By Rt. Hon. Uchenna Ejim
It is one of our best head in the legal profession, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, JSC,(God bless his soul) who posited that “it is not enough to pronounce justice, it must be seen to have been done”.
The never ending call for a Nigerian President of South East extraction will continue to garner momentum as it will be on front burner and on the lips of Nigerians up until next general elections in February, 2023, some thirty (30)months from now.
This noble agitation, if realised, Godwilling, will go a long way to promote equity, justice, peace, oneness, development and long awaited healings.
Nigeria, at this point of her existence is in great need of the innate enterprise ingenuity of the South Easterners to stir the nation out of the global quagmire the World Economy finds itself.
Today, the figures from the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) and the Debts Management (DMO) Office is but nightmarish to say the least. Over 90% of our Country’s revenue in the first and second quarter of the current year was expended on debts servicing alone. We are all grappling with the effects of increased GOtv and DStv tariffs, electricity tariff, three(3) consecutive increment on PMS(petrol) in the last three months, increased VAT, even our text messages (a page) has increased by ten kobo.
The timelessness of the proven competence of Ndi Igbo in financial investments, prowess, the economy and other related matters speaks volume world over for all to see at every turn.
Ahead of 2023 general elections, in genuine anticipation of emergence of a Nigerian President of South East extraction, our political class especially the elites, opinion moulders and opinion leaders, captains of industries, the academia, socio cultural and socio political groups, South Easterners in diaspora and in general has their job well cut out for them.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo as the apex Igbo umbrella body is expected to lead the charge in synergy with others.
So much is expected to be done and the time to start walking the talk is now!
Ohanaeze Ndigbo and our elites from all walks of life should, as a matter of urgency, lead and sustain a Nationwide enlightenment on “a Nigerian President of South East extraction” and not “Igbo President or Presidency”.
There’s power in effective communication.
Communicating the right thing the wrong way will always have consequences no doubt.
Our ethnoreligious sentiments and fault lines as a nation will most likely be exploited by our contemporaries.
The phrase “Igbo President” stirs up sentiments and resentment, heavily clothed with palpable fear and uncertainties in the minds of other ethnic nationalities who are expected to join forces towards making the agitation a reality come 2023.
Yes, the bloody civil war may have ended some 50 years ago but the secession agenda which gave birth to it lurks.
The activities of IPOB readily come to mind.
This wrong notion casts a huge shadow of doubt in the minds of other ethnic nationalities who genuinely believe in our continued oneness as a nation and in the strength of our unity in diversity.
“If you must win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend”….. Abraham Lincoln.
“Igbo President or Presidency” is a no no even as we adopt and systematically propagate and promote the phrase “a Nigerian President of South East extraction”.
Ndi Igbo are cosmopolitan in nature. It is an incontrovertible fact that there is hardly any part of Nigeria where you will not find an Igbo man.
This makes Ndigbo true, detribalized Nigerians with the special traits of peaceful cohabitation with indigenes wherever they go.
It is time to explore to full advantage this geopolitical spread.
Our elites should organize and commission a *Strategic Data Team.*
This team is expected to go round the Country to gather data of Igbo’s wherever they reside, even to the remotest parts.
Igbos who are resident in the traditional five(5) South Eastern States are probably less than 50% of Igbo’s resident in other parts of Nigeria.
This Strategic Data Team , in consultation with all Igbo groups residing outside South East zone through Trade Union goups, Religious groups, Development Unions and Welfare Associations, Association of Students from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi Enugu and Imo across the nation, the academia, Umunna and Umuada family meetings especially outside South East zone and indeed any other conventional means or otherwise to gather and prepare an Infographics analysis/Statistical data of Igbos, State by State across Nigeria.
This data power will no doubt expose to the various political parties the strength in depth of the Igbos across the nation with it’s advantageous geographical spread.
It will be, among other things, a sound bargaining power for the the demand for a Nigerian President of South East extraction come 2023.
The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complex but to make complex things simple.
Therefore, armed with this infrographics analysis, we begin to approach other ethnic nationalities for synergy and support.
The media, conventional and otherwise, at regular intervals, should be awashed with this data analysis especially during constructive political engagements in the build up to 2023 general elections.
“Until you spread your wings, you will have no idea how far you can fly”…..Napoleon Bonaparte.
Therefore, let us begin to make deliberate but consistent efforts in changing the narrative of the ethnoreligious scourge ravaging our dear nation and threatening it’s foundation and existence even as we consciously imbibe, practice, project and magnify our unity in diversity.
” Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer.
Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past.
Let us accept our own responsibility for the future….John F Kennedy.
Come 2023 general elections, a victory for a Nigerian President of South East extraction is a victory for Nigeria as a nation.
Ultimately, amongst other things, it will promote and endear national unity and integration while bringing with it practical economic diversity, prosperity and growth across the nation.
Rt. Hon. Uchenna Ejim writes from Akpugo, near Enugu.