Thursday, November 1, 2018
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Maputo, Mozambique



ot too long ago, a friend invited me to join IPOB in the District of Macia of the Province of Gaza in Mozambique. Though I live in Maputo (the Capital City of Mozambique), my place of residence is bordering the Gaza Province. So my friend implored me to join IPOB Macia Branch. Again he said that IPOB needed a 'radical' like me to get things moving (whatever that expression means, Nwa Amadi, I don't know).

I was honoured, humbled and most interestingly surprised by this invitation coming from the calibre of the person of my friend from Enugu State. My surprise stems not from my humble self being anti-IPOB. Not at all, for I'm a full-blooded Igbo man who if given the opportunity to vote in a referendum for or against the Biafra Independence will readily vote yes for self- governance. I will not only vote for Biafra independence but will altruistically deploy my expertise and resources to the actualization of this lifelong dream. As a person, I'm Nigerian by force and BiafrÓn at heart. The reasons for this conclusion are both objective and subjective and I have no shame about my conviction.

My surprise at my friend's invitation stems from the fact that the same friend who is asking me to join IPOB couldn't hide his joy and excitement when the PDP flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, chose Dr. Peter Obi, an Igbo man and the former Governor of Anambra State, as his running mate. My friend was so "Atikulated" that his Mozambican partner asked me the meaning of "Atikulation" in Portuguese language. I simply told her that "Atikulation" means that from the second half of 2019, the economy of Nigeria will become one of the best in the world.

When I confronted my friend on the reason why one moment he was for the Biafra Independence and another moment he becomes an "Atikulated Nigerian ", his response provoked the writing of this piece.

He said to me that IPOB cannot disband just because Atiku chose an Igbo man as his running mate nor should it stop the agitation for a referendum all because Atiku promised to restructure Nigeria if elected President. He reminded me that Atiku was only the presidential candidate of the opposition party, PDP, and has not yet emerged victorious in the forthcoming presidential election. He further argued that just as it is customary with Nigerian politicians, Atiku could still go back on his words on the restructuring of Nigeria if elected President. He reminded me of Pres. Buhari's numerous campaign promises as a presidential candidate and blatant denials that have taken over in the place of their fulfilments since he took over power. He told me that he is rooting for Atiku's Presidency come the 2019 election because according to him, Atiku's Restructuring Postulation is a middle way between IPOB's Obstinate Referendum Stand and the "Egwu Eke" (Python Dance) of Pres Buhari's regime. He said to me that it was better for IPOB to continue the call for referendum and if they don't get it, they can at least force the Nigerian Government to look seriously the way of restructuring as the leaning of Atiku's campaign postulation shows.

His explanations vividly reminded me of the saying of my former History of Philosophy lecturer, Rev. Fr. Dr. Simon Nwachukwu, that "You cannot effect a change, whether positive or negative from a position of weakness". So according to my friend's logic, it is better for IPOB to continue their agitation for a referendum and if nothing concrete comes out of it, they could possibly force the Nigerian Government into the deconstruction of the status quo and an embrace of service delivery that at the moment have eluded our political terrain.

Atiku is principally campaigning on the central messages of restructuring Nigeria and getting her to work again if elected. This is a welcomed development, if only words can be followed up with corresponding actions. As a well-intentioned Nigerian rightly observed, "Restructuring is not about shortchanging any group of people in the country. Neither is it a means of seeking a vendetta against the people that have been controlling the affairs of the country ever since. No! Restructuring is none of the above. Rather it is the effort and attempt of the present generation of Nigerians to create a country in which every citizen would be proud to call a home " He further wrote that "We need a Nigeria of our own creation and no longer that of a colonial creation as we have it today. The recreation of Nigeria that is Nigerians and by Nigerians is what the call for restructuring is all about"

The frenzied excitement accompanying the Atiku/Obi ticket, especially in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, I guess, is because most Igbos feel that the victory of this ticket will help exorcise the demon of Igbo marginalization in Nigeria. The problem of Igbo marginalization in Nigeria, I have written elsewhere, is principally self-caused. We (Igbos) must first do a self-appraisal before shifting the goalpost of blame to others.

