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2023 Beckons: Will Igbo Play The Real Politics This Time?

October 9, 2017

As we gradually move towards 2019 and 2023, I am beginning to get worried whether Igbo is putting their acts together to take a shot at the Presidency in 2023 when the North would have completed their 8 years? I am worried because I do not know whether we understand the dynamics of the politics we must play to position an Igbo for the exalted office in the land. Are we thinking or considering the political party that will bring us closer to the Presidency in 2023? Is it PDP, APGA or APC? If it is PDP are we playing the real politics? If it is APGA what are we doing to take APGA across to those who will vote for our candidate? If it is APC what are the plans to key into the ruling Party? Of all these three Parties mentioned above which one presents the shortest distance to the Presidency in 2023?

Now let me analyze these three Parties, their stand, capacity, spread, and leadership.

APGA rules only one State out of 36 States in Nigeria. It is only domiciled in Anambra State and has not moved beyond Anambra State to reach out to other Nigerians. For an Igbo to be elected to the exalted office other Nigerians especially Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and others must vote for him. Without sounding immodest Anambra State occupies a unique position in Igbo land. Anambra is the engine room of Igboland politics and they lead the way. Now if the State that will lead others to the mainstream is saddled with APGA, where is the plan to work with others? If you ask me I will suggest that we do the needful by joining other Nigerians to play the real politics. APGA cannot lead Igbo anywhere in the politics of Nigeria. If Yoruba can sacrifice ACN to form an alliance with other Nigerians to give birth to APC, Igbo needs to think again.


What of PDP? Now, this Party is still being pulled down by internal contradictions, credibility crisis, and the hangover of 16 years of massive looting of Nigeria. PDP may not be the option for Igbo because for 16 years the party was in power, the South East was officially and systematically neglected. Besides PDP just zoned the presidency to the North and assuming their candidate wins in 2019 what is the guarantee that the winner will not seek a second term in 2023? Therefore, I do not think PDP is the shortest distance for Igbo Presidency or the way to go.

Now, what of APC? To all intents and purposes, I think APC provides the best platform and the shortest distance for Igbo presidency in 2023, and Igbo must take this very seriously. To do this, Igbo must look at this big picture. Igbo must consider everything. Igbo must sacrifice APGA for the big business in 2023. Igbo must swallow this bitter pill in order to be politically relevant in Nigeria again. Pride, arrogance, political stupidity, bloated self-worth, persecution complex, selfish sense of superiority, leadership complex etc must be jettisoned for other Nigerians to trust us. We must also prove to other Nigerians that we love them and Nigeria. Trust is the key factor. Let us stop the hate speech and ethnic bigotry and work for a new Nigeria of our dream. Igbo must stop the Biafra project because a lot is at stake.

It is counterproductive and provocative. If we are sensible and I think we are, we should be faced with the choice of the best option for Igbo in Nigeria. The best option is that Nigeria offers the biggest market for Igbo in Nigeria. We must rise now to remove the huddles and take the hard decisions. We must not give those who make us to look little the oxygen we breathe. Let them suffocate for us to make progress. It always seems impossible until the deed is done. Let us selectively and productively deploy committed men and women in Igboland to work with other Nigerians to create a new Nigeria. We need a war of sense now and not the war of words and bullets.

Someone once told me that if a man stands in a place for so long without making a move, the lizard will climb him thinking it is a tree. We have made political mistakes for a longtime and mistakes are allowed. After all he who makes no mistakes makes no progress. This is the time for Igbo to move on in Nigeria.
Joe Igbokwe