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2023: The Igbo Can And Will Produce Nigeria’s Next President, Ohanaeze Youth Responds To Ogunlewe |The Republican News

Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo

The former minister for Works, Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe made once again a controversial statement that the Igbo cannot produce the next president claiming that they’re not united.

Previously, the President General of Ohanaeze, Prof. George Obiozor has addressed this issue and mocked the idea that the Igbo had to be united to produce the next president and asked if the same was demanded from others who have produced presidents.

Anyway, the deputy executive youth leader of Ohanaeze, Onwuasoanya C.C. Jones has in this press statement addressed the former minister.

PRESS STATEMENT!

IGBOS CAN AND WILL PRODUCE NIGERIA’S NEXT PRESIDENT!

ATTENTION: CHIEF KINGSLEY ADESEYE OGUNLEWE

Former Minister of Works and APC chieftain, Adeseye Ogunlewe has been variously quoted on different media reports as having claimed that Igbos will not be able to produce Nigeria’s President because of their failure to invest appropriately in Party politics. The former Senator reportedly made these claims when he appeared as a guest on Arise TV’ ‘The Morning Show’ earlier today, Wednesday, 11th August, 2021.

Among many wild, flippant and unprovable assertions peddled against the Igbo by the elder statesman is that; we (Igbos) “have the problem of leadership”. This denigrating falsehood is one blackmail against Ndigbo that tribal champions like Adeseye have always deployed as a sort of disparaging epithet against the Igbo. Honourable Adeseye is intelligent and should be in tune with history enough to know that the Igbos’ republican bent is not the same as being a people that have a problem of leadership. Ndigbo have and accept the right set of leadership, at different cadres in our traditional Igbo society. Like every enlightened and politically aware society, Ndigbo have among them; individuals who question the leadership provided by those at the helm of Igbo sociocultural, political and religious leadership, at various times. That is evidence of a people with vibrant leadership and not problematic leadership. It is only in a colony of dunces that the leadership class is not ever called to question, and Ndigbo will not apologize for being conscious, intellectual and industrious enough not to allow the leadership class to get away with every action and decision without questions from the people.

Another argument advanced by Chief Adeseye against Ndigbo is that we have not invested enough in the political structure of political Parties. According to him; No person from the Southeast has been able to show ‘seriousness’ in the presidency by mounting a nationwide campaign and showing capacity to influence the structure of the Party.

This is one falsehood that is both cheap and debasing to the personality of Chief Adeseye, even though we understand that he is on a ‘job’ to advance the selfish agenda of some group of politicians who believe that the only way they can thrash the “Nigerian Charter of Equity,” which squarely places the right to the presidency on the doorsteps of Ndigbo of Southeast, is by propagating falsehood against Ndigbo and attempting to mutilate history. Let me quickly make it clearly that Ndigbo of the Southeast have more than 1,000, 000 eminently qualified, financially capable and politically equipped to vie for and win the Nigerian presidency, at the next election. The only thing that will rob us of this chance is political injustice.

Igbo politicians are at the helm of the two major political Parties in Nigeria, and except, the injustice being currently rehearsed by Adeseye and his sponsors is allowed to succeed, Ndigbo should be able to comfortably determine the shape and outlook of the structures of not just the two major political Parties, but that of any political Party in Nigeria, at the moment. However, Ndigbo are also not interested in hijacking power, but believe that no matter who is in charge of these structures, we will have to engage every section of the country and reach beneficial understanding in order to produce the next President.

As a Senator, elected on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, Adeseye is aware that his kinsman, former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not have access to any political structure in this country, when he came out of prison and was practically piggybacked to the presidency by a combination of Southeast and Northern Nigeria support. It is on record that President Obasanjo’s presidency was a product of political concession by the Southeast especially, and other parts of Nigeria, on the basis of the principle of equity and fairness.

