South-East geopolitical zone is no doubt, aggregately robbed in terms of federal presence; social amenities, basic infrastructures and political appointments since the end of the last civil war.
Igbos were hardheartedly massacred, humiliated and deprived of rights and benefits from the fatherland as if the zone was pityingly coopted into the Nigeria project as rightly recollected by the suddenly-emerged fan of the south-east region, Femi Fani-Kayode, who lambasted President Muhammadu Buhari in his piece titled, “a president without memory and recollection of history”, which accused Buhari of dysfunctional memory on account of his statements against the agitation of the sovereign state of Biafra.
Admitted, the south-east so far suffered tremendously in the Nigeria project more than any other geopolitical zone. However, the entire south hasn’t had it so good. Hence, as a core believer in self-determinism, while supports are graciously given to the agitators from south-east to march on, a coalition with their counterparts from south-west geopolitical zone will produce remarkable statements.
Excellently, the aide-mémoire grandiloquently captured atrocities mischievously meted out against the south-east region; an indisputable core stakeholder in the Nigerian project. But as I almost blubbered, I reminisced when a prominent philanthropist, Ona-Kakanfo, Bashorun MKO Abiola was calculatingly deprived of his mandate in a free and fair election, in the process lost his wife, Kudirat, and finally his life.
I also recalled when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Oladipo Diya, among others from south-west passed through the shadows of death under the oppression of late General Sani Abacha. I then stand to disagree that rationally, south-west cannot stand as spectators on the self-determinism project as perceived by Fani-Fayode; who is believably fighting back on account of his prosecution for alleged-embezzlement of public funds by the anti-graft body in the court.
However, before I digress, among the salient questions begging for answers to the south-east suddenly-turned-lover, Fani-Kayode over his empathy likened to Onyeka Onwenu’s ‘Love nwa-ntiti’ in the 80s, who as the director-general of the presidential campaign organization of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the last elections, was responsible for vital decisions throughout the campaigns are thus; how come no traditional ruler in the south-east was eligible to be short-listed for the presidential visits embarked upon by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan alongside fat-envelopes allegedly loaded with US dollars; how come neither the MASSOB nor IPOB was then considered serious-minded to be incorporated for the lavishly-distribution of campaign ‘national cakes’ as done in the South-west where traditional bodies including the Odua’h People’s Congress (OPC) were beneficiaries of Jonathan’s generosity, and even awarded contracts-without-bid to empower its members in hundreds of millions of naira?
Meanwhile, their counterparts in the south-east and the region were stuffed with campaign branded t-shirts and caps, and sadly cuckolded with the second River Niger-Bridge project that was never bided for talk-less awarded as if the project will benefit the south-east zone exclusively.
How come all the while in power, your love was one-sided, and periphrastically standby to run down anyone who dared challenge the presidency of imbalance in the system? How come throughout the 16 years of PDP administration, no substantial development was witnessed in the south-east you admitted is grossly marginalized but each time election drew near, the second River-Niger Bridge rhetorically surfaced in the manifestos.
It is also noteworthy to recall that when the Oba of Lagos, HRH Rilwan Akiolu threatened to unleash violence on the Igbos similar to same fate from the north, the new defender of Biafra’s self-determinism never condemned it as bizarre despite the fact Lagos state as a former Federal Capital Territory has numerous national chattels and investments and therefore qualifies every citizen of the country as a bonafide stakeholder same way it is on the present Federal Capital Territory.
Even prior to Jonathan’s administration, the new Biafra’s fan served in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration which also ignored and ill-treated the south-easterners as visitors to Nigerian project, but boldly defended the administration on all policies of marginalization against the zone.
Essentially, on the current adverse economic situation in the country, taking a queue from other countries of the world, the treasury-looters should by now be accredited-inmates of various prisons across the nation, perhaps communicating from custody. However, I totally agree that President Buhari needs a review on his cabinets to revive investors’ confidence.
If I may ask; where are the Jim Ovias, Tony Elumelus, Charles Soludos and others who doggedly through expertise revived Nigeria’s financial sector to make our banks, insurance companies compete ably with counterparts across the globe?
It is obvious that the present cabinet reflects more of analog than digital system compliant; nevertheless, the present woes of the nation are the harvests of the PDP’s wasted 16 years due to visionless leadership.
Considering the prices of crude oil that crashed beyond imagination, Nigeria being a mono-economy nation couldn’t have faced something different from the present scenario irrespective of whoever is in charge.
The president cannot perform magic overnight albeit ought to be proactive. Former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwealla was deployed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from the global economic arena and not from any political party in Nigeria.
Hence, presidency should reflect more of capability than partisanship. By and large, Fani-Kayode should for now face his corruption charges in the court and halt using the self-determinism agitators to settle political scores.
Umegboro, Public Affairs Analyst, publisher, Pinnacle InfoGallery writes from Igboekulie