Today a Fulani man, ex-governor of Kastina State named Umaru Yaradua representing the North, is presiding and steering the ship of the nation called Nigeria. Hopefully he will survive his eight-year tenure, as he is very sick of an undisclosed illness which has seen him spending more time on a hospital bed in Germany than at his office desk in Aso Rock, governing Nigeria. Whereas his predecessor and sole-installer Olusegun Obasanjo governed Nigeria in his jet gallivanting and traversing the world on a jamboree; Yaradua is experimenting governance from a hospital bed from far away Germany. At the end of his tenure, naturally, the Igbo should produce the next occupant of Aso Rock to captain the ship of the Nigeria state; except there is another gang-up by the “powers that be” to pervert justice. Two crucial questions however will be whether the other components of Nigeria will tolerate and accept an Igbo presidency and secondly, whether the Igbo will be ready to assume the office willy-nilly?
Surprisingly, the Igbo expected to get the vice presidency last 2007 but they were out-maneuvered by the other more politically savvy components of Nigeria who preferred an Ijaw man from the South South instead. Naturally flowing from this past conduct is what then is the guarantee that 2016 will be a fait accompli for an Igbo president? One school of thought has it that it is preparatory to this Igbo presidency that they bye-passed the Igbos as they would not like the Igbo to remain successively for sixteen years in Aso Rock – eight as vice president and subsequent eight as president. Icheoku expects that the other components parts constituting Nigeria will keep the fate and respect the need for the continued existence of Nigeria as one corporate entity! Be that as it may, this article is premised on the solemn believe that the Igbo will as of urgent necessity be allowed to captain the Nigeria State ship come 2016. Then, the other question remains, will the Igbo be ready and who among them therefore will assume the mantle of an Igbo president of Nigerian? Which Igbo man or woman will be the ready and capable president of Nigeria? Will he or she come from the core Igbo of Eastern Nigeria constituting the former East Central States or the Igbo of the former Biafra experiment which includes Rivers, Delta, Anioma, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States? Which Igbo man or woman will be the ideal Igbo presidential candidate, judging from the crackpot political treachery of Nigerian strange bed-fellows?
Icheoku posits that such Igbo President must be a true-bred Igbo indigene, from the one of the core Igbo states of former Eastern Central States of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States only. Rivers State did not release Igbo properties seized as abandoned properties during the Biafra war so they are not truly to be trusted with what is rightfully Igbo possession or entitlement. Same goes with Delta as they refer to the Igbo as Igbo people – “nwoyeigbo”. Such a presidential candidate must be a true believer in the Igbo ideal and unlike the late Rt Hon. Nnamdi Azikwe's philosophy, must understand that charity begins at home. That first, he or she is an Igbo person, before being a Nigerian. According to one Igbo aphorism, wrappers are tied from inside out and so one Nigeria should be prefaced with an Igbo ideology. Such an Igbo candidate must be a Nigerian with a deeply rooted Igbo ideology and patriotism. That Igbo son or daughter of the soil presidential candidate must be intelligent, smart, brave and very discerning; and if well educated, a plus. He or she must be effective, nimble, firm and very decisive. He or she must exhibit candor and be resolute. Leadership is not necessarily required as none ever existed in NIgeria and may never be found among any stock in the present day Nigeria as constituted. “Fear of God” is not necessarily sine qua non since it does not really exist in Nigeria otherwise the Babalawo of Otta, Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, with all his protestations of Christianity, would not have wrecked Nigeria with the quantum of havoc his eight years brought on Nigeria. If such a candidate is spiritual, it is a plus as once in a while every one needs a private devotional commune with the beings for inner tranquility.
Who then so qualifies as that Igbo presidential candidate of the Nigeria State? It depends on whether this time around, the Igbo will get their act together and realize that their greater good is better than the selfish desire of a few individuals; and rally round one formidable candidate to be presented as the Igbo candidate for Nigeria to the Nigeria State and not allow the other Nigerians to choose the Igbo candidate who will be the Igbo president. Without a rocket-science education, were the rest of the country to choose the Igbo candidate, one knows that they will choose that Igbo man with the least courage who they can manipulate like a yoo yoo. But not this time! Never! At this moment in history only the best Igbo should be fielded to bravely bring back home to the Igbo their own share of the long awaited and over due dividends of democracy. At least there is Lagos for the Yorubas, Abuja for the Hausas/Fulani but no place for the Igbo; Enugu which would have provided the proven grounds for the Igbo is under developed due to many years of marginalization by the Nigeria ruling establishment; with successive government acting in concert to humiliate and deprive the region of its due share of resource allocation. The Igbo region for example, is the only region without an international airport in Nigeria yet the Igbo are the most frequent travellers in Nigeria. But can the Igbo rise above their very selfish individualistic goals? It is the bane of the Igbo nation - their selfish individualistic ego.
According to Professor of Law and former Dean of Faculty/Vice Chancellor of University of Ado_Ekiti, Akin Oyebode, responding to why Igbo were left out during the last transition, posited as follows: -
Quite succinctly and very eruditely put, Professor Oyebode! If only the Igbo could take this candid advise from Professor Akin Oyebode and run to the bank with it; so that their next outing in 2016 will be somewhat more professionally choreographed and elegant. The professor candidly articulated the bane of the Igbo society in Nigeria and something must be done about it and speedily too if the Igbo were to ever move forward again in Nigeria political terrain.
