Opinion | 2023 Igbo President- is that freedom? ~ By Ifeanyi Chijioke
(The system has made it impossible for anybody even though you are a saint to excel in leadership. What Obasanjo gave is what Yaradua gave, what Jonathan gave is what Buhari is giving and what the so-called Igbo president will give. The system which is the constitution is devised in a way that it involuntarily overrides good intentions. We can only change the system to bring about a change and changing the system is dismantling the constitution and dismantling the constitution is dismantling Nigeria and to dismantle Nigeria is to fight and to fight is to demand for a sovereign state)
A certain night people were celebrating and jubilating. Assorted wine and meat for the people; beautiful women dressed in their most sexually provocating way, all to entice men and willingly offer copulate pleasures. Loud music blaring from every corner and an old woman that has been in the country from birth came out. She looked grey as symptoms of bad leadership reflected on her skin.
She quietly met her son who had a bottle of beer on his left hand and a roasted meat on the other and asked what the celebration was all about because she had anticipated the people had been freed from political savagery and slavery. The son said it’s electoral victory for a popular candidate. She looked up faintly in the sky and asked “Is this freedom?”
This very woman has seen injustice; corruption, tribalism, institutionalized cruelty, terrorism, tribal extinction and all manners of evil perpetrated by the political class. She has not seen freedom and every other thing we took for granted and she had thought the celebration was a celebration of freedom.
As she walked back into her room; she knew there was no freedom or breathe of fresh air. Rather, it was a change of power, from one fool to another, one liar to another, one bigot to another, one corrupt being to another, one idiot to another, one bloodsucker to another, one thief to another and same story to tell. The celebration is not worth her time because there was no freedom in any shape or form.
I have often distanced myself from 2023 election debate because for Biafrans in Nigeria; it is not even yet our turn by virtue of the gentleman’s agreement on rotation. Civilian rule started with a Yoruba that spent eight years; Hausa took over but cut short by death, a Biafran completed Hausa turn and had one more turn, Hausa took over again and likely to complete their eight years tenure this time. Once after Hausa; Yoruba will comeback; because with Hausa, it is 360 degrees and to be recycled.
Does it mean those clamoring for 2023 Igbo president are not aware of this obvious truth? It would be disrespecting to say they are not aware. Politics has many strategies and one currently being used by Biafrans in Nigeria is ardent tactics. I believe that our political class wants to start now to prematurely clamor for Igbo president; so when the actual time comes, someone can say, leave them, we have delayed them a lot and they have been shouting this for so long.
Another strategy is based on trial and error; Gowon confessed to dividing Biafran territory to alter a dangerous unity capable of daring another secession agenda and Biafran politicians are taking that advantage to propagate Igbo president project. This class of politicians argues that Jonathan is not Igbo and as such; Igbos have not ruled Nigeria since General Aguinyi Ironsi.
Many people have bought into the idea of Igbo president and touted it as the solution to our political conundrum. The marketers of Igbo president said that with Igbo president; there would be seaports; international airports, good roads and social amenities in entire Igbo land. They said the solution to all our problems is a president of Igbo extraction. Many of us have bought into this very market strategy.
History is a better teacher and I won’t go far to remind us the history we need to learn from. Politics in Nigeria is about selfish interest; about family interest and primitive accumulation and possession of power for the sake of wielding power to the pleasure of the possessor. If you think anybody is shouting Igbo president because he wants you to be like Dangote or Innoson; you better start now to get taught.
When Jonathan was the president of Nigeria; the North said Boko Haram is ravaging the North because there was no Northern president to take care of the problem. They said Jonathan is not the right person that can fix their problem. Buhari was elected; Boko Haram became more potent, the state of the North is today nothing to write home about. Bandits and Boko Haram are having field day compared to the time of Jonathan when they were suppressed.
Jonathan became a president- six years in office and his score card showed even his Bayelsa state is nothing to write home about. Nothing changed for his native home let alone entire Southern Nigeria we are all part of. The truth is; a Nigerian politician is a Nigerian politician irrespective of his tribe. They all have one thing in common and that is- corruption, embezzlement, and thievery- devised by the system.
The system has made it impossible for anybody even though you are a saint to excel in leadership. What Obasanjo gave is what Yaradua gave, what Jonathan gave is what Buhari is giving and what the so-called Igbo president will give. The system which is the constitution is devised in a way that it overrides good intentions. We can only change the system to bring about a change and changing the system is dismantling the constitution and dismantling the constitution is dismantling Nigeria and to dismantle Nigeria is to fight and to fight is to demand for sovereign state.
Ifeanyi Chijioke- Independent/Investigative journalist
Writes from Enugu