The Igbos and the presidential ambition.
If you observe very closely in the African magic channels on your Dstv, you will discover that there is African Magic Yoruba and African Magic Hausa. But you will never find Africa magic Igbo. Why is this so? It is very simple. Those in charge of the Dstv package in West Africa (Mnet) have told the Igbos that they should come out with a lot of Igbo movies so that they can have contents and then we can now have African Magic Igbo.
This is a bit surprising because the major players in Nollywood are Igbos. One cannot talk about the industry without mentioning names like Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Patience Ozokwor. Uche Jumbo. Ejike Asiegbu and others I can't mention for lack of space. Yet with all this names I just listed, Mnet still says that the igbos do not have enough contents to have a channel.
The essence of having a channel can't be over emphasized because in this jet age where children virtually learn everything from either the internet or television, it will then assist the children whose parents live in different parts of the world to appreciate and recognize their culture. The Igbo language will be promoted and further appreciated. It may even be that some of this Nollywood stars do not speak their mother's tongue fluently and that explains why we have not been seeing lots of films in Igbo.
However, the issue with the Africa magic and the Igbos is not my focus for today. I want to dwell on the issue of the Igbo presidency and what has become of it.
For as long as many of us could remember, the Igbos had only one thing on their mind - to produce the president of this country. They have always talked about it. In truth, every other major tribe has had more than a fair share of power in this country except an Igbo man. Some even take the burden of going back and forth to give historical references to show that they (the Igbos ) are marginalize.
And when one takes a look closely at the way things are, one cannot help but think that the Igbos have a point. Come to think of it, the country belongs to all of us. So, why will some persons wants to take it as their birthright to rule the country for ever. For some time this agitation for the Igbo presidency was loud in high decibels until the bubble burst.
The emergence of Jonathan put paid to the hopes of a people who wanted a position so badly, probably not bad enough. I do not know why this is so and I do not want to think that it was the Igbo names of the president, Ebele and Azikiwe that made the Igbos to see the president as their own kith and kin. Or was it the positions Jonathan bestowed on some Igbo sons like the chief of army staff given to Azubuike Ihejirika ( which was later taken away from him) or the secretary to the state government ( Anyim Pius) that made jonathan enjoy an occult-like following from the Igbos?
Whatever is the case, the Igbos should have known better because if it is not panadol, it cannott be panadol. You do not compare mangoes and oranges. It becomes even more worrisome and problematic that many of us are yet to understand the objectives behind the setting up of the Ohaneze group. The group is always divided on what it wants or what the Igbos wants and many are now confuse if the group speaks for itself or the whole Igbos.
Few months back, the governor of Abia state Dr thedore Orji told everyone who cares to listen that the Ohaneze is in full support of Jonathan's re-election. Few months later, Generl Buhari went to the east to campaign and he was given a hero's welcome. He was even conferred with a traditional title. Then one will be force to ask: “Are the Igbos Buhari visited not member of the Ohaneze”? “Or were they just playing along with him”? Some might say that this is just politics but why can't the Igbos gather round and decide what they want and stick to it. Will it be out of place if two prominent Igbo sons are coming out for the position as president of Nigeria? Like in the 1999 elections, Obasanjo and Olu Falae both from the western part of the country contested for the office of the president. Okay, that might be a tall order for the Igbos to achieve now but what about one Igbo son in any of the major political parties that will enjoy an occult-like following like GEJ and GMB currently does, will the heavens fall if it happens?
Unfortunately, the Igbos has not set their house in order and they may have to wait for a long time to become landlord in Aso Rock. The problem the Igbos is facing concerning the presidency is caused by them. They have refused to be consistent and united in their demands and unless they galvanize themselves into one formidable unit and be serious for once, they will continue to end up as political appendages to government and never head of the government itself.
No doubt, the presidential race for the 2015 election is done and dusted but the Igbos can start now to prepare for that of 2019. I will expect that the Igbos political elites will be using this medium to see if they can get support in 2019 especially from Jonathan if the Igbos massively re- elect him into power come 2015, what will be their (Igbos) benefit? Will he (Jonathan) assist the Igbos in any way come 2019? What will the Igbos gain politically from another term of office for Jonathan? The same should be done to Buhari also. It is on the basis on this that one will know which of them has the best interest of the Igbos at heart. We cannot be killing ourselves over those that we do not know how they feel about us.
The Ohaneze equally has a part to play. The body should gather all Igbo sons and daughters like a hen gathering her eggs or chicks under one united umbrella. They should find an amicable way to settle all differences and present a saleable Igbo candidate that will enjoy the occult –like following that is been enjoyed now by the two candidates of the two major political parties. The Ohaneze and all the Igbos should speak with one voice and sing from the same hymn sheet.
However, this seems not to be the case with the Ibosg as many of the Igbo political elites have divided themselves into different units for selfish reasons and this act is antithetical to the presidential ambition of the Igbos. The Ohaneze now has become a toothless bulldog. It is high time the Igbos wake up and stand up and be counted. Enough of playing second fiddles in the political arena of the country. They must pick the gauntlet and let everyone know that they have the capacity of leadership except they want the world to believe that they do not have contents like Mnet told the filmmakers.
Adigwe Chekwubechukwu wrote from lagos via [email protected]