Vote For President Muhammadu Buhari In 2019, And Get An Automatic Igbo Presidency In 2023, By Amako Nneji

By Post Nigeria November 23, 2017 06:32

Vote For President Muhammadu Buhari In 2019, And Get An Automatic Igbo Presidency In 2023, By Amako Nneji

My heart bleeds when I listen to people talking and agitating for an Igbo Presidency. My friends in the All Progressives Congress, APC, (please I am not a Politician), will say: “vote for Buhari in 2019, and get an Igbo Presidency in 2023”.

Even my dear Governor, “Okorohausa”, as people now call him, who specialises in building statues to attract foreign Investors, has joined the bandwagon for an Igbo Presidency in 2023.

However, when I look at the entire political scenario, I wonder whether the Igbos will ever produce a President in Nigeria again.

The Igbos, one of Nigeria’s three major ethnic groups, are an important power bloc in the nation’s political equation.

Yet, the Igbo nation has strangely failed to make its influence count politically, as the major ethnic groups schemed to dominate political power at the centre, since the country’s return to democratic rule in the Fourth Republic.

Will the Igbos gain Presidential power anytime soon? How? These questions are germane when we consider that the last time the group attained a notable political position in Nigeria was in the Second Republic, when the late Alex Ekwueme became a Vice to President Shehu Shagari.

Now, more than three decades after the demise of the Second Republic, and 17 years into the Fourth, the Igbo nation still trails other major ethnic groups politically. Not even have they been found worthy to occupy the position of Vice President.

This is even noteworthy when one considers that smaller ethnic groups have sought and attained more political relevance.

The emergence of former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s first minority President, just shows how the Igbos have lost the game. At the beginning of the Fourth Republic, power went to the Yoruba ethnic group. This was to pacify the South-West zone for the annulment of the June 12 election, won by the late M.K.O. Abiola.

After Olusegun Obasanjo’s two terms as democratic President, the Igbos agitation to rule the country was soon truncated. Many at the time blamed the Igbo elites for failing to speak with one voice and present a common front.
The cacophony of Igbo aspirants who could not agree to rally round a fine candidate like Ekwueme, soon saw their agitation dashed.

Obasanjo completed his second term and handed over power to the North. Not only have the Igbos not been able to gain Presidential power, they have also not been considered for the Vice Presidency since 1999.

In 1999, Obasanjo picked Abubakar Atiku as his Vice President. In 2007, the late Umaru Yar’Adua picked an Ijaw Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, who later metamorphosed to President.

Once again, they were not considered even for the Vice Presidential slot when Jonathan became the President in 2011. Jonathan picked a Northerner in the person of Namadi Sambo. Even at the race for 2015 Presidency, the Igbos were not recognised.

The Igbo elites, are yet again beginning to speak with discordant tunes in the race for the 2019 Presidency. Why will they not take advantage of their position as a major ethnic group, to negotiate for the President or Vice President slot from the leading parties? Is politics not a game of numbers anymore?

Are the Igbos not an important voting bloc again? President Muhammadu Buhari may run for another term in 2019. Will any of the parties present an Igbo as a Presidential candidate or as Vice in 2019? Will the Igbos stake a claim for the Presidency in 2019 or 2023, or will they take the back seat as usual as in recent years?

Already, there have been discordant tunes among the region’s political elite. While some are clamouring for another term for Buhari, feeble voices are making a case for an Igbo President in 2023.

The questions I have often asked are: why can the Igbos not speak with one voice? Why is it always easy for the Igbo elites to kow-tow to other ethnic groups like they have done in the past and now? There is no doubt that the Igbos deserve to occupy a prime place in the Presidency in the next dispensation.

For me, in the race for 2019, the Igbos are the beautiful bride, and the coming elections offer them the best chance to stake a claim for a position that is long overdue for them to occupy.

The political parties must also by now have realised how important this voting bloc is to their chances in the next elections. Now is the time for the Igbos to push for and realign with any political platform that offers a realistic path to the Presidency.

Nonetheless, Ndigbo or their political class would be naive to think that they would be served the Presidency on a platter in 2023 or beyond, because they voted for Buhari.

There goes the Igbo dilemma. Will the Igbos ever rule Nigeria again? This is one question they have to collectively find an answer to?


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