By Azuka Onwuka
Anytime I hear someone advise the Igbos that they should learn how to play politics and learn to support others and work with others, I see an ignorant person and a blackmailer.
Based on facts about Nigeria’s political history, can someone point at any other ethnic group that has supported the political aspirations of other ethnic groups more than the Igbos?
1. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (Yoruba from Southwest) edged out Dr Alex Ekwueme in the PDP in 1999. But the Igbos supported him to be president.
2. Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (Fulani from Northwest) contested against Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu in 2007. Igbos supported Yar’Adua.
3. Dr Goodluck Jonathan (Ijaw from Southsouth) contested election in 2011 and was supported by the Igbos in spite of the way the Ijaws and much of the Southsouth treated the Igbos during the Civil War.
4. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (Fulani from Northeast) contested election in 2019, and the Igbos supported him.
Before this Fourth Republic, there were other elections:
5. In 1959, even though the Igbos initially voted for Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NCNC, they later teamed up with the NPC of Sir Ahmadu Bello (Fulani from Northwest) to make Sir Tafawa Balewa (Gere with some Fulani blood from Northeast) the Prime Minister.
6. In 1979, even though the Igbos initially voted for Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe’s NPP, they later teamed up with the NPN of Alhaji Shehu Shagari (Fulani from Northwest) to give the NPN the majority in the National Assembly.
7. In 1993, even though an Igbo son (Dr Sylvester Ugo) was the running-mate of Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the NRC, and Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu had moved angrily from SDP to NRC because he complained that Abiola did not have any tangible post for the Igbos, and there was a rumour that Chief MKO Abiola boasted that he would win without the Igbos, the Igbos still voted as follows: 790,371 votes for Tofa and 739,748 votes for Abiola, with 41.04 being the least percentage of votes Abiola received in any of the four Southeastern states then.
Can someone point to one occasion when another ethnic group has supported the presidential ambition of the Igbos? Or were the Igbos created to be supporting others but never to be supported? Were the Igbos created never to aspire to be president?
This ignorant statement about the Igbos not playing good politics or knowing how to work with others is cheap blackmail from those who are frustrated that the Igbos have refused to support Major-General Muhammadu Buhari because of his tribalistic nature, visionlessness and lack of basic leadership skills, which have worsened the insecurity and poverty in Nigeria.
Buhari is not synonymous with Fulani or Hausa or North or Islam. He is only an individual. It is not compulsory that he must be supported if he has proved that he is not fit to lead a nation. His dismal performance in office has shown that the Igbos were wise not to support him. No person who wishes Nigeria well will support Buhari’s presidential ambition, given his past actions and utterances in and out of power.