Opinion: SOUTHEAST Igbo 2023 Presidential Mirage & Anyim Pius ANYIM’S Delusion Of True Igbo Identity By Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe

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Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe, PhD, DD Institute of African Studies/ Dept of History and International Studies University of Nigeria, Nsukka Odogwu of Ibusa Clan (nwaezeigwe.genocideafrica@gmail.com) in what he titles “SOUTHEAST Igbo 2023 Presidential Mirage & Anyim Pius ANYIM’S Delusion Of True Igbo Identity”, tells us the political under tone therein:

Let us read his thoughts:

” In 1982 while working as a Trainee-Assistant Superintendent of Civil Aviation Signals at Enugu Airport, Emene, the present writer had one funny, yet most instructive encounter of his life that summed up the characteristic debilitating mentality of self-destruct among the Igbo of Southeast.

He had two very close friends from Southeast then. One Sunday Ogbu from Ngwo in the present Enugu State, and Joseph Okonkwo from Mbaise in the present Imo State. Sunday Ogbu was his fellow Trainee-Assistant Superintendent while Joseph Okonkwo was a Cleaner. In spite of the professional disparity the three moved on as very close pals.

However of three, Joseph Okonkwo was the most extravagant in life-style and so always had as his guest one professional local money-lender of Owerri origin.

One evening as the three men were cooling off at the Transmitter Station situated at the outskirts of the Airport very close to Chief Ene’s Destiny Hotel and Quarters, the Owerri money-leader quietly appeared from nowhere with his 504 Peugeot car apparently rolled down towards them noiseless with its engine switched off and parked about half a pole distance from where the three men were sitting.

The three highly perplexed men quickly took a sorrowful glance at each other and watched with confounded attention as the man opened the door of his car to step out.

It was later revealed that Joseph Okonkwo had accumulated so much interest on the amount he borrowed from the man beyond what he could conveniently pay and so had artfully been evading the man.

But that very evening luck ran out of his way, and it was like the heavens had fallen down on him.

Both the present writer and his Ngwo friend Sunday Ogbu were very much aware of Joseph Okonkwo’s relationship with the man and so were palpitating with anxiety over what would befall their pal in a moment.

However, just as the man was stepping out of his car Joseph Okonkwo confidently and quietly got up from his seat and gently walked into the Transmitter Building like someone going to get something for the man, which was indeed what everyone else thought.

As soon as Joseph Okonkwo entered the Transmitter Building the money-lender joined the present writer and his friend, and after formal exchange of pleasantries stood waiting for Joseph Okonkwo to come out of the building.

The Transmitter Building had only one exit door and only a tiny ventilation outlet quite impossible for a normal human head to pass through, which was meant to provide minimal ventilation during power outages, since the Transmitters work under strong air-conditioning cooling system.

So the question of Joseph Okonkwo being in the building was out of place.

After standing for close to twenty minutes without Joseph Okonkwo coming out, the agitated guest requested the two men to go inside the building and call Joseph Okonkwo out.

The two men who thought Joseph Okonkwo might to be sitting there refusing to come out since it would be impossible for the money-lender to take any rude action against him while there moved in to meet their friend, but on getting inside meet no body.

Since the Transmitter Building was an open apartment housing transmitters without additional office rooms or partitions, there was no question of searching for Joseph Okonkwo.

If he was not seen, it meant he was not there; and that was what was conveyed to the anxiously waiting money-lender.

Not satisfied with the message the Owerri money-lender decided to go inside the building to see by himself.

On entering the building he was greeted with four standing Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) Aviation Transmitters in an open space with no reserved place for hiding.

He stood motionless and speechless for a moment, and then turned towards the only opening in the building outside the main door—a tiny ventilation hole with metal protector and said “you mean that boy escaped through here or that he disappeared.”

Moving outside charged up with fearsome rage, he turned to the present writer and his Ngwo friend and said, “My children listen, fear an Mbaise man!

I say fear an Mbaise man! We all say we come from Owerri but when we get to Owerri, we say Mbaise one side, Owerri one side.” With these words of evergreen memory he jumped into his car and zoomed off.