Therefore, even if there is no Igbo of the Southeast with the capacity and political spread to influence political Party structures and leadership, it behoves on leaders like Adeseye, who by his natural age and political experiences, qualifies eminently as an elder statesman, to be at the forefront of the campaign for all Nigerians to unite behind Igbo presidential candidates across all the registered political Parties, especially, given that he had conceded that Ndigbo are “so endowed”.

And;

If our concern is to elect competent, endowed, patriotic, honest and adequately endowed person as President, then, you can find them in excess among the Igbos of the Southeast.

If our interest is in keeping to justice, fair play and the principle of equity, then, there is no better place to elect the next President of Nigeria from, than the Southeast of Nigeria.

If we want Nigeria to be rescued from her current and seemingly inscrutable challenges, we must elect our next President from among the most endowed tribe in this country, and in the words of Chief Adeseye, that tribe is the Igbo of Southeast.

Therefore, I charge Chief Adeseye and other eminent Nigerian statesmen and patriots to align, for the sake of justice, equity, and national progress, behind the project to produce a competent, nationalistic and honest Nigerian President of Igbo extraction.

Signed,
Onwuasoanya FCC Jones
Deputy National Youth Leader,
Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide.
11th August, 2021.

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2023: The Igbo Not United, Can’t Produce Next President —ex-Minister, Ogunlewe |The Republican News

Adeseye Ogunlewe

BY BRIDGET EDOKWE

Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former Minister of Works, has said the southeast cannot produce a president in 2023.

Ogunlewe said the inability of the people of the southeast to unite under a common leadership would work against their presidential ambition.


He disclosed this while featuring on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ programme on Wednesday.

The former minister also pointed out that the lack of cohesion among the southeast people would work against them.


He said: “Another set of people that are appropriate, they are the people from the Southeast but they have the problem of leadership.

“They are so endowed that they are spread all over Nigeria and they can gather a lot of votes, but they are too divided. An Imo person, an Enugu person, an Ebonyi man will not listen to themselves.

“They have the money. If they sit down and aggregate what they can offer, they have more money than almost everybody in Nigeria.

“But have you seen one person from the south-east that said ‘I am interested in the presidency, I will start to campaign all over Nigeria immediately, raise money for me?’ and influence the structure of the party?” (BarristerNg)

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2023: For Equity, PDP, APC, Others Should Nominate Igbo Candidate For Election In Nigeria —Ohanaeze PG |RN

Ohanaeze President General, Prof. George Obiozor

…Says opinion of South East is to get 2023 President

…Laments that 2014 CONFAB was another failed attempt at remodelling Nigeria’s federalism

…Notes it can’t deny IPOB members,

…Throws its weight behind EbubeAgu

By Henry Umoru

AHEAD of 2023 general and Presidential elections, the umbrella body of South East people, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and other political parties to zone the presidency to the South East for equity, justice and fairness.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, who noted that time is ripe for Nigeria to get a President of South East extraction in 2023, said the talent of Igbo is yet to be fully utilized and maximised by Nigeria.

Obiozor, who expressed optimism that the South East would get the Presidency in 2023, however, warned that many were called, and a few were chosen. It wondered why why people were beaming unnecessary attention on negative issues such as security challenges in the South East because Igbo Presidency had changed from probability to possibility.

Responding to a question on how Ohanaeze Ndigbo would achieve its purpose for an Igbo President in Nigeria’s multiparty system, Obiozor said:  ‘’We have many politcal parties. We would appeal to them to nominate an Ibo man or woman as their Presidential candidate.

‘’That would do. That would be wonderful. It is found in the Bible, ‘many are called, few are chosen. Politics is a matter of selection. We would sort out ourselves. Just support us, including the press. I am soliciting the press. For now, just support a president from the South East, an Igboman or an Igbo woman.”

The Ohanaeze President General, who stated that Igbo leaders had already started consultations on the realisation of Igbo presidency, said it had been wonderful.

