Consider this: every major tribe in Nigeria has had the least of their brother rule and the criteria for competence is incompetence. The candidate must be incompetent on national management, personal management and his worldview must be thoroughly messed up. That is his competence. The polity is controlled by corrupted souls at the top and their handmaids cannot look different. When those souls thought it wise to have the Fulani President, the most qualified Fulani man for the position was not made President. When it was the time for the Yorubas, the process was still intact and the most qualified Yoruba man did not become President. At the time of the Ijaws, the most qualified was not President. The Igbo President will follow the same path.
Rather than get the President’s tribesmen love from their tribesman (who is in power) and growth for Nigeria and Nigerians, it got their tribesmen hate from other Nigerians and dearth to Nigeria. “Your brother ruled,” they argue, “...and didn’t repair this country. More damage was done instead.” “Your brother led, but no good came out of it.” In fact, they argue, “the reason this country is this bad is because of your people.” In these arguments, the sanity of this brother is not interrogated. In these arguments, they don’t care to know if this brother who led has got a heart, a soul or cares about anyone apart from himself.
It is like a communion of sinners. The existence of the Yoruba President, Ijaw President and others has made the mischievous bashing of members of these nations (their tribes) palatable (not that bashing is good but doing so without sentiment is contrite and should be addressed). One hides behind hatred and uses the sins of one deluded son to punish the general. Nigerians have hated the tribes of their rulers as though the leaders care about their people or anyone apart from themselves. This is what the Igbo President will get. This popular idea of a tribal President is the idea of the corrupted elite trying to create a level playing field for the free flow of hatred (among masses) and equal incompetence.
What is special about the Igbo President? A great and happy people with abundant peace is how some of us imagine it. But…there is nothing to show that growth is guaranteed by the coming of an Igbo President. Success in business and managing money does not translate to success in managing people or making them genuinely happy. While the culture of the Igbos greatly influenced their total restoration after the civil war, permits a competition of minds and people, enhances self growth and fulfilment, there is no reason to accept that the problem of Nigeria’s Presidents, past and present, and the problem at the base of Nigeria’s demise, is the abundance of very bad economists.
While running any country efficiently requires a reasonable knowledge of economics, a reasonable level of economics is not all you need or the only requirement to run any country. When a country works, everything from peace, health, to character and economics work, but when its economy is the only thing alive, other areas suffer. The US and China are richer than Norway and Denmark, but the Norwegian and Danish people live a more quality life compared to the Americans and Chinese. While poverty is the ally of the rich and politicians, a restructuring of the mind and not the loading of the pockets with money, is the solution to the state of Nigeria. There is nothing to really show that knowledge of how this basic restructuring is to happen is an exclusive of the Igbos and not humans in general.
Help me answer these few questions: How will the coming of an Igbo President end the hatred Nigerians show to one another? How will the coming of an Igbo President stop Muslims in the North from slaughtering Christians at the slightest provocation and vice versa in the South? How will the coming of an Igbo President stop indigenes of some States from using words like ‘accommodating’ when describing law abiding, tax paying, Nigerians who happen to live with them? How will the coming of an Igbo President make people who are culturally, ideologically, spiritually and mentally divergent to agree on anything? In clearer terms, what is the basis for holding that because someone is good in business, he’s got the X-factor to salvage Nigeria? Despite the giant leaps under him, is Donald Trump uniting or dividing Americans?
I am not for or against an Igbo becoming President, I am just of the opinion that a sound President, and not compulsorily an Igbo President is what Nigeria needs. A qualified Igbo with this sound mind can be made President, but voting because he is Igbo, because ‘we have not done our term,’ because ‘only an Igbo man can save Nigeria,’ is not smart. It is neither a guarantee for progress nor the sort of conversation nationalists and people, who want to appear as nationalists, should be having. There are some new preachers of the Igbo Presidency in town. There is a new song on the lips of some men with rotten bodies and souls who are proud to wash them in public. These new preachers sing with broken voices of the need for an Igbo President just to satisfy themselves.
They tell us we must make an Igbo man president but to do that we need to make sure that we vote a certain failure twice. They tell us our hope (what does that even mean?) of having an Igbo President lies on our ability (better put, stupidity) to make sure a man who has ruined Nigeria across all fonts is made caretaker a second time. It is not an ideological position they preach to embrace a higher value, it is not a shift from the low thinking leaders we’ve had in the past, it is not an attempt to place the Igbo man on the healthier scale but just the need for an Igbo man to be President. Why should an Igbo person be made President of Nigeria for simply being Igbo? Their answer usually is: other tribes have produced the same thing and it is time for the Igbos to do same thing. What exactly is this significance of any tribe in Nigeria producing the President?
