By Chukwudi Iwuchukwu
Governor Chukwuma Soludo just earned a special place in my heart for writing what so many knew or believed to be true but chose to keep quiet out of fear of the mob and social media militants.
You can disagree with him, and that is fine.
Hopefully, after the elections next year, when the emotions have cleared from the eyes,
We will go back to the historic letter by Soludo, then unpack it one after the other.
Our founding fathers understood our diversity.
We are a nation of 900 tribes, so our founding fathers made it nearly impossible for a regional leader to emerge as president.
This was the reason why Buhari contested for power in 2003, 2007 and 2011 as a candidate of the Northern Consensus but failed woefully until the merger with the South West happened in 2015, which made him president.
My Lagos landlord, Tinubu, was aggrieved with Buhari in 2019. He could have pulled his ACN block away from APC to form another party, but as the master strategist that he is, he did not. He waited, bidding for his time because he understood that, as one, he could do far more than run on a new party with the ACN block.
I wish Peter Obi all the best from my heart, and also, as an Igbo man whose name is Chukwudi, I hope to see a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in my lifetime, but I’m aware that this current road and trajectory will not take us there.
We are wasting our time with this Peter Obi project; it will lead us nowhere.
As the son of the soil and homebody, as Soludo called him, Peter would win the majority of the votes from the southeast, but that is not a clearly defined pathway for him to win.
Ndi Igbo needs a leader who will rally all of us together, a leader in the mold of late Zik and MI Okpara who will lead us the way Tinubu did it with the South West; we desperately need one.
The new leader can be Soludo or Peter Obi, but who ever it is, this new leader can lead us in negotiating, forging new friendships with the rest of the country, and forming alliances with the other ethnic groups to understand our place in Nigeria as Igbos.
selling the Igbo presidency and the need for inclusion.
Because we had no rallying leader, that is why we gave the PDP our votes in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 without negotiating our special interests.
We just dashed PDP with votes for nothing while the Enugu/Onitsha express way is a death trap. We kept voting for PDP, but Yorubas negotiated for the Lagos/Ibadan express way from the same PDP.
We truly miss the late Nnamdi Azikiwe.
Late Zik made sure that Igbos were in the mainstream of Nigerian politics, and he negotiated our interest from 1960 onwards when he went into marriage with Balewa’s government to form a government, and the same arrangement with Shagari’s government when we produced Edwin Umezeoke as speaker, House of Representatives.
Today, we are so politically irrelevant that anybody else can win the Nigerian presidential election without our votes.
This is the summary of Soludo’s intervention.
This needs to change after next year’s elections.
It was the late Chuba Okadigbo who rightly coined this phrase, “Handshake across the Niger,” and that is what we need as a people post-2023 elections.
@views Chukwudi Iwuchukwu, November 15, 2022.