The next day when confronted by the present writer and Sunday Ogbu on how he made possible his escape, Joseph Okonkwo simply laughed and casually told them that he just jumped up, squeezed his head through the hole and once his head was off, his body followed and the next moment he was on the ground.

Falling off from the hole, he quietly trekked into the adjoining tall grasses and took a decoy to Destiny Quarters and off to his home.

The big question here is if an Owerri man could draw such a bizarre distinction between Mbaise and Owerri—two people from not just the same Igbo sub-culture zone but within the same nuclear Uratta Clan, then what makes Senator Anyim Pius Anyim’s incendiary tantrum against the Igbo of South-South worthy of attention?

Perhaps one could say because of its timing and by extension its sinister motive.

Otherwise the Southeast Igbo are well known for their dog-eat-dog political culture and brazen carriage of self-crucifixion.

Just as the Owerri money lender warned the present writer and his Ngwo friend to be wary of Mbaise people so it is the common culture of the indigenes of Enugu and Ebonyi States to warn their people to be wary of people of Anambra State origin whom they refer to as” Ndi Ijeko Ebei” of which Delta Igbo are included.

Similarly, other indigenes of Abia State warn their people and strangers to be very cautious of Ngwa people because they eat human beings.

It is also a common scenario to see the so called free-born telling strangers to avoid the other person because he or she is of Osu and Slave origin.

The Roman Catholics often tell their members to be on guard against members of the Anglican Church and even warn them not to marry Anglicans.

This is the core mentality of the average Igbo of Southeast.

They have never taken time to ask themselves this one simple question: why is Yorubaland more developed and advanced than the Southeast and who were the agents of Yoruba development?

Thus as the Igbo would often say, “Agwo ga-amurili ife so ogonogo”—the snake must beget something long, Pius Anyim’s political paroxysm did not bring out any new conceptual character of what the Igbo of Southeast are not known for.

What only makes it look novel in political terms is the fact that such hate-filled convulsion was coming out of someone who although of homunculus intellectual quantity, was once entrusted with two noble leadership responsibilities for which he exhibited colossal catastrophe.

The tragedy of Anyim Pius Anyim’s political ascendency is the tragedy of present-day Nigeria where educational disadvantage becomes the grooming ground for mediocrity in political leadership.

Ordinarily within the wider Igbo intellectual and political contexts Anyim Pius Anyim should be the least person to be presented as Igbo political masquerade at the exalted level he so opportunistically or better stated accidentally attained.

But coming from one of the least intellectually developed zones of Igboland Pius Anyim saw himself clad with the scary robes of political Ijele masquerade first as a Senator and then Secretary of Government of the Federation.

Otherwise if his kind of person were to come from either Anambra or Imo State, including to some appreciable extent Abia State, he would have been in either Ochanja Main Market Onitsha, or Ariaria Main Market Aba selling one article or the other; or at best based at Abakiliki or Onitsha as “Charge-and-Bail” Lawyer.

Senator Anyim Pius Anyim’s opportunistic journey to political stardom only began with his oath of slavish allegiance to Sokoto Caliphate during his sojourn in Sokoto Caliphate for his National Youth Service Corps in 1987/88 Service Year.

It was this oath of allegiance that eventually gave the job of Protection Officer with National Emergency Management Agency from where he widened his roles as one of the staunch members of Pro-Abacha Daniel Kanu’s Two Million-March for Abacha Presidency.

Known for his habitual sleeping-on-public-occasion syndrome (SOPOS), as President of Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Anyim Pius Anyim could not point to one single achievement of collective Igbo interest.

The only remarkable feat he still boasts of as a Senate President was his instigation of and presiding over the failed impeachment against President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The post of Secretary of Government of the Federation was indeed rightly meant for Okwadike Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife but Anyim Pius Anyim ridiculously maneuvered himself into the position and subsequently became the symbol of Igbo abuse and misuse of the unfathomable magnanimity and opportunity offered by President Goodluck Jonathan which no previous Federal administration had offered the Igbo of Southeast since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

Under the official oversight function of Senator Pius Anyim as SGF none of the major eye-sore trunk “A” Federal Highways throughout the Southeast was rehabilitated, but he found time to construct non-existent link-roads from his remote Ishiago Village to both Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway and Uturu town.