How has the government of Buhari helped the common Fulanis on the streets? Is this just about the pride of having your person as President or about helping citizens in a way that you don’t need to give them fish tomorrow? Most of our leaders have been northerners. How did they help anyone? The beggars, mostly from the North of Nigeria, across Nigeria have answers. The politicians have an agenda and the poor are not in it. But because they are the poor (in wealth and intelligence), they (politicians) use the art of deception to conjure lies. Since Nigerians are heterogeneous and hate each other, the masses are deceived into believing that voting an elite from their tribe is voting for their tribe. Even though their tribesman becomes a monster and their agreements move out of alignment, the hate Nigeria’s heterogeneity inspired, keeps them still with the rogue of an elite who wants them almost dead (Not dead. If they die the tools diminish. If they remain almost dead, they will be blind and will always come back for another lab experiment).
The pursuers of the Igbo Presidency are not different from the northern elites. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State and Rochas Okorocha, current Governor of Imo State—men who had the opportunity to help the Igbo race in their respective capacities in government but failed are asking us to make this possible. How will Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who is currently failing Imo State, an Igbo state, on quantum heights, turn around to help the Igbos when he becomes the President?
Is it possible to deal a huge blow to your people with the little power you have, destroy their land and property with the little power you have, disgrace them, denigrate them, cheat them, and make life unbearable for them, but still claim you will make their lives better when you become stronger? We know moral extremes do not just switch places overnight and even if they happen, before they happen, the remorse from the entity in focus would have revealed expectations. Not Rochas! How can a man who couldn’t help his people when he had the chance now tell them that they need people like him for the Presidency because the Igbos have been marginalised? How can you marginalize your own people and still tell them you will fight marginalization?
You torture your people but still want to ride on the back of the same tortured people to get to a place you will help the tortured people? This is either madness or insanity. Then there is Orji Uzor Kalu, who led Abia State with a unique piece of failure, asking for an Igbo Presidency. What was his response to the boys who said they wanted Biafra? Shouldn’t their voice echo in the ears of those who claim to love them even if they are mad? The day you kill a mad man, you will know he’s got family but sane sons and daughters with different ideology were killed and he didn’t even murmur? When did Igbos begin to matter to these selfish men? If I suffered when you had little power, why should I make you more powerful? A vote for them is a vote for the elite and corrupt playing mind games. A vote for the Igbo Presidency is a vote for men like Rochas and Orji Kalu, men without conscience or love for Igbos or other Nigerians. It is like giving a machine gun to a hungry mad man.
The signs that this plea is a personal ambition are there fall all to see. Igbos should vote for Buhari in 2019 so that he will make it easy for an Igbo Man to become President in 2023—this is one of the most stupid reasons for voting a person into power. A look at the Buhari they are asking their brothers and Nigerians to vote, makes their case pitiable. This is a man who is for himself alone and has not hidden his disgust for those who gave him 5% in the last general elections. This is a man who sent soldiers to deal with Igbos in the East in the name of Operation Python Dance, killing many and rendering many useless. This is a man who has defended the killings of Nigerians by herdsmen. This is a man who took Nigeria to recession after taking us to a first in his first coming in a military coup in 1983.
So, on what basis will anyone ignore these red flags and ask that same person to be voted a second time by the same people he tortured? Selfishness, greed and the death of conscience. On radio, I heard a caller say, “The Igbos don’t know how to play politics. They voted 5% and got 5% and shouldn’t complain. The wise thing to do now is to vote Buhari in 2019.” He sounded like an old man. Most of these people asking for an Igbo President are old men and it makes you wonder what happened to old age. The aged used to have a soul, at least by what we read. They use to have a sharp mind. It seems that they numb their brains and souls with gluttony now. To justify the treatment of the 5% you’d also have to tax them and use their natural resources in the same way. That will not even clean the first mess.
The Igbo President is simply the Igbo elite version of the Fulani President, the Yoruba President, the Ijaw President, etc—who used tribe as a ladder to climb but could not effect any real development on the people. It is a tool from the bag of tricks of corrupt Igbo leaders to go a step further in acquiring more gold. The Igbo President the tricksters in South East APC are asking the Igbos to work for is simply an Igbo man who is a thief and without a soul or conscience. You can support them if you have no soul or conscience.
By Rey Alaetuo,
The author is a conscious Poet and health care professional living in Lagos, Nigeria
Courtesy: Mortal Poet