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« Hats off for Maryam Babangida | Main | A critic [al] self-evaluation »

March 18, 2005

The Exclusion of Ojukwu: A Nigerian Affair

by Geoffrey Ifeanyi Ekenasi The regret expressed by former SSG of Imo state Mr. Enoch Anyanwu on the exclusion of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu demands further discussion given the mundane and backward nature of the philosophy behind this exclusionary policy, and the potential consequences of such a policy on our newly recreated democracy.

I agree almost completely with Mr. Anaynwu that Ojukwu is conspicuously missing in the national confab, however, I disagree with this gentleman when he blamed Ohaneze ndi Igbo for not protesting over the exclusion, thereby making it sound like and Igbo problem.

That there is a national confab in Nigeria and Ojukwu is excluded is not an Igbo question, it is a question of right and wrong. I submit that the exclusion of Ojokwu from the national confab is wrong.
Yes, Ojukwu is just one among about 130 million Nigerians. Yes, not everybody must attend the conference and yes, Ojukwu is just a human being like all of us. Nevertheless, Ojukwu has been an outspoken political Nigerian who has often projected the other view without fear or favor and whose sense of logic and intellectual prowess is no news to most of the reasonable Nigerians.

He has demonstrated a wealth of knowledge of the Nigerian situation; has been a part and parcel of the inner dynamics of the politics of Nigeria and appears to comprehend its details. Has he not often articulated the issues in such a manner that, whether you agree with him or not you know where he is coming from.

His vision of a modern polity and the position of the black man in the world was made manifest in his famous (notorious?) Ahiara Declaration. When ever provoked to do so or called upon occasionally his thesis has proven to be a serious outburst of brain energy. Why doe this writer seem to heap all this encomium on a living soul? One reason is that this is the writer's way of protesting the dwarfist policy in Nigeria of shying away from the brightest and the best, and instead, wasting a great deal of time trying to run him down rather than encourage, tap and utilize his/her mental energy. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a victim of this rubbish. That is why he was never a Nigerian President. Nigerians were too intimidated to put him in the forefront and utilize his bewildering mental abilities. We debated more of Awolowo's tribalism and his role during the civil war (which is personally disgusting to me though) than tapping his mental enrgy for the good of Nigeria. I was ready to forgive and forget his civil war thing so we could forge ahead and tap what he had upstairs for the sake of our nation but fellow Nigerians were not as ready.

Awolowo is now gone and we all lost. Today, Ojukwu is alive but again, many Nigerians are intimidated by his mental power. They are afraid to debate him. They quake and shake at the other view, the opposing view. They think hell will be let loose if the intellectual giant is not held in chains.

Fellow Nigerians, if I must ask, if Ojukwu is not qualified to sit at the confab and air his views, who is ? Oh! by the way, did I mention when I appeared to be presenting his credentials that he was the leader of the break away Biafra? Methinks, that he knows more than any Nigerian dead or alive why he led the then Eastern region out of Biafra. If that is so, would it not benefit Nigerians to hear him now that he is no longer a rebel discuss in a national confab the panecea for resolving those probelems that angered his people? Being a living rebel leader in our great nation would he not have a lot to say in a conference that is aimed at making Nigeria better?

I have friends who believe that the exclusion of Ojukwu is a clear indication of lack of seriousness on the part of Nigerian government in the confab as a means of moving Nigeria forward. Could it be true? May be the future will tell. For the present, as long Nigeria as a nation continues to close our eyes against talents due to petty jealousies and silly prejudices, so long will Nigeria continue to lag within the comity of nations and regrettably remain the shame of Africa and the black man.


Posted by Administrator at March 18, 2005 09:09 PM


Brother, I sure do agree with your intelligent and outspoken argument about one of africas most intelligent products,Ojukwu. You have to understand that our government is really scared of angaging the outstandingly intellectual igbo men, and brother you know that in order for nigeria to be a reality with the igbos included we need a better deal than what we have been getting all along. We need a total and no string attarched participation. The world is just scared of the igboman and we do not mean any harm to any one just want live and let live.


Posted by: Ike Ezeagwula at July 24, 2005 07:08 PM

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