With less than three months to the 2023 presidential elections in Nigeria, the political space has been saturated with fear, religious intolerance, extremism, exuberance, gangsterism masquerading under youths restiveness. Regardless, the gladiators are also aligning and re-aligning forces. It, therefore, has become imperative to highlight the way forward vis-a-vis the “Ndi’igbo” Presidency which may likely snowball to another civil war between brothers and sisters if adequate measures are not taken and properly addressed with a view of building relationships in the spirit of togetherness and absolute commitment to our ‘Nigerianess’
“An environment that is not safe to disagree in is not an environment focused on growth – it’s an environment focused on control.”- Wendi Jade. Bearing in mind the quote by Wendi, I have been ruminating about the possible consequences of a nation under tensed atmosphere generated by emotion and sentiments. Therefore, this article seeks to examines the “Imperative And Impediment Of Ndi’igbo Presidency” Leadership struggle should not have a negative connotation. The struggle or contest must be ingrained in competing ideas and issues and not marred with fraudulent activities.
We should work together after a contest or an election to harness and implement the prevailing ideas. No one should be left behind. It is the responsibility of the leader to create an enabling environment where harmony will flourish in the face of constructive dialogue. As such our biggest challenge as a nation destined for greatness is how to minimize rancour and archive the elusive unity among Ndi-Igbo both in the diaspora and in Nigeria with the sole aim of integration and unification which seems to be a difficult task because of competing selfish interests. This is primarily because we have not looked deep enough to address factors necessary for achieving unity.
In the meantime, I will to join all our compatriots home and abroad to salute our elder statesman, an accomplished personality, octogenarian: Chief Emeka Anyaoku, GCVO, CFR, CON, a Nigerian diplomat of Igbo descent. He was the third Commonwealth Secretary-General. Congratulations in advance sir on your 90th birthday which by His grace we shall celebrate on the 18th of January. I am privileged to be co-opted in the planning committee as an Igbo-man by providence. I have been privileged in the past when I co-hosted the first memorial anniversary of Prof Chinue Achebe of the blessed memory in England where the Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the keynote address.
Back to the main issues, in the recent past few days, I have read through some earth-shaking revelations and articles written by no less personalities than two of our finest accomplished individuals: a former central bank/sitting governor Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR and this morning former chief of army staff, Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) who wrote “History Beckons And I will not be silent” and “FOOLISH IS NOT IGBO” respectively. I have painstakingly read back-to-back the profound articulations of both gentlemen who demonstrated uncommon courage and steadfastness as statesmen and patriots. I salute your sagacity and unbiased opinions sirs.
The writers has addressed the whole nation because all of us are becoming victims of the nuisance!! It is imperative that we have an open mind and forgive one another. However, if you have been untruthful or dishonest to a fellow compatriot, it is your responsibility to go to that individual or individuals, explain the circumstance(s) with remorse, and ask for forgiveness. It is manly to do that. By doing so, you have created a line of communication filled with a reason for building trust. Trust, as you know, is an ingredient for unity. Some of us may have cheated our brothers or sisters in some dealings thereby creating enmity. This is the way to go – this is exemplified by the “Truth and Reconciliation” championed by Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
It is incumbent upon us to go back to our brothers or sisters to ask for forgiveness and possibly pay restitution. Accounting and taking responsibility for our actions is a noble thing to do. Accountability and honesty produce trust. It is important that we reestablish trust so that we will be able to create a conducive environment particularly where Ndi-Igbo can work together and strategize with other people from different geographical zones to accomplish meaningful collective goals. Nonetheless the current unpleasant situations calls for deeper introspection. I argued that the Ndi’igbo Presidency can only be actualized through a concerted efforts as posited by Prof Chukwuma Soludo and Gen Azubuike Ihejirika.
Conclusively, on the writers, the points they made are in complete alignment with my thinking – the “Igbo-man” should blame their leaders and no one else in Nigeria. In a democracy, where the fool’s vote is of same value as the genius’ all you have is strategy to convince people to support and vote for you. There should be none of this intimidatory “rubbish” that we are all witnessing. Nigeria would find it difficult to develop if we continue to deny the truth about our idiosyncratic approach to reality, namely little effort to yield huge gains! We must “stop turning preordinance and first decree into the law of children” as Shakespeare once wrote!