Feb. 16, 2014
by Fredrick Nwabufo
The Igbo today are groping in a labyrinth of confusion; a labyrinth that they have knitted together out of humongous morsels of selfishness, avarice and ignorance. And as they waltz in the ball of anodyne confusion their status or place in the Nigerian entity magnanimously tapers off.
Having said that, it is indubitable to aver that the place of the Igbo in Nigeria as the present gut-shrivelling political picture shows, is the abominable and thrashed quarters of irrelevance. In line with that, in political stratification, the Igbo take the wizened, bottom space after the Hausa, Yoruba and Ijaw. In fact, other peoples that are considered ethnic minorities in Nigeria may go up the political ladder before the Igbo as it is today. In addition, the Igbo are highly unappreciated in the political mix, and that also means they are tinged by the stain of “last-best”. Consequently, anything, “Igbo-rated” is consigned to the trashcan of “fourth-fiddle”, irrelevance, and not-good-enough-for-power. To say the least, the Igbo have become side-kicks to dominant Hausa-Yoruba-Ijaw power heroes in the Marvel comic of Nigeria.
As always, the unthinking Igbo horde will allude the present condition of the Igbo to the “blessed” Biafra-Nigeria civil war. And for this horde there is no way out of the asphyxiating cul-de-sac because the war has already done some irredeemable damage. Playing the victim has become the lazy default configuration of some Igbo.
So, for the unthinking Igbo, here are some posers. Is the war the reason greedy Igbo leaders in a perfidious clique known as Ohanaeze barter the political future of the Igbo for billions of naira which they swallow, and defecate pennies for their coterie of unthinking followers? Is the war the reason states in the South East are sprawling igloos in spite of all the huge monetary allocations to the various South East governments? Is the war the reason the Igbo lack direction, and orphaned of an agenda? Is war the cause of the gully erosion gormandizing parts of Anambra State with belligerence? Is the war the reason the Igbo are ball boys at the Maracana of Nigerian politics? Is the war the reason for the ossified, steal-abroad-and-take-chieftaincy-title -at-home culture in Igboland? Is the war the reason for the baby factories mushrooming in Igboland? Is the war the reason for preponderance of Igbo criminal regiments at home and abroad? There are many more imposing posers, but these are for cerebral crunching.
Perhaps, the war is the reason why “Kpomo” is more expensive in Anambra than in Kano.
For the thinking Igbo, it is wholesomely clear that the trash position of the Igbo in Nigeria today is as a result of a concatenation of ill-forces mustered by the Igbo themselves. The vilest ill force militating against Igbo ascendancy to the stratum of affluence, influence and power is Igbo penny leaders. The fact is a scrum of Igbo penny leaders feed fat on the emaciated condition of the Igbo in Nigeria. They claim to represent the Igbo, but what they do is to gulp down mouth watering sums of valuable paper in exchange for Igbo’s rights farting stained coins of greed. The alleged handout of 1.2 billion given to Ohanaeze by President Goodluck Jonathan is a knocking affirmation of this point. Even if Ohanaeze disputes the allegation, the truth remains it cannot be tooting Jonathan’s horns and running his errands for free. Ohanaeze, we all know is not for charity. So it must have been duly raking in “solid quid” into its bloating coffers from its consort with the President.
In conclusion, the vacuity of Igbo leadership heralds itself as the national conference dawns. The Igbo seem to be the obfuscated people without an agenda. The Yoruba agenda is regional autonomy. The Hausa-Fulani agenda according to Arewa Consultative Forum is unitary Nigeria (even though they are euphemistic about it), but the Igbo sadly, tout conflicting ideological noises as agenda. At best, what the Igbo do is to sandwich themselves between Ijaw agenda of resource control and self-determination. One Igbo leader from the North Pole cries, “self-determination” another one from the South Pole screams “con-federalism”. Disjointed schema! Playing the “fourth fiddle” has become the genius of the Igbo.
And as the Igbo become a minority in Nigeria owing to its quisling leaders, it will be easier of Boko Haram boys to get surplus tasty virgins in heaven than for an Igbo person to become president.
Fredrick Nwabufo, a writer and a poet is Igbo. He writes from Abuja. Email:[email protected] 08167992075