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IPOB, Time To Restrategise…

By Fred Chukwuelobe

Our enemies may be the rest of Nigeria, but our biggest enemies are us. If we truly desire to be “free” from the haters, we must begin the search for solutions in-house.

Why do I say so? 

Let’s look at the just-concluded PDP national convention and the primaries at the federal level which produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the candidate.

The Igbos have supported the PDP since 1999. Our problem with president Muhammadu Buhari is largely because only 5 per cent of us voted for him in 2015. 

Twice, he picked our brothers: former House Speaker, late Edwin Ume-Ezeoke and former president of the Senate, late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. Twice, we rejected him. He turned to the South West and got the support and became president.

Now, we began to demand that in the spirit of equity and fairness, we be allowed to produce the president of the country after other geopolitical zones, except the North East, had taken their turns.

A couple of highly qualified Igbo candidates indicated interests to contest in the party their people had supported for more than three decades. What did we get?

Governors of the South East refused to back them. Peter Obi was frustrated out of the PDP. He left.

Then on the day of the primaries, five South East states went with 95 delegates to PDP National Convention. Of the 95, only 15 voted for the South East candidates. 

Former president of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, who is from Ebonyi State, got only 14 votes.  Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa from Abia State got one vote, probably his own vote. Total 15 votes.

Meanwhile, the remaining 80 votes from the South East delegates went to the noisy Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who frustrated Obi and a number of South East party stalwats out of the PDP, and Atiku, the final winner.

While Ebonyi State went with 13 delegates, all of who may have voted for Sen. Anyim, delegates from Abia did not vote for Mazi Ohuabunwa; he got one vote, probably his. His governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, openly and unashamedly supported the rabble rouser Wike.

Then other South East delegates  did not vote for Sen. Anyim. He stood the best chance of all of them. But he couldn’t go far because his people abandoned him.

Similar scenario will play out in the APC when they hold their own convention in a few days time.

Already, in the Labour Party where Mr. Obi crossed over to, controversy has reared its head up. A faction of the largely unknown Party is claiming that he joined the wrong faction. Those spearheading this are Igbos.

Therefore, it is my considered opinion that, instead of IPOB fighting to free Ndigbo from this dysfunctional country in which we are heavily marginalised, let them redirect their energy towards our politicians. They are our major problems. 

Since Nigeria doesn’t want to accommodate us in fairness and in equity, and does not want us to go, let’s approach Nigeria with clean hands: develope our place; insist that our leaders must do what we want, account to us on their stewardship, use the funds accruing to our geopolitical zone well. That way, we can become a prosperous nation in a country. 

Unless we stop our politicians from betraying us as was the case in the just-concluded PDP convention, our quest to free ourselves from Nigeria, which can only be achieved by fighting another war – yes another war, every effort being made currently by IPOB “may be a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but not attained”.

Time for a change in strategy. The current one has failed us. While it has shut down our economy, killed a number of people, led to the rise in activities of criminal elements, it has not taught our politicians any lessons.

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