“The results of the consultations are in the papers of day before yesterday, yesterday and even today. Very sound, positive results. Wonderful responses. Have you listened to Edwin Clark or read him?   One at a time. None is on the run.  ‘’So we are taking it easy.  We have given you wonderful example of the support. First outing, tremendous success. You read it, you saw it. Edwin Clark is not a frivolous man. He is a man of history and he is leading a people who have had experience in this country.  ‘’In the politics of precarious balance in Nigeria, they have had experience. They know what it takes to support any group and they have done it.”

On political parties he said:  “As many as they are, each one of those parties should nominate an Igbo man from the South East.  As for who (candidate) it will be, it’s found in the Bible, many are called few are chosen.

“During the last Presidential election,   all the major candidates were from the same zone. It was also so in 1999. So why are we trying to break our heads because it is coming to our zone. Give us, our choice will be made by us with your cooperation. That is what the Ibos are demanding. We deserve it and it is reasonable.”

On how the South East would speak with one voice to avoid a plurality of interests and aspirants, Obiozor said:  “Other tribes are more divided than us, Igbo are more united. But because all of a sudden there is   possibility of Igbo Presidency, some people want to label Igbo a terrorist zone.

‘’I advise the press and ourselves to avoid certain things that are not necessary. Nobody can divide us.  This time around,   we can get the Presidency from Igbo land. Probability of Igbo Presidency in 2023 has become a possibility.

“Igbo want peace, but not peace of the grave yard. Whatever every other citizen of Nigeria is enjoying, the Igbo need it too.”

According to him, a President of Igbo extraction   will bring “capacity, difference and Justice and equity. It is sad that Nigerian does not want to use talent of Igbos. The Igbos are known for their divergent opinions. Is a true consensus possible?’’

Obiozor, who dismissed the claim that South East people were not united politically, said the notion that the zone does not speak with one voice reflects the plurality of ideas by what he termed an egalitarian people which would be harnessed by Ohanaeze.

He said:  “Speaking with one voice is dictatorial and undemocratic. We won’t speak with one voice, Igbos will express themselves in different voices which will be articulated by a central leadership that knows.

“For the Igbos having variety of opinion is not a crime, no section has only one opinion on an issue. Igbos have different opinions and they all converge on president of South East in 2023.

“Divergent opinion is healthy in politics and politics is not a science of exactitude. It is not mathematics. Politics is considerably and consistently a matter of choices. So for the Igbos having divergent opinions is not a crime.

‘’No section of Nigeria has one opinion or has one leader. Do we have one opinion in the North East, the North West, even South South. Igbos have different opinions and they converge in Igbo President, President from the South East in 2023. That is the opinion.”

Asked to speak on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, question, Obiozor said IPOB members are their sons that could never be denied.

“We won’t deny IPOB because they are our children, we can never never deny them.   They are our people and they must listen to us just as we listen to them. Any area of conflict we will resolve as their father.’’

Answering questions on the 2014 National Conference, the Ohanaeze President hailed the conference as the best but faulted the refusal of the federal government to implement the   recommendation of the conference, describing it as another lost opportunity.

“That confab was another failed attempt at remodelling our federalism. They didn’t want restructuring, they didn’t want federalism,’’ he said.

Responding to where the support of Ohanaeze laid  between Eastern Security Network and Ebube Agu, Obiozor said: ‘’Believe me, an organization that is working for the security, peace, safety and interest of the Igbos is welcomed. Ebube Agu is formed by the government and governments of the South East.

‘’There is no comparison between Ebube Agu and any other organization. Any organization should come under the control of the government. This question is a very divisive one and we are a people tired of being divided by English language.

‘’Any organization that is fighting for fairness, equity and justice for Igbos is welcomed. If there is a difference, it will be method. It has to be harmonized. As the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, I don’t want any method that puts Igbos in harms way.

‘’That is inimical to our own safety, you get my point.  In fact, every group in Nigeria is divided, some even more divided than the Igbos. Look around.

