I sat down, after church last Sunday, to think about 2015 and beyond for Nigeria and the South East. Unfolding events have made it clear that all the parties still play regional politics, be it the PDP, CPC, ACN, Labour, and APGA.
I could not help but to admit to myself the shame of what is happening in APGA today. Shame because while the ACF is lamenting and accusing GEJ of dividing the North, NEF does not see any good in the state of emergency declared by GEJ in three Northern violent states, which means that the killings should have continued until the insurgence reached Abuja.
The South-South is celebrating that the Presidency was thrusted on them by divine arrangement, and they therefore must not fight each other, according to the President’s wife.
The South West is working very hard to bring ACN to a level they can take power, come 2015; the Middle Belt and others are positioning for any eventuality in 2015 and beyond.
But the South East? They seem to be in disarray, confused and without any focus at all, preoccupied with scattered individual pitiable efforts!
Their case seems to me like that of the religious Christians who want to go to heaven but are not prepared to count or number their days, neither do they want to die for any reason whatsoever, not even for Jesus.
These are the Christians who jump from programme to programme, church to church, seeking miracles, breakthroughs, prophecies and won’t settle down to organise anything to make a living, by rendering some service.
With the opportunities that abound for South Eastern politicians today in Nigeria, they are busy pulling each other and themselves down, making themselves non-marketable to any party at the national level, running from party to party begging for admission, claiming they have something to contribute. How can that be, without a power base from their zone, the South East? Except they are praying for another “Jonathan Miracle” by God, there is nothing the Igbo politicians have on ground to show that they will ever smell power at the centre.
One remembers the strength of the NPP with the late Zik as the moving force. They even worked out an alliance with the ruling party, NPN. But since Zik died, something hit the South East that has made Igbos their own enemy in Nigerian politics.
Just consider first, the PPA. Chief Orji Uzor Kalu made Ndigbo proud when he formed the PPA, fought and prevailed despite the hot pursuits and political arrows from OBJ as President at that time. Like Asiwaju Tinubu of Lagos, Kalu not only survived, but had two states, Abia and Imo, with people in both chambers of the National Assembly in Abuja.
But unlike Asiwaju, he could not sustain the victory! He committed a fatal political blunder when he took one of his aides straight from prison to government house in Umuahia. He ensured that his crony was put in power. The result, is that today, Kalu, the founder of PPA, is running around begging the PDP to accept him. I hear he has been blocked from being accepted, at least in Abia! Iam not sure.
Had he learnt from his colleague and friend, Asiwaju Tinubu, and more importantly, had he enquired of God, the story would have been different. God never fails. Instead of Okija shrine, it should have been to a good Bible-believing church. As for the PPA, it became a matter of strike the shepherd and the flock will scatter. The party died! Meantime Asiwaju’s ACN is today controlling five states and pushing up with APC.
Second, look at Chief Umeh and APGA, another hopeful of Ndigbo. After series of avoidable legal battles, Umeh reigned as APGA Chair. It took the influence of the late Ikemba for APGA and Governor Peter Obi to secure Anambra State.
APGA got Imo when the people rejected Ohakim, and by so doing the PDP. Rather than consolidate APGA’s hold, they have started fighting themselves. They pretend they loved and respected Dim Ojukwu, but the Ojukwu Centre under construction in Owerri was attacked recently by who? If the problem was that some wanted the Centre somewhere else, does Ojukwu not deserve centres in every state capital of the South East? Why must that of Imo be destroyed? The answer is that any people living in delusion never focus on the message; they focus on the messenger, and miss the mark, or point!
The Igbo people will continue to miss their mark in national politics, and may never produce a President, as long they continue to look at the messenger first, before the message!
Okorocha was just demonstrating his respect and love for an Igbo leadership identity in the person of Dim Ojukwu, but in the mind and view of some Igbo sons, he should not be the one to build the first Ojukwu Centre. Okorocha should not be deterred, if he can afford it, he should go and build the Ojukwu Centre in Orlu, where it will be protected by the collective will of the people. The message is clear and sounds good to Ndigbo. Any angry leader should build one in his state. Ojukwu deserves it, and more.
APGA is dying while Obi and Okorocha, two persons who rode on APGA to government houses, seem to be looking the other way. They would have betrayed their words to Dim Ojukwu if they allowed APGA to die for whatever reasons. These two men, Obi and Okorocha, owe it to Ndigbo to resolve all the differences in APGA, resuscitate that party and restore dignity to Ndigbo once again.
Agbaso and Okorocha must settle their differences now before it becomes an ego thing and too late. Okwu and Umeh should remember that it is simple wisdom to own a small portion of a thing than to own all of nothing. They should learn from Kalu and the PPA.
Mr. CLEMENT UDEGBE, a lawyer, wrote from Lagos.