WORLD IGBO CONGRESS CALLS ON ALL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NIGERIA TO RISE UP AND RECLAIM THEIR FREEDOM; ENDORSES THE LABOR PARTY NATIONAL MOVEMENT.
We have now arrived at the watershed of Nigeria’s checkered history. The presidential election comes up in less than three weeks. We will either cross or sink. We will either make or break. We will either build a nation of our dreams or devolve into our respective entities. We will be at the point of crossing the Rubicon which will lead us to a point of no return. We will either have a viable nation or we allow the indigenous ethnic nationalities to determine their own future.
World Igbo Congress has stoically participated in awareness creation and studied the cataclysmic terrain called Nigerian politics and call on all patriots to rise up and defend what they hold true: That Nigeria comprises indigenous ethnic nationalities who must have a say on how they are governed.
At an extraordinary meeting of the hierarchy of the Diaspora organization, the following specific issues were considered:
- A touch of history
- The standing, the manifesto and the prospects of each of the 18 registered political parties.
- Taking the bull by the horn
- A note of warning to troublemakers.
- Call to action
A touch of History
Nigeria came into existence as a child of convenience to serve British economic interests. The area called Nigeria has been ancestral home to hundreds of indigenous ethnic nationalities. As a consequence of the amalgamation of the British Southern and Northern protectorates in 1914, the British reached some uncanny understanding with the north resulting in the lopsided political and military setup that gave the north a feeling of ownership of Nigeria. To them (and evidence is properly documented) Nigeria is their inheritance, which fuels the desire for “power to always remain in the north”. The clique that has this syndrome has seized every opportunity to rub this in and is determined to keep it so. Boko Haram, the gun-toting herdsmen, the so-called repented Boko Haram in the military and police, bandits and unknown gunmen are all modern instruments of coercion for these narrow-minded Nigerians. Their objective is not for the development of Nigeria, harnessing the vast resources of Nigeria to provide health care, education, employment or well-being to the over 200 million Nigerians. At every turn, they plunder, pillage, loot, kill, rape, maim, steal the commonwealth and leave the place insecure and devastated. They have fought against every attempt at true constitutional reform and restructuring for equity, justice and fair play. They have jettisoned the rule of law and freedom of worship. For Nigeria to survive beyond this election, the populace must look at the political parties critically so as to determine which of them has the political will to deliver Nigeria to the promised land.
It is against this backdrop that we evaluated the 18 political parties to determine their sincerity of purpose.
The standing, the manifesto and the prospects of each of the eighteen registered political parties.
For purposes of brevity, this statement will consider conclusions based on the viability of the parties. Only three of the parties appear to have the chance of lifting the trophy and will, therefore, be further evaluated. The parties are the All-Progressive Congress (APC) led by senile Bola Asiwaju Tinubu and his reportedly Boko Haram-loving running mate Kashim Shettima, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by the oft-investigated Abubakar Atiku and his running mate Chukwuma Okowa and the Labor Party (LP) led by Peter Obi and his running mate, Dr Datti Baba Ahmed.
From all indices, the APC and the PDP are two sides of the same coin. They have proven since 1999 to be elitist parties that take turns in the catastrophic misrule of Nigeria. They have rendered the country comatose. They are still fomenting the agelong religious bigotry and born-to-rule syndrome and are not showing signs of letting up. If any of them is voted into power, it will be one term too many and a straw on the camel’s back for this entity called Nigeria. The Labor Party, on the other hand, appears to provide a breath of fresh air. It appears to bring back hope and has all the potential to put in place the right policies to bring about the birth of a new Nigeria that will work for the masses and not the elite. The LP and its flagbearers bring to the table a sincerity of purpose that promises to catapult Nigeria to its pride of place in the comity of nations.
Nigeria is on the brink. It is standing on the precipice and needs some Marshall plan to rescue it from disintegrating at the seams. The LP appears to have a manifesto and sincerity of purpose that are akin to the Marshall plan. This is the reason it has become a national movement poised to work for the people, rescue democracy and enthrone the rule of law.
