There is nothing as fatal as a blow from a “consanguineal fist”. A cut from a “sibling” hurts deeper than that from a stranger. I have been inflicted severe cuts – caustic verbal attacks – by some Igbo persons for advocating a president of Igbo extraction in 2023. While some of them are irritated by the attention that I have been able to generate for the cause, a few others see the “advocacy” as a means of cutting deals for filthy lucre.
The fiercest opposition to the cause, “president of Igbo extraction in 2023”, has been the people for which it is championed – the Igbo. While some of my kinsmen argued that they want restructuring and not the presidency, a great number of them say that they only want to “secure Igbo-land economically, politically and security-wise.” But when you ask them, how they intend to actualise these “dreams”, they just let off inchoate pieces of babble. As a matter of fact, most of these objurgator are just fortune seekers pinning and angling to benefit from “anything Igbo.”
I recall when Ifeanyi Uba, senator-elect, Anambra South, was trying to make an inroad into the fold of the dominant party at the National Assembly, he was brutally hacked down with vicious criticisms by his own people. I have reflected pensively on what the Igbo political agenda could be, but at every point I become sectioned with a brain fag. What do the Igbo really want?
I have written a couple of essays expounding the reasons the Igbo deserve the 2023 presidency and why all Nigerians of dispassionate interest and untainted conscience must support the group in actualising this noble goal. I still believe, for the sake national cohesion, the southeast region deserves a shot at the presidency. But it appears they are not ready for it.
In my essay: “With Buhari’s 4+4, Igbo presidency in 2023 is now non-negotiable,” I wrote: “I believe healing will begin for Nigerians when political justice is seen to have been done to all. At that point we can build a country defiant to disunity. But political justice must be done to all to get to this stage.”
However, I failed to add: “Political justice must be demanded when it is not given.” How can justice be done to a people who have resigned to hopeless fate? How can a people who are stuck in political stasis be called to the table for negotiations? How can a people who are on the path of no certain destination be taken seriously?
Really, I was surprised at the reactions to the essay by most Nigerians from the north and the south-west. I have messages from reputable Nigerians across ethnic divides in my phone log, telling me that it will be grave injustice if the Igbo are schemed out of the 2023 presidential race. I remember one retired general asked at the end of his message to me, “But what is the southeast doing about the 2023 presidency?” I only responded with a “smiley OMG”. But the answer to that is, “nothing; just whining, blowing hot air, fantasising about restructuring and mouthing off about Biafra”.
Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. I can see the southwest positioning itself strategically and making the necessary noise and calculated connections for a 2023 presidential bid. I cannot begrudge a people who are resolute about what they want, and who are, most importantly, feisty about their destiny. The cake will certainly be taken by a fiercer cat; it will not be handed to a gutless kitten.
You can demand political justice when it is not given; injustice only persists because you allow it.
. Nwabufo is a media personality. Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo.