Practical necessity in politics remains a core requirement for political participation because if you dwell in the world of ideology, moribund optimism, carved strategy, you may lose sight of the practical reality of the political process. It was Victor Hugo who once said that you can stop every other thing, but you cannot stop an idea whose time has come.
Events culminating into the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from Adamawa State, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2023 presidential elections – a meticulously executed script not only aimed at further marginalization of the South-East, but an orchestrated Gestapo plot to exclude a major ethnic group at the top echelon where important decisions on governance are taken in Nigeria, left the South-East with little or no option, either to swim and sail or go into existential despair for the next eight years, if not 16 years in the waiting room.
Governor, Nyesom Wike from the onset, never hid his involvement in the conspiracy of unseating a Southerner as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, which paved the way for the emergence of former Senate President, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, as the new National Chairman. It is evident that the Igbo base in the PDP was weakened, overwhelmed by these sacrilegious power mongers hiding under the indeterminate power shift to the south campaign. The final onslaught which led to the frustration and exit of the widely acclaimed best presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, and other Igbo political gladiators from PDP, was only a matter of time.
It is instructive; zoning based on rotation was enshrined in the PDP Constitution since 2009. Article 7 (2c) of the PDP constitution states that: ‘In pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices, and it shall be enforced by the appropriate executive committee at all levels. The same humiliation suffered by late Dr Alex Ekwueme in the 2nd Republic, National Party of Nigeria (NPN) when it was the legitimate right of Igbos to produce the President, same letdown former Anambra state governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife suffered in the 3rd Republic Alliance for Democracy (AD) party where his popular presidential bid was forcefully denied in favor of Olu Falae, the lamentable story of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in the APP/AD alliance, where he was abandoned after emerging as the APP presidential candidate. Presidential aspirants Wike, Emmanuel Udom, their South South region and other political gamblers not rising in defense of the South-East presidential bid in the party and in the primaries, after the overwhelming support the South-East gave the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, will remain a grave sabotage of the Igbos’ political advancement in the Nigeria project. It is morally wrong, inordinate, selfish interest borne out of greed, for anybody from the South-South, or South-West to indicate interest in the 2023 presidential election, especially Governor Wike who by going ahead threw every caution to the wind and displayed open hatred for the South-East.
Based on emerging political developments, it is evident that the much touted power shift to the south is dubious in content, fraudulent, indeterminate unless and until such a call is fully narrowed to the South-East. It is based on the false binary of North and South, in exclusion of the substructural units in them. Clearly stated, if you don’t zone to the South East, you have not zoned anything. Wike, in collaboration with marauding buccaneers hid under this false Southern narrative of equity and justice to nail the furtherance of the Igbo cause in PDP.
Atiku said clearly that he would jettison his presidential campaign if the South-South and South-West relinquish their bid and give it to South-East. This singular offer vanished into thin air, never gained the much-needed momentum, never resonated among the stakeholders in the South, even in the South-East, the beneficiary. Nobody spoke, nobody talked. I can safely bet that the ruling All Progressives Congress Party (APC) will not zone its presidential ticket to the South-East. Is it not better now for the South-East to have a rear guard action than the imminent dismissal on the political landscape? How else can the South-East checkmate this amorphous power shift to the South? If the South-East, is denied the opportunity to present presidential candidate in the major parties with national foothold, then the next logical thing to do is to look across and seek who is prepared to listen to them – their worries and fears. Wike’s Presidency would not have produced a South-East Vice President. A Yoruba presidency will definitely produce a northern Vice president and that will mean what for the South-East?
Rightly, politics will always surprise you but if you are crackerjack in political building, gauging political trends, you must be constrained to take painstaking actions to overcome staring reality. A South-East VP will seat at the Nation’s security and defense council meetings, at least his ears are there and can speak up as occasions arise. Galbo emphasizes that the only regular feature of man is his ability to fumble and tumble, and his incapacity to escape the snare of time and history.
As well, sometimes, the dry cough of the thunder brings the first showers of rain of a new season. Some other times, the thunderous sound only seeks to laugh and mock us in the face of our impotence. It is not the “wringing of our hands, or the gnashing of teeth that will provide the vehicle for South-East political emancipation. Let the conversation and political alliance of the South-East 1st eleven with other zones that represent South-East interest be critically explored.
To the extent we know, until the Sovereign state of Biafra, Oduduwa, Arewa, metamorphoses, we still have Nigeria. Independent National Electoral Commission will still conduct the 2023 elections, with this epileptic political party system as the center stage actors. Elections have to do with numeric strength. Mobilization of different demographics and Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities is sine qua non for a president to be duly elected. South-East and the entire Igbo race cannot afford to be in limbo.
Hon. Nwagwu is based in the United States of America