IBB And The 2015 Igbo Presidency Gamble

Few weeks ago, some prominent Igbo leaders (including the former Vice President Dr Alex Ekwueme, former Senate President Ken Nnamani and the former Central Bank Governor Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo) were locked out of the Concorde Hotel in Owerri where they were supposed to meet. According to the news report they had paid in advance for the hotel facility only to be told by gun-totting law enforcement agents that they had “orders from above” to stop the meeting. The report went on to say that they defiantly held the meeting in the hotel’s premises outside under a scorching sun.

Well, whatever must have led to the unfortunate incident remains indefensible. You see I have a problem with the ‘orders from above’ thing because that is a garrison language that should not have any place in a democracy. For weeks running the Imo State Government and the Federal Government had both declined responsibility for the incident. So the question is: who issued the order that the policemen acted upon? Or the ‘order from above’ was issued forth from heaven by the Supreme Being? Something is wrong somewhere and someone must be found out to bear responsibility for this reprehensible act of political intimidation and brigandage.

Imo State has a Governor in the person of Mr Ikedi Ohakim. And the Hotel Concorde is owned by the Imo State government. Ohakim, with the EFCC in the trail of his government for embezzlement, has lately become President Goodluck Jonathan’s man-friday, running always to Abuja, even uninvited, in order to be in the good books of the gentle number one citizen. I do not know what Ohakim is afraid of if his hands are clean! But we all know he has been found wanting in the management of the Imo State resources put in his care. So he believes like the embattled Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State that his closeness to President Jonathan will undo any criminal charges the EFCC might level against him.

This Governor with ‘Godson’ as middle name is a dreadful one. Apart from dishing out ‘koboko’ punishment to a citizen who was determined to expose his fiscal corruption he had arrested and detained a Catholic priest who innocuously ‘blocked’ his motorcade only to apologise later to the catholic Archbishop of the Owerri archdiocese. He had brutalised through his overzealous security goons in far away Lagos a harmless woman with her two kids in her car for trying to contest the right of way with his convoy! Many Imolites are waiting patiently for next year to give electoral ‘judgement’ to Gov. Ohakim’s executive recklessness by showing him the way out of the government house.

Weeks before the convocation of the confab in Owerri the south-east Governors had pledged their support for the 2011 Jonathan/Sambo PDP ticket. But soon after that endorsement emerged ‘cracks’ in the Igbo ranks leading to the Ekwueme group advocating for a candidate who will guarantee the Igbo concretely that 2015 will be theirs for the asking. IBB is at work here; during his declaration of interest in Abuja Ken Nnamani was among the prominent people in his entourage leading to questions about Nnamani’s progressive democratic credentials. How could a former Senate President in a democracy be seen joining forces with those who sought the destruction of the same system seventeen years ago?

Babangida is playing Igbos against Igbos and we must be careful before he succeeds in his evil plot. President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is, in my reckoning, an Igbo man from Bayelsa state. In that oil-rich state we have many Igbos who bear Igbo names like in Rivers and Delta states. Of course I hold ‘sans arrierre pense’ (without any second thoughts) that the President is one of us! Dr Ekwueme or Ken Nnamani or Chukwuma Soludo cannot claim to be more Igbos than President Jonathan. For someone to be answering names like Azikiwe and Ebele should tell us that he is our brother even in internal ‘diaspora’. What we owe him is our unflinching support and not doing unholy alliance with his opponent to undo his ambition come next year.

For the highly-respected elder statesman Ekwueme, Nnamani and Soludo and others who still believe the IBB’s monumentally sophisticated fraud called the Igbo 2015 presidency allocation I say in French language “ressaissisez-vous” (buckle-up). Gen. Babangida is still suffering from certain delusion of grandeur, a sense of entitlement which he is not worthy to be accorded. Ibrahim Babangida’s presidential campaign led by the media mogul who has sold his soul ‘High-Chief’ Raymond Dokpesi of the ‘Ray-Power’ fame runs on a mortally-flawed self-promotion and delusional exaggeration. IBB’s 2011 presidential ambition is dead on arrival; it cannot sell because of his global notoriety and dirty antecedents. Where do we start: Corruption? Homosexuality? Murder? Cocaine deals? (Remember the infamous Gloria Okon?) Guile? Subversive generosity? (apologies to Chief Anthony Enahoro) Name them.

