By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
NIGERIA is seasonal, episodic, and targets the short-term in all things. The South East has fallen into the trend with the search for an Igbo President in 2023. The farce that Nigeria would award the presidency to Ndigbo is an expensive distraction. We are wasting our politics on producing a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari!
Being the President of Nigeria is the new Igbo agenda, the elixir for all the wrongs our politicians did and are still doing. Everyone from politicians to groups like Ohanaeze Ndigbo have bought into a distraction that would waste Igbo resources in the next three years.
Ndigbo should be more introspective about the Nigerian presidency and the adversity the quest has become to opportunities within that await harnessing. We should not invest our dwindling resources in a wasteful exercise that selfish politicians promote. Their interests have no alignments with the development of the South East which is a major concern of Ndigbo.
Who are those who want to be President? What have they done for Ndigbo when they had opportunities? Even now that they are at the waiting gates of their ambition what are they doing?
Are they not the same politicians most of who became infamous for looting our States and their resources? They seem to have thus acquired the right arsenal for firing to the presidency in an era of looting as national ethos. They do not represent the South East or the expectations of its long-suffering peoples whose governments have neglected.
Why would the concerns of a few people who desire political relevance, who hunger to lengthen their CVs, who are anxious over their next political office become the concern of Ndigbo? Do they have the same worries of the unattended needs of Ndigbo for more outlets for their productions? How would the fulfilment of their ambition benefit Ndigbo? Have they not maintained stone silence when federal resources are denied the South East?
Preachments about how Igbo presidency would unify Nigeria, wipe away the evils wrought on Ndigbo during the war, are not true. Those propounding the falsehoods know they are untrue, especially as most of these promoters of anxieties over the consequences of the civil war have contributed a lot to the woes of Ndigbo under their watch.
The South East has more pressing challenges than producing a President for Nigeria. The zone is becoming a wasteland, emptying its resources to serve the needs of other parts of Nigeria. In sweeps occasioned by obtuse leadership, we are losing our cultures, our language, and lands to the invading influences of those our politicians want to serve for a pittance called presidency of Nigeria.
Ndigbo are in dire need of leadership that can harness the inherent resourcefulness of our peoples to make the South East more habitable. The negligence of our peoples is too drastic for anyone to ignore it in search of a presidency of Nigeria that will contribute nothing to their well-being.
Our infrastructure deficits are beclouded with claims of completed roads that lead to nowhere. The migration of our youth is a constant drain on any meaningful existence in the South East in the next few decades.
Do our leaders care? What are their concerns about the deteriorating standards in the South East that make the region barely habitable? Responses that point to the lack of progress elsewhere do not suffice for the inattentive leadership that has bedeviled the South East.
Why are we not pouring our energies into creating a livable South East? Does it matter that South East no longer leads in catering for its peoples who bear the brunt of misrules over the decades?
Is it imaginable – as some are misleading others to believe – that the Federal Government will solve the challenges facing the South East? Are there any indications that a politician from the South East would cease to be self-serving because he has become the President of Nigeria?
How would a President of Igbo origin manage these challenges with all the national problems that would be his headaches? Who has failed to notice the new conditions that are being set for Ndigbo to produce the President? Which parts of Nigeria have been under such scrutiny and the conditions that are being given to the clamourers for Igbo president? Do those conditions apply to other parts of Nigeria?
Also laughable are the empty threats about what Ndigbo would do if Nigeria fails to award us the presidency in 2023. Why do we issue threats that we cannot enforce? Why are politicians so desperate about being President of Nigeria?
Ndigbo should target the bigger picture of making Nigeria functional. Our peoples would benefit more from a Nigeria that works than having one of us acquiring a tokenism called the presidency.
In case Nigeria is working on appeasing Ndigbo after decades of exclusion from national opportunities, the answer does not lie in Igbo presidency. Implementation of economic and social policies that eliminate discrimination and nepotism would be more helpful to Ndigbo and Nigerians than the presidency. Is that not what some call restructuring that has been emphasised in the agitations of our youth?
How would the agitations for the 2023 presidency end? Just like the way it began – unremarkably. Almost all those involved in the distraction have their eyes on being the Vice President of Nigeria. Getting nominated a vice presidential candidate of any of the major parties would make the day for some.
Others would be satisfied with having an engaging assignment between now and the 2023 elections. Funding from all manners of sources will sustain the eastern noises. The louder the noises, the more chances that professional politicians could use them to enhance their lowering relevance.
If our politicians are determined to serve, there is a lot of work required to fix the South East. They are welcome to it. We do not need to have one of us as President of Nigeria to fix the South East.
Evidences abound of what other Presidents of Nigeria did with their tenure. Which of them improved the lot of the peoples in their political zones? Are we approximating political appointments to the welfare of Nigerians?
Desirable as the presidency is to South East politicians, they should preface their ambitions with a collective decision to get the South East working. It is the least they can do for their peoples. At an opportune time, one of us can be President of Nigeria, but the needs of Ndigbo cannot wait.
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