“Until recently, the South East used to be the most peaceful zone. Now all of a sudden, because the idea of a president from Igboland has moved from a probability to a possibility, people want to turn Igboland into a terrorist environment.

‘’Igbos are not nation breakers, we are not violent people. So we must find out the root of the recent spread of violence and Kidnappings and all that. So that is what I am trying to say. People should not use such a thing as the character of Igbo people. For all the things you can know Igbos for, Igbos are not known for getting money through laziness, like kidnapping. You kidnap your uncle, you get money.

“So my advice to the press, do not give publicity to things that do not merit it by comparing Ebube Agu with any other organization that is working in Igboland. Things have hierarchy. The governors of the states are the chief security officers of the states.

‘’So how do you compare them with organizations.   Organizations are welcomed if they are working in the interests of the people and the nation. The people we are taking about are our children. They are our people.’’ (Vanguard News)

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Obiaraeri To Ohanaeze: Leave 2023 Presidency For Now, Build Consensus Among The Igbo First |The Republican News

Prof. Obiaraeri and Prof. Obiozor

On Sunday March 28, 2021, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Elders Council met at the Imo State Government House to discuss pressing issues affecting Ndigbo. Although the gathering attracted big names including the WTO DG Ngozi Okojo-Iweala alongside some governors and the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, several strategic voices were inexplicably absent.

Law professor, politician, and member of the Board of the Nigerian Railway Corporation Nnamdi Obiaraeri joined Ukana Omon ‘TheKanon’ on The Agenda Monday morning on MyRadio 101.1 FM Owerri to bare his mind.

Excerpts…




OHANAEZE TOO ELITIST; GATHERING OF OPPRESSORS

TheKanon: Professor good morning and thank you for your time.

Prof. Obiaraeri: thank you very much my brother and thank you listeners.

TheKanon: I wonder if you were present at the meeting yesterday (Sunday March 28, 2021) and what you made of it.

Prof. Obiaraeri: I was not invited and I was not present. I should have been invited, I should have been present. This is part of the Igbo leadership disconnect and deficit. If a professor of law of my standing and exposure is not invited to talk about Igbo cause as well as other well-meaning Igbo leaders, then I’m beginning to question the intellectual plank of this discussion.

TheKanon: Ok, we are filing this away for another debate but let’s go to the crux of the matter; this resolution that oh yes Ndigbo shall produce or perhaps to tame the language, should produce, Nigeria’s next president. You have been an advocate of this, have you changed your position?

OUTCOME OF 2023 ELECTION WILL DETERMINE WHETHER NIGERIA REMAINS ONE

Prof Obiaraeri: There’s nothing that will make me change my position. A Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is a must do in 2023. It is the only natural, equitable, and fashionable thing to do if we are still one Nigeria.

Nigerians from all segments of the Nigerian society should elect the Nigerian president from Igbo race to bolster national peace, progress and development. I say this very strongly because the outcome of the 2023 presidential election will challenge the theory of indivisibility and indissolubility of the Nigerian state especially when it is tested against the immutable natural laws and principles clearly etched in section 14 of the 1999 constitution. And for the avoidance of doubt, let me reiterate that this section 14 of the 1999 constitution as amended provides very clearly that the federal republic of Nigeria shall be based on the principles of democracy and social justice. Accordingly the composition of government shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national integration.

So, if Nigeria will continue to be one; if Nigeria is going to continue to be indivisible and indissoluble, the time to do equity, natural justice and associated good conscience issues is now against 2023 for the Igbo race. We are not visitors in this country, we are clear stakeholders.

Other tribes, other geopolitical zones have had very clear shots at the presidency, so irrespective of who is advocating for it, irrespective of the fact that they are not particularly the Professor George Obiozor-led Ohanaeze Ndigbo is beginning to be more of a gathering of oppressors than an all-inclusive Igbo group; I think that call is germane.

TheKanon: I hear the tone of what you are not saying, that this group which met yesterday perhaps excluding certain principal voices. Let’s hear it professor, what do you think is the way forward in terms of pursuing the unity that Governor Uzodinma is clamouring?