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This was paradoxically the authentic Igbo leader saddled with the task of defining who are and, who are not true Igbo and, which Igbo group should contest or not contest the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Needless to engage him seriatim his befuddling intellectually catastrophic presentation titled “Identifying the Political Interest of the Igbos of the South-East Geo-Political Zone in Nigeria and Strategies for its Actualisation.”

However, it is on point to put him squarely in a square hole and his outbursts roundly in a round hole before the judgment of posterity and those Igbo of Southeast who have become drunk with the purgative wine of illusion of superior Igbo caste and mirage of 2023 Igbo Presidency.

First, it is important to inform the likes of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim that being Igbo is like two sides of the same coin—one with head and the other with only inscriptions and, in this case concerning the Igbo—the positive side represented by the head and the other side defined as negative represented by the inscription side.

The Igbo of the South-South strongly accept the fact that they are full-fledged Igbo but only in so far as it concerns the positive side of collective Igbo identity.

Under this circumstance Senator Anyim Pius Anyim thus lacks every facet of human capacity—intellectually, politically, or culturally to define or redefine the identity of any Igbo sub-group.

That job professionally resides with anthropologists and historians, of which Percy Amaury Talbot (1926), Daryl Forde and G. I. Jones (1950), Simon Ottenberg (1959), Adiele Afigbo (1986), and the present writer (2007) are prominent.

Talking of Igbo heartland therefore it is important to let Senator Anyim Pius Anyim know that his Ishiago Village and the wider Afikpo Senatorial District he once represented do not form part of the Igbo heartland in culture, language, and physiognomy, but a transition culture zone between the Igbo and Ekoi groups of Ogoja District of Northern Cross River State.

This explains why his present Senatorial Zone including his home-village was once part of the defunct Ogoja Province of Eastern Region.

Even his physical body frame which is ridiculously larger than normal Igbo body side with strong non-Igbo strain, is a clear testimony of his remote ancestral origin among the Ekoi ethnic groups of Ogoja in Cross River State.

So it is instructive to let Senator Pius Anyim know that mere claiming to be Igbo or having one’s home-village situated within the Southeast geo-political zone does not make one better or more Igbo than others.

After all the Southeast itself has many people and communities whose ancestors were Igala, Benin, Idoma, Efik/Ibibio, Jukun, and Ekoi among others as in the case of Senator Anyim’s Ishiago.

There are core and fundamental indices that define an Igbo and, Anyim Pius Anyim did not mention any of these as lacking among the South-South Igbo, except of cause the incident of geography.

It therefore amounts to intellectual foolery for someone of his high status to begin to decide who qualifies and who does not qualify to partake in the share of an animal yet to be hunted down in the bush.

It was the height of political ignorance and irresponsibility clad in undignified sense of over-blown ego for Senator Anyim to speak as if the Southeast are the reason for South-South Igbo’s relevance in national politics.

What really made him to believe that the Southeast Igbo are better suited to be President of Nigeria than the Igbo of South-South is beyond the least of anyone’s imagination.

It is important to state that the Southeast by their weird culture of politics have over the years constituted political liability to the Igbo of South-South rather than the other way round.

No Southeast State employs indigenes of South-South Igbo in her State civil or public service, but there are a lot of Southeast indigenes employed in Delta and Rivers State till date.

Similarly, the trend of migration and settlement has always remained Southeast to South-South and not South-South to Southeast.

So the question of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim coming to dictate which Igbo are ripe for Nigeria’s Presidency is as fortuitous as the achievement of that objective is to the Southeast.

It is essential to let the likes of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim to know that at no stage of their history did the Igbo of South-South demand to join the Southeast Igbo or solicit for their political mentorship.

The Igbo of Delta, Edo, and Rivers States have always been contented and happy with their geo-political home-base and identity as a distinct Igbo sub-group and thus do no owe any allegiance to the Southeast Igbo, a status which could have elicited the kind of reckless utterance from the person of Senator Anyim’s status.

