this period of disclaiming Nigerians as non-Nigerians, one is tempted to conclude that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Federal Government may have declared the people of South-East as non-Nigerians too.
Going by the submission of the ruling party, through utterances and body language, the people of South-east may be tempted to renew their agitation for a separate entity, where peace, justice and fairness will be guaranteed.
I have watched with dismay as the Adams Oshiomhole-led APC has displayed what I call sincerity of deceit and falsehood in the sharing of political positions across the country, without considering the South-east as a key component of the entity called Nigeria.
It was the late Igbo leader (and Premier of the defunct Eastern Region), Dr Michael Iheonukara Okpara, who said: “First fool no be fool, but second fool na proper foolish.” President Muhammadu Buhari, upon his election and inauguration in May, 2015, shocked the whole world few days later when he declared that his government would pay more attention to geographical zones that gave him more votes (95 per cent) than zones that gave him less votes (5 per cent). Of course, we knew he was referring to the people of South-east and his desire to disenfranchise them politically, socially and economically.
However, the deft political orography between the political camp of Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the camp of Senator Bukola Saraki of then APC frustrated that threat, to an extent. Saraki and Ekweremadu emerged Senate president and deputy Senate president respectively, against the calculation of the cabal in APC.
That notwithstanding, Nigerians could testify how Ndigbo and South-east have been maltreated and subjected to socio-political and economic “Oppression Python Dance”, all in a calculated and desperate bid to break their ingenious spirit.
In the 2019 concluded presidential election, Ndigbo – despite the humiliation suffered during Buhari’s first tenure/term in office – gave him improved support and votes, to the extent that he secured at least 25 per cent votes in the South-East, unlike the less than 5 per cent which he got in 2015. It is, therefore, expected that the zone should be appreciated by the ruling party in the sharing of political positions. Unfortunately, the Oshiomhole-led APC has openly told Ndigbo, through intimidating and threatening utterances, to go and die.
Oshiomhole, not too long ago, declared that the ruling party has adopted Senator Lawan Ahmad from the North-East as the next Senate president. The implication of this is that the North is set to produce the heads of the three arms of government: the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. While Buhari is from the North-West, Justice Tanko Mohammed is from North-East. This is in addition to the control of virtually all security agencies and establishment in the country by the same North. It is, therefore, very clear that the APC leadership in Nigeria is not practising federal character.
Also, the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives has been zoned to the South-West and further micro-zoned to an individual, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila. The implementation of this is that the South-West is set to produce both the Vice-President of the country and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Although there are dissenting voices and opinions from the South-East, South-South and North-Central in this scheme, the North-Central appear more formidable to challenge the decision of the APC’s national working committee (NWC) in zoning and micro-zoning the position of Speaker to South-West’s Gbajabiamila.
In all these scheming, the South-East appear most handicapped and, indeed, powerless to fight for its political survival. While Dr Orji Uzor Kalu (APC/Abia North) as senator-elect, has indicated interest for the deputy Senate president position, Honourables Chike John Okafor and Nkeiruka Onyejiocha have indicated interest for the speakership position. These are welcome developments, but their ambitions have been weakened by the fact that while the entire South-East has only two APC senators-elect, namely Orji Uzor Kalu and Owelle Rochas Okorocha (whose certificate of return is yet to be given him due to the conspiracy of PDP, INEC and other unseen variable factors), the House of epresentatives members-elect from APC (and Action Alliance (AA) political marriage) in the zone are just five. The rest are from the PDP.
Clearly, it is obvious that the South-East APC cannot muster enough political strength to demand for the contending positions. This situation came about because the PDP clandestinely blackmailed the South-East APC and frustrated its drive to have solid hold and presence in the zone, despite the admirable effort of the leader of APC in the zone, Governor Okorocha and his foot soldiers.
Also, the PDP clandestinely sponsored and encouraged some of its members to join APC, with the sole intention to destabilise the party in the zone. This plot was achieved when the Oshiomhole-led NWC of APC blindly and nebulously imposed people of infinitesimal electoral value (mostly from PDP) as candidates in the concluded elections, against the advice and wise counsel of foundation members of the party, who were shortchanged. The resultant effect is that these imposed candidates lost woefully and abysmally at the polls.
Today, South-East APC cannot muster the courage to challenge the decision of the national working committee of the party. To heal the political wounds of the zone’s APC and re-needle it into political correctness and reckoning among the comity of geopolitical zones in the country, Okorocha, as leader of APC in the zone, has begun the process of handshake across the Niger. Okorocha has endorsed the aspiration of Gbajabiamila for the speakership position, while maintaining his relationship with his political son, Okafor and Onyejiocha who have eyes for the plum position.
Also, Okorocha has given consolidated support to the Buhari presidency. This renewed strategy is geared towards attracting high profile positions and appointments to the South-east, which also include attracting more federal presence to the zone. The advantage of this strategy is that the South-east would no longer be seen as what it used to be: a PDP perceived stronghold, in that with the high profile positions and appointments coming to the South-east zone, many registered voters will be convinced to anchor their political destiny in the party.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that as Okorocha is making this rapprochement in order to attract sympathy and benefit to the South-East (APC), some political buccaneers and Vikings in the zone are busy condemning and attacking the move. These political buccaneers and Vikings have neither showed support to Gbajabiamila, Okafor, Onyejiocha nor, indeed, to other persons for the various positions in contention. These people are just busy attacking Okorocha while at the same time going to Abuja to talk and negotiate about their personal political interests and welfare. This attitude to me is what I call sincerity of deceit and falsehood.
In conclusion, I make bold to state that these critics of Okorocha who could not deliver their party at the booth, ward, local government, federal constituency and zone should be held in high contempt. Their sincerity of deceit and falsehood has been exposed, and the people of South-east know who they are. As for Okorocha and his foot soldiers led by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, they proudly delivered their booths, wards, local governments, and federal constituencies, zones, etc. I need not say more.
•Citizen Iwuoha, FCAI, MKDA, writes from Owerri and can be reached on: 07032934037.
Source News Express