Prof. Obiaraeri: Well, I hate to think that the agitation is being weaved around the person of Governor Hope Uzodinma, a serving governor of a state, a close friend and the governor of my state. This is an agitation of over 10 million or 15 million Igbos including our friends from other parts of the country who believe in equity.



We must begin to remove certain political office holders from this agitation so that it doesn’t become partisan. Because I heard you in the first instance when you said that the call should be made that APC should be embraced, I don’t agree with that completely. I’m of the APC but I do not think that it will be wrong to have all other political parties come to Igbo land and take their candidates so that we can be sure that whether PDP, APC, APGA whatever other political party an Igbo man is having the ticket, that is the way to have it. But if they begin to make the agitation to appear that a section of Igbo elites who I’ve already termed oppressors, who do not recognize the intellectual class, are now beginning to push this agenda, then it is going to lend itself to big sabotage and I don’t pray that that happens.

TheKanon: I suspect that many would say well governor Uzodinma is within his rights to call for a bombardment of the APC by persons of Igbo extraction because the PDP’s committee on reconciliation or strategy r something headed by Governor Bala Mohammed came up with this report insinuating or even inferring that they are throwing open the bid for the 2023 presidency. So it’s not zoned to any particular geopolitical zone however germane their clamour, or ambition or reach for it might be. Some Igbo leaders said ‘well this is an open insult and a slap in the face of Ndigbo considering our steadfastness with the PDP since 1998’. Don’t you think ‘well let’s look towards the APC since they have been more friendly towards Ndigbo’ according to Governor Hope Uzodinma?

MANY ROADS LEAD TO THE BUSH BUT ONLY ONE WILL LEAD TO THE SHRINE

Prof. Obiaraeri: I don’t want to demarcate my party. I’ve told you very clearly, I’m of APC, I have clear sympathy for APC, but I think that is a very narrow way to pursue the legitimate aspiration of Nigerian president of Igbo extraction. There are many roads that lead into the bush but only one will lead into the shrine. So localizing it and making it an exclusive preserve of the APC is not right. I want to think that insinuations of the PDP are mere proposals as far as I know that’s what they are and you know that 24 hours is a lot of time in politics. When they see the agitation that it is coming from a united coercive Igbo race, every political party would begin to look towards the Igboland.

What should concern us and particularly Senator Hope Uzodinma the governor of the state is how to unify the Igbo race. That Ohanaze Ndigbo meeting that they held inside Government House. Is that where it is supposed to hold? Is that not an audio Ohanaeze meeting?

Why would we have an Ohanaeze that is going to government instead of government coming to Ohanaeze. Why is the Professor George Obiozor-led Ohanaeze being run in such a manner as to see it as an appendage of a few political players?

On the same day that this meeting held, there was also, I hope you know, there was also another meeting of factional Ohanaeze led by Chief Chidi Ibe. In Enugu there was also another group that call themselves South east Leaders Forum. So, if you have a meeting of Ohanaeze-Ndigbo and you exclude key players, those who should talk… on that same day there was an election, a bye-election in Abia State. So where was the Governor of Abia, where was the governor of Enugu, where was the governor of Anambra, where are all the senators, where are the key players? Can you really be talking of Ohanaeze Ndigbo when you don’t have the input of Senator Rochas Okorocha? Let’s not pretend about it? If you don’t have the input of Orji Uzor Kalu, if you don’t have the input of Senator Abaribe, and you don’t have the input of professor Obiaraeri into it? So it should be a mass movement as opposed to clique business.

So I think the whole idea of making it appear that some people are in the forefront will lead, I’ve warned again, will lead to sabotage. Because if people feel uncomfortable especially if it is something that should be of aggregate interest and a few others are localizing it. I have a lot of respect for professor Obiozor: he’s a respectable statesman, I share a lot of things in common with him; he’s a colleague professor. I’m of the same Ivy League background with him; we all have a Columbia University exposure, so he knows what goes into that kind of exposure and accomplishment. If he has a meeting and he wants to exclude me, why would I be the one to support him? I hope you understand; it’s reciprocal. He’s an intellectual; he understands the basis of intellectual planking in things like this.

