Petty Politics Of The Igbos By Valentine Egbuna - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Petty Politics Of The Igbos By Valentine Egbuna

It was Nelson Mandela, who said upon being released from prison where he was held for twentyseven years that he knew if he didn't leave behind the bitterness and resentment of his ordeal, he would still be in prison in his mind even though, he had regained his freedom. He chose to forgive and by so doing, became the most admired of all men for uncommon humility. 

For almost forty nine years after the civil war ended, the Igbos, it would seem have remained in incarceration in their minds, holding every one in contempt except themselves. Playing in the political big league in Nigeria has been strewn with deep seated animosity in the landmines of mistrusts and acrimony. Marginalization has been the catch phrase and yes, it might have been so but you don't wear that toga for endless pity party. It is time to shrug off the perceived injustices and enter the mainstream.

The late Odimegwu Ojukwu, realised this and attempted to unify the South East by joining a more nationalistic political party upon his return after his exile but it was shortlived with a stonewall by the non reconciliatory stance of the people of the South East and ever since the formulation of the APGA, as a political movement for the south East and perhaps, South south, it's spread has been largely confined in just Anambra State.

There are certainly a barrage of issues to be angry with Nigeria with the treatment metted to the Igbos as though, the battle was only won in 1970, but the war have continued. This position would hold sway, if the PDP had remained in power but even then, for the sixteen years they held power, nothing significant to radically change the narrative of the Igbo people can be traced apart from the primordial sentiments of historical value.

My remit is to attempt to reset the mindset of the Igbos in taking their rightful place in Nigeria. The last elections presented an opportunity to play in the big league but the people again played the ethnic card and flunked their chances. It would seem the people are content in their pursuits for commerce than in playing smart politics, otherwise, common sense would have dictated where the tide was heading and joined the flow but no, we chose to play hate as politics because Peter Obi was picked as Vice Presidential candidate of Atiku. Now the gamble has crashed and you are yearning for prime appointments in the next level administration of President Buhari. Do you reap, where you did not sow?

Even if all other past promises made to the people of South East had all been a farce, the commencement of the Second Niger bridge construction was a compelling reason to have had a second  thought. The Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe measoluem that was completed was another. This important monument was mindlessly abandoned for the sixteen years of your party. I have this uncanny feelings that the prospects of a possible return to looting was so enticing to see the future.

 There is no need crying over spilt milk, the way forward for redemption will be to decide exactly what the people want out of Nigeria. From where I stand now, the prognosis does not look good for the Igbos to regain traction and start the bid for the Presidency except by some divine intervention. Until the Igbos eschew the politics of hate and exclusivity, getting into the mainstream will remain a mirage.

Valentine Egbuna is a Public analyst 

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