MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary election which held last Saturday has come and gone but the sad lessons learnt from it will never be forgotten in a hurry. It was one occasion that revealed the hypocrisy of the average SouthEast politician.
Here was an opportunity for the SouthEast delegates to make a bold statement by affirming with their votes that now is the time for the long awaited Igbo presidency to be actualised but they frittered it away at the alter of greed and self enrichment with thousands of dollars from Abubakar Atiku, Nyesom Wike, Bukola Saraki and others.
For the average Nigerian like Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Dr. Doyin Okupe, Chief Olabode George and other well meaning Nigerians of non-Igbo extraction who have in recent time consistently advocated for Igbo presidency, it would remain painful that their effort could only be equated to a situation where the outsider is crying louder than the bereaved.
It is painful in the sense that the average PDP SouthEast delegate could dismiss the well orchestrated preachment for Igbo presidency in place of filthy lucre in the transactional politics of dollar inducement.
It was absolutely shameful that out of 285 PDP SouthEast delegates, only 14 persons voted for Pius Anyiam from the SouthEast while votes of the remaining 271 delegates went to Atiku, Wike, Saraki; non-Igbo contestants in the election.
With this brazen display of selfishness and great harm to the age-long agitation for Igbo presidency, do we still need to point in the direction of the North while talking of marginalisation? Certainly no, because the politicians who ought to have corrected the political imbalance have sold their right for some thousands of dollars.
The grandstanding of Abubakar Atiku in the quest to grab the presidential ticket at all cost, has obviously irked the leadership of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group; Ohaneze Ndigbo to the extent that it has pointedly declared to Atiku that he would not get the Igbo votes in the 2023 presidential election.
The Ohaneze leadership may seem to have spoken the minds of the Igbo speaking race by such declaration. Regrettably, I predict that the worse is yet come with the betrayal tendency of the SouthEast politicians. In the days to come, more betrayals would certainly be on the horizon with many Igbo politicians seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of losing their political right to also lead the country.
It was ostensibly the treacherous tendencies of the Igbo delegates at the PDP primaries that prompted Peter Obi’s unceremonious exit from the party and ultimately the presidential primaries.
The PDP SouthEast delegates have brought nothing but shame to themselves and the entire Igbo race and would never have the guts to ever complain of Fulanisation or Islamization of Nigeria by people of Fulani extraction or Islamic religion because they are same bed fellows.
Now that Peter Obi by divine intervention has clinched the Labour Party of Nigeria presidential ticket for the 2023 election, there comes some glimmer of hope for the Igbo presidency. It is now left for the SouthEast to rally round Peter Obi and ensure that his candidacy in the 2023 presidential election is a pan-Igbo project irrespective of party affiliation.
For once, let money bag politics take the back seat as Obi’s victory and eventual emergence as the President of Nigeria would surely change the odd narrative of marginalisation. Peter Obi’s victory in the election would be a victory for all well meaning Nigerians including the ‘dollarised’ SouthEast delegates whose only interest is in how much they can get from gladiators and not necessarily how to enthrone good leadership.
Now that Peter Obi is being supported by people from different ethnic groups to actualise his presidential ambition, let the Igbos deny themselves of filthy lucre from desperate politicians who do not care about the good of Nigerians and support the Peter Obi movement for the 2023 presidency.