by Olanrewaju Oguntoyinbo
Nigeria is a heterogeneous state which comprises of different tribes including Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, Egun, Ijaw, Ishekiri, Fulani, Nupe, Kanuri, Ibibio and others which sum up our tribes to over 200.
I believe the amalgamation of the North and South on December 31, 1914 wasn’t a mistake, it was an act of God and the fact that we have spent over 99 years together shows the unity we portray, it shows that we can coexist forever in peace and harmony.
If our forefathers can endure themselves in critical times, why can’t we?
Those were men from different tribes, with different languages, ate different foods, had different cultures, worshipped different gods, and had different approaches to life. But still they coexisted, they married and tolerated their brothers and sisters from other tribes. It was a joy and the society was progressive that we became the envy of other nations. And God was so happy that he blessed us with crude oil, a blessing that made the colonial masters envious of us. How did we get it all wrong?
Nigerians amaze me whenever I listen to them talk about tribes, I feel sorry for the future whenever I listen to the Hausas talking about 2015 that “power must return to the North”, like it’s only Northerners that can save the country. Don’t tell me why power should return to the North, tell me why I should vote for your candidate, sell his manifesto. It’s also annoying whenever I hear Igbos shouting “2015 is Igbo’s turn.” The most annoying one is from the Ijaw people, they keep shouting to who cares to listen that “President Jonathan must be re-elected in 2015”. I wonder where this stupidity and lack of decorum emanated from.
Haven examined this, I push back to what I can remember. I remember it all started in the Eastern part of the country, Anambra state precisely and it happened during the 2010/11 presidential campaign when Governor Peter Obi and his well-fed political associates joyfully followed by blind young Ndi-Igbos who believed one of them will be sworn in as Nigerian President on 29th of May, 2015.
In that gathering in Anambra state that faithful day PDP, APGA and Labour Party endorsed the candidature of President Jonathan who then promised he won’t run for office in 2015 and he’ll hand over power to Ndi-Igbo.
Ndi-Igbo sang his praises that day and called him Azikiwe who will emulate the goodwill of their son Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s first Governor General and first president.
I wonder what happened to that 2015 dream. These same leaders calling for the return of Jonathan in 2015, were the same Igbo leaders that were calling for Igbo Presidency 2015, now the song is “2019 is for Igbos” while some innocent ones who aren’t aware of the game of 2011 are still saying “on 2015 we stand.” Can’t educated Ndi-Igbos ask questions? Can’t they ask President Jonathan the promise he made that day? Like the university he promised them and the 2nd Niger bridge?
After 2011 elections, former governor of Abia state Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu wrote in different columns of his newspaper The Sun that Ndi-Igbo won’t take anything less than Presidency in 2015, listening to the man speaking about Jonathan returning to power in 2015 is another level of delusion. He now wants the North to allow President Jonathan to spend 8 years and also want an Igbo Presidency in 2019, isn’t that another level of delusion?
Inasmuch as I’m not against his calling for Jonathan return to power, but it isn’t a must as Nigerians will decide by using the president’s scorecard. But calling for Igbo presidency in 2019 isn’t only selfish but it’s also a stupid call as Ndi-Igbo already told who cares to listen that Jonathan is Azikiwe, he’s Igbo and so therefore he’s serving their term. That’s why he was massively voted for in that zone in 2011 with a whopping 97% votes of registered voters, which made world’s history.
The recent “smellos” act which I have observed in the last 2 weeks was orchestrated by people of Anambra state, a state that belongs to Ndi-Igbo… same Peter Obi and his political associates are the people doing it. During an APGA campaign in Anambra state, they claimed the Igbos have found a missing rib they lost long ago and won’t sell their future to foreign gods as they will massively vote for APGA candidate. It’s not my problem if Ndi-Igbo vote for the APGA candidate in Anambra election, as far as I’m concerned the deteriorating agencies and parastatals in Anambra wont’t affect my well being in Lagos where I reside neither will Nwoye/Ukachukwu, Obiano or Chris Ngige’s efforts to develop Anambra have a direct impact in my life because I’ve got a working governor in my state of residence where I pay my tax and get good governance in return. A governor who has turned Lagos State to Nigeria’s lab where policies are first being tried before other states and even the federal government put to use. (You can tweet at me for examples of such policies).