Taking the bull by the horn
During the build-up to the 1960 independence, it was not easy to carry the north along as the east and the west pushed for independence. They declared they were not ready. This was the origin of regional governance which worked fairly well till the 1966 coup d’état. The coup gave rise to a unitary government that was survived by a number of military governments and a few quasi-democratic experiments. Since 1999, the military decrees morphed into a constitution that has made a mockery of democracy and must be changed for Nigeria to survive. This excuse of a democratic constitution is responsible for the lopsided appointments, extreme nepotism and the rudderless sail of the Nigerian ship of state. The hundreds of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria must wise up to this fact and, therefore, see this election as a case of to-be- or-not-to-be. They must take the bull by the horn to ensure election integrity and that the winner is allowed to govern and save Nigeria.
From all indications, the national movement called LP appears ready to win and the ethnic nationalities must be ready to ensure that all votes are counted and all efforts to scuttle the election must be thwarted. We owe that much to our existence and survival. We, therefore, call on all patriotic Nigerians, every ethnic group whose land and freedom are under threat and under the fear of not being sure of life in any given minute due to atrocities of wanton killing, raping, kidnapping, etc.; every student who currently has no hope of securing a job or graduate who has been roaming the streets after graduation, the teeming populations of Nigerians who have no hope the next meal to rise up in unison and vote for the Labor Party’s national movement symbolized by Peter Obi and Dr Datti Baba Ahmed. World Igbo Congress wholeheartedly endorses this movement for a better Nigeria
A note of warning to troublemakers.
It has come to our attention that troublemakers are on the prowl once again seeking to exacerbate the already frayed nerves and tension needed to throw a monkey wrench in the works. They are beginning to throw incendiaries, personal attacks and unsubstantiated vituperations that are entirely bereft of issues that will help Nigeria survive the impending conflagration. A case in point is the recent attack on the Labor Party and its flagbearers by Nasir El Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State. This man appears fixated and at the same time threatened by the surging Obi-Datti movement. His latest spurious statistic gave dataless numbers of 1%, here and 4% there as prospects of LP in the north. The illogical population numbers of gerrymandered local governments in Kano and elsewhere that he spewed out are exactly the problem with Nigeria. It was the same El Rufai who did not give Obi-Datti a chance for up to a 200-man crowd if he were to come to Kaduna. The same El Rufai falsely accused Peter Obi of ordering his arrest in Anambra when he was governor there. El Rufai represents the block with this born-to-rule syndrome that has perpetuated insecurity, commonwealth theft and impoverishment in Nigeria.
Another case in point is the broken English and vernacular-speaking Bola Tinubu who has a penchant for abusive language and unleashing of terror on innocent people in Lagos using his area boys and the reported militia. Tinubu must call his minions to order and stop delivering his incendiaries. World Igbo Congress warns these mischief makers to cease and desist from these shenanigans as Nigerians are ready to take back their country regardless. INEC owes it to every Nigerian to provide a level-playing field for all candidates. The reports of the inability of voters to collect their PVCs in certain areas while non-citizens and under-aged children have easy access to them in other parts are worrisome. The CBN must ensure that legitimate new versus old naira note exchanges are concluded in a timely manner while they plug all avenues of vote buying.
Call for action
World Igbo Congress has concluded that only the Labor Party movement, out of the three leading parties has the interest of Nigeria as a nation at heart and is endorsing it to achieve its objectives. World Igbo Congress calls on all Nigerians in the Diaspora who know what good governance is about and wish it for Nigeria to rise up and forestall any untoward strategies by the rogue powers in Nigeria to prevent ushering in a new Nigeria. You must encourage your wards in Nigeria to vote regardless of any stumbling blocks. Not voting means that one has surrendered to the business-as-usual syndrome, represented by Atiku and Tinubu. They must be vigilant to ensure election integrity. We stand by the recent pronouncement of the Southern and Middlebelt Leadership Forum on the subject matter in its entirety. We call on all law-abiding people of the Southeast to ensure that there is no sit-at-home in the zone that could potentially cripple the election process and throw that zone into the hands of their detractors just like it did during the last census that decimated the population of the Igbo. A sit-at-home will also negate the efforts to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. All Igbo and their sponsors who are sowing this seed of anarchy are hereby warned to cease and desist. On our part, we will bring to bear the attention of the international community to ensure that Nigeria gets it right this time around. May God bless you all.
Signed: Sir (Dr.) Chris Ogara, Secretary-General
Signed: Mr Basil Onwukwe Hon. PRO
Signed: Professor Anthony Ejiofor, Chairman
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