President Buhari’s Marginalisation of the Igbo – By Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.
Following the end of the Brutal Biafran-Nigerian Civil War, on the 13th of January, 1970, General Yakubu Gowon, our then Head of State, adopted two cardinal principles to ensure the inclusiveness of Igbos, in the geo-political expression, called Nigeria, to wit: No victor, no vanquished and the 3 Rs, the principles of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
However as events will turn out, the South East, the geo-political Zone of the Igbos, are the most marginalised, maligned, underdeveloped and cheated in the distribution of resources and offices in Nigeria.
Infact, it took the ingenuity of National Political forces at the onset of the present Administration, for the debonair Senator Ike Ekweremandu to emerge as the Deputy Senate President in a bi-partisan “Coup”, against the naive political machinery of the then emerging Federal Government, which was bent on excluding the Igbos from the top echelon of Nigeria Government (As it has done now ).
It is therefore not surprising, that the marginalisation of the Igbos has been taken to a frightening height, in the present Regime of President Mohammedu Buhari, in a manner, never before seen in Nigerian History.
As we speak, an Igbo Man does not sit, on the National Security Council, most appointments into parastatals and Agencies of the Federal Government, are for Core Notherners and lately Yorubas. Aside Geoffrey Onyema, who is Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, all other Ministries manned by Igbos are pedestrian in nature! Even the Senate has to cry out recently, about the exclusion of the South East, from projects to be funded from the now stalled Controversial Chinese Loans, with projects earmarked for other parts of the Country.
These are clear pointers to the abysmal marginalisation of the Igbo. The Igbo people are Nigerian, nomadic and enterprising in nature. They will ordinarily prefer a society, where they practice their trade and commerce, they are known for,instead of a balkanisation of same.
The body language of the Federal Government presupposes, that they loathe the Igbos. So, you hear alleged unguarded statements like “You don’t expect to give me 5 percent votes and expect anything meaningfully from me!”, allegedly attributable to President Buhari.
The build up to the Presidential Election in 2023, will most likely provide a Southern President. The Political Calculation again is that the Presidency is likely to go to the West. Did the Igbo escort the rest of Nigeria into this World?
It is not in doubt that out of political convenience, some Igbo Leaders in the Present Federal Government have negotiated the tribe away, to their hegonomist Parners, who are stoic to maintain the status quo.
In perhaps the most tribalistic Government in Nigerian History, President Buhari has appointed most Heads of the Nigerian Security Agencies from the North. The Heads of all Key Security Agencies are from the North.
President Olusegun Obasanjo had a Chief of Staff from the North and an Igbo Chief of Army Staff-the First of its kind since the end of the Nigerian Civil War.
President Goodluck Jonathan had a Northen INEC Chairman, Northern Inspector General of Police and a Northern National Security Adviser.
Why should key appointments of President Buhari be of Northern Extraction?
Check the Agencies of the Federal Government, most of the Heads are from North. In the midst of this, We have a Federal Character Commission, which by its composition and those appointed into it, does not even have Federal Character. The Commission has been there existing like most Agencies of Government, collecting Allocations and doing nothing about the grave and naked contravention of the constitutionally enshrined Federal Character Principle by the Buhari Government.
We must restructure this country, so as to give everyone, a sense of belonging. As Dr. Franz Frannon, the Algerian Revolutionary Leader, put it, “Every Generation, out of relative obscurity, will discover its mission, fulfil it, or betray it”.