In the APGA campaign in Anambra state, they did a ritual to send away foreign gods, they claimed Ngige will turn Anambra to Lagos, he will demolish houses and tax Ndi-Igbos to death. And I wonder that if that’s what they are doing in Lagos, then why is Governor Peter Obi angry that Ndi-Igbos were “deported” from Lagos. Obi went ahead to sponsor some people to sue Lagos State Government so he can get N1 billion. And this same Lagos you don’t want your people to leave is the same Lagos you don’t want Anambra to look like, what a “smello” thinking.
The act of tribalism that was played out in Lagos markets dominated by Ndi-Igbos this week beats me. The APGA team including gubernatorial candidate Obiano, Gov. Peter Obi and APGA Chairman Umeh who claimed they don’t want their state to be like Lagos, came and did a fund raiser in Lagos and then campaigned for the APGA candidate in Lagos. A situation that shows that lots of Ndi-Igbos are Lagos based business men, Lagos is their London. If Lagos isn’t working how come my Igbo friend on FB Chukwukere Anyasi who came to Lagos with APGA team claimed “omo Lagos fine and neat o” and few hours later posted “Lagos traffick is too much, LASG can’t even control ordinary traffick and their party wan bring person come rule us for Anambra, never…. Anyi Agaba”. I laughed at his stupidity, a dog swallowing his vomit.
Lagos population is close to that of the whole of South East and most Ndi-Igbo are using 3, 4 cars in Lagos and all these cars are on the move at the same time…. Come Chukwukere, go and read administrative policies for more education on public administration.
Then Obi killed it off in the campaign when he said; “You all saw the position of Dr. Chris Ngige, in order not to annoy his masters supported deportation and even went ahead on air to defend it insisting that those deported were mad men. Imagine, calling our brothers and sisters mad men because he does not want to go contrary to his APC masters”.
And I’m asking who are those “deported” from Lagos? Did Anambra people ask Peter Obi if truly he was aware that some destitute and rehabilitated homeless people (according to documents released by Lagos State Government which Peter Obi didn’t decline) were on their way to Anambra state from Lagos?
Lastly, I heard Ndi-Igbos claimed Stella Oduah is being pushed out of office by other tribes because she’s Ndi-Igbo and I asked if she did buy the cars? And also, who is the President of Nigeria? Isn’t it the Igbo odained Azikiwe?
This is a proof for Ndi-Igbos that Jonathan is only using them as mere tools to actualise his presidential ambition that will only favour him, his family and girlfriends. Jonathan’s ambition won’t even favour the South South people where he comes from, and can never favour the Igbos. Peter Obi, Orji Uzor Kalu et el know the truth, but won’t tell Ndi-Igbo as they are collecting returns on every Igbo man out there including Chukwukere. Come to think of it, can any Ndi-Igbo tell me one policy or project President Jonathan has commissioned in the East since he became president that has affected the lives of Ndi-Igbo positively? Tell me the truth, apart from corruption and ineptitude, tell me ONE project, just ONE.
It’s very impportant for young Ndi-Igbos to fight for their future, the earlier they imbibe the spirit of nationalism the better as Peter Obi and the rest deciding their futures today won’t be part of that future. There’s every reason for Ndi-Igbos to see themselves as human first before seeing themselves as a Christian, Ndi-Igbos should see themselves as Nigerian first before seeing themselves as Igbo.
Young Ndi-Igbos, your future is in your hand, take it gently and determine how you want it to go, if care isn’t taken, if Ndi-Igbo continues like this, Igbo man won’t rule Nigeria not until after 2031.
A new Nigeria is possible, catch and determine it wisely and vote out mediocrity.
– Follow this writer on Twitter: @lanreneville