The much amplified USA. presidential elections have come to a successful end. Mr. Barack Obama is declared president re-elect and, Mr. Mitt Romney wasn’t outright declared loser. So, Obama can’t see himself as ‘Bull’ while Romney as ‘Shit’. They both fought for democracy purpose and, not for politics. No rival politicians were assassinated. Obama and Romney exposed numerous agenda. They lavished wealth of knowledge and, not wealth of the pocket on Americans during the electioneering campaigns.
A warm embrace! What played in the USA is passively not like that In Nigeria. So, it behooves Nigerians to know in earnest that while the elections in the USA are drawn around fierce party lines, elections in Nigeria are drawn around ferocious ethnicities. This is why every tribe in Nigeria makes sure it goes to polls during elections with all their heart, hoping that it will be their turn to rule next.
Ndigbo have been doing this in Nigeria, but the rest of Nigerians have refused to give them the same opportunity Americans gave to Obama, not minding that he’s from the minority, whereas Ndigbo are among the major ethnicities in Nigeria.
If not for providence, President Goodluck Jonathan who happens to come from one of the minority tribes in Nigeria wouldn’t have been president. Straight away, it’s not well defined in some congratulatory messages some Nigerian leaders have sent out in congratulation with Obama. Some just clattered – a case that proves that they want to be relevant at all cost.
However, showering praises on Obama and, hoping that his re-election will place new steps of further change, is good. It is on this subject ‘change’ that Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, MON, former Governor of Abia State, is one leader who has congratulated with President Obama with a defined purpose, unlike many.
What made Kalu’s congratulatory message to Obama unique was his description that Obama represents a lively leadership, who’s keen to listen to his people and do their biddings. But is this applicable to our own President Goodluck Jonathan?
Kalu, as far as Ndigbo and the rest of Nigerians are concerned, represents the moon that shines down in the darkest hours, unlike most Nigerians want to be the sun that lightens up Nigeria, but refused to be around at the darkest hours.
So, is anybody thinking that he or she can do without Kalu in Nigeria? He may be called the crusader against South-East marginalization in Nigeria, but the fact remains that Kalu is well positioned to help the emergence of an Igbo as President of Nigeria in 2015. This is why it was not seen as a ruse when Dr. Kalu advised developing countries to take a hint from the democratization process in America. This, he said, would help in making certain, stable democracy, in countries. But what is the rest of Nigerians thinking about the Igbo in achieving the 2015 presidency? Are some groups showing lionic gait and, other expressing chameleonic approach?
Kalu would say: “Give it to the South-west. They always raise personalities against injustice. It did not just start with Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was ready to confront colonialism with bare hands. Prof. Wole Soyinka risked his life and went to jail not really because his friend Christopher Okigbo died in Biafra; he had a soft spot for the Igbo who suffered so much persecution. The road to 2015 will throw up more such men and women.”
Ndigbo have maintained that there is so much between them and the rest of Nigerians, but they have been refused opportunity such as the President, Forty Two years after the Yakubu Gowon-led genocide against the Igbo erroneously called Nigeria-Biafra civil war took place. And even if we may take the genocide as a war, it was then an uncivil war led by the War-head of State, Yakubu Gowon.
Gowon was it who removed the Bight of Biafra from the Nigerian map in his continuous bid to extirpate anything Igbo. And if Ndigbo do not mind many of the mayhems meted out against them in some parts of the country and still embrace the rest of Nigerians as brothers and sisters, why can’t the same be shown to them in Nigeria at least in 2015?
And Kalu would also say: “There is so much between us. During the war, you found some Igbo living in Lagos. Chief Philip Asiodu even served in the Federal Government inspite of the loss of his brother, Sidney, to the bullets of Nigerian troops. Tony Igwe was busy playing soccer and Obisia Nwankpa sweated out in the gym. At the same time, Prof. Vincent Ike’s wife, a Yoruba, was part of the Biafran war efforts. Even the daughter of Lagos Oba Adeyinka Oyekan, was married to a Biafran naval officer, Ohiaeri-Duru. To cap it all, one of the gallant Yoruba officers who saw the war, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade had since condemned it as unnecessary. That is why the Yoruba stand out.”
Conversely, it is a radiating nuisance the debasement by the Nigerian state not to allow this long handshake across the Niger always initiated by the Igbo to the rest of Nigerians to have direction, just as Americans expressed in the born-African Obama. Kalu has been crying that the South-west, for example, will prove their love for the South-east in 2015. According to him, that is the best way to bury all the accumulated suspicion between both groups.
In his words: “For me, I know the Yoruba could stand up and be counted. The war years showed it. There was this Yoruba soldier who applied the brakes of his army truck to save the life of an Igbo pedestrian near Orlu at the end of the war in January 1970. An accompanying officer was so furious that he took control of the vehicle, drove for about 10 kilometers and forced the driver out into the dark. Time was 1.00 a.m. ’Ejoo oo, ejoo oo’ [please, please] the soldier pleaded. All to no avail. Fortunately, the drop zone was in Isu right in front of the house of the first Igbo Dental-Surgeon who had worked in Ibadan before the crisis. And he took the soldier in. The lesson is that there are more Yoruba out there who cannot kill Igbo dreams in 2015.”
When will the cry of Ndigbo come to an end in Nigeria? Today, Africans in America are happy because one of them is allowed the number one seat in the White House, after years of humiliations and abuse. Ndigbo are suffering what these Africans in America once suffered. Kalu had been twice a presidential candidate and, was suspiciously frustrated.
He gave Jonathan his support by stepping down owing to the view of the Igbo that they all must support Jonathan in the 2011 presidential elections. Kalu advertised this in many of the national newspapers’ paid advertorials. But today, is Jonathan not disappointing? Did Jonathan not lie to Ndigbo over his one term plan in 2011 for 2015 Igbo presidency? What is happening today? Jonathan wants to rule Nigeria beyond 2015?
Please, hear Kalu again: “I want to bring together our Igbo leaders, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, Victor Umeh, Chekwas Okorie and other Igbo sons, so we can produce an Igbo president. I am not doing politics now. I am not a member of any party. I am doing Ndigbo now.” And Kalu will do it.
An observer captured Kalu’s ability thus: “I have the confidence that Orji Uzor Kalu can do it. Everybody has his own God-given talent. Orji Uzor Kalu is an illustrious Igbo son. Please, let’s criticize objectively, those who are wasting their time saying that they are fighting Kalu…Orji Uzor Kalu is one of the few Ndigbo that have the courage, the charisma and every other thing required to unite or to fight for the Ndigbo. Anybody facing any type of suppression, watch out, that person has talent. Name them – Orji Uzor Kalu, Chekwas Okorie, Chris Ngige. Etcetera.”
This is why the presumed disunited Igbo tribe must support Kalu so that Ndigbo will achieve the presidency in 2015. Nevertheless, all that Kalu requires is to remain focused just as he advised President Obama to remain focused and committed to his good work. For this reason, Ndigbo should come together so that they can cure this symptom of a waiting presidential scuffle once and for all and, stop Jonathan if he may be in perkiness to join the presidential race again in 2015.
Odimegwu Onwumere who temporarily relocated to Abia State contributed this piece from Aba. Mobile: 08032552855 (or) 08057778358. Email:[email protected]