For Senator Anyim Pius Anyim to arrogate to himself the power to decide for the Igbo of South-South the right to the Presidency of the Nigerian nation is the height of Southeast Igbo iniquitous arrogance painted in vainglorious sense of superiority complex—a complex for which reason they are mostly loathed by other Nigerian ethnic groups, including of course their South-South Igbo kinsmen.

Does it not sound ridiculous that such a Fulani personality like Senator Sani would tell off Senator Anyim for creating unholy segregation among the Igbo when other ethnic groups in Nigeria are busy with the in-gathering of their peoples outside their zones?

Is it not a truism that neither the Fulani nor the Yoruba accept the existing six geo-political zones as effective political divisions?

It is only among the Igbo of Southeast that such divisions are ingloriously put on as robes of ethnic identity.

For the Yoruba, as far as they are concerned, the concept of Southwest is only relevant in matters pertaining to State affairs and not ethnic identity or matters of collective Yoruba interest.

The Yoruba in Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Delta and the Anago of Benin Republic are one and the same people without defining who is and who is not a core or of heartland Yoruba.

Ogun State alone has produced Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Obasanjo on two occasions, and Chief Ernest Shonekan and, none of the other Yoruba States ever talked about domination or the Southwest Yoruba passing a fiat stating that the Yoruba sub-groups in Kogi, Kwara, Edo, and Delta States should not vie for the office of President.

Similarly, the Northwest geo-political zone has produced Ahmadu Bello, Murtala Mohammed, Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari on two occasions, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Umaru Yar’Adua, yet without anyone section of the Fulani and Hausa attempting to draw lines of separation with their kinsmen in other geo-political zones.

What Anyim does not know is that the greater part of Nigeria today has more faith in the South-South Igbo than their Southeast Igbo kinsmen for obvious reasons.

First is the fact that the popular political definition of an average Southeast Igbo politician is “unreliability.”

And it is this culture of unreliability that more than Fulani jihad scheme brought untold negative political consequences on the Igbo as a group in Nigeria.

If the Igbo of the Southeast had been reliable, principled, and above all patriotic to the letter of their identity like their rival Yoruba ethnic group, perhaps the Fulani would not have had the leeway to break through the Southern political wall of defence.

From Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe to the present crop of Southeast Igbo political leadership their political identity stigma has remained “unreliability.”

Every trend of events that brought about the series of Nigeria’s post-independence crisis right from the Western Regional crisis of 1962 to the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war had had the sore imprint of Igbo unreliability.

Mention could be made of the shameless roles played by the likes of Chief Arthur Francis Nzeribe and his infamous Association of Better Nigeria (ABN) gang-up against Chief M. K.O. Abiola’s June 12 mandate and, Daniel Kanu’s Two Million-Man March for General Sani Abacha’s dictatorship.

Perhaps one can take a short historical promenade on some special Igbo leadership on this matter of political dishonesty.

Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe: The Secretary of State for Colonies Mr. O Lyttelton in his Memorandum to the 1953 London Constitutional Conference PREM 11/1367, no. 375 of 17 August, 1953 described Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as: “an American-educated demagogue, who makes few interventions but able, persuasive, apparently moderate and wholly unreliable.”

Dr. Azikiwe agreed with Chief Obafemi Awolowo in their Joint NCNC-AG Memorandum to the 1953 London Constitutional Conference to support the creation of additional Regions out of the three Regions after independence, but went ahead to betray Chief Awolowo by joining Sir Ahmadu Bello to create only Midwest Region out of Chief Awolowo’s Western Region; while abandoning the Middle Belt and CORE State Region agitations respectively in Northern and Eastern Regions.

Dr. Azikiwe even directed his NCNC Members of the Federal House of Representatives to join the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) to vote for the 1962 Declaration of State of Emergency in Western Region all his bid to eclipse Chief Awolowo’s influence in the Western Region.

He clandestinely joined the NPC to form a Coalition Government in 1960 against the collective interests of Southern Nigeria, and later broke it up in 1964 to form UPGA Coalition with the same Awolowo he betrayed. In 1979 he repeated the same act of betrayal when he joined the same Fulani-led Political Party form NPN/NPP accord and later realized that he could not really work with the Fulani, and then came back to Chief Awolowo again to form Progressives Party Alliance (PPA.)

