NDI IGBO: Architects of our own problem – By Joe Onwukeme


As Ndigbo, we shouldn’t pretend that all is well with us. Our house
has fallen and the earlier we tell ourselves the bitter truth that we
are the architects of our own problems the better for us all. We have
reduced ourselves to object of ridicule by other regions because we
have again shot ourselves in the foot.

Ndigbo are avid travelers who migrate to many nook and crannies of
Nigeria and beyond fearlessly without a modicum doubt for success.
Ndigbo pride themselves with being republican, industrious, having
great knowledge, generally smart, wise, adaptable and above all
extremely hard working with impeccable success rates in many ventures
or interest.

With all these qualities postulated above, we are yet to put on our
thinking caps and come up with a good solution to our problems. Most
times we don’t even do our calculations before we take a decision and
after such decisions we end up becoming victims of our own actions.

Since the demise of the late Ikemba Ojukwu, the Igbos are yet to find
a charismatic leader that will steer the affairs of Ndigbo in Nigeria.
The reason is not far fetched, nobody is willing to sacrifice his life
for the Igbo nation like the late Ikemba Ojukwu. Majority of our
present Igbo leaders are port folio leaders, too self centred and are
more interested in what they will gain rather than sacrifice.

The Igbo nation has remained a laughing stock in Nigeria following the
defeat of president Jonathan in the April 28th presidential election
because we threw caution to the wind. The general elections are over
and a lot of us have started licking our political wounds.

There’s no doubt to the sayings that; we are proud achievers
worldwide, the jews of Africa that have conquered territories. But
when are we going to get it right in national politics? We accuse
other ethnic groups of ethnic bigotism but yet in those regions we are
accomodated and taken as one of them, they make their environments
business friendly for our businesses to strive, we are also given
political appointments and recently we have started winning elective
posts in their states but here in the South east all those things are
near impossible for outsiders.

We have our own states but we want to control and determine who
becomes governors in other states we are resident in, even when some
of our states are still struggling and can’t even compete with some of
those states we want to determine who becomes their governors in terms
of development.

After all the insults against president-elect General Buhari by
majority Ndigbo while the campaigns lasted, some of us want to reap
where we didn’t sow, we have without remorse started hob nobbing with
the president-elect, some Igbo groups have started listing out demands
and giving the president-elect conditions, the most hypocritical of
all is a South East governor who barely a month to the presidential
election averred that only a bastard from the South East will vote for
General Buhari is still the same governor that has gone to meet Buhari
to beg that Ndigbo should not be left out in political appointments.

While we are counting the cost of our political harakiri, the
president of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives
including their deputies have been zoned to other regions that elected
majority of their law makers in the soon to be governing party, APC.
Even the South south region of the out going president won’t lose out
in the zoning arrangements because they were able to re-elect two of
their members in the House of Representatives on the platform of APC.

Our major problem is that we are still neck deep in politics of bitter
ness because we have decided not to let go of the past. We still hold
grudges against some geo-political zones over the civil war that ended
decades ago. Hence the reason why we saw change coming from a
particular region and failed to embrace it.
Can someone tell me the region that is an ally of Ndigbo? Certainly
not our Ijaw brothers.
This bitterness has done more harm than good to us yet we have refused
to move on.

Even here in the South East region, we are not politically united,
that explains why 3 political parties are in control of the 5 Eastern

We are yet to understand that politics still remains a game of
interest with no permanent enemy but permanent interest. With the high
population of northeners they couldn’t elect General Buhari as
president after three attempts, it became possible when they aligned
with the South West.

We are impervious to lessons of history, we can’t continue to do same
things the same way and still expect different results. If we don’t
stop this politics of hate and resentment we shall continue to watch
other regions rule us forever.
Nobody freely gives you something you don’t ask for, it’s a
concession, you must indicate interest before others will listen to
you. After many years in the opposition South West have proven their
political sagacity once again, through alliances they were able to
strategize and form formidable opposition which has produced a
president. Since we have never been united to speak with one voice,
the question is, who do we speak with and who do we form alliances
with now we have found ourselves in the opposition? Democracy without
opposition is autocracy but can Ndigbo survive the murky waters of
opposition politics? Ndigbo should loosen up from political
inflexibility by widening it’s apects from being too narrowly focused
and exclusive to being widely open and inclusive.
The truth is always bitter so I won’t be surprised to read people’s
reactions to this piece.

Joe Onwukeme, writes from. Enugu

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