Icheoku has extensively researched this subject and now comes up with such prospective Igbo candidate for the presidency of Nigeria come 2016 to include Senator Kenneth Nnamani, Dr. Andy Uba, Lady Dora Akunyili and Chief Orji Uzor Kalu . As you may recall certain credentials were listed earlier as being imperative for the Igbo presidential candidate and includes being an insider with working-knowledge of the Nigeria Corporation; brave, smart, decisive, intelligent and must not be a pauper. Dear reader, you have to agree with Icheoku that these mentioned men and woman bona fide Igbo are eminently qualified as the Igbo president of Nigeria in the waiting, based on the above listed criteria.
SENATOR KEN NNAMANI: - This former president of the Nigeria Senate has presided over Nigeria before through her senate, hence has acquired the necessary experience of what the Nigeria experiment is all about. He has managed the over one hundred men and women from every part of Nigeria who converged in Abuja as their respective State Federal Senators. Such goodwill is endearing and will be a big plus for him in trying to govern the ever ungovernable Nigeria. Also Ken Nnamani is brave as he proved during the aborted third term machination of Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo when above all odds he stood firm against every threat and intimidation and proceeded with live telecast of the debate; while at the same time refusing all the inducements thrown his way to influence him and the outcome of such deliberation. Further he is a son of the soil with both native intelligence and academic credentials obtained in the United States of America. His days in the Senate proved he is very decisive and highly motivated and efficient. His love for fatherland was also put to test during the provocations of ex-Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State when he cleverly avoided a total showdown with the governor; not because he was afraid of confrontation or the outcome but because he did not want the possible destruction of lives and properties in his dear Enugu State. Ken Nnamani is equally a man of means which he achieved long before he went into service of his fatherland through politics. Age is also on his side after-all Olusegun Obasanjo went back to Aso Rock at about seventy years old. Ken will still be strong in the next eight years, taking a cue from Senator John McCain of the United States of America.
DR. ANDY UBA: - This formally unknown power player in the Nigeria politics has been in the corridors of power in Nigeria as the personal assistant in chief of former president Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo throughout Obasanjo’s eight years misadventure in Aso Rock. Andy as he is fondly called by his admirers therefore has interacted with every section of the Nigeria polity but whether the fallouts of the disgraced Olusegun Obasanjo will taint his candidacy is yet to be determined; but he has the needed insider experience required of a potential Igbo presidential candidate. He has a doctorate degree, so is academically qualified. He is a full fledged Igbo man from Uli Anambra State but his patriotism is doubtful judging that his eight year service to Olusegun Obasanjo was not rewarded with any tangible project in Igboland. He must also have been smart to have survived Obasanjo for the eight years and endeared himself to his heart. He is equally brave otherwise he would not be a power player within the Nigeria political field. That Andy Uba is well-healed is evident in his asset declaration form, during his brief stint as governor of Anambra State, when he declared assets to a tune in excess of three trillion naira as at May 2007.
LADY DORA AKUNYILI: - This "Iron Lady" of NAFDAC has surreptiously crept into the warm embrace of all decent minded Nigerians as a do no evil, see no evil or speak no evil lady whose desire to rid Nigeria of death merchants masquerading as drug manufacturers and importers as well as fake goods dealers has seen her up close and personal with death several times. Her affront with the late strongman of Ibadan local politics equally revealed the core of this amiable pretty face. Icheoku considered her candidacy positively and should Nigerians desire a female Igbo president, she is most qualified among the teeming female populace. She has all the attributes deserving of an Igbo presidential candidate and should eminently hold her own if elected.
CHIEF ORJI UZO KALU: - This maverick of Nigeria politics is a man, love him or hate him, you must acknowledge has swarm the shark infested waters of Nigeria politics very well. That this “Aba boy” former governor of Abia State is brave is only for the naysayer to deny. He spear-headed the fight against third term of Olusegun Obasanjo long before the rest of other patriots joined in chasing the Babalawo of Otta back to his farmland. Enyimba of Aba stands on mountain top attesting to this son of the soil’s fearless bravado. Orji Kalu has mixed and mingled among powerful men and women of Nigeria from the first class Emirs in the North to the First class Obas in the West to all the Chiefs in the East as well as military top brass both serving and retired. He also plays in international arena having made friends among the world’s high and mighty especially in the United States of America. He reputedly mended fence between Buhari and Babangida. That Ojukwu and Ekwueme resolved their differences was through his deft relationship building prowess. He is educated enough not to be an Olusegun Obasanjo. Smart and intelligent enough to make all the money he made to have given PDP the sum of over five hundred million naira way back in 1999.
To date these prominent Igbo sons are what the Igbo need in their quest and adventure to go back fully integrated into Nigeria through the presidency. As the popular saying goes, “it takes a thief to catch a thief” so the Igbo must give Nigerians one of their type who will be acceptable to them. Someone who understands how the game is played and who will not be anybody’s push-over; both by the military and other power lords in Nigeria. Any of these three candidates should be seriously considered come 2016 Igbo presidency as the preferred Igbo candidate to be collectively supported by the entire Igbo nation. They are men of stature, means and immense experience in the Nigeria political arena to survive the shark infested waters of politics and deliver for the Igbos come 2016. Only a real man or woman who can do right by and for the Igbo should be the nominee! Icheoku strongly believes that any of these three men or this very woman Dora Akunyili, is such a REAL IGBO MAN or WOMAN to mount the saddle and represent our cause very effectively!