“Igbos are conquered”. This was the theme of the lecture delivered by the late eminent jurist, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa at the Dan Anyiam stadium Owerri in 2003. In the course of the lecture, the legal luminary reeled out heartrending facts that depicted that the Igbos no longer had a pride of place in cotemporary Nigeria, their enormous potentials notwithstanding.
That Igbos that parade the most gifted men and women in Nigeria including intellectuals are in a sorry state in this country today in an understatement, it has come to a stage where our stakeholders with cap in their hands snivel and grovel to the owners of the land to beg for favours even if such act further diminishes their status in the eyes of the oppressors.
With the situation of things today, it will be very difficult for one to believe that the Igbos were once the most respected people in Nigeria who dictated the pace in all facets of the polity. This was before the dawn of Armageddon that changed their status automatically from that of leaders to beggar. Over the years, the Igbos have contributed to their plight by making obvious mistakes overtly or covertly that have further reduced them and made them progressively irrelevant in Nigeria.
On Monday, January 22nd 2018, a delegation made up of Igbo politicians of APC extraction both serving and non-serving were in Aso-Rock to see the emperor, President Muhammadu Buhari. They were there to beg him for certain favours. They praised him to high heavens for his “catalogue of achievements” since he assumed office in 2015. For the sake of continuity, they sang, he should recontest in 2019 so that he would complete his “laudable projects”. They were very happy for on-going Federal Government projects in the South East namely: the second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Port Harcourt road and Enugu-Onitsha-Owerri road. To the beggarly delegation, these projects, the only ones in the South East which may not even be fully executed because of the very noticeable slowness in their execution by this administration are enough for the South East, hence their decision to endorse him for a second term. In their exact words “you have done enough to merit a second term”.
The shameless and tactless Dr Ogbonnaya Onu led group also implored the slave master to name a national asset after former vice President, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme who died on November 19th 2017 and whose burial is ongoing without any national asset named after him yet. In saner climes, Dr. Ekwueme would be given such honour even without the president being told or begged. But they had to beg for it because of the status of the Igbos as slaves in Nigeria who must beg before anything is done for them. The clincher was that they, in absolute humility and in a subservient manner begged the president to support the emergence of a president of Igbo extraction in 2023 after his second tenure which they have already given to him. It was indeed a show of shame thus confirming the obvious fact that the Igbos have really been confined to the status of beggars in a country they are supposed to have a high stake in because of their highly recognized intellectual prowess.
Intellectually, academically, professionally and otherwise, PMB is no match to any of the members of the delegation. But he is the president because of the peculiarity of the country of all possibilities called Nigeria.
That these so called South East APC leaders converged at Aso-Rock from their various places of abode just to be given audience by President Buhari for less than 10 minutes, a time clearly not enough to enable them say all that they wanted to say is an eye opener. To him, they were mere jokers who did not deserve audience with him. The less than 10 minutes given to them by President Buhari is nothing compared with the time he spends with those that matter. It is nothing compared with the time he spends with a single member of the cabal that is running his government or any other Hausa man, whatever he has to say to the President. It was indeed a clear way of telling them that they were not wanted in the country’s seat of power.
If with all our education, administrative ingenuity, exposure and other attributes, we cannot discern the handwriting on the Nigerian wall, then something is chronically wrong with our collective psyche. If with all the injustices that are being meted to the Igbos since the inception of PMB’s administration, we were still the first zone to run to Aso Rock to endorse him for a second term when others including the entire North are foot dragging on the issue of his second tenure because of his abysmal performance so far, then something is really wrong with us. Have we become so brainwashed by our fate in Nigeria which worsened with the present administration that we can no longer hold our act together, so as to know what is right and what is wrong? Have we became so materialistic and self-centred that we can no longer uphold our pride and dignity. Have we lost our position in Nigeria as the most respected race in Nigeria in-spite of our ugly experiences which have spanned decades in an unjust, unfair and unequal union called Nigeria.
Whoever told the Igbo delegation that visited President Buhari that power is given in Nigeria must have his head examined. The North has always held tenaciously to the belief that they are born to rule. There was also an agreement reached by our conquerors at the end of the civil war that Igbos should not be allowed to have access to power again in Nigeria. For anybody to ask a Northerner , especially a die hard like president Buhari who was an active participant in the war and a partaker in the agreement to concede power to the Igbos after his second term shows that he is ignorant of the facts of history. It has never worked and will never work in a skewed democracy like ours. The Igbos will only have access to power through divine arrangement as was, the case with Goodluck Jonathan by their collective will to assert their right and not through concession by the greedy and wicked northerners. President Buhari and the cabal he is representing must be laughing at the Igbos for their naivety in contemporary Nigeria.
Led by our scheming and very ambitious governor, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha who was represented by his deputy in the Aso Rock show, the Igbos are today at the forefront of President Buhari’s 2019 agenda, far ahead of others in the gamble. Apart from governor Okorocha who wants to be president at all costs, others are falling over themselves, lobbying to be included in the devious plot to foist President Buhari on the long suffering Nigerians again in 2019. With Governor Okorocha and Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi in the lend in this wicked project, the Igbos have again become a laughing stock in Nigeria’s political arena as has always been the case.
It is as clear as crystal that the Igbos are in this mess in Nigeria today not only because they lost the civil war but largely because of the attitude of the people of the race to pursue only those things that will benefit only themselves and their cronies while their people suffer. For decades, this has been the norm with the dire consequence that the Igbo race, one of the three major tribes in Nigeria have continued to remain losers in Nigeria’s power game which only favours the strong willed and not the beggars and the chicken hearted. If the Igbos can come together and with one voice condemn in strong terms the way the tribe is being treated in Nigeria their fortune in the amorphous contraption called Nigeria will change. This was what happened during the Abiola, saga with the Yorubas emerging victorious in the end even with Abiola out of the picture. This was because the South West made their voice heard instead of crawling to their oppressors for favours from their rich tables. They were so vehement that the oppressors had no option than to give them what rightly belonged to them. Today, the Yorubas are politically relevant in Nigeria from every angle.
So long as the Igbos continue to hide their true feelings in Nigeria so as to curry individual and group favour from the oppressors of their people, the tribes condition in Nigeria will continue to worsen.
The attitude of the North has always been, “lets placate a few of them and all will be well”. This has continued to work for them and this is why the Igbo race remain little or nothing in Nigeria’s political and power game. With their eyes on certain positions, members of the Igbo elite have always chosen to work with the slave masters to further dehumanize their people. So long as they remain relevant, they are satisfied even if their people whose collective interest they are supposed to serve and protect suffer to no end. Thus, while their people continue to groan as a result of the effects of bad leadership and Northern domination, they continue to feed fat through the patronage of the slave masters who use them to keep their people in check in a wicked divide and rule plot that is aimed at keeping the Igbo race perpetually down.
The Igbos are in dire need of true selfless leaders who has their collective interests at heart, not mindless and wicked opportunists who sell the tribe for a mere token. Those that are masquerading as Igbo leaders today are nothing but self-centered sharks whose ultimate aim is to enhance their fortunes at all levels of governance by pandering to the wishes of the oppressors. They are in alliance with the slave masters to further subjugate their people whose fate in Nigeria is not better than that of third class citizens with no stake in a country that have continued to stifle them.