I have heard people who today are gone to the spirit world say with finality that ‘the Igbo can never rule Nigeria’. My response has always been that ‘the future is in God’s hands’. Only His will , will be done, not the will of man. ‘Uche Chukwu ga eme’. What I am going to say here is important for the Igbo and for Nigeria. When I wrote penultimate week that our problem is not just political but spiritual I made the assertion in the full realization that there’s a battle we see and one we don’t .We must face both. For the past two weeks, we have been regaled and entertained with revelations of mind-boggling corruption cases from the EFCC to NDDC. Someone said he has given up on Nigeria, but for me there is still hope, not withstanding that Nigeria is like a nation under curse and spell of the devil. What I don’t understand yet is how our thieving leaders face the outside world. Do they really think they are respected as top ‘executhieves’ or ‘legislathieves’?
As a people, if we expect to be ignorant and free, then we expect what never was, and never will be. It is our duty to be alert, vigilant and willing to confront in-justice whenever and wherever we find them. Like the saying ‘nothing good comes out of Egypt,’ I do not see anything good coming from our current incompetent and corrupt political class. I do not see hope in a leadership that is not interested in nation building. I had previously commented on this page that we must be prepared for the best and the worse. I reached this conclusion having realized that our current crop of leaders has no interest in developing a common agenda for the good of all; rather it is poised to promote a systematic exclu-sion 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 suf-fered political exclusion and threat of political extinction than we are now pass-ing through thus confirming the worst fears of the people who justifiably refused to buy into PMB’s ‘ I am for everybody , I am for nobody’. Of course this President is for everybody but the Igbo. If previous governments had whipped us with horse whips, today we are whipped with blades and scorpions . If they can stop the rain from falling in Igbo land, they will stop it, if they can stop the sun rising from the East, they will stop it. Fortunately God has disappointed them. I have heard people say the Igbo are being flogged with scorpions and razor blades for massively voting PDP in the last two elections. Voting Jonathan or Atiku wasn’t a mistake. Ndi Igbo does not owe Buhari our votes just like the Kanuri never owed former Presi-dent Jonathan their votes. Jonathan enjoyed our support because he ran an all-inclusive government of which Igbo were fairly accommodated. Buhari can do the same by sitting at dinner table with Nigerians of all diversity. It’s not too late for him to be for everybody.
As President, he owes every section of the country fairness, equity and social justice irrespective of how they voted or didn’t vote, hence seek-ing to punish the Igbo on account of our voting preference 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 thousands of lives from both sides to keep the country together. President Buhari like successive leaders is duty bound to ensure that Igbo are accommodated and made part of the political process in the country not excluded. He can shock me by supporting the South East to produce the next president that will be acceptable to the rest of the country especially the North.
My task for Igbo leaders is that we must seize this 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 and succeed in Nigeria no matter the burden. We must continue to not just improve ourselves but take personal actions to pursue next generation education for our children. We must maintain our leadership in sports, 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 as an injury to all; ‘Onye Aghala Nwanneya’. We must show strength in solidar-ity, ‘Igwe Bu Ike’. We must ensure our political leaders at the state and local government levels are accountable. If we need to knock sense into them, we should. 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, they 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 sacrificed individual ambitions, mobilized resources and opinion in-cluding 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 Igbo are God’s own people and despite our shortcomings, flaws and imperfections that God is with us in good and in bad times. God loves the Igbo in a special way. Because we are people very spiritual, we must not seize to pray, 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 of our rightful place in Nigeria, God in His mercy will raise a Moses for us. He will raise a king like David for us. He will through one us give Nigeria a leader that will be hailed and acclaimed as a great leader who united Nigeria and fixed our broken politics.
Ndi Igbo, we have seen war, 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 our cities burnt down to the ground , we still rose from the ashes of the war to build back the thriving cities we are all proud of today. Given our accomplishz̄ments since after 1970 we must not give in to the current frustration. We must not give up on our quest for justice and what is fair to all. Never now, and never in future. The current evil will not last forever. To overcome, we must anchor our future on the philosophy of ‘One Love’, one that transcends all religious and political barriers. It’s a philosophy that will guarantee our collective survival in a hostile political environment. Anyone hating another is not representing the Igbo value. We bear no malice against any tribe or person except that the people 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. We must exploit our old friendship with the West and in particular the North. We must build new bridges and be prepared for the best and the worse out of Nigeria.
•Clem can be reached via: 08034747898 and Email: [email protected]