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In spite of the brouhaha in the southwestern Nigeria about AMOTEKUN and the Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unconfirmed presidential ambition for the 2023, this is the time to begin to strategize and clamor for the emergence of Igbo president of Nigeria in 2023 after the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari. I know this writer will be crucified in absentia by his aggrieved contemporary Nigerians for this article, but truthfully, these aggrieved people’s belligerent position is empathized and understandable.
Nigeria is a mere geographical location that needs restructuring! It is also an entity that is truly a work-in-progress. After Buhari, what next? A real fearful question loaded with musing thoughts and self-talks. The real honest and astute Igbo man or woman should be scouted for and rallied around to be president of Nigeria in the 2023 general election. For decades, the Nigerian geopolitical conundrum has never favored or allowed the Igbo people to have a prominent roleplaying in the affairs of the country. Sadly, Igbo people have always deprived themselves of this lofty position in the nexus of Nigerian politics. The Nigerian oligarchs have succeeded in weaponizing Igbo brethren and youth for their private estate and hedonism. The cabals have always used Igboland as a hub for divisive politics, dehumanized trenches, ethnic and religious sectarianism.
The region has also been marginalized for a long time in the geopolitical map and politics of Nigeria, leaving the impoverished populace in the region to the plethora of woes. The misguided brethren from this untapped fertile region are not helping themselves politically. I think it is high time we conscientized our folks from the region known for potential “silicon valley” to discover their regional potentials. Igbo people should stop being used as a pawn and expendable weapons by politicians for political expediency and selfish gains.
The conmen and opportunists scouting around, and parading to represent the people from Eastern Nigeria cannot lead the good people of the East to the promised land. Imaginative secession or hobnobbing with readily available sociopaths for consolation against a stereotyped enemy cannot produce a future winnable political result. Resentment of a performing but slow government is not the smart solution to regional problems. The clamoring for secession is not also a problem, it is an unwise conception without a true referendum. If Nigeria is a forced marriage or mere geographic expression that needs a divorce, the dissolution must be done in a referendum that will bring all the stakeholders together to resolve the potent issue amicably.
The honest and unblemished truth is that even though if my Igbo brethren had succeeded in the expected unholy fragmentation of Nigeria, there will not be a consensus or collective unity of purpose among the present Igbo youth to evolve a concise partnership for leadership of the region. Igbo elders have always played into the noxious hands of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. They are either used for administrative convenience only to be abandoned by these con political players for political expediency in the end. Now, they are “Atikulating” if not already “Atikulated.”
In technological-know-how, Eastern Nigeria has the compendium ingenuity to siliconize or digitalize Aba, Onisha, Owerri and other parts of the East and Nigeria in general. They only need to re-invent the ingenuity of Philip Emeagwali, a computer guru based in the United States. Philip Emeagwali is a Nigerian computer scientist. He has successfully been living in the United States for many years. An Igbo man born in Nigeria, who won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize for price-performance in high-performance computing applications, in an oil reservoir modeling calculation using a novel mathematical formulation and implementation. He is one of the geniuses and blessings from Igboland, Nigeria, and Africa.
Beautifully, innovative Igbo sons and daughters are magnificent representations of the progress of Igbo, Nigeria, and Africa as a whole, but the unfortunate thing is that most of these young boys do not know their history. *There are urgent needs for the responsible and stakeholders of Igbos to speak out now and with one resounding collective voice to re-orientate our warped Igbo sons and daughters. They should stop oozing out abusive languages and the denigration of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. It’s not a smart move at all in a world shrinking into smaller villages.*
Historically, I am impassioned about the cultural beautification of Igbo kwenu, and entrepreneurship acumen of Igbo people. They have made a quantum leap in the progress of Nigeria through their hard work, resourcefulness, entrepreneurship and innovative ingenuity. Their entrepreneurial signatures have dotted not only Nigeria but everywhere in sub-regional Africa and around the world. *The stereotyped mindset of some people about Igbo people being local and international 419ers is a misnomer and nauseatingly unfounded. No ethnic group in Nigeria is exonerated or immune from scams, corruption and other vices that sadly branded our nation-Nigeria.*
In retrospect, President Buhari most Igbo people hate with unfounded passion may have his shortcomings, but Buhari is the best to have happened to this country now based on the ossified corruption oozing out of Nigeria, and his unrelenting war against it. Buhari’s administration’s slow pace of policy implementation is a minus and the encumbrance to some of his adversaries in a beleaguered nation in search of her true identity. But the end justifies the means! But before the end justifies the means, I hope his deliberate indifference to serious issues is addressed before it burdens his legacy.
