RE: IGBO POLITICS AND HOLLYWOOD MOVIE
By Okwey G
Daily Trust Tuesday, September 23, 2003
I read with mixed feeling,
an article, written by one Abdulhameed Shuaib, on page 6 of your August 6 publication, titled: "Igbo Politics and Hollywood
Movie." Mr. Shuaib just like other well-meaning Nigerians, may have wanted to condemn the recent events in Anambra State, where the state governor was
derobed in the public, by his own clique of morally bankrupt politicians. However, his unguarded and unobjective sentiments
took him astray, when he uncautiously delved into a total condemnation of the generality of Igbo leaders, and by extension,
the entire Igbo nation. This as a matter of fact, placed him at a myopic state, where he can no more see bare facts as they
people from the other parts of the country have poured their streams of vitriol against the events of the last April presidential
election, where the Igbos featured up to five presidential aspirants. Some have suggested that they would have curtailed the
number, others have called the act unreasonable, and yet, some others have outrightly called it stupidity. In the words of
Mr. Shuaib, "... at the end, their enormous numbers were of no substance". Now, the question I ask is this, "is it morally
or legally wrong for a republican nation like the Igbos to feature more than one candidate in a presidential election of a
country like Nigeria, where democracy
is claimed to be in existence?
some political arithmeticians (like Okadigbo claims) will answer in the affirmative, it stands as a fact that for the interest
of peace and stability, in a democratic setting, and in a multi-political party system as we have presently in Nigeria, discouraging
interested candidates from contesting in an election, either by simple dissuading, or by political threat, is in turn a threat
to the sustenance of democracy. Thomas Hardy, the great writer, once opined (and I agree with him) that the best of a character
is not found in the things done, but in the things intended - motives. The act of featuring many aspirants in the presidential
election by the Igbos is a sign of total believe in democracy, and not an iniquity, as some people may think. And to buttress
this fact, let us look at the high level politics that was played in the ANPP presidential primary election.
the 11contestants that bought and duly submitted their forms for the election, five were Igbos, while six were Hausas. In
the heat of the election, the Igbos were asked to meet, to select among themselves, one person, who would come to contest
in the primary election. The meeting was held, but nothing close to what the Hausas, who were deciding for the party wanted,
was the result. So they went back and reported to the party that all of them preferred to go to the polls and take the litmus
test. As expected, this was unacceptable to the leadership of the party, who had already decided on who to give the flag,
and was just trying to find a simple way of manipulating the other Igbo contestants. On the day of the so-called election,
when it became clear to the Igbo contestants that the other non-Igbo contestants have been lured into dropping for the retired
General among them, they protested to the party, but the party had already decided on ‘him’, and so the Igbo contestants
walked out of the venue. So in a democracy, just as we claim to be operating, whose action, among these two groups, is "lamentable"
as Mr. Shuaib put it? Is it the Hausa clique of electoral fraudsters, or the Igbos, who insisted that everybody, irrespective
of his race, should be given a fair chance to contest?
seems to be so used to the monarchical system of governments, in the Hausa/Fulani kingdom; if not, how do we react to his
statement: "Most of their Senators selfishly tussled for the single seat of Senate president," Would he have preferred the
seat, to be given to a ‘god’ among the Senators, just like the PDP kingmakers chose the leadership of the lower
House? This should not only be discouraged, but be purged out of our polity.
observer of Nigerian politics will attest to the fact that political godfatherism is not peculiar to Igbos alone, it is a
national disaster. Attesting to this, Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba
State was recently quoted in a national newspaper, as opining that there
seems to be no politics devoid of godfatherism. In fact, what happened in Anambra
State is not a mark of any political disorganisation or immaturity among the Igbos,
but a complex case of political thieves thrown in disarray, over the sharing of their booties, which can happen in any state,
even in the centre of Nigeria. Besides,
I am challenging my friend, Mr. Shuaib, to watch closely, with keen interest, the unfolding events in the Hausa land, as we
final note, I will like to tell my friend, Mr. Shuaib, that the ‘illegal monetary inducement and subventions to the
godfathers, which results in the non-payment of workers salaries’, is a national problem, rather than Igbo problem.
Afterall, Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau State
owed his workers four months salaries, in the month of December, 2002 and definitely, he is not an Igbo governor.
be patriotic to condemn whatever abominable act committed in this our country, but it will be highly patriotic to have a deep
knowledge of the subject, be focused on the point, and avoid biased statements based on contemptible sentiments while criticizing.
Please see the reference
article titled Igbo Politics and Hollywood Movies and Email Reactions in the navigation bar.