by Joe Onwukeme
As Ndigbo, we shouldn’t pretend that all is well with us. Our house has fallen and the earlier we tell ourselves the bitter truth that we are the architects of our own problems the better for us all. We have reduced ourselves to object of ridicule by other regions because we have again shot ourselves in the foot.
Ndigbo are avid travelers who migrate to many nook and crannies of Nigeria and beyond fearlessly without a modicum doubt for success. Ndigbo pride themselves with being republican, industrious, having great knowledge, generally smart, wise, adaptable and above all extremely hard working with impeccable success rates in many ventures or interest.
With all these qualities postulated above, we are yet to put on our thinking caps and come up with a good solution to our problems. Most times we don’t even do our calculations before we take a decision and after such decisions we end up becoming victims of our own actions.
Since the demise of the late Ikemba Ojukwu, the Igbos are yet to find a charismatic leader that will steer the affairs of Ndigbo in Nigeria. The reason is not far fetched, nobody is willing to sacrifice his life for the Igbo nation like the late Ikemba Ojukwu. Majority of our present Igbo leaders are port folio leaders, too self centred and are more interested in what they will gain rather than sacrifice.
The Igbo nation has remained a laughing stock in Nigeria following the defeat of president Jonathan in the April 28th presidential election
because we threw caution to the wind. The general elections are over and a lot of us have started licking our political wounds.
There’s no doubt to the sayings that; we are proud achievers worldwide, the jews of Africa that have conquered territories. But when are we going to get it right in national politics? We accuse other ethnic groups of ethnic bigotism but yet in those regions we are accomodated and taken as one of them, they make their environments business friendly for our businesses to strive, we are also given political appointments and recently we have started winning elective posts in their states but here in the South east all those things are near impossible for outsiders.
We have our own states but we want to control and determine who becomes governors in other states we are resident in, even when some of our states are still struggling and can’t even compete with some of those states we want to determine who becomes their governors in terms of development.
After all the insults against president-elect General Buhari by majority Ndigbo while the campaigns lasted, some of us want to reap where we didn’t sow, we have without remorse started hob nobbing with the president-elect, some Igbo groups have started listing out demands and giving the president-elect conditions, the most hypocritical of all is a South East governor who barely a month to the presidential election averred that only a bastard from the South East will vote for General Buhari is still the same governor that has gone to meet Buhari to beg that Ndigbo should not be left out in political appointments.
While we are counting the cost of our political harakiri, the president of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives including their deputies have been zoned to other regions that elected majority of their law makers in the soon to be governing party, APC. Even the South south region of the out going president won’t lose out in the zoning arrangements because they were able to re-elect two of their members in the House of Representatives on the platform of APC.
Our major problem is that we are still neck deep in politics of bitter ness because we have decided not to let go of the past. We still hold grudges against some geo-political zones over the civil war that ended decades ago. Hence the reason why we saw change coming from a particular region and failed to embrace it.
Can someone tell me the region that is an ally of Ndigbo? Certainly not our Ijaw brothers.
This bitterness has done more harm than good to us yet we have refused to move on.
Even here in the South East region, we are not politically united, that explains why 3 political parties are in control of the 5 Eastern states.
We are yet to understand that politics still remains a game of interest with no permanent enemy but permanent interest. With the high population of northeners they couldn’t elect General Buhari as president after three attempts, it became possible when they aligned with the South West.
We are impervious to lessons of history, we can’t continue to do same things the same way and still expect different results. If we don’t stop this politics of hate and resentment we shall continue to watch other regions rule us forever.
Nobody freely gives you something you don’t ask for, it’s a concession, you must indicate interest before others will listen to you. After many years in the opposition South West have proven their political sagacity once again, through alliances they were able to strategize and form formidable opposition which has produced a president. Since we have never been united to speak with one voice, the question is, who do we speak with and who do we form alliances with now we have found ourselves in the opposition? Democracy without opposition is autocracy but can Ndigbo survive the murky waters of opposition politics? Ndigbo should loosen up from political inflexibility by widening it’s apects from being too narrowly focused and exclusive to being widely open and inclusive.
Joe Onwukeme, writes from Enugu. [email protected],
I tweet @unjoeratedjoe.