SOUTH EAST: IS IT NOT TOO LATE?
I have read the recent transmissions by Senator Bukola Saraki directed at my Igbo tribe. I have deliberately kept mum on this as I had earlier resolved to speak less on Igbos as regards the 2019 Elections and 2023 Presidency having said quite a bit.
However seeing as some of my brethren have swallowed the cheap bait, I will chip this in just to keep the reality before us, at least for posterity sake. Truth is bitter but it’s still the best medicine.
My people say; ‘He who does not remember where the rain started beating him, will not remember where it stopped’.
REWIND TO 2014.
A new National Party was being conceived. Political Parties, political players and Regions were being wooed to the new alliance.
‘We’ Igbos (read South East) vehemently refused to touch it even with a long pole. We packaged, sold to ourselves and bought the baseless propaganda that it was an Islamic alliance that would birth an “Islamic” and “Hausa” Party. Simply because those our brethren heavily invested in the PDP at the time were afraid of losing their vested selfish interests.
Till today I’m still trying to fathom the basis for that wicked and twisted deceit especially as many of those Igbo elites who sold that dummy have since ported to the same APC.
We failed to even identify with that new Alliance. Hence the Party, APC was birthed without any remarkable input from us or presence. The few amongst us who aligned were called all kinds of names and abused to high heavens by us even when they were proven right afterall.
Thus the few Igbos who were part of it were at best fringe players as they didn’t have the required clout to make serious demands and do the necessary political wheeling and dealing required in Politics to strike the hard bargains since politics is all about interests and numbers. They were even suspect, so much so that it was only their personal political sagacity that gave them whatever they got.
That Party went on to win the Presidential Election which in truth, most of us never believed it could or would, because of our half baked permutations and poor understanding of Nigerian politics. But it did.
Curiously we turned up at the fore front of telling this same Party how it should share it’s ‘spoils of war’. We became hypocritical moral champions with an over bloated sense of entitlement. Who does that, in all political reality and practicality? But we did, even while vehemently and vociferously still refusing to shift our position, style and rhethoric.
We dug in. Supported every bad thing and person against the Party, the elected President and the Administration while denying any and every good done to and for our Region.
Fast forward to where we are today. Almost four years after the 2015 misadventure, we have stayed put at 2015, refusing to move forward, refusing to shift grounds, refusing to play pragmatic politics, telling ourselves the same lies we cooked and bought in 2015 and some more.
Now barely 5 months to another election, we have started again saying “APC cannot give Presidency to Igbos in 2023”. “Buhari cannot hand over to an Igbo man because Buhari hates Igbos”. “APC is deceiving you”, bla bla bla.
Of course. We will believe Saraki, who has only but a fanthom dream of becoming President and whose only known record is selfishness but we can’t believe Buhari who’s already President and who has a record of voluntarily picking two great Igbo sons as running mates in the past? Chukwu aju.
It is interesting and vital to note here that the PDP which many of us still proudly support and adore was in power for 16 solid years and in those years there were 4 Presidential Inaugurations and on none of those was an Igbo man found worthy by the PDP of even Vice Presidency and we are still bold to say it is the APC that has not even finished one tenure that doesn’t want to give power to Igbos. Odi nma.
NOW; Seriously, let’s be sincere. As things stand today politically, why would the APC even hand power to us Igbos in 2023?
On what grounds?
On what records?
On what politics?
Is power given to anyone?
Is it an appeasement or a gift?
The APC is a political party. The main focus of a political Party is to hold power and keep it to enable it deliver on its agenda. So if the APC reads that the SE does not want the Presidency or does not have the capacity to help them win and keep power, they will stick with the regions that can and work with individuals who are interested.
Make no mistake, I have always said, I do not blame us Igbos for the decision majority of us took in 2015. It’s our right. But continuing to pretend that it was other regions, Buhari or the APC that made us do what we did then or remain where we are today is purely self deceit and I refuse to play that ostrich game.
As far back as 2014, I and many others made that argument that Igbo Presidency was very feasible in 2023, ONLY under under the APC, ONLY IF we did a couple of things right politically. I personally continued to speak loudly on that even after the 2015 elections until when I realized that we were not ready to play the politics that was required and now I dare say it may be too late. Or is it not? Time will tell.
For now, we can continue to tell ourselves that we cannot hold the Presidency of Nigeria. I heard and read many of our brethren go from PDP to Biafra/seccesion (read IPOB) to Referendum to “Igbos do not need Presidency but Restructuring” etc forgetting that all that didn’t lie squarely with us alone. We think other regions are not reading our body language?
I really don’t care what Saraki writes or says because they’ve all come to realize that it’s very easy to play us like a flute. So like Saraki, like Fani Kayode, like Fayose, like Atiku, even Jonah Jang of all people, they keep playing us.
I’ve learnt not to bother myself anymore to avoid unnecessary abuse from nonentities . As some of us have said, it’s good governance we want, even if only one village will be producing the Presidents. So be it.
Ka Chineke mezie okwu.
(c) Dr Uche Diala