By Obani Chukwuemeka
The predominant preoccupation right now in our beloved country has shifted from the insecurity necessitated by Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen attacks to the absence of our President Mohammadu Buhari and the cry for secession. Positions are based on what part of the divide you happen to be on and it has been varied along ethnic, religious and political lines. The reality is that save for a few like Dele Momodu, no one is embracing the nationalistic view. The view that prioritises what would be the more profitable option in the political discourse, for Nigeria and not a section of the country.
A wise man once said that those who fail to learn from history will always end up repeating history. It is also a common fact that it is only a mad man who continuously repeats a process and expects a different outcome. Both in the Buhari brouhaha and the cry for secession, history is repeating itself in a very alarming way.
We all remember the Yaradua saga and how it unraveled. For the benefit of those who do not remember, President Yaradua was sick and a cabal allegedly headed by his wife was determined to make sure he remains in power. This necessitated what was termed the doctrine of necessity which led to his deputy GEJ becoming President. What is not often dwelt on, is the reality that GEJ was probably forced by the shenanigans of those who were hell bent on preventing his ascendancy, to make deals which made his administration dead on arrival. By virtue of all he had to kowtow to in order to be made the president, he was programmed to fail and it was not surprising therefore, when he eventually did. His failure would have been mitigated if he had not midway into his presidency, grown balls and decided to be his own man. The rest we all know is history. Acting President Osinbajo is presently in the same dilemma GEJ found himself. In a normal clime, PMB would honorably retire and take care of his health but the reality is that he won’t. Now some school of thoughts expect Osinbanjo to turn against him and probably after his recent trip to London to see Buhari, raise alarm on the incapability of the president to rule. While that is sensible, in the long run, it would affect him negatively because he would be perceived as disloyal and the North who already regard the west as betrayers would claim vindication. Now he chose the side of loyalty and the negative implication behind that is that his credibility is being eroded by those who believe he is selling us a bill of goods. By the time he finally takes over which in all likelihood he would before the expiration of this administration, he would have made so many side deals and promised compromises ergo repeated history and likely failure.
For the agitation for Biafra, agreeably, the Igbo’s have their legitimate grievances but the reality is that every Nigerian has legitimate grievance against Nigeria and if we all abandon ship, who would man the ship. The Yorubas have a thing or two to teach us in respect to solidarity amongst themselves. The reality is that the varying ideas on Igbo land would make the confusion in the tower of Babel pale in significance. One side wants restructuring, another side wants secession, another side wants to stay. If the whole of Nigeria decides to give Igbo’s the presidential slot right now, the reality is that they would still lose against north or west simply because there is no cohesion. You would see fifty candidates coming out for one slot and at the end, it would amount to nothing. Nnamdi Kanu has both UK and Nigerian passports which he holds dearly. His family resides in the UK. He has no landed property or investment outside the east whereas most Igbo have their major investment outside the east.
This means that he cannot begin to conceptualize the loss he would mete to his brothers should Nigeria divide.
All these analysis are moot if a solution is not suggested.
In modern slang, we should all take a chill pill and stop hyperventilating. PMB should value his integrity more than power and tell himself the truth. If he is incapable of continuing his term he should resign. If not, we voted for him and should support him till the expiration of tenure. Secession is not the answer. The Igbo must go back home and ask themselves why despite their majority they are marginalised and copy from the western and northern Nigerian philosophy and come back to the Nigerian political game stronger. Nationalistic minded people like Dele Momodu should not be vilified but should serve as a lightning rod for peace and compromise. The senate should endeavour to act in a way that will not push the common man to despair. Nigeria is for us all and if it ain’t Nigeria it cannot be Nigeria.
God Bless us all