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In both cases it was already too late to make the required political impact. Dr. Azikiwe’s culture of medicine after death has remained a cancerous political nightmare among the Southeast leadership till date.

Major GeneralJ. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi: Characteristically described as a Tally-Clerk by the patriotic and ever brilliant Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, General Aguiyi-Ironsi was indeed the most unreliable gift of human treasure God Almighty ever bestowed on the Southeast Igbo.

The tragedy of his death was not that he died in the hands of those who indeed were destined to kill him, but that he died in his foolishness sending millions of innocent Igbo citizens to their untimely grave.

He blatantly refused to release Chief Obafemi Awolowo and all those Action Group activists imprisoned with him for trumped up charges of treason in spite of Lt Col Fajuyi’s advise that such release would widen their support base but instead listened to the callous advice of Lt. Col Usman Katsina who advised him that releasing Chief Obafemi Awolowo would anger the Fulani leaders.

He also in the same foolishness refused to release the thirty-five Tiv political activists detained without trial by Sir Ahmadu Bello for the reason of placating the Fulani leadership and even threatened to arrest Joseph Tarka for demanding constantly for the release of his kinsmen; yet went ahead to abolish the Regionalism and unified the Civil Service against the strong opposition of Lt Col Usman Katsina and the same Fulani leadership and, people are blaming the North for the counter-coup of July 29, 1967 and General T. Y. Danjuma for leading the operation.

Indeed if the present writer had the chance of being there, he should have joined Major T. Y. Danjuma in that operation.

To state the obvious fact, if General Aguiyi-Ironsi and the likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Michael Okpara, Chief Dennis Osadebe, and Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe were killed during Major Nzeogwu’s coup of 15 January, 1966, together with Ahmadu Bello and the others killed, perhaps there wouldn’t have any need for the pogroms, counter-coup or the civil war.

It was the Southeast Igbo mentality of clannish exclusivism than more than any factor brought about their untold alienation today and it seems quite paradoxically that history is fast repeating itself.

Lt. Col Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu: Chief Richard Akinjde described Col. Ojukwu as someone who “suffers from Hitler-like megalomania.”

For Klaus W. Stephan, “Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu had harboured an ambition to ‘alter the political constellation of power in Nigeria by means of the army one day’”.

He presided over the sabotage of Major Nzeogwu’s coup in the North to placate his Fulani friends and then turned around to lead his people into a devastating civil war that claimed millions of innocent lives against the same North.

He fled to exile after his defeat abandoning his officers and men to languish in detention for many years, with someone like the brilliant Major Timothy Onwuatuegwu being callously executed after the war.
He later returned from exile after thirteen years celebrated as a hero, and then turned around to betray the same people he led in the civil war by joining the same Fulani enemies to work against them in NPN. This was the reason Chief Jim Nwobodo referred to him as OGBOSO I.

Not only that, he became General Sani Abbacha’s political messenger working against the struggle for the actualization of the annulled June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief M. K. O. Abiola, and ended up betraying his kinsman and Chief of Naval Staff then Admiral Alison Madueke who was subsequently removed unceremoniously from officer to pave way for General Abacha’s ascendency to power.

Yet this same man is celebrated and exported as a hero by the same Igbo of Southeast.

This cannot be tolerated among the Igbo of South-South no matter the circumstances. It either you are a hero and remain so for life or you are a villain with no fixed patriotic objective.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu: A Southeast Igbo 2023 Presidential Aspirant. This is one Igbo person who was bold and proud to state that he would support the Fulani Ruga colonization scheme against the wishes of his Igbo kinsmen because the former helped him to become wealthy in material things of life.

But he failed to specify from which source they wealth came—Fulani cattle or petroleum resources deposited by nature in his father’s land?

He is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the votes of his Southeast Igbo kinsmen but ostensibly representing the interests of his Fulani mentors.

