Starting with Anambra State, strong voices of resistance needed for Igbos

By: Okey Muogbo

If your classify the incumbent five south east governors, you will have this groups: two are dumb, one is a rascal, one is a drunkard and the remaining one is an almajiri (beggar). This is the sad situation the Igbo nation found herself in the past few years that Igboland  appeared more like a graveyard than a nation of vibrant people who have conquered the world in every sphere.

It was this parlous state of affairs that significantly led to the rise of militant of Igbo youths who are now deploying violence, both of the mouth and of the hand in addressing the challenges threatening Igbos. The threat now is even on a scale far worse than what obtained after the northern (reprisal) military coup of 1966.

What the southeast geopolitical zone has gone through in the last six years was threatening, humiliating and condescending. While all these were happening, the zone’s major representatives, the state governors kept quiet as if nothing was happening. Since nature abhors vacuum, all manner of voices arose in defence of the oppressed and marginalized Igbos, often deploying emotional and other inappropriate methods in fighting for redress.

Separatist groups have grown to at least three, namely: MASSOB, IPOB and BNG (Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Indigenous People of Biafra and Biafra National Guard respectively). Through both convinction and compulsion, these groups have taken over Igboland, dominating the zone to the extent that they now decree a wish and it is complied with by Igbos. Unfortunately the methods deployed by them, lacking consultation and intellectual backup have created terrible dissonance for Igbos especially in their national roles as a great major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. All these happened and are still happening because the zone’s governors and other elected officials remain docile.

At a point, the condition of the Igboman in Nigeria became so pathetic that non Igbos took up the challenge to speak for Igbos. Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, ex Governor Ayo Fayose and to some extent Omoyele Sowore became very visible in speaking against injustice to Igbo nation and Igbo people. Yet, our governors kept mute. At court sessions when Nnamdi Kanu were to appear, we saw these kind Yoruba activists coming to court in solidarity with Kanu, wearing the Isi-Agu (Igbo traditional attire) and speaking forcefully in support of Kanu’s struggles. At a point, the Yorubas reduced Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe to a minority in a matter that was purely an Igbo struggle. Senator Abaribe has remained the only legitimate Igbo leader in the political circle in Nigeria since 2015, taking dangerous risks for his tribesmen. He would most likely leave the National Assembly as the poorest principal officer of the Senate in this Republic because they would deny him every loot they share for ‘rocking the boat’ by persistently criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari for marginalizing Igbos.

Yet our governors remain dumb. The governors have greater strength to defend the Igbo interest against the vicissitudes pushed on the Igbos by the Buhari administration. Not only do governors have more money to spend, they enjoy constitutional immunity which the likes of Senator Abaribe do not have. Yet Igbo governors under this dispensation refused to save their people. These weaknesses also led to the rise of the John Nwodo-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo as a strong rallying point for the south-easterners but that ended with expiration of Nwodo’s tenure as President-General of Ohanaeze.

Since the emergence of the APC-Ohanaeze leadership, that socio-cultural group’s voice went dumb like the southeast governors. So, it is only Abaribe that is left now to continue the fight for Igbo emancipation. But the labour ahead is too much for Abaribe alone.

So, starting with the Anambra state governorship election, Igbos must elect governors who will actively participate in defending the Igbo nation. There is urgent need to have more sane voices of resistance from Igbo governors and this Anambra election is the starting point. Voters in Anambra state should choose from among the candidates who has the courage to stand for Igbos just like the way Senator Abaribe has carried on. If at least one of the incumbent governors in the southeast had taken Igbo interest like Senator Abaribe, Igbos would have been better consoled than they are now.

Crying aloud or Ndo (sorry) may not bring solutions to problems especially when you have a president who neither cares nor listens to you, but like the proverbial bush animal that is trapped, you shout just for the world to hear your cry.
We have a good example in Governor Samuel Ortom in Benue state today. Once rated among the worst performing state governors in Nigeria, Ortom has today gained greater respectability from Benue people because he has consistently and most vocally spoken against the threat to the people of Benue. The level of provision of social amenities by his government may or may not have improved beyond what it was when he was poorly rated but he has smartly found a greater calling in the service of Benue that significantly resonates with his people.

On November 6, Anambra people should kick-start the Igbo version of change by electing a voice of resistance against what is happening to Igbos in Nigeria. If they elect a non APC candidate, it will be a good way to start though the performance of their incumbent Governor, Willy Obiano a non APC person was so dismal as far as this idea of resistance is concerned.

On the other hand, if the voters feel that the APC candidate is the best, then it becomes incumbent on him that after being sworn-in, he must place the interest rate f his people above that of the Party. If he doesn’t know how to do it, he should learn from southwest governors, who actively brought APC to power in 2015 but have rejected the domination policy. Today, Yoruba governors have all turned into voices of resistance to defend their land, culture and civilization. They have moved away from the centre to periphery, at least in spirit.

After Anambra state, every subsequent governorship election in Igboland should attempt to produce governors who are vocal enough to complain against any ill-treatment that would be meted out to Igbos anywhere in Nigeria and all over the world. By that way, the emergence of unguarded and unguided radicalism and militancy within Igboland and among Igbo youths would be nipped in the bud.

Never again should the Igbo race find herself in the kind of docility she existed in the last 6 years. If not for God who brought the plaques (sickness and later COVID-19) that delayed, disrupted and slowed down the agenda of the oppressors, Igbo race would probably have faced situations worse than that of 1967-1971. And yet we have been warned that 2022 would be the climax of hostilities against the ‘Jews’ of Nigeria. At least one voice, a man with Authority and constitutional Immunity would be able to shout if the doomsday prophecy about 2022 comes to pass.

It would be a strong addition to Abaribe’s lone voice in the wilderness. Igbos are the DOT inside a circle and they must be the nucleus of that circle, whether the Devil likes it or not.

Over to you, Anambra voters. Don’t let the Igbo race down.

Muogbo is versatile Abuja-based journalist.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More