So Ohanaeze should be made to be one that is talking about contemporary issues in Igboland, so that we can win the support of our people. Why are the bombings, the killings going on in Orlu, in Imo, in Abia, in Ebonyi, why are our people being killed in our home front? Is Ohanaeze speaking about it? Is Ohanaeze talking about the carnage, the loss of lives in our system? I think Ohanaeze should move away from this elitist tendency and come down and challenge the issues of now.

What has Ohanaeze led by Prof Obiozor done to bring Nnamdi Kalu into the picture or you think he is not important?

OHANAEZE NDIGBO SHOULD REACH OUT TO NNAMDI KANU, RALPH UWAZURUIKE AND OTHER AGITATORS

TheKanon: Can calls for secession and calls for the production of a president of Igbo extraction ever meet?

Prof. Obiaraeri: They can meet. That’s what I’m saying, there’s no need pretending about it. Governor Uzodinma, Governor Umahi, these are big time players, these are respectable Nigerian leaders, but they do not, with respect, trump the relevance of Nnamdi Kalu and Ralph Uwazuruike in the scheme of things now. You live in an Igbo area; you understand what I’m talking about. If they doubt it let them go on a popularity walk with Nnamdi kalu on the streets of Owerri and see who will get more respect and more followership. So the truth is, to tone down the level of agitation from these people. And how do you do it? You must carry them in and their sentiments because Ohanaeze means ‘Oha’ and ‘Eze’, Ohanaeze. It is not a matter of those who have protection, those who have access to government house meeting. It is not a government House meeting.

Ohanaeze should be found in primary schools, in secondary schools, in tertiary institutions. Go to Imo state university, go to Federal University of Technology Owerri, go to Abia, ask them do they know who the president of Ohanaeze is, they will tell you that there are two leaders of Ohanaeze. So, the issue of secession, is still part of the right to self-determination. It can be discussed; it can be discussed and agreed upon. What everybody is not agreeable, is that it should be by use of violence. So those who dismiss Nnamdi Kalu, Ralph Uwazuruike and those of us who have very clear opinion on this matter are themselves. Nigeria is on a brink of collapse. Anything that can be done to bring it together, beginning from the Igbo spread should be encouraged.

So this is no longer time to bring in Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the rest of them: these are respectable people but they have no bigger regard, they have no bigger respect than any other person on this matter. If Nnamdi Kalu declares Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala today a persona non-grata in Igboland, she will find it very difficult to operate. You know that much. Not because he may be right but because he has followership. And one man’s thug is another man’s supporter. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. So we must balance this narrative and that’s why government must be careful the way they are running and pushing the people so that those of us who are intellectuals, who have open mind about this issue, should not be forced, by reason of non-inclusive politics, to join the other tendencies.

OBIOZOR SHOULD BUILD STREET CREDIBILITY, OHANAEZE SHOULD FORM CLUBS IN SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, CHURCHES

TheKanon: Is it possible that we can invite people from every shade of opinion into a room?

Prof Obiaraeri: It is very possible. We are talking about autochthonous nature of leadership. The Igboman is predominantly democratic in nature. You don’t force or hoist leadership on an Igboman. It’s never done anywhere, so if the Ohanaeze that we are thinking about, the first thing is let professor Obiozor as respectable as he is reach out to the other faction, let them withdraw all the cases in court. Sort these things out in house, then come out with a blue print that will take the intelligentsia. You go to universities you form these group, you go to the polytechnic you form this group, you go to secondary school, you have this group, primary schools, churches, and the rest of them.

