Ad image

Igbo Politics: Marginalisation, Internal disunity, Call For Igbo President Extraction -Frank Nweke Jr

7 Min Read

The state of disunity, insecurity, secessionist agenda, marginalisation amongst other vices bedeviling south-east Nigeria has become topical as various persons, groups and organizations, including the Igbo elites seek measures to curb the menace.

Not far-fetched, Faculty of Arts, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) on Thursday Jan. 19th, organised its first lecture series of 2023 tagged, “”Our Identity: Politics and Development in Igboland”.

Frank Nweke Jnr At University of Nigeria Nsukka.

The discourse was delivered by an Igbo politician and elite, Frank Nweke Jnr. former Minister for Information and Communications under former President Olusegun Obasanjo regime.

He presented the lecture in three highlights; current state of affairs in south-eastern Nigeria, subject of Igbo marginalisation and call for Nigeria’s president of Igbo extraction.

The former minister who is also the current Enugu gubernatorial candidate for All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said he has spoken extensively on reclaiming identity as the Igbo tribe in past years.

Read More
Parts of the Audience for the Faculty of Arts Lecture Series

He said he believes that the Igbo indigenes are capable of creating wealth and serve as catalysts for innovation nationally and globally.

Commenting on the current state of events in Southeast, he explained that it was a result of other Nigerians hatred towards the tribe and mentioned the heterogenous state of the Igbo nation. He narrated the event of Nigeria’s civil war of 1967 which he described “bloody”. Nweke stated that the Igbos are yet to heal from it and backed his speech with Chinua Achebe’s classic of 1983,” The Trouble With Nigeria” where he stated that “Nigerians will achieve a common consensus on no matter but their common resentment of the Igbos.”

Audience at Princess Alexandria Auditorium (PAA) listening with apt attention

Owing to his assertions, he mentioned how President Buhari in 2015 at United States Institute For Peace said, “the constituents for example that gave him 97% of votes cannot be treated as those who gave him 5% of votes,” which he described infamous.

On the issue of Igbo marginalisation, Nweke said that President Buhari breached the constitutional provision of section four, subsection 3 which declares that the Federal Government shall conduct its affairs in such a way that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional group. He however stated that the core 10 security agencies in Nigeria has no southeasterner leading it as the president found no Igbo worthy of the position.

“The same breach applies to the appointment of Federal ministers with three of six ministers from the south east occupying subordinate roles as ministers for states.

“The distribution of infrastructural projects have been lopsided and questionable at best. In 2020, in justification of the contentious $22.7 billion the FG outlined 34 projects to be financed by the facility with none of these for the southeast region. National Assembly approved the loan without an interrogation of the individual projects. While the southeast will not partake as its beneficiary, it would partake in its repayment.

Nweke extensively spoke on the issue of marginalisation of the part of the country. He cited the railway projects going on in the country. He stated that while the Kaduna-Kano-Maradi railways are still going on, the eastern railway was halted for the reason of unavailability of foreign loans.

The APGA guber candidate also commented on the extradition of Nnamdi Kanu, stating that the energy exerted on his arrest bears a heavy contrast with one used to combat boko-haram insurgency in the north.

The leadership crisis among the Igbos was also highlighted. He said, “the action of Igbo political elites has perfected the act of extended republicanism. Seemingly, unable to reach a conclusion on issues of common interests, with a national image for political disunity at the expense of group interest.” He buttressed that a house divided against itself can surely not stand.

The former minister lamented that the Igbos rarely coalise around a common agenda thereby weakening its negotiating position. He said, ” exclusion in mainstream governance is only a fraction of the causes of our current regional predicament”.

“we’ve also watched with dismay the self aggrandizing act of the two major presidential candidates of the two major political parties in the country. Each has consistently undermined the Igbo in their actions and states.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu of All Progressives Congress- APC completely ignored the east during the pre-primaries consultation. On arrival in Enugu last week for his campaign, his words betrayed acrimony for the Igbo. He quoted Tinubu, “Nobody will give you any credit, you’re working hard, you’re sweating now. We want you to sweat very hard now for this until you deliver victory. Until Bola Tinubu became the president of Nigeria, we will not give you but a soaked slice of bread”.

“Atiku’s statement to his kinsmen in October 2022 who said ‘what the everywhere northerner needs is someone from the north. He does not need a yoruba or Igbo candidate,” Nweke juxtaposed.

Calling for the president of Igbo extraction, the former minister said he still believes in entity of Nigeria crooked as it is, all it needs is right leadership. He said be base his believe on Igbo history when it had visionary and selfless leader like Dr Micheal Okpara.

“Our attention must be on instituting a leadership structure that can be trusted and held accountable to deliver the dividends of democracy to the region. Therefore, a Nigerian president from southeast. The quest will be a dream come true for many. It will break the deepening sense of alienation and reinstate a sense of belonging to the region.”

Share this Article
Here is a resourceful and results-driven journalist with track record for developing reader-driven informative and educative articles, using research and interviews to provide a different perspective to human activities. Also possess ability to dissect news pieces by determining an appropriate reporting angle of such news.