On 17 June, 2015 Orji Uzor Kalu an acclaimed devout Roman Catholic joined his Igbo-Fulani kinsman Chief Rochas Okorocha to force nineteen youngIgbo men to convert to Islam at Abuja with both men giving them the sums of one and two million naira respectively to the new converts.

This is the man that wants to lead Nigeria as President in 2023. Igbo kwe Nu! Abia State Mma Mma Nu!

Mr. Peter Obi: A Southeast Igbo 2023 Presidential Aspirant. This is a man who roundly fits the description of a green snake under the green grass. A shrewd businessman not uncommon with the culture of his Anambra State native home-base, he exhumes a pretentious carriage of an Angelic politician founded on the precepts of Conservative Roman Catholicism, yet he is the most crudely dogmatic politician in Southeast dangerously delineating the political terrain of Anambra State with sharp lines of denominational division between Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism.

Always enchanting with a deceptive tiny soft voice clad in ostentatious humility that lives him with the simple title of “Mr”, he has underneath a fearsome character of a dictator woven in self-additive arrogance.

Indeed this was clearly exhibited when he refused to render the account of the campaign money given to him during the 2019 Presidential election as demanded by both the PDP leadership and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.

He was once said to have secretly granted a large expanse of land to the Fulani leadership for the establishment of an International Islamic Centre in his Agulu home-village in return for their support for his Presidential bid, an allegation he is yet to debunk. Igbo Kwenu! Ndi Anambra State Ekene Mu Nu!

The Five Southeast State Governors: Of all the State Governors of the six geo-political zones the five Southeast State Governors without exception are the most colourless and most primeval in carriage with the striking facsimile of Colonial Provincial Governors.

They speak and act as if mentally caged and with the subconscious mind of leaders whose positions are not dependent on the will of their people but existing by the grace of the Fulani leaders.

They do not seem to possess any positive idea about the collective future of the Southeast they preside over.

They move with the garland of Executive Governors and multiple sobriquets of political invincibility yet have not been able to define a common political framework for their zone in case the need for “go your separate ways” arises, thereby creating a deeper gorge of insecurity in the zone.

From the foregoing there is no gainsaying the fact that the Igbo of the Southeast are the most politically corrupt, culturally disconnected, economically blindfolded, socially cosmetic, and clandestinely unpatriotic, all of which are woven in the pitiable garb of religious bankruptcy, of all the six geo-political zones.

They are the most fictional in character— claiming to be traditional in cultural carriage but only as it pertains their dressing mode.

They lack a sublime sense of moral judgment hence it does not matter to them if they betray their own people, or engage on actions that would clearly bring negative consequences on their people.

Politically they are dearth of any concise ideological orientation and so represent what the physicists refer to as scalar quantities which have magnitude but lacking in direction.

As individual businessmen—hundred percent success; but as corporate business managers—zero percent. Yet even their so-called individual business successes do not often outlive their proprietors but die as natural a death as their owners.

The evidence is there and clear. Where are the Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu Group of Companies, the C. C. Onoh’s Reno Drinks, Joseph Nwankwu’s Olympic Drinks and Packers, Augustine Ilodibe and his Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport Company and other subsidiary industries, Izukwu Chukwu, Chidiebere, and Osondu of Umulolo Transport Companies, to mention just a few? Above all what has happened to the once domineering Zik Group of Companies with all its subsidiary newspapers?

Have they not all gone to eternity leaving their inheritors only saddled with the business of final burials through deadly disputes over inheritance and illicit sales of assets they knew not how they came about?

The present writer while sojourning in Lagos had always looked with mournful pity at the faded yellow-painted semi-abandoned building with the bold inscription “Zik Group of Companies” situated right at Sabo Junction Bus-Stop Yaba.

Even the once Centre of University of Nigeria, Nsukka Students’ Union mobilization—the famous Zik’s Flat Hostels has been abandoned under a state of sorry dilapidation by successive Vice Chancellors of the University, while students roam about confronted with acute lack of hostel accommodation.

This would not be allowed to happen in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Is Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Tribune Group of Newspapers founded in 1949 not still as strong as ever displaying in extravagant style the legacy of Awolowo’s intellectual struggles for Nigerian independence?

