2020 is a new year and a new decade, the decade of the 20’s. And the Igbo must recognize and get away from a few traps set for them from the past decades. Failure here will be disastrous and catastrophic for the Igbo and Nigeria.
Catastrophic 1-Igbo President
Pursuing or encouraging anyone or any political party to promise to deliver and Igbo President is neither in the interest of the Igbo nor Nigeria for several reasons.
i. Being Igbo should not be a qualification for almost any office especially that of the president of Nigeria. Anyone seeking the office must run on his abilities and no more.
ii. If one is elected on the basis of being Igbo such a person will not be successful in the execution of his office. Igbo interest and national interest will sometimes clash. How will decisions be made on those occasions?
iii. A president such as this will lose the support of over 50% of Nigerians from the onset.
Catastrophic 2- Second Niger Bridge:
The second Niger Bridge is not an Igbo bridge. A bridge is a structure built over an obstacle (in this case River Niger) to enable people and vehicles to travel east or west at Onitsha/Asaba. Any vehicle or person can do so: the Edo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Ijaw, Igbo, etc. can use it. Promising that as a gift to the Igbo is insulting. The Igbo should boo any politician who makes this offer. The Federal Government should build it or not. It will be an inconvenience to all Nigerians and damage the economy of the Igbo and non-Igbo if not built.
Many a politician has gotten away with this fraud and this our decade should put a stop to this 419 scheme.
Catastrophic 3 – Creating another Igbo State:
Creating a new state will balance the zones and is good logic. But it is not necessary for the development of South East. It is another 419 on the Igbo. Igbo should fight for border adjustments that will bring the Igbo who are as minorities in other states such as in Kogi, Benue, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo, etc. back into South East. It is only when this is done that creating a new Igbo State will make any sense.
Catastrophic 4 – Fighting and defending corruption:
Fighting Corruption is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. The fight must be against the underlying and main root of corruption which is poverty and hopelessness. I will write a separate essay on this but we ought to know that the reason why corruption pervades the entire Nigerian society has its roots in poverty. The Igbo should neither defend The Igbo accused of looting nor get into the fight.
Things Igbos should be championing:
There are fights the Igbo should lead. They include restructuring.
Nigeria in such a manner that there is no more “born-to-rule” mentality or a perception of it; throwing away the expensive presidential type of government with its executive planes and Aso Rock type of residences and reverting to the parliamentary system of government where the Prime Minister is “primus inter pares” (first among equals) and lives among his equals i.e. the citizens. Parliamentary system has worked very well for Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, etc. It will work better for Nigeria too.
The Igbos should join or lead the fight against poverty, which is a bane of Nigeria, a place where the average citizen supposedly lives on $2.00/day which is exaggeration as it translates to N21, 000.00 a month. The Igbos should join or lead the fight against President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to deny freedom of speech and assembly for people like Shiites, IPOB, and other citizens like Omoloye Sowore and Nnamdi Kanu.
Let’s hope that the decade of the 20’s is one in which political 419 will be put to death, when governments will do their duty and not pretend that they are doing the people a favor by using tax payers’ money to do community work; that living by UN mandated freedoms is not a luxury or what can be abridged at the government’s will.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba writes in from Boston, Massachusetts. Reactions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org