With Buhari’s 4+4, Igbo Presidency In 2023 Is Now Non-Negotiable | Nigerian News. Latest Nigeria News. Your online Nigerian Newspaper. f


by Fredrick Nwabufo

Nation-building is not perfunctory; it is deliberate, planned and decisive.

A country as enormous, diverse and delicate as Nigeria cannot evolve organically when a part of it is marooned and confined in the fringes of political exclusion. The argument has always been, “the Igbo are not ready”, and “they are not playing the right politics”. But this argument is classically insipid and hollow.

Some people have also argued that the Igbo are “putting their eggs in one basket”.  This is also a moot point. The Igbo are no different from the Yoruba, the Hausa and the Fulani in the game of politics.

A plethora of interests has always driven the politics of these ethnic groups. If we are agreed that interest is the highest common factor in the political calculations of these groups, then we cannot berate the Igbo for choosing to swing whichever way they want to.

For example, the south-west was measured in its vote for Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, but the south-east was generous in its vote for him. And in 2003, the south-west was unwilling to support Obasanjo, but the south-east adopted him, and even voted more for him than for its leader, the late Odumegwu Ojukwu.

The point is, the various ethnic groups have always played the politics of interest. The political exclusion of the Igbo is not because “they are not playing the right politics”, it is rather because of systemic strait-jacketing.

Since 1999, the highest position an Igbo has occupied is “senate president”, a position which the group even lost in 2015, and if we are to go back to the second republic, “vice-president”. Obviously, this is a political chasm. We cannot pontificate on unity when this nagging political sequestration exists.

Really, at this time, it will be hypocritical to discountenance ethnic distribution in choosing the next president in a country that is much fractured and that is unhealing from years of in-fighting.

Also, it will be ludicrous to reduce this important issue to ethnic exhibitionism. We cannot submerge this conversation, no matter how tenuous and irritating it is. We must “jaw jaw”.

I believe healing will begin for Nigerians when political justice is seen to have been done to all. At that point we can build a country defiant to disunity. But political justice must be done to all first to get to this stage.

In the name of all that binds us as a country, we must begin now to work for a “red cap with an asi-agu” in Aso villa in 2023.

Nigeria is for all of us, and we must work towards a society where justice breathes in the busy streets of Aba; where it hovers across the brown roofs of Ibadan, and where it strolls on the fine sands of Sokoto.

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  1. I do not agree with your assertion. The attitude and body language displayed by my Fello brothers from the South East is tribally parochial. This does not make for a people with leadership qualities.
    It is difficult to proof that majority of the people form same opinion. This is where the South West differs. Your antecedence matter. Imagine a sitting senate president voted out. this would never happen if he was from the east

  2. And what lessons have we learnt from the Northern electorate’s voting pattern that proves they are ready for leadership, in fact, most importantly, who determines what readiness for political leadership is.
    I agree with the author on her statement that what we’re witnessing is political exclusion of the Igbos, as one or two Northern leaders have stated publicly that an Igbo will never rule the country again. Nigeria has been ruled for most of its existence by individuals from the North but the North has been the most affected by poverty, illnesses and violence and extremism. The majority of the negative indexes affecting us as a country is as a result of the suffering fellow Nigerians suffer in the North.
    Nigerians should keep an open mind and offer the opportunity of change to whomever seems most capable irrespective of tribe or creed. The benefit of democracy is that we as a people can tell politicians that you have just four years to show us that you can cause positive impact in the country else you’ll be voted out. Given the goings on in the last election and subsequent harassment of fellow citizens because of their decision to not allow a candidate be imposed on them, I’d say we’ve taken a step back as a country, sadly.


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