intend to do. At the state level we see the trend in clear manifestation of surrogacy, the “connected” receiving external assistance to get to power and replicating the idiocy down the line.
Surrogates speak the exact language of their benefactors and espouse their ideology and intendments. They wear the garb of disruptive agents; they have this joy destroying genuine aspirations of their people and supplanting them with those of their slave masters and even killing them in the bid to gain forced loyalty from their traumatized subjects. They can be identified by their language, they are unmistakable in letting the world around them know how foolish, wayward and incapable of good actions their people are. “My people can’t be President”, “my people don’t understand the system”, “My people are not ready to have good roads, they are for now a bunch of rascals, very ungrateful people.” For such elements it is how far their masters want them to jumb and they do adding the unsolicited extra which to them is a mark or proof of gratitude and loyalty.
Back to Soludo and his outburst, it was unnecessary. He is a governor, the challenge is to prove his mettle which for now doesn’t appear clear. He didn’t need to support Obi, he could even hate him but he ought to know one cardinal and that is inside discretion is valour. The other would be there are times silence can be golden. Soludo chose to speak and all doubts were cleared. Many of his people and a lot of Nigerians are rattled by his ungracious outing. The way it is he may not survive the backlash. He appears set to be the undertaker for All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and this is very unfortunate to say the least.
What is said in preceding paragraph holds true for other governors, political leaders and business chieftains in South East and Nigeria by extension. South East is mentioned because the leaders there have fared worst in many of the ugly trend. North and South West to a lesser extent have many of such people but the bad habit is far better. One thing is confirmed: the defeat in the civil war is still hurting the Igbo psyche. Stifling of the region has produced the crab like culture, it is everyone to himself and God for us all.
Citizens do discuss, curse and rage but amazingly we all lack the real thing that makes a difference which is vigour to confront, that has become our albatross. We must rise to demand and even enforce change. Leaving politics and allowing political adventurers to roam and dominate the space is where our challenge lies the most. It is not ordinary that citizens when they have the chance to bring change in attitude and political culture still earnestly desire their tormentors and the discredited order. This is strange.