Igbo Presidency: Not Now, Not Later…

by Sylvester Fadal

I posit that there will not be an Igbo presidency now, later or in the near future unless the Igbos wake up and build a solidarity union with a true common language of focus, goals, and linguistic thinking that must become evident through their actions. This new solidarity must be recognized by other Nigerians as having little pitfall if any, with a true penchant for wanting to lead a great nation like Nigeria. The solidarity union must establish a sense of non-controversy as noticeable in the varied existing associations that have been marred by complexities and dreary issues driven by personal greed for recognition and wealth accumulation among members.

It is becoming evident that one of the key reasons why the Igbos may never govern in Nigeria is simply the level of political greed and inter-personal conflict prevalent among them. Recognizing the high level of skills/competency, knowledge and capability of the Igbos, it is appalling that not a single, well-acclaimed, respectable Igbo indigene stands out as a potentially strong candidate to challenge for the top political position in the country. The current key Igbo political figures are busy playing secondary roles and amazing wealth in their follower-ship positions when apt, that they literally have compromised their opportunities/integrities through their actions. The secret to excelling lies in the power of unity and the willingness to build a set of solid collaborative allies, which is currently lacking among the Igbos today. Regardless of how many associations they have successfully established and the amount of money raised, there exist a high level of disunity among them. Relying and calling for zoning rights won’t make it happen for the South-East in their efforts to produce the next president. Dr. Chris Onu and Alex Ekwueme are perhaps the only few who understand that nothing tangible will come out of all the assorted groups and meetings until a true solidarity is established.

My good friend was the president of one of the associations for two years and in my discussions with him, the rambling, in-fighting, court cases, conflicts and fabricated lies and problems he experienced from his own association members led him to give it up for his safety. Despite his strong political strength and leadership capability, he was faced with a barrage of issues up to and including those who were hell bent on his defeat at all cost. Threats were made over minor issues and members who wanted to replace him at the helm of affairs planned internal coup-de-main that failed several times. In my discussion with him about this article, he affirmatively recognized the need for unity among the Igbos to help solidify them with a strong common front. As of today, there is no nationally recognized key Igbo figure that can be presented and “notably accepted” as a presidential candidate. This is not a coincidence but a highly calculated effort by several divergent political Igbo groups/individuals to ensure that a single person does not gained enormous power over others.

While groupthink is often viewed negatively recognizing some of its deadly aspects, it may be the solution to the problem that nags the Igbo associations and the complexity it faces on how to identify itself as a formidable group that must be reckoned with in the Nigerian political setting, at least at the presidential level. It has been inferred several times that the Igbos’ are better at playing second fiddle and as such they have been pigeon holed and stigmatized as a group of good followers when handsomely rewarded. Yet, in light of this characterization and/or disclosure, no key Igbo political figure has clearly cried out beside a few notables Nigerians in Diaspora. This ultimately establishes a deadly prevalence of viewing non-facts as facts due to the non-contention of the claim and/or belief. The Igbos are some of the most intelligent and visionary Nigerians I have known to possess high levels of intellect and the creative ability to conceptualize and design goods of immerse value.

Desperate calls by some Igbo indigenes are weak cries that will lead nowhere unless those that truly count, make efforts to break the boundaries of eligibility and strive through effective collaborative efforts to establish a referendum that will guide the solidarity team to a common mission of seeking the presidency with all their guts. To benchmark the effectiveness of the group, a model that is based on (a) trust, which is currently lacking among key Igbo figures, (b) acceptance of one notable figure that is supported by all others, (c) understanding the focus and importance of collaboration to insure a continuance of growth towards accomplishing the mission, and (d) development as it relates to identifying and revealing unproductive behaviors, evaluating need and establishing capacity for change is required.

Prevailing articles, comments, actions by some key Igbo political figures indicates a strong need to rule the nation. The fact however remains that desires, wants and needs mean very little unless backed by a well-planned, integrated structure, supported by professional integrity, resources and unity among others, to ensure that a common goal or mission is achieved. As it stands, I question the motivation of the Igbos to rule recognizing their level of disorganization as it relates to the fundamental importance of building a collaborative front and a team of dedicated individuals. If the desire to rule is simply to have control or to gain a piece of the pie regardless of what it takes, most Nigerians will recognize that intent and contest the effort. However, my hunch doesn’t view the intent of the Igbos negatively as I see a group of disjointed individuals with a common goal and bags of potent prides that derails them from accomplishing that common goal. I detest a one-party system, which, is literally what PDP is changing Nigeria into, and the spread of leadership based on qualification, skills and ability is what matters. Like I have wished for other ethnicities to rise to the very top political position rather than being perpetual followers, the focus of my article today is the Igbos. Rise up and solidify or shut up and continue to play your supportive roles as usual. There is nothing wrong with being in such roles. Fighting for a zoning right or calling for sympathetic support will not help you achieve the mission that has been elusive since the sixties.

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1 comment

"T" April 8, 2005 - 2:00 am

Sly, the article is well written and thought provoking….



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