Today, the people out of greed and love of money have evolved a system that has completely eroded Igbo values and destroyed the Igbo kindred spirit, development conscious spirit and love for selfless service and competition which Igbo’s are known for, thereby encouraging a new ethos of mediocrity, exploitation and self-service, forgetting that a people who seeks to stall its progress in consideration of personal, party or other irrelevant interests also hastens the pace of its own destruction.
One of Igbo’s greatest strength is the wisdom of her people which God gave them in quantum. Even beyond the shores of southeast and some parts of south south were the Igbos reside, it is wildly acknowledged that Igbo’s can conquer every situation good or bad owing to their great wisdom and dynamism. Their ability to overcome obstacles and their ingenuity in exploiting opportunities, are legendary; so it is in this interests and in the interest of national inclusiveness and realistic politics of development that Ndi Igbo and Okigwe zone must elect the APC candidate for the Okigwe senate, Rt. Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu, who has garnered the required legislative and political experience, as well as, enjoys the political party advantage, desperately needed to lead Ndi Okigwe and the entire Igbo nation out of its present quagmire and to the mainstream affairs of the Nigerian nation.
Needless to say that anything short of electing an APC senator of southeast extraction, as an eye of Ndi Igbo in the various caucuses of the APC led administration will portray Ndi Igbo as a people who has not learnt from their horrible mistake of putting all their eggs in one basket during the 2015 general elections. Today our country is ever more divided along tribal, ethnic, regional and religious lines with every region working very hard to maintain national visibility and to outsmart other regions in the area of attraction of the dividends of democracy and maintaining national inclusiveness and yet the Igbo nation has instead of seeking for ways of reintegrating itself back to the mainstream politics of the nation, in order to project the interest of Ndi Igbo for prompt attention and solution by the APC led administration of President Buhari, preferred to behave like conquered people who dwell on acrimonious political discourse that is fuelled not by substance or the reality on ground but ethnic and partisan considerations.
No doubt, if Okigwe people and indeed Ndi Igbo can resolve to work with the APC led federal government, even though it seems the only commonsensical option out of their present condition and elect an APC senator in the forthcoming Okigwe rerun elections, who will reintegrate them back to the scheme of things. it will be to their own good and not President Buhari’s, but if they make the wrong choice, it will be to their eternal regrets considering the fact that politics has remained political everywhere in the world and politicians will never empower their political enemies, as no amount of wailing by those who choose to wail instead of seeking political and practical solutions to their quagmire, will bring down manna from heaven for them.
It has become worrisome that due to the indifferent posture of some Igbo leaders towards the present administration, Ndi Okigwe and indeed the Igbo nation might remain politically stunted, economically distressed, and developmentally backward for many years to come, if they do not jettison ethnic and partisan bias for developmental politics of who gets what, how, where and when. It is a stark choice they have to make. Either they take advantage of their God given opportunity to lunch back into mainstream affairs of Nigeria or they remain as they are, but they must be reminded that opportunity comes only but ones in a life time.
This brings to the fore, the parochial activities of some young men and women who were recruited to serve as agents of falsehood and purveyors of dangerous propaganda designed to sabotage and destroy the high hopes of ever tackling the numerous socio-economic, infrastructural and political challenges confronting the zone, just for the benefit of few selfish leaders who are not comfortable with the APC administration.
It is instructive to note that the demonization of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC and the President, the unjustifiable frenzy about former President Jonathan and the PDP’s agenda to corner all the senatorial seats in southeast, even after being in awareness of its negative resultant effects on Ndi Igbo, and indeed, winning all southeast states in 2019 , as being propagated by their hired agents in the print and social media is geared towards the retrogression and complete destruction of the Igbo nation.
Their agenda should not be allowed to fly, considering the fact that it is not founded on any palpable rationality or in the interest of Ndi Igbo. Ask any of the influential PDP stalwarts in private of the party’s achievements in the southeast for 16 years and hear what his response will be. The Enugu-Onitsha federal Road that has wasted several souls is still not passable. The Okigwe-Aba Road is also in bad shape. The Owerri-Aba Road is in bad shape. The Owerri- Portharcourt Road is still very bad. The Okigwe-Aba Road is a death trap. The Uwuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road is probably the worst road in the world. No doubt, all the federal roads in the southeast are in deplorable conditions except three or four.
It is also of note that the Igbo nation is in the dark today without electricity because a political party that claims to have the interest of the people at heart choose to handover the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company EEDC, to a firm which the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the National Council on privatization in a joint report declared financially and technically incapable of handling electricity distribution business in Nigeria, while a consortium that was recommended by BPE/NCP and promoted by the finest entrepreneurs the southeast can boost of, were denied the distribution job in a suspicious manner.
It is also shocking to discover that the promises made to Ndi Igbo by the PDP, during the 2011 campaign season were unfulfilled till date and yet some of our youths take it up as a duty to always praise, defend and compare the 16 years PDP administration to the current APC led government that is less than one year in office. They promised to revamp the Enugu coal and use it to develop a coal-fired power plant to supply, at least, southeast, that; ”
Azikiwe commissioned the first Niger Bridge, and another Azikiwe will commission the second Niger Bride before 2015”. And to take further advantage of the gullibility of some Igbo’s and deceive the southeast for the second time in order to attract their votes, they mobilized Julius Berger to the site, under Private Public Partnership PPP, arrangement that would have insured that every Igbo man leaving the shores of the southeast pays toll gate fees, when more expensive projects in other parts of the country like the East West Road in South South are designed to be direct government contracts.
Though, it is true that the PDP administration favoured the Igbo’s in terms of federal appointments but in a country where regions are uniting and working hard to develop their infrastructure and advance the cause of their people, a plan that empowers few leaders to exclude the masses from the economic process is antithetical to the development of the people. The southeast doesn’t need compensations which will not only come in the form of personal appointments. The Igbo should demand for infrastructural and institutional resuscitation and protection that will address all issues of marginalization and inequality in the number of states, in which analyst say has far reaching implications on the economy of the region.
This should form the agenda of the new Igbo project which every Igbo man of goodwill must be sufficiently passionate about. Igbo’s must realize the importance of cueing into the mainstream affairs of Nigeria, to demand for a system which will accelerate the development of the entire Igbo land which unfortunately is fast becoming an economic desert. Figures from the national Bureau of statistics show the southeast and northeast that is being ravaged by boko Haram as the least developing regions in Nigeria.
It is needless to keep emphasizing that a people who possesses an unrivalled history of intellectual, political and socio-economic feats that was pivotal to the evolution of the Nigerian nation deserves a visionary, missionary, dynamic and a commonsensical approach to the issues of governance and politics in Nigeria, not only to retain and maintain its position and weaning status as one of the tripod led the Nigerian nation, but to affect positively the lives and psyche of the people of southeast.
Sadly, since the PDP’s administration and its leadership in the southeast failed Ndi Igbo and ran the area into comatose and decadence paralysis, it is only commonsensical to give the APC and President Buhari a chance………at least, as they say, there is no harm in trial.
Emeka Ahaneku writes from Owerri, Imo State.