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« Once Upon a Land, Nigeria to be Exact! | Main | Two tales of Zen Wisdom, and, Reflections of the Warrior of the Light IX »

May 23, 2006

2007 Presidency: South-East, South-South, Using one Stone to Kill two Birds

(An analysis of how the collective South can present a formidable front to retain the Presidency) by Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Dundalk, Republic of Ireland) --- There is no denying the fact that Nigeria was founded most naturally on a tripod.

Constituted by the Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa. Having come out from long locust years of Northern rule, and being on the verge of completing 8 years of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, logic demands that it should be the turn of the Igbo in other to strike a balance and reach middle ground. Nigeria is a mortally sick nation, made more so by those who have constituted themselves the internal colonisers of the Nigerian space. The actions and style of leadership of this group, have made many Nigerians to lose their sense of belonging in the still born Nigerian project.

The result is that today we have many groups seeking secession from what they consider an evil and monumentally unjust “Apartheid state”.

Against this reality, anybody who truly loves Nigeria (not those who pretend to) would see the wisdom in respecting the tripod, in other to put to rest the deafening agitation for seccesion,and guarantee once and for all Nigeria’s survival as an entity. However the South-South 80% of which was formerly part of the defunct Eastern region, are also pressing their demands for the presidency on the grounds that nobody from their zone has ever tasted the presidency. Valid as this claim may be, it should be noted that the South-East presided over the presidency for only 6 months, which in every practical sense is next to nothing. Against this backdrop it can be logically argued that both zones are qualified for the presidency, and if we have to follow the express dictates of politics being a game of numbers, then the South-East would be more disposed to clinching it.

But there is a snag, both the South-East and South-South are a somewhat homogenous group of people with shared borders and common interests whose future and destiny are inextricably linked. A protracted power struggle within the 2 zones, will only serve to divide their votes, and play into the hands of the North, who are likely to mount a muscular challenge to return the presidency to the North.

The way forward is simple and practical.Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an Igbo, from the South-South. A Harvard trained incorruptible former world bank vice president, and one of the main arrowheads of the widely acclaimed ongoing reforms. Without any doubt she is easily one of the most qualified for the presidency.Dr Ngozi’s presidency will be a case of using 1 stone to kill 2 birds. It will satisfy both the aspirations of the Igbo and the South-South.
On the other hand the Olusegun Obasanjo administration is more likely to be more favourable to a technocrat who can be guaranteed to continue with the ongoing reforms. Politicians might promise to continue with the reforms, but once in power they are likely to introduce their own agenda.

The South-East and South-South elders must meet urgently in the spirit of brotherhood to present Dr Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala as a compromise candidate for both zones. All other candidates or aspiring candidates from both zones must stand down. The importance of fielding a single candidate from both zones cannot be overstated. It would give both zones a historic and momentous opportunity to give block support to one of their own, and herald a new era in Nigerian history. All political calculations point to a sure victory for Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala if both zones present a formidable and united front. Past bitterness and acrimony that may have existed between the 2 zones must be eschewed in this onerous struggle to capture the presidency. The collective interests of both zones far outweighs any past trivialities.

The strategic importance of power remaining in the South for a few more years is common knowledge. Men of goodwill and genuine lovers of Nigeria have variously posited that power shift to the South-East and South-South would consolidate Southern unity, and be the greatest boost to Nigerian unity, and possibly president Olusegun Obasanjo’s greatest legacy. Nigerians will also for the first time have the opportunity of electing a highly qualified technocrat and high end achiever, breaking away from a mediocre past that have rendered the nation comatose. In this era of women,Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala remains Nigeria’s greatest monument of hope. History beckons.

Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu
Dundalk, Republic of Ireland

Posted by Administrator at May 23, 2006 07:05 AM


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