Igbos have paid their dues in Nigeria party politics. After the collapse of the 1st republic, Ndigbo regained their political consciousness, albeit slowly, which culminated in the ascension of Dr Alex Ekwueme as the 1st executive & democratically elected Vice President of Nigeria. Although his reign was short lived as a result of military putsch which ousted the government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, howbeit, the role of Dr Alex Ekwueme in Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s government cannot be over emphasized.
As the Vice President to Shagari Ekwueme was loyal & submissive to the core, he carried out his functions without subterranean act & was never accused of any acts of insubordination.
In 1999, Chief Dr Alex Ekwueme was the arrow head to the formation of PDP, a party he almost single-handedly nurtured to power.
After the formation of PDP it was widely expected that Chief Ekwueme would clinch the party’s Presidential nomination on a platter of gold but he was schemed out in the power play that ensued after the demise of Chief MKO ABIOLA, the presumed winner of 1983 Presidential election, by the power that be who preferred a Obasanjo that played insignificant role in the formation of PDP.
The Igbos didn’t complain. They remained loyal to PDP & diligently supported the party in every of the elections that followed & the Igbos more often than not, voted against prominent Igbo sons & daughters of NDIGBO who contested outside the banner of PDP in such election. This showed the strength of their support for PDP.
It’s crucial to note also that Igbos dominance in NPN gave Chief Ekwueme the Vice Presidential slot & despite the fact that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe of NPP won the South Eastern states for NPP & Plateau State in the North Central region of Nigeria, Igbos massive support lead to NPN winning Anambra State in the gubernatorial election of 1993. The Igbo massive support also culminated in the failure of our revered Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in all the elections he contested in Nigeria on the platforms of NPN, ANPP & APGA. Not only did he fail in all the elections but unlike the great Zik Ojukwu failed in Anambra & Nnewi, his state & home town respectively. Ditto for Professor Kingsley Moughalu another prominent Igbo intellectual who failed in Anambra State & in Nnewi his town under the banner of YPP & so were many other NDIGBO who contested Presidential elections outside the banner of PDP.
I purposely included NPN in my analysis because PDP was an offshoot of NPN, two sides of the same coin. PDP in 2015 & 2019 Presidential election received yet another resounding victory in the South East & in other regions where Igbo speaking people are also commonly found.
The Igbos are not done yet with PDP & are ready to once again renew their support for PDP in the forthcoming Presidential election in 2023, despite that behind the scene manoeuvre clearly indicate that PDP will zone yet again the Presidential slot to the North, not minding that PMB, a northerner, is concluding his last lap of his eight years leadership on the banner of APC.
In all these show of massive support there is absolutely nothing to show in the South East region for this massive support for PDP in terms physical infrastructural development.
All the Federal projects in the region were abandoned. “Pharoah/Joseph used 7 years of abundance to store food that lasted them seven years of famine. Nigeria under the PDP squandered 16 years of abundance and are blaming APC in the years of famine.”
This is the situation on ground before His Excellency Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State hit his sledgehammer which deafening sound were loud enough to cause temporary hearing loss of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Therefore, Governor Dave Umahi) deserves commendation & not condemnation for stating the obvious in his cross carpeting address to the people of his state. “The PDP wanted me to be castigating the president. I refused because I have no other boss than President Buhari, who has been fair to all, including those that castigate him”, — Gov. Umahi speaks on contribution to PDP, defection to APC, and relationship with President Buhari.
By Hon. Oliver Okeke