If you are having Ohanaeze and the big time church leaders or religious leaders of Igbo spread are not part of it, what Ohanaeze are you talking about? What Ohanaeze? What is professor Obiozor’s constituency in the first instance? If he goes into Ariaria Market can they recognize him? If they recognize him, will they listen to him? So these are the issues. At the end of the day, we use this mechanism to begin to speak as one voice forgetting about who will take the office. But the problem we have now is that people are placing the cart before the horse.

They are trying to say who will take the office as opposed to let us get this thing into the Igbo spread and let the Igbo man that has national appeal, that will be accepted and loved and supported by other Nigerians take this office and that is part of what is going on in Igbo land where people are taking a lot of rough measures to bring others down even though as I’ve always said power belongs to God. (TheKanon)

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Igbo People Cannot Unite For Presidency Yet Talk About Biafra —Chimamanda Adichie |The Republican News

Author: Chimamanda Adichie

BY STEPHEN KENECHUKWU 

Chimamanda Adichie, an award-winning author, says the Igbo people can’t unite towards selecting a Nigerian president — in what appears to be a dig at the “terrible leadership in the southeast”.

She bared her thoughts about the now-defunct secessionist state of Biafra in a recent interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a television personality.

The 43-year-old writer said she fears her people won’t be able to unite politically should it come to selecting an Igbo president.

According to her, the Igbo people need to rethink how they strategise politically before talking about secession.

“There is no Biafra. There are new movements but, for me, it’s a question of being practical. Where would the border be? What is propelling these movements is a sense of marginalisation, which I think is completely valid,” she said.

“But this idea that the answer is independence is what I’m not convinced of. Nobody has made a logical case for me. Quite frankly, I’ve observed the terrible leadership that we have in the southeast (scoffs).

“Igbo people cannot unite if, for example, we say we want an Igbo president. And then we’re talking about Biafra. There is a lot of political work we need to do in the southeast.

“We need to do a  lot of rethinking on how we strategise politically before we can talk about Biafra.”

Speaking of the status of the feminism movement in Nigeria with regards to the Igbo subculture, the novelist said that one of the things she battles with is what she termed the “misogynistic” tendencies of many cultural practices in the east.

“There are things I quarrel with, in Igbo culture. It’s misogynistic, as are many cultures. That’s the problem. The world is misogynistic. At my father’s funeral, they showed where the widow (my mother) would sit,” she explained.

“And they showed where the sons in the extended family (umunna) would sit. That’s where those coming would go to present whatever they bring. It’s the sons’. And that was the end. My father had three daughters.

“There was no place for them. I raised the question and a man in my umunna said we would have to loiter around. There’s a problem with that. There’s a woman who apparently is going to run for governor in Anambra state.

“I’m having a conversation with a group of people and what they’re saying is, ‘Can a woman rule Anambra?’ Do you need a dangling organ to rule a state? It’s hard enough for both and female politicians.

“But women have this additional problem of perception, a reason for which many people won’t vote them. Igbo culture is just not very good when it comes to gender. Culture as we have it are rules men made to benefit men.

“In my hometown, I seem to have this status of an ‘honorary man’ and that’s because of my achievements. People adapt when they see some benefits to it which means that it’s changeable. It’s engraved on the stones.”

Chimamanda had earlier put out a short story titled ‘Zikora‘. When quizzed on whether or not she’s writing a new novel, the author said: “I’m writing now. I write where I can. My life in the US is quieter.

“So I write when I’m in the US. I’m trying to write (a new book). It’s important for me to protect my writing time.

“What I can tell you is that, because of old age, I’m now a much slower writer. When I was 22, another writer used to say I was writing one story on one hand and another on the other hand.

“I was churning these things that they’ll tell me rest. But, now? Old age my God! I write a paragraph that I’m happy with, in a week. It’s that bad o. It doesn’t necessarily matter where I’m writing but what’s happening at the time.


“It matters that I have silence and space. Now that I’m a mother, it also matters that I feel comfortable about where my daughter is and whether or not she’s getting care.” (The Cable)

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