Southeast And The Demand For A Single Term From The PDP Presidential Hopeful -By Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh

Filed under: Political Issues |

Up to this moment, I still cannot believe I forced myself to do a second commentary on this subject matter. Two weeks ago, to be precise I did a commentary I titled: WILL THE IGBOS GIVE PETER OBI A CHANCE GIVEN THEIR ANTECEDENT FOR MARGINALIZING SELF? That commentary – to me – was an exhaustive one that required no need for a follow-up. Yet, here I am coming again with another talk.

The truth remained that as far as politics was concerned in this country, stakeholders from the southeast are not learning neither are they interested to learn. For their response to the emergence of Mr. Peter Obi as running mate for PDP’s presidential hopeful – Alh. Atiku Abubakar; it was first one of rude shock (instead of excitement or gratitude) and second one of anger for not being consulted with on the choice of Peter Obi for VP slot.

For the records, every Nigerian of electoral age and sense thought that the PDP was going to zone the VP slot to the southwest in an attempt to divide the fortunes of the APC in that region. However, it turned out that – as an afterthought perhaps – political realities had swung the pendulum to the southeast zone instead and since then, it has been one drama after another. One of the dramas that really got me pissed was that of the deputy senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu who contemplated to jump ship to the APC.



It got me pissed as I tried to understand how certain individuals tend to overrate their importance. Seriously, my first question was: Who is DSP Senator Ike Ekweremadu in the politics of the southeast? What has he been able to attract to the region since the days of Senator David Mark? Was it not during their time then that the Late Umaru Yar’Adua initiated the dredging of the River Niger? Where is that noble initiative today since Yar’Adua’s demise?

How many times has he openly drawn the attention of his colleagues to the fact that the second Niger Bridge as was promised the region during the time of GE Jonathan is yet to be fulfilled? And because he couldn’t gain nomination – which list I learnt, had the names of very notable heavyweights from the region as well – he decides to see nothing good with the idea of continuing with the PDP? The other drama like the first one came from Engr. David Umahi – governor of Ebonyi state.

In rather disparaging remarks, he had questioned the rationale behind the PDP’s actions of ignoring them (maybe the southeast governors) and especially his state while the search for a VP went on. Mr. Peter Obi had to do a quick fence-mending just shortly after he was nominated. But the question is: Does anyone understand the cost of disunity for any people? The answer to this question is marginalization! That is the cost of disunity. For anywhere there existed disunity among a people, marginalization is not always far from such a place.

Readers may have noticed the title of a book I authored at the foot of many of my write-ups; that book came as a result of my 8 years experience trying to survive among my people. It was there that I got first hand training of why the Igbos suffered neglect in Nigeria. I realized that the persecution complex had so turned the average Ibo into an enemy of himself. If you ask me, what is going on at the moment is the systematic thwarting of this fortune that just came to the region. Mark my words.

The Nation of 28/10/18 ran an interesting story of the response to demands from stakeholders from the southeast on Atiku to agree to a single term of four years and then back a southeast candidate come 2023. If I am correct, the southeast zone should’ve been enjoying their turn at the moment; that is, if Obasanjo had handed power to a healthy northerner in 2007. Eight years would’ve given way for the Ibo to emerge as president. Why did it not happen?

We are all aware back then in 2011, when Atiku Abubakar and some notable stakeholders from the north pointed Nd’Igbo to the fact that GE Jonathan – who was no an Ibo – usurped the chance of the southeast if elected as president. Stakeholders from the southeast then replied that it did not matter. Again, the demand on Atiku to agree to a single term in office is quite ludicrous; in the sense that it projected the naivety of the zone to the politics of Nigeria.

For me and I believe, for many of like minds the case of attempting to box Atiku or the PDP into a corner just to extract an agreement shouldn’t arise now. Reason is that it is not the first time such a step has been taken only for the agreement to be breached eventually. Every president is entitled to a constitutional eight years in office but as a president so desired, he may decide to say ‘Hey, I’m okay doing just one tenure’. A second reason is the fact that the southeast as a zone is too fractured to be a formidable force that could make such demands.

Are those stakeholders making the demands on behalf of themselves, Peter Obi or the zone? Rather than take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to begin to sensitize the zone on the need to put the house in order; knowing that after eight years, the zone would be required to produce the next president, these stakeholders are busy approaching the issue the other way round. I am sorry to repeat this statement again: With what is going on at the moment, Nd’Igbo have commenced the process of cheating themselves out of this fortune. Mark my words.

Comrade Ifeanyichukwu Mmoh is an advocate for attitudinal change, a researcher and authored (THE ORIGIN OF IGBO MARGINALIZATION IN NIGERIA). 08062577718.