Igbo Presidency: Being Scuttled or Shuttled?

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

NdiIgbo are at crossroad when it comes to Nigeria politics. Intra-tribal liberation has been an illusive dream. Those who do not the gut tuned in for power; religious, politics or otherwise! But instead of political adventure solving the problem, it becomes another centre-stage for power-tussle. The phenomenon became rampant, Igbo god-fathers, bargain-slot, governor-in-waiting, political betrayal and Abuja- controversies every side of the southeast. I remembered Nzeribe’s ABN that nailed MKO, Nwobodo’s busi-body that thwarted Ekwueme’s president chances, not to talk of the crisis that rocks the pan-igbo’s Ohaneze. When you look at this scenario, you come to conclude that impromptu reign supreme on Igbo road to presidency; the civil war is never an excuse! As many are warming up for 2011 polls, the Judas among them turned into election bench-warmers: to gain opportunity to hijack brothers’ ambition. Take a look at MAURICE IWU. He was carefully dressed-up to stage-manage the April 2007 controversial polls.

Since the Pharisees see nothing good from Nazareth , Obasanjo saw another channel to transplant impunity against Igbo-people from an Igbo-person. Their presidential slot was swapped to the north using Iwu as the mischief-maker; his kinsman became the one that was successful after the primaries went back to Maurice Iwu’s kindred to be reassured of his support. Iwu easily gave the support. Unknown to some of these candidates, Iwu had pledged to his clan, Mbano in Imo State to produce a governor for them. While Iwu actively supported Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume, he worked to ensure that an Mbano man emerged as governor. Ikedi Ohakim was the only Mbano person who finally made the governorship race of April 14, 2007. Ohakim of PPA, according to results of the April 14, 2007 elections scored less than 10,000 votes while Martin Agbaso, a Port Harcourt based businessman won with more than 70% of the votes.

To most people’s chagrin, the governorship election of April 14, 2007 in Imo State was canceled by INEC. The electoral body cited violence in 9 local government areas of the State as the reason for canceling the elections. Yet, election into the State House of Assembly which took place at the same time with the same ballot paper was not cancelled in any of the local government areas. This is because Maurice Iwu believed that he had the sole right to appoint the governor of Imo State . This much he revealed to some people who went to see him shortly after the April 14 election. Maurice Iwu was caught saying: “Obasanjo promised me Imo State for all the work I did for them, Imo was zoned to me and it is my right to choose the governor; that was the deal between me and the out-going President”

The first issue is competence. For cabinet level positions, an executive will probably be drawn to experienced, qualified candidates, but historically, the lower down the ladder, the more likely for someone’s brother-in-law to be slipped into a job for which he is not qualified. The Nigerian Civil Service commission was passed in unanimous pact in large part because so many patronage jobs, down to pitfalls, were being filled by people whose only qualification for employment was their support for a particular party or candidate.

The appearance of favoritism weakens morale in government service, not to mention public faith in the integrity of government. Reasonable people will differ about the appointment of friends and family in high-level positions, but public officials should be aware that such choices can give the appearance of unfairness. According to “nigeria4betterrule” analysts, Legislatures, 27 out of 36 state legislatures have found the practice of nepotism troubling enough to enact laws against it. Others may restrict the hiring of relatives or friends in more general conflict-of-interest rules.

Public officials should also note that dilemmas involving favoritism extend beyond hiring and contracting practices to the more general problem of influence. Partisans, people who come over for the ruling party [PDP] stalwarts’ affairs, members of the same old-soldiers of OBJ, IBB tyrannical regime even OBJ boys; all are likely to exert a greater influence over an official than a stranger might. Council members, mayors, and legislators must make special efforts to ensure that they hear all sides of an issue rather than just relying on the views of the people they know. Further, many conscientious Nigerian lawmakers have discovered that they must change their patterns of socializing when their work involves many decisions affecting friends and associates. At the least, they may choose to recluse themselves from votes where social relationships may exert undue influence.

Today, all maltreatment has ended. We won’t allow anybody to maltreat us in Nigeria again. From today onwards, we won’t allow any Igbo man to quarrel with his fellow Igbo. What brings problems to us is when others are persecuting us; we will equally be persecuting ourselves. From today, any Igbo man that comes to spoil things for us, our youths will handle him; our women will handle him… From today, any Igbo man, whether in America or Nigeria, that suffers any bad thing, we will all go to rescue him. If anything happens to any Igbo trader anywhere, we will all go and rescue him. But our power is the people’s power. It’s not for one person. You have brought me out. My promise is that we, the new executive, will give example. Anything concerning Ndi Igbo, we are prepared to die in it. All we want is for you to die with us

Well, why would anyone support a northern dominated presidency when we don’t have that same support in the clarity? It doesn’t make any sense for the executive arm and Nigeria’s presidency to be crony-ridden at all. It is counter productive absolutely. The only people who have a problem with this are they and maybe PDP as they have a problem with everything and no real solution. Perhaps the senate should reflect the voice of the people who have already spoken with their ballots?

The senate shouldn’t be a waste of money or badly in need or reform (or abolishment). The ministerial appointments should be made on the basis of the contribution that Nigerians can make to the goal of peace, order and good government. That appointments are being made, does not disturb me so much as the seeming lack of dedication to the job and qualifications that bother me. Still, I would suspect that if these people made ministers were to apply themselves, to the job of sober second thought, they could do a decent job of it. Never elect someone who thinks all government appointments are strictly patronage though, they will fill the role as they perceive it to be. Ndi Igbo, if we tell ourselves the truth, we will triumph. But if we lie to ourselves, forget it.

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