History will surely vindicate Professor Charles Soludo, CFR, for providing the needed leadership and voice that Anambra State, nay, Ndigbo, beg for at this critical moment in our history as a tribe, race, and region in Nigeria.
His position in the recently published letter titled “History Beckons, and I Will Not Be Silent” has deservedly vindicated those of us in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who have for long engaged in the same aforementioned position and to intimate our people on the dangers of emotions and sentiment.
While we commend Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, for taking the same route as great Igbo leaders and patriots, such as High Chief (Senator) Ben Ndi Obi, CON, Chief Dan Ulasi, Professor Obiora Okonkwo OFR, and a host of others, who have in the past and most recently emphasized so much on the need for us, Ndigbo, to be circumspect and attentive in our voting pattern in 2023 and not orchestrate a bandwagon effect that may annihilate Ndigbo politically post 2023, We plead with others who are still urging Peter Obi on in his suicidal ambition and an attempt to destroy the future of Ndigbo in the nation’s politics to listen to the voice of reason and join the crusade for the Igbo rescue mission.
As leaders, we must avoid political obscenity and instead exude love for our people, even when the crowd does not seem to agree and demands that our heads be served hot in a seasoned bowl. Leaders must be able to see beyond the day and resist the desire to abandon ship because the mob is heading in one direction.
Leadership presents obstacles, and for a lily-livered person, a perplexing situation may produce or bring about serious repercussions. Moses experienced that fate despite his best efforts, dedication, and service. Despite having an advantage over the populace, he was unable to withstand their pressure, which forfeited him his place of honour in the Promised Land. True leaders shouldn’t be afraid to make decisions that are in their people’ best interests, especially when they have the authority to do so, such is what Soludo and others in the PDP have exemplified.
Many of us who held the same opinion were attacked and abused by an uninformed and headless mob, but as leaders, their vitriol are less taken into account due to their handicapped position and lack of political understanding. Regardless of whose ox is gored, leaders must set a good example, for example, they say, is better than precept.
Just like the great Zik of Africa, who at some point was branded a “rebel” by his kinsmen for his political decisions that salvaged Ndigbo during the era of the First Republic and beyond, the present crop of leaders who have, like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, stepped in to provide leadership and rescue Ndigbo would be vindicated for their positions, maybe not immediately, but definitely.
Our campaign for Igbo rescue and political renaissance is not to condemn our brother Peter Obi nor abandon him in his quest to be President in 2023, but to prevail on him to take a cue from the life and time of the likes of great Zik of Africa, M.I. Okpara, and others who projected regional interest above personal interest, whose decisions we are privileged to have today as ndi-Igbo, and for us as republicans to bring to the fore our liberalism and democratic prowess to navigate the looming ides of March.
Our interests as a tribe today should transcend mob mentality and be guided by informed logic and knowledge of our political realities and other complexities.
Like Soludo and others before him have held, 2023 is not ripe for an Igbo presidency. Perhaps no Igbo leadership or group has gathered anywhere to bequeath to Peter Obi or anyone the mantle to represent Ndigbo in the 2023 elections; rather, it is in his personal interest, and we must prevail on our people to not become victims of emotional weaknesses and illogical decisions.
The time for trial and error in the quest for Igbo presidency has long elapsed; today, we have a broader pathway to the presidency through Atiku Abubakar, GCON, and the People’s Democratic Party, to whom we must give our bulk votes to benefit from the regional and national alliance already present in the party and equally benefit from Atiku Abubakar agenda for the country.
The decision to, out of emotion, throw our votes away with a Peter Obi who does not in any way stand a chance in the 2023 polls will impact negatively on Ndi-Igbo and frame us as people without vision or quality leaders who see beyond the present.
The Atiku Abubakar Presidency offers Ndigbo not just the opportunity to inherit the Presidency if we give maximum support as a region and tribe, but also freedom for Ndigbo with Unity in our diversity and restructuring being at the forefront of his five-point agenda for Nigeria in 2023.
Like Soludo held in his letter, the primary need of the Ndigbo at present is not the President since we are yet to organize ourselves into a United Front, but lasting peace and security in the South East and restructuring, devolution of power and resource controls to regions and sub-national entities; this can only be possible with Atiku Abubakar and when achieved, would be the shortest route to the Igbo Presidency as it would most definitely offer the Igbo man economic freedom, just to mention a few and put us in an advantageous position for the President.
Our support for Peter Obi may be morally acceptable given that he is a homeboy, but in politics, morality has little to play as every political dominance measures with bargain and not otherwise. Ndigbo has a chance to bargain for the presidency with our bulk votes and support for Atiku Abubakar, GCON.
Ndigbo, we must let the voice of reason to prevail and urge on other leaders, including Peter Obi, to salvage the face of Igbo politics by thinking of the logical end of 2023 rather than its emotive manifestations. Again, we must be wary of the Ides of March.