By Joe Igbokwe
Any Igbo who is anybody in Nigeria or anywhere in the world must persuade Igbo in Nigeria to play the real politics now that will make them to have the respect and support of other Nigerians or they should keep quiet forever. I am appealing to all the South East Governors, senators, House of Reps members, Ministers, Speakers of the South East House of Assemblies, South East elder statemen and women, Council of Chiefs in the South East, the Academia, Our distinguished Chieftains of Industries, Investors and our great men and women in diaspora to persuade and help Anambrans to take a decision on Saturday 18thNovember, 2017 to play the real politics of electing an APC governor and consequently move ahead to vote whoever emerges from the North as APC presidential candidate. This is to position ourselves for 2023 President of Igbo extraction.
Igbo have complained of marginalization since the end of the civil war in 1970 and yet we have not played the real politics with other Nigerians to make ourselves relevant.
Throughout history I have known that politics is a serious business. Professor Laski of the London School of Economics teaches that politics is superior to Economics. Bishop Desmond of South Africa says politics is too important to be left to politicians alone.
Another school of thought says that there is no alternative to politics if you want to change the world.
The Jews Igbo claim to have affinity with were in control of the businesses in almost all the great cities in the world before 1945. They ignored politics. It took the tragic political intervention of Adolf Hitler which led to the death of six million Jews to let Jews know the importance of political power over economic power.
In the midst of the June 12 1993 crisis, the late Alhaji Maitama Sule felt that the North is good in Politics and therefore should always produce the political leadership of Nigeria. He said that Yoruba are good in economy and industry while the Igbo are good in business and commerce. Through raw courage, brevity, boldness, dint of hardwork, cultural competence,the late Chief M.K.O Abiola broke the jinx on June 12 1993. Even though he did not live to realize his dream he liberated the people of Southern Nigeria from slavery, and disgrace. If there was no June 12 1993 there would not have been May 29 1999 when General Obasanjo took the centre stage. I am a living witness to the huge sacrifices Yoruba made to get us where we are today. Many of their leaders were killed, some imprisoned here in Nigeria and others chased abroad. The rest is now history but Obasanjo and Jonathan reaped from Chief Abiola’s surpreme sacrifice. If you do not play politics you perish!
Anambra state is strategic in igboland for various reasons. That very important state is the pride of igbo just like Lagos is the pride of South West and Kaduna or Kano, the pride of the North. Anambra is the economic nerve centre of the South East, the richest in terms of anything, the pacesetter. Anambra drives the events. Some people say if Anambra is good Igbo land will be good.
Now what is to be done? All the South East leaders I have mentioned above must persuade the voters in Anambra to vote in APC for strategic reasons. We have to work with other Nigerians if we have to be politically relevant again. Yes, APGA may have done very well in Anambra but we have to look at the big picture right now. 2023 is the shortest distance to Igbo presidency in Nigeria if we take this hard decision today. The late Ikemba Nnewi, the founder and brain behind the party spoke many times about mainstream politics and we must play it now no matter whose ox is gored.
The world will not blame us for taking decisions and then fail but the world will not forgive us for not taking decisions at all. I have said my own side of the story and let history be my witness.