Furthermore, does it not sound ridiculous to the average Igbo man of Southeast that there is no single joint-business or cooperate venture linking the five Southeast States?

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What has happened to Eastern Nigeria Investment Corporation bequeathed by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe?

The Southwest States still maintain their Oodua Investment Corporation bequeathed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and this has always formed the core basis of Southwest Economic Blueprint already positioned as the economic basis of future Oduduwa nation in case the situation comes to that.

Is it not ridiculous that some people would be talking of a Biafra under such morbid state of shameful affairs for those who claim be the most intelligent set of people in Africa and among the entire Black race?

Indeed at Enugu one could see spectacular historical eye-sores of official abandonment woven in acute lack of historical consciousness and pride of their past.

Passing through Enugu Presidential Hotel situated on Presidential Road between Asata and Independence Layout in late 2017 the present writer found himself fo a moment in a state of historical agony, weeping for the indolent Southeast political leadership and their lame-duck indigenes.

Beholding the once boisterous centre of international hospitality clad with extraneous weeds from the lawns up to the top-most floor only reminded the present writer of the melancholy site of his hometown Ibusa after their return from eighteen-month exile in the bush in escape from the invading Federal troops.

The other spectacular sites of abandoned legacy of Southeast Igbo political pride were the old Court of Appeal Building, and the Eastern Regional House of Assembly Complex.

If these buildings are no longer of official relevance why not convert them to Centres of Historical Heritage?

Suffice it to state that the same office and building used by successive Premiers of Western Region from Awolowo remains till date the official office of Oyo State Governor.

When the present writer visited the Governor of Oyo State in the company of Prof Pat Utomi sometime ago, the Oyo State Governor then introduced his office to his guests with pride in the epithet, “this was the same office Chief Obafemi Awolowo sat as Premier of Western Region I am sitting in presently.”

This is what it means to have pride in one’s history and past leadership which cannot be found among the Southeast Governors and leaders.

The Southeast has no sustainable framework of political mentorship.

Their political character and pattern of mentorship have always been predicated on mentor and enslave the mentored, or be mentored and destroy the mentor.

Chief Jim Nwobodo mentored Chimaroke Nnamani and it was a battle of survival between the two. Chimaroke mentored Sulivan Chima and it was the same battle of attrition.

Only the present Governor Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi appears to be seemingly removed from the baseline of predecessor-successor battle.

In Anambra State similar mentor-mentored war of attrition between mentor Sir Emeka Offor and mentored Governor Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju; then followed the battle for survival between Mentor Dr. Andy Ubah and mentored Governor Chris Ngige—a battle in which a sitting-State Governor was kidnapped and subsequently escaping from kidnappers to land in the neighbouring Delta State as a refugee, like the present writer. Indeed wonders shall never end in Southeast.

After Andy Ubah and Chris Ngige came the turn of mentor Peter Obi and mentored Governor Willy Obiano, a battle that is still unsettled.

In Abia and Imo States it is the same tales of mentor-mentored struggle for power.

Orji Uzor Kalu for some moments was engrossed in the same battle of political survival with his mentored Governor T. A. Orji and was for sometime placed in political limbo.

The former’s battle with his once estranged Deputy Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was a testimony of Southeast Igbo penchant for suppressing the ambitions of those under them.

The Imo State scenario between Governor Rochas Okorocha and his Deputy presented similar situation. Ebonyi State is not left out of the same political quagmire.

Governor Dave Umani is still under a state of official malice with his Predecessor, Elechi.

Perhaps the Southeast Igbo leadership with their bogus sense of superiority should humble themselves for once and take a clue from Delta State on how best to govern a State and transit power without predecessor-successor conflict.

In sum, there is no doubt that the Southeast is a land of consummate intelligence, habitual enterprise and propelling industry but which unfortunately is guided by undulating layers of authoritative ignorance and morbid sense of patriotism which often decapitate on conception any good head that tends to provide enduring strong leadership, collective political will-power, and sense of historical consciousness.

It therefore follows that a leadership which cannot chart a common positive course for its people cannot by the same token possess the capacity to lead a whole country. Charity must begin at home.

