By Johnson Greg.
Politics is a complex undertaking. It is the height of the complexity of human advancement.
There is no perfect politician. Joe Biden is not effect. Donald Trump is not perfect. Zik was not perfect. Awolowo was not perfect. OUK cannot be perfect. Also politics involves a process that selects, not the best people overall, but the best of the most viable people. In fact, it is a common knowledge that the best people tend to shy away politics.
That was why Chinua Achebe never went into politics. So if you are expecting that angels and saints will contest elections and you will choose one of them, then you are naive. It won’t happen. Instead you will have men and women with some shortcomings competing for votes.
And when we talk of politics in Nigeria, the Igbos should be wise enough to understand that they are in the minority. They cannot by themselves decide who will be the President of Nigeria.
If today Orji Uzor Kalu and Peter Obi were to be the only Presidential candidates for election, OUK will defeat PO hands down. The reason is that OUK will get 70% of Northern votes, 60% of Western votes and even with 15% of the Eastern votes, he will win. (However, it is likely he will bit PO even in Igbo land if people realize that their vote for PO is a wasted vote). The reason an average Igbo man may prefer PO is exactly the reason the average man from Kano will prefer OUK. (You prefer Obi because he not close to the Northerners whom you don’t like, and the Kano man will prefer OUK because he is a friend). Remember what Ojukwu told us about the preponderance of the North.
So, even if all parties concede the Presidency to the Igbos, it is still the North that will determine which of the Igbo candidates will win. The North will make the President irrespective of which part of the country the candidates come from. So, between OUK and PO, it is a question of which of them the North will prefer. We all know it is OUK, not Peter Obi.
If it was an election for the President of Igbo country, then PO may have a good chance. Igbos are often not as politically savvy as the other ethnic groups. The Yorubas did not support Obasanjo in 1999. But once the North made him the President, the Yorubas suspended their grievances against Obasanjo and embraced Obasanjo. If it were the Igbos, they would never forgive Obasanjo for not supporting Awolowo in 1979 or Abiola in 1993. Igbos should try to be more savvy in politics.
Everybody knows that given as things are now, Orji Uzor Kalu has the best chance of becoming the first Igbo man to be Head of State and Head of Government of Nigeria. If the Igbos were politically savvy, they will come out enmass and support him. Instead, it is some Igbo contractors trying to undermine him so they can get a few more contracts from Government. And some Igbos are making silly arguments comparing OUK with a former state governor.
The worst thing that will happen to the Igbos is if they fail to support the Igbo man that became the President: for instance, if OUK becomes the president without the support of the Igbos. That will again show the world that Igbo votes are not relevant. And it becomes harder for the Igbos to enjoy the advantage of having an Igbo president. And those of you who say you don’t want an Igbo president, that what you want is Biafra, I hope you understand you are joking. There will be no Biafra in 2023. Nigeria will still be there and Nigerian President will still have control over the Igbo territories. OUK has gained experience in governance. Of all the likely and viable candidates (not those candidates you dream up in your heads), OUK is the one that can transform things. You may think I’m am campaigning for OUK. No! The man doesn’t even know that I exist. I am supporting him because I’m tired of the way things have been in this country, and I know that Biafra is nowhere near.