Furthermore, the good people of Igbo should advise other kith and kin to stop fighting an unwinnable war of imagination. 50 years ago, Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), consumed between 500,000 to two million innocent people. And the needless and brutal war produced “no victor, vanquished.” Never shall we witness the most senseless war again in our country. Igbo youth should do collective serious self-talk, and stop being a willing tool in the hands of people like absconded Kanu, corruption personified Atiku, Mr. Tortoise Obasanjo and other unidentified sociopaths in APC and PDP who do not have their interest at hearts, but their inordinate political ambitions. *There are so many young intelligent, brilliant and resourceful Igbos who can lead Nigeria efficiently and effortlessly, but there have been no collective and cohesive voices among the Igbo youth. This is very concerning!*
Take a cursory look at Kingsley Moghalu, a young, vibrant, articulate (not articulated corruption and antiquity Atiku) intelligent, well-coordinated and versed economic guru! The first time I saw the young Kingsley Moghalu speaking, I literally melted on my couch and wept for our people! While the clean and handsome guy was mesmerizing my insatiable mind, articulating facts and figures, his youthful personality, godly, humility, and candor sent me back to the good nostalgic periods of vintage Barack Obama of the United States of America. I wept for the Igbo youth for a misplaced and misappropriation of its priority.
The Igbo’s youth newfound romance and love in Atiku is dwarfing the voice of reason and wisdom coming out from intelligent Kingsley Moghalu. Instead of supporting Kingsley Moghalu, these uncorrectable zealots are now munching for Atiku Abubakar. After Atiku, who knows who will be their political czar from the southwest or core northern part of Nigeria. In the 2019 general election, the youth’s political patron—Atiku, also known as patron to the cabals and religious entrepreneurs used Igbo youths and dumped them, a man with the baggage of US Homeland security unanswered questions dangling over his head for alleged corrupt practices!
The Igbo people’s stance and utterances in the national, and international community are not helping to foster a platform for the emergence of a true leader from among them in the East to lead Nigeria. Now, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku is trying to appease the uncorrectable individuals and the unsuspecting Igbo people to leverage his political ambition. Igbo people should be wise and avoid to be the willing tools in the hands of Atiku and other professional Talakawas from northern Nigeria. Kingsley Moghalu is a potential president of Nigeria in 2023. I believe and strongly mean it. Kingsley Moghalu has what it takes to lead Nigeria based on my research on his past records so far!
Rationally, Atiku Abubakar is a power monger. The rational mind can easily discern his manipulation of the fragile, dysfunctional and contradictory system. Just like I am disposed to Baba Iyabo hanky-panky, I have never liked Atiku’s con-art of politics. Atiku is a spent political whorelord who shouldn’t even be allowed to get close to the mainstream of Nigeria politics again. He seems scheming for 2023 again. Just like he failed woefully in the 2019 presidential election. I suspect he is succeeding in using Ibo people to use the youth for 2023 political ambition. Igbo people should beware and take heed of him. Atiku’s presidency is caveat emptor (buyers beware) for Igbo people and Nigeria in general! “Once bitten is twice shy” should be their lyric in the music of governance in Nigeria.
My advice to responsible Igbo people is to come together and do thorough mindfulness with thought-provoking deliberations on how to bring other patriotic Nigerians with them to actualize their dreams of producing a president of the federation in the next political dispensation. This writer is more than willing to be part of this campaign of justice, equity and fairness of having Igbo president to bring peace and tranquility to Nigeria.
Nigerian youths from Hausa, Yoruba, and other ethnic groups should support their responsible brothers and sisters from other ethnic or geopolitical zones to actualize this laudable dream. Young Igbos should refrain from denigrating their own sons and daughters and others through hate speeches, or unpatriotic posts on print, electronic and social media. You cannot deliberately impugn, hate or resent other ethnic groups and expect them to support you in time of collective national decision for the highest office. This is my honest observation, opinion, and admonition for true fairness and equity to prevail in our nascent democracy.
We need a crucial national conversation. Hypothetically, if I become the president of Nigeria today, I will immediately trigger a national discourse on our current false-coexistence. That true national conversation will have an agenda with modalities and rules. Every stakeholder (group) in our geopolitical spectrum will be a participant to vent to all what I call our ‘idiosyncratic Nigeriana.’ At that forum, the defective structure called Nigeria can be discussed and amicably resolved or peacefully broken into unimaginable disintegration.
I am a staunch advocate of national cohesion, but we must avoid some parts of Nigeria the monopoly of power, and born-to-rule syndrome. For peace to reign, we must deconstruct our minds of the nuance of born-to-rule, and secession and disintegration of Nigeria. Everyone is born to rule in the geopolitical and defective entity called Nigeria. The shaky Nigeria structure belongs to all of us. We must rebuild it! Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa and other ethnic nationalities in the country must have honest conversations. We must come together to build a united state of Nigeria. The sanctity of fairness, equity and justice must be made to prevail by actualizing an Igbo presidency in 2023. This is not impossible!
By Yahaya Balogun
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