The Southeast has not shown good example of enduring political leadership to bequeath to Nigerians if saddled with the responsibility of leading Nigeria as President.

Nigeria is not an individual business concern but corporate entity which only requires those with the habitual acumen for corporate governance to take charge.

The Igbo of the Southeast lack this quality test in corporate leadership and thus do not qualify to lead Nigeria as President.

This is the fundamental reason why the Southeast is not yet qualified to lead the country as President and it does not hinge on the amount lobbying employed to force people to support a Nigerian President from Southeast Igbo.

The basic fact is that Nigeria and Nigerians are no longer willing to jump from frying pan to fire in the name of zoning madness, unless the trend is on making mediocrity and bad leadership rotate evenly in the nation.

That the Igbo of the Southeast are a spectacle of bad dancers in nearly every facet of Nigerian politics cannot therefore be disputed and, the Igbo of the South-South Geo-Political zone as their kinsmen are ashamed of them.

Under such circumstances monstrous ethnic dance of shame why wouldn’t the Igbo of South-South deny their Igbo identity when occasions demand they should do so?

Yet some Southeast Igbo have the tenacious clannish obscenity to describe the South-South Igbo as those suffering from identity crisis just because the phrase sounds sweet in pronunciation.

The question here is who is actually suffering from identity crisis—the one who holds his traditional values in high esteem with sumptuous patriotism and pride or, the one who treats his time-honoured and tested traditional values with reckless stupidity, unpatriotic temerity, incendiary profanity and colonized mental impudence?

Does being Igbo only end with having Igbo as one’s native language?

Language alone does not define one’s ethnic identity and this for sure the present writer can boldly state with authoritative historicity.

The Ngoni of Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and, Tanzania have over the centuries after migration from South Africa lost their native Nguni tongue yet, that did not redefine their ethnic identity as Ngoni with the adoption of their hosts’ languages.

So those Igbo of Southeast who think in their infantile imagination that they can easily meddle with the political future of their kinsmen outside the Southeast Geo-Political Zone should think twice and retrace their steps quickly before it is too late.

The South-South Igbo have never been known to be cowards, this the Igbo of the Southeast already know best.

Under such circumstances as outlined above, it becomes difficult for the South-South Igbo to support the Presidential aspirations of any Igbo Southeasterner at this most inauspicious time of Nigeria’s history.

And this appears to be the opinion of the rest South-South ethnic groups, as well as the Middle Belt and Southwest.

Perhaps the only group that would likely support a Southeast Igbo Presidency would be the Fulani core-North because of the former’s willingness to be used as the latter’s willing tools against the rest people of Southern Nigeria and Middle Belt.

There is no doubt that speaking in terms of equity and justice in the zoning of political offices; the Igbo of South-South are more qualified for the Presidency than their Southeast counterparts.

The Southeast has produced Nnamdi Azikiwe as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe as Military Head of State; Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe as Vice President and, Dr. Alex Ekwueme as another Vice President.

So if the Presidency is zoned to the Igbo equity demands that the slot should go to the Igbo of South-South Geo-Political Zone.

It is therefore a naked act of intra-ethnic marginalization, oppressive mentality and, subconscious infantile colonialism on the part of the Igbo of Southeast to think that they have the unilateral capacity to exclude the Igbo of South-South from their Abrahamic political inheritance in Nigeria.

Indeed if Nigeria and Nigerians need a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction who would bring the desired positive changes, it would only come from the Southeast Igbo.

The average South-South Igbo are clearly cut out for their dogged patriotic, principle in objectives, and sincerity of purpose.

They fought the civil war more patriotically sacrificially than those to whom the war was directed.

In leadership they have proven to be bold and fearless with the penchant for self-sacrifice.

They are not addicted to primitive culture of accumulation of wealth or flamboyant display of such wealth.

They are sublimely cool, collected and, courageous. These are what constitute the positive side of the same coin of Igbo identity which is hard to find among the Igbo of Southeast.

One does not therefore understand from what angle of quality political test Senator Anyim Pius Anyim believes the Southeast Igbo are better qualified than their South-South Igbo kinsmen.


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