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Author Name: Anthony Joseph Onoh
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Nigeria: Igbo's -The Civil war we lost and this rotational Presidency passing us.
Author: Anthony Joseph Onoh | May 06, 2010

Since the ouster of Gen. Aguyi Ironsi in the Northern masterminded military coup, the Igboâs have yet to successfully fit into the Nigerian leadership position. Although everything , such as trade, businesses, hardcore politics around the Igbo people, having successfully made themselves the powerbrokers in all political and economical activities, they have failed to reach the pinnacle of Nigerian power-base. They have failed to produce a successful candidate for that desirable position of power. Even the military coup of Major Okah which could have paved way for a possible Igbo Head of State was unsuccessful because it seemed unthinkable for the ruling elites to accommodate an Igbo member or perhaps, the existence of Igbo members is merely for strategic reasons. Thus, they are there for sole purpose of quelling any potential revolutionary appeal and suppressing every dissenting from the Igbo community. It is does not make sense that weâve intelligent and successful politicians who seem to have been secluded to a certain level of prominence in Nigerian political hierarchy. Igboâs the easterners of Nigeria have numerous household names in the Nigerian political family which comprises both politicians, intellectuals and business men and women, making almost a one third of the Nigerian oligarchic family. However, the Igboâs have been systematically denied the supreme position of the countryâs political life, the Presidency. Why? Perhaps the answer lies in the words of Machiavelli who asserted that âit is necessary for a ruler, if he wants to hold on to power, to learn how not to be goodâ. Igboâs are just the contrary. Obviously, the Igboâs love power and would love to hold on to it but they lack the capacity of appearing ruthless to others thereby, holding on to power by learning how not to be good. Or maybe, the answer is in the âimplicitness of a hierarchical society as was preached by Satow who insisted that âin actual practice a distinction cannot but exist between great powers and secondary and minor powers, as regards the weight to be attached to their expression of willâ. Great powers, secondary and minor powers all seem conspicuous in the Nigerian political power division. The Igboâs seem to be relegated to the secondary power position, exploited politically, intellectually and financially at will by the Great powers of Nigerian politics which seem to have undoubtedly inclined to the hegemonic presence of the Northern elites and the abrupt but relevant presence of the Yorubaâs in Nigerian supreme political position. How on earth did this happen? It is obviously not in the theoretical reasoning of Plato who believes that leader should self-sacrifice themselves to the service and the interest of the common man. There is no representation of the common manâs interest in Nigeria politics. All has been and remained business as usual, perhaps, contemporary realism ideology of âeverything remaining the way they had always beenâ; thus sticking to the old ways. What merits have the so called great powers of Nigeria had to legitimate their sustenance and hold on to power. It is not like those northerners and south westerners that have shared power have produced any sophist or good political demagogue like Clinton, Obama or even the legendary Kwame Nkruma of Ghana. Apparently, the thriving factor here is the Machiavelli recommendation that a leader has to be âruthless in order to command respect for himâ; therefore, it is not erroneous to affirm that the so called great powers in Nigerian politics have earned their respect through repressive actions and cynical approach to welfare and wellbeing of the citizens. What, then, should the Igboâs do in order to undo their exclusion from the top political job? It may sound popular and cheap to say that in unity every society is made formidable but I found some element of logic in it. The South American societies like Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, etc are motivated by this popular saying âPatria o Muerteâ, meaning a willingness to die for the nation. This has led them through a successful revolution, yet, unity of mind and focus was still necessary for their positive result. However, I would suggest a close attention to Machiavelli when he said that âany person who aspires to be a leader must look after their health, for without health a leader has nothingâ. Now, some of us may quickly relate this assertion to the current political dilemma of our sick President whose failing health is more of a headache for his political protégées than for the country in general. But Machiavelli was referring to the âbalance of the mind, the body and the spiritâ. Igboâs have failed to find a common ground among themselves on most political questions. It is not that they lack the intellectual capacity to reason with each other, it is that they sacrifice relevant issues for less important ones. They are driven by greed and quest for economic supremacy among themselves which leads to their vulnerability in national political questions. There is always this belief that whoever appears more vocal earns more financial gratification, so Igbo speaks fraudulently because it doesnât matter what they utter, they (like beggars) only seek that gratification. The Igboâs should find a balance of the mind, the body and the spirit through an unprecedented unification moved and compelling approach to common order; otherwise, a revolution is imminent in that community. There is no way their demands can receive fair consideration or their ideas can thrive in Nigeria while they remained so divided and lost. With all due respect to the person of the acting President of Nigeria Jonathan Goodluck whose position I see as a disgraceful event for any well-meaning Igbo man and woman who sit idly and watch how the opportunity for an Igbo President of Nigeria (after over 42 years) through rotational Presidency agreement slips away and fades into the forgotten. Our hopes for the fair sharing of the national power, position and authority has diminished as the South East has produced an acting President and he is still not Igbo. I may sound biased but the truth is that there is a great need for the denunciation of this pact of the enslaving and silencing of the Igboâs. Now, with the death of President Yaradua and the imminent declaration Jonathan as the President, the chances of producing an Igbo President in the next 15 years is further stretched. Will the North demand their remaining four years under the rotational Presidency pact? 2011 is already around the corner, if the Igbos do not act swiftly, they will lose heavily in the national political arena-a shameful price for disunity.

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