Having observed the above truism, it is pertinent to remark at this juncture that the daylight relegation of the Igbo nation to a second class status by the Buhari led government is a cause for serious sober reflection on the part of any well-meaning Igbo person who still supports his reelection bid. This is not about tribalism or ethnicism, after all the last time I checked, his main contender for the position of the president of Nigeria is from the same Fulani tribe as him. And in all the criticisms being levied against Atiku, I have not read or heard anyone or group accuse him of tribalism except maybe IPOB and that for me is quite understandable. In fact, people are hailing him as a Unifier and a WAZOBIA kind of candidate. But from Pres Buhari's actions and inactions, I don't think that any reasonable Nigerian can say same about him. This is a big plus for Atiku.

Pres Buhari has never hidden his hatred for Ndigbo and for me, loving your enemy with your vote in a political clime is not only suicidal but an unpardonable stupidity. And I cannot be a party to that kind of Corporal Work of Mercy. The man has done everything a President should not do to a region of the country he claims to govern. Our President (Muhammandu Buhari) has no spirit of forgiveness in him. He has not forgiven the Igbos for not voting en masse for him in the last presidential election and may never forgive them in his lifetime. And I personal believe that one of the reasons the 5 Generals are vehemently opposed to his reelection bid may not be unconnected with what transpired after his ouster from office as a military dictator. I don't think that Pres Buhari has forgiven IBB for the travails of imprisonment after his overthrow.

Pres Buhari's second tenure (God forbid) will see Victor's Justice at its extreme. What we are witnessing today in Nigeria with Pres Buhari's one-sided appointments and corruption fight are only a part of an introduction to a broader scheme that Buhari and his gang have in-store for Nigeria and Nigerians.

I have been a critical opponent to the Buhari Presidency and my reasons are very reasonable. We have never gotten it so wrong as a democracy than we did with Pres Buhari's ascension to power. And believe you me, many who voted for this change are now shackled with the chain of change and are also clothed in the garment of regret.

My support for Atiku has nothing to do with him selecting an Igbo man as his running mate. In fact, my first and best choice in the forthcoming election is Sowore Omoyele, the founder of Sahara Reporters. But the truth is that the way Nigerian politics is currently structured, he has no chance at all. Let's not deceive ourselves, the battle is between APC and PDP. Any other party for now is a necessary distraction.

I would have still supported Atiku had he chosen somebody from the South West though that would have gone against the PDP zoning arrangement. My support for Atiku has nothing to do with his choice of a running mate from the Igbo nation. I have been around in this world for sometime now to know that Prof. Yemi Osibanjo wasn't Buhari choice of a running mate. Osibanjo was Tinubu's selection and Buhari had no other choice than to accept him because at that time, Tinubu was a man he couldn't undermine his input in the party. So Atiku choosing Obi as his running mate, though a superlative one, may have some ulterior motives which when viewed from a critical parlance may not necessarily be in the best interest of the now excited Nigerian masses. After all, politics is a game of interest. My personal interest in this matter is not about where his running mate comes from as long as that individual is qualified and can help us send Pres Buhari and his gang packing.

Mr Buhari's reign so far has been a monumental disaster and an utter disappointment that every well-meaning Nigerian should join hands in seeing an end to it. I know that Pres Buhari and his gang will do any and everything within their power to rig the forthcoming presidential election. The fictitious and doctored 14.8million APC voters that unanimously endorsed Pres Buhari is a step towards rigging the election. What this simply means is that even before Nigerians cast their votes in the forthcoming presidential election, Mr Buhari has a commanding lead of 14million or more votes over his contenders.

May God save us from this one-chance political ride we have entered with Pres Buhari and his APC.

In conclusion, I want to remind Pres Buhari and his gang that the former President Dr Goodluck Jonathan accepted the will of the Nigerian voters, conceded defeat and today moves around the globe as an honourable Statesman. It is either Pres Buhari will accept the will of the Nigerian people come 2019 presidential election or risk shaking to its very foundation, his so-called non negotiable unity of Nigeria.

I Rest My Case.