Never expect a man to see you higher than he perceives himself…Ena E. Orugbo
President Goodluck Jonathan brought the Igbo’s back into the mainstream. He was rewarded by the Southeast with 2.5 million fewer votes in 2015 than 2011. Do you know that the Igbo’s are entrenched in PMB’s cabinet? The Ministers of Investment and Trade, Foreign Affairs, Labour and Employment, and Science and Technology are of Igbo extraction. In 2014, India made $120 billion from export of Information Technology and Software services. In the same fiscal year, Nigeria earned $70 billion from crude oil sales. Sure, PMB could have done more to make his government more inclusive. However, who gave the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) the mandate to call for a boycott of elections?
The losses from the Nigerian Civil war are not limited to the two million Igbo’s who died. Nigeria is yet to recover from the 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970 war. The true cost of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s led war might never be known. IPOB’s intellectual prowess should be devoted towards evaluating the economic, political, financial and human cost of the Biafra war and not a Sudanese Jubril or Cameroonian Hullabaloo. This brings the ensuing by Dr. Ena Orugbo to the fore, “no man is loyal except there is a cause and no cause is worthwhile except it is for common good”. The Biafra war was certainly not for common good; hence it did not get strategic buy-in from the West.
The most pressing challenges debilitating the Igbo’s of Nigeria are not limited to the Southeast. South-South, Northeast, and Southwest Nigeria have challenges that are peculiar to their jurisdictions. In addition, Dr. Tunde Bakare warns, “Never solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution”. IPOB and her Sheiks would have none of Bakare’s caution and they are oblivious of the South Sudanese case. In 2011, South Sudan broke out from Sudan after a protracted civil war. It is regrettable to announce that it took only two years, for the new nation to plunge herself into a fresh war. War begets war and the Southeast has a new window, 2019 election to put Nigeria first.
Philippians 2:4 says “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others”. IPOB, where were you when the Queen of Biafra, Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu was denied a senatorial ticket? IPOB, what suggestions have you proffered to the perennial erosion, plaguing the Southeast? IPOB, where were you when Ebola was threatening to overrun Nigeria? IPOB has been nowhere to be found when it mattered the most. A red card to lazy students of history, winning a battle is not tantamount to winning the war. An amber card to devotees of IPOB, what is your end game? A green card to the great people of Nigeria; vote wisely on 16 February 2019.
IPOB has done a lot to stir debate but their intent and end game are futile. The Biafra war was needless, costly and Nigeria is yet to fully recover. Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari have done their best. The ball is now in the court of Nigerians to right all wrongs. Therefore, vote the best candidate between PMB and Atiku. It is erroneous to utterly dismiss the complaints of the Igbo’s. It is also expedient to reassure them that Nigeria is fertile enough for all. After all, the Igbo’s are tenacious and they ensure you shop, once you step foot into their stores. “Biko”, Timi Dakolo’s hit song, Great Nation should be subtitled in Igbo language.
Dr. Enameguolo Orugbo,