Nigeria’s uninterrupted ‘democracy’ which began in 1999, it has never been more
pertinent than now to ask, What really is in store for Ndigbo as the Countdown
to the 2023 Elections is underway. These questions, perhaps, have asked
themselves in their own little way. But in the current times, they ask
themselves in a louder volume.
The average Igbo man on the streets has since lost patience with the Nigerian state and its continuous backwardness and unpatriotic attitude towards the Igbo people. This impatience among the masses is readily seen every four years in the low turnout of Igbo voters in the elections. The Igbo people pragmatic as ever, see no reason to keep casting their votes in elections that are almost never free and fair, and discriminates against the Igbo people. Then, there is the Biafran agitation which has gained exponential strength under the weight of the shabby handling of the affairs of Igbo people and bad persecution of Pro-Biafra protesters under Muhammadu Buhari’s government which began in early 2015.
In 2023, the Muhammadu Buhari government will have completed its maximum of eight years in power, constitutionally and would be required to pass down the baton. A very serious discussion is ongoing at the national political circle, where the Presidential baton should be passed. The North has shown interest in withholding power, since from all indications, political heavyweights like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are very likely to run for the presidency. On the other hand, there are also strong voices saying the presidency should come to the South. And the loudest voices of those in this argument are saying the presidency should not just come to the South, but should be zoned to a candidate of Igbo extraction.
from both the Northern and Southern parts of the country have come out to say
that it is due for Igbo presidency. One of such Northern politician is Governor
Ishiaku Bello of Taraba state who recently said though it was not written
anywhere in the constitution that the presidency should be zoned, it is the
ideal thing which was agreed as at the time of drafting the 1999 constitution.
And it would not be the ideal thing to put a stop to it now that the presidency
should be rightfully zoned to Ndigbo.
it remains to be seen whether indeed, Nigeria’s two elite parties, All
Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have any
real intentions of doing any honour to this unwritten rule of the governmental
system which Nigeria practices. It is no secret that the Igbo people are no
favourite in the Nigerian political clime. There is always this deep distrust
which arises from members of other ethnic regions when it has to do with the
Igbo people. This is partly due to the skewed narrative of the Nigeria-Biafra
war sold to the Nigerian people of their Igbo counterparts. This is even though
many detractors have accused Ndi Igbo of marginalizing themselves more because
their people aren’t interested in the politics. Whatever the matter really is,
it is certain that Ndi Igbo have been treated very unflattering in Nigeria,
both politically and socioeconomically.
Last week, it was reported that the Ohanaeze Igbo Youth Congress cautioned Igbo rulers from accepting the Vice Presidency slot from PDP, because it seems that is the slot the PDP are willing to offer due to the presence of political heavyweights like Atiku Abubakar in the party. According to Ohanaeze Youth Congress, certain Igbo rulers are acting eager to claim the Vice Presidential slot. But it seems the Ohanaeze Youths will have none of it. Very recently, former Enugu governor Okwesilieze Nwodo blew hot when he said Igbo elites would join Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to fight for Biafra if an Igbo man does not become president in 2023. Igbo politicians like Dr. Chris Ngige, Chief. Victor Umeh and many others have continually restated their support for the Igbo Presidency 2023 bid. And so, it would seem that a strong political equation to be solved in the near future is one heralding the problem between the enthusiasm of the Igbo political elites to ascend the mantle of power after a very long time of waiting and the reluctance of the gatekeepers to let them in. One wonders what the Igbo politicians are bringing to the springboard and what battle-plan they have drawn or will draw in order to wrestle out a ticket for the presidency of at least either of the two political party.
lot of things are always uncertain in the future of a thing as dynamic as
politics. But one thing is certain, the north has shown that it is reluctant to
give out power on a platter of gold. And so if Ndi Igbo are going to make good
their ambition, they would have to come up with a good game. Whether or not the
Igbo politicians will succeed in this remains to be known. The answer to the
question of what is in for Ndi Igbo come 2023 is best left to time to answer.