Do Ndi-Igbo still remain and have faith in Buhari’s Nigeria, occasionally smiling wryly and laughing sheepishly or strenuously, kowtow, en mass, the essence and benefits of the now prophetic utterances of Nnamdi Kalu’s IPOB?
The Nsugbe people of Anambra State in Nigeria are impatient people. They do not have patience for the niceties of diplomacy and consultations. And they go on to live this attribute out when they break their cocoa-nut. Instead of the conventional way of cutting the nut at the tip – Beach style, in order to save and sip the cocoa-nut water, they place it on any solid, flat surface and then use their machete to cut it in two, bahoo!, thereby spilling the precious water and soiling the meat. And the rest of the Ndi-Igbo quickly made a proverb of their shortcoming. Hence ‘‘Aki Oyibo Nsugbe’’, as used when Onye-Igbo wants to brashly and insensitively break a piece of sad news, became for us a chronic lack of consultative and diplomatic skill-sets, insensitive to sensibilities in human affairs.
President Muhammadu Buhari, and those who support his political ideology, must have come from Nsugbe of sort. No niceties, so stiff, no matter whose ox is gored.
There is no real sense in throwing caution to the wind, in adopting a stiff and winner-takes-it-all stance in a plural community such as Nigeria.
Another profound Igbo proverb says, ‘‘The death that kills a mother-dog does not even allow her puppies their right to an eye-sight’’. Mother-dog is a bitch, and her troubles didn’t start today, in this current dispensation.
Buhari’s aloofness to such critical considerations as ethnic and religious diversity in Nigeria didn’t begin today. It does not matter to him that the Igbo – biggest ethnic nationality in Nigeria – is excluded from government and politics, so long as his Fulani and the Yoruba ethnic nationalities safely maintain their political ‘‘collabo’’. Such political machismo raises eyebrow.
For instance, had Bashorun Moshood Kashimowo Olawole Abiola lived till this day, the current political arrangements at the federal level, where Ndi-Igbo are so marginalized and excluded in the affairs of the nation, could have caused his eyebrow to itch. Chief M K O Abiola’s itching eyebrows notoriously meant that he could finance a coup d’état. The few times it happened, some democratic governments in some African countries fell, which brought about deep dictatorial governments to meet his selfish ends.
Luckily military involvement in governance is no longer fashionable in the world, especially Nigeria, as was in the years before the late 1980s. And Bashorun MKO Abiola is long dead, although his memory endures.
Sometimes it comes across as President M Buhari’s stiff disposition is on account of a certain die-hard political agenda of the Fulani/Islamic North, which he prefers to ensure more than his personal safety and convictions. But once beaten, twice shy.
On the night of December 31, 1984, Buhari paid the first recorded price for his insensitivity. He was bullied out of the highest office by his colleagues – mainly members of his constituency. And what were the concerns? He refused to equitably distribute portfolios. He favoured his regional north. He maintained a Muslim-Muslim ticket with the late Maj Gen Tunde Idiagbon.
Besides mismanaging political leadership, below is an excerpt from Maj Gen IB Babangida’s coup speech in 1985.
‘‘Let me at this point attempt to make you understand the premise upon which it became necessary to change leadership. The principle of discussions, consultations and co-operation which should have guided decision-making process of the Supreme Military Council and the Federal Executive Council were disregarded soon after the government settled down in 1984. Where some of us thought it appropriate to give a little time, anticipating a conducive atmosphere that would develop in which affairs of state could be attended to with greater sense of responsibility, it became increasingly clear that such expectations could not be fulfilled. Regrettably it turned out that Maj Gen M Buhari was too rigid and uncompromising in his attitudes to issues of national significance. Efforts to make him understand that a diverse polity like Nigeria required recognition and appreciation of the differences in both cultural and individual perception, only served to aggravate these attitudes.’’
Some 30years later, he is at it again, this time to further the dominance of his feudal north, in the behest of the Fulani oligarch etc
Comparing some leadership thoughts on the Nigeria Project, below is an excerpt from the thoughts of Dike Chukwumerije on integration at TEDx Maitama.
‘‘We can’t simply see things in terms of naira and kobo or our contribution to the GDP. Sometimes we have to evaluate some of these things in terms of their impact on the sense of belonging. For that sense of belonging is as critical to Nigeria’s future as the crude oil in the Niger Delta. For that reason, we must consciously invest in the infrastructure of integration etc. And we need to begin to invest in the language that demonstrates our awareness that we citizens living in a fragile nation etc. It is very important.’’
In fact it is now very important that President M Buhari and his acolytes should rewind the rest of these signposts from IB Babangida and D Chukwumerije for the sake of national stability and growth.
The video clip of Mr D Chukwumerije can be searched and found on YouTube, whereas Maj Gen IB Babangida’s coup speech is still relevant on Google search.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org