President Goodluck Jonathan is God-sent! Yes he has the keys to the solutions to the nagging problems bedevilling Nigeria. With a God-fearing President like him then we should consider ourselves to be in good hands. He may have his shortcomings but those are not enough for us not to see his determination to knock some ‘sense’ into the Nigerian collapsing national edifice. Jonathan is likable and he is simple and humble. I strongly believe Nigeria will be a better place with him winning our mandate next year.

I(ndependent) B(omb) B(last) is desperate to return back to power because he believes he has a superiority edge over and above other 150-million Nigerians. This poor assumption of reality must be shot down if only to put Babangida in his right place in the Nigerian complex political configurations. In unison we must say a resounding ‘No’ to his 2011 presidential masturbations. We say no to his crude attempts to confuse Ndi-Igbo once again after what he did to rtd Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and other Igbos during his 8-year diabolical experiment with political power. Babangida must not have his way otherwise we will (or I personally will) renounce our Nigerian nationality!

I can still remember how Babangida’s military goons (who hardly spoke nor understood English) killed a good friend of mine in Ring Road in Benin City in 1993 as we protested his annulment of the June 12 presidential poll won convincingly by the late philantropist Chief MKO Abiola. In an ‘IBB-Must-Go’ nationwide campaign to force the dictator to rescind his inexplicable decision of cancelling the sovereign will of millions of Nigerians I could still remember the soldiers sent from the north shooting a friend standing right beside me as we pelted them with stones! Today, 17 odd years on I still grieve for Kelvin!

The problem with Igbos remains, in the main, money! Yes, the love of money above every other thing! Or in whose interest are those claiming to be Igbo leaders acting when they seemed to be taking the side of the morally-bankrupt ‘Maradona’ in the run-up to the PDP primaries? How could any sane mortal ever believe Babangida again after all he did while in power that gave him away as a monumental fraud in Nigeria? How can IBB alone assure the Igbos of ‘giving’ (sorry ‘dashing’) them presidential power in 2015? Or he is going to accomplish that through military fiat or what? But we are no longer in the era of the jackboot when this Minna megalomaniac played god and went away with it! Besides, he has since ‘discharged’ himself from the army, so how could he be promising what is beyond him in a democratic space like Nigeria’s?

I am surely not unaware that IBB is not a christian but a muslim. But for me that is not very important here because I believe strongly that God is one everywhere. Religion is secondary since I believe in one universal God, the Great One who sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to come down here in flesh and blood and died for our collective salvation. So whether the name is God, Allah, Oluwa, Chukwu or Osanobua He remains the Alpha and Omega, the Giv

er and Taker of life.

So against this backdrop I can only refer the Minna retired coup plotter to two verses in the Holy Bible which are relevant to his much-vaunted come-back bid. In Galatians 6:7 it is written: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. And in Ecclesiastes 3 the scripture makes it clear that: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven ….”

So Gen. Babangida is today reaping the evil he ‘soweth’ while commanding Nigeria and Nigerians. It is pretty time he considers retiring from politics for the new generation. The time has come at close to 70, for him to quit the political scene after his years of infamy. Unless of course a supernatural force is drawing him out adamantly for the ‘kill’, that is, the blood of countless victims he killed in power may be seeking vengeance ‘luring’ Babangida out for their pound of flesh! And in this instance nothing can atone for the mortal ‘sins’ except his blood being shed.

Gen. Ibrahim Babangida is owing the Federal Republic of Nigeria billions of dollars he stole while in power. So any attempt to use this ill-gotten wealth to influence Igbos or ‘buy’ his way back to power must be resisted by all means. By the grace of God to whom all things are possible and with our unity of purpose and organization the Igbos can still produce a President in 2015 or thereafter. We cannot put our hopes on a dying dictator (with radiculopathy syndrome) who may not even live to see next year or 2015!

Written by
SOC Okenwa
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