Commentary: Enhancing The Political Interest Of Ndigbo In Nigeria

Commentary: Enhancing The Political Interest Of Ndigbo In Nigeria

There is no doubt that Ndigbo have the most industrious and wealthiest people in Africa. They are very populous and estimated at over one hundred and twenty million people spread across the globe because of their enterprising, adventurous and cosmopolitan nature.

Unfortunately, Igbo people are not getting their dues in the Political-Economy of Nigeria, a country where one of their own, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Zik of Africa, played the most crucial role among his contemporaries to secure her independence. However, the disadvantageous position in which Ndigbo have found themselves in the country is linked to certain past events.

Save for the Second Republic during which they temporarily bounced back to relevance through Azikiwe’s political pragmatism, the Igbo nation has sadly remained a recluse in the limbo since the ouster of the Second Republic by the military in 1983, and the advent of this Fourth Republic, which started in 1999.

This unpalatable situation for Ndigbo is simply due to the fact that their political elite have, for a long time, abandoned Dr. Azikiwe’s legacy and have, instead, embraced political opportunism, selfishness and mercantilism. Unlike their rivals, some politicians and businessmen of Igbo extraction lack unity of purpose, vision and selflessness.

Therefore, they have exposed their ethnic group to servitude, marginalization, neglect, injustice and oppression by the elite of other tribes. This should not be so if the political elite of the Southeast get their acts together and embrace once again the political philosophy of Zik of Africa.

Again, the ruling class in Nigeria, which is inclined to the command structure of the military and feudalism, abhors the practice of true federal system of government in the country.

Therefore, the most credible alternative in the present scenario is for Ndigbo to unite and fight a common political battle. Ndigbo can converge on the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. This is because it is a political party predominantly founded and dominated by the Igbo intelligentsia. APGA is a legitimate institution, which Ndigbo can use to achieve their political goals.

The party was given relevance by late Dim Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was the presidential candidate of APGA in the 2003 and 2007 general elections. But for the absurdities of Nigerian politics, APGA swept the poll in the Southeast in the 2003 general elections. That was barely one year after it was registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in 2002.

The power that be then allegedly rigged the 2003 polls. Among the five Southeast states, APGA reclaimed its stolen mandate only in Anambra state after three years of grueling legal battle.

Since taking over the mantle of leadership of the state in 2006, APGA governments have performed superlatively well in terms of good governance and delivery of democracy dividends, despite the fact that the party is not in control of the federal government. As a matter of fact, Anambra has fared better than most states governed by other parties

APGA is a pleasant reminder of the good governance provided by governments of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizens, NCNC and Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP, in the First and Second Republics respectively. In both Republics, Ndigbo were not marginalized as is the case today.

Taking a queue from the political philosophy of the late Zik, the present crop of the Igbo elite can renegotiated their ethnic group into reckoning in the country’s political and economic space without being pusillanimous or selling their birthright. If Ndigbo must realize their dream of producing the next President of Nigeria, they must have to unite and team up under one political front because, according to Ikemba Ndigbo, united we stand, divided we fall.

Let Ndigbo stop wasting time to collectively use APGA to achieve what their forebears used the NCNC and NPP to accomplish in the First and Second Republics. We cannot continue to be political stooge and plate washers to others in order to satisfy our selfish interest rather than general interest of Ndigbo. Let’s think APGA for the collective interest of Ndigbo because Nkea bu Nkeanyi.

WRITTEN BY SIR NOBERT OBI

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