Monday, June 28, 2010
DIASPORA NIGERIANS, READY TO TAKE THE FIGHT HOME TO MOTHERLAND?
Tired of arm-chair pontifications about the rot back home, motivated by patriotic fervor, sense of duty, purpose-driven urge; and fully aware of what needs to be done to fix what is broken, many Diaspora Nigerians are heading back to Nigeria to help effect much needed changes! In droves, many of them, highly successful professionals and business people alike, are answering that clarion call to return home and help a Nigeria on tethers. They are strategically and tactically making that move, a somewhat reverse migration back to motherland, to offer their wealth of experience-backed services, to the electorates and in various capacities come 2011. Majority of these people are well accomplished, both professionally and financially, seasoned and peaked in the Western World way of getting things done; which is a very strong asset and selling point for their candidacy, except of course they eventually fall victim to the ever present corruption-bug in Nigeria, which have conquered many other well-intentioned Nigerians of the past? Usually they set out with a clear sense of purpose and all the good intentions in this world only to deviate enroute; forced to so do, when mired and bogged down as the only saints in a land of destitution and decrepitude, overwhelmed and outnumbered by a putrid humanity walking the landscape. But shall Nigerians throw their hands up in the air of despair and despondency, just because the political landscape is strewn with thorns and barbs? Icheoku does not think so, only that anyone venturing to the land of strange happenings must and should be prepared to wage a battle of his life in order to bring about the much needed change. It would appear that the political and military class are perpetuating what is in order to have reason to remain relevant in the land of many-have-not, to who they play the proverbial godfather feeding them the crumbs from their table of excessive indulgence. But like they say, a nation or country or people deserves the leadership it gets, so it for Nigerians to say in unison, enough to these tired old recycled politicians and give these new generation budding politicians a chance at power; and watch them sizzle!From Chicago to Boston to New York to Miami to Los Angeles to Oakland to San Jose to Toronto to London to Berlin and South Africa, are legion of Nigerians who have decided to answer motherland's call of "who shall I send", and are seriously preparing to go home and offer their services to their fatherland through elected offices. These Nigerians, having succeeded abroad competing with the legendary "white-men", are playing no second fiddle to anyone or waiting for any damn godfather to anoint them for office; no, they are taking the bull by the horn, going full throttle to vie for every position and every office, from state governors to senates to house of representatives etc. Except for one Engineer Udoh who Icheoku ran into in Santa Fe New Mexico-USA, who is running for his Cross River State's house of assembly seat, practically all these Diaspora Nigerian heading home for elections in 2011 see themselves good enough for even the highest office in the land and are not prepared to settle for any less. But the good news is that each and everyone of these Diaspora Nigerians seems better and more qualified than all those 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves' running Nigeria aground for ages and since independence; and might as well be in those offices for all Icheoku cares.
The number of these expatriate Nigerians, desirous of taking their knowledge and expertise home to contribute and help out, are rapidly growing like Santa Anna wildfire; and those home-based politicians should be put on notice that their days of business as usual is over. These Ghana-must-go bag local Nigerian politicians should be prepared to contest for every vote and wage a grueling battle of political ideology with these emergent, well educated and successful returnees. It is a new-breed time for politics in Nigeria as these new generation politicians are promising a different kind of politicking in Nigeria of 2011. These Nigerians are simply fed up with the way things have been, are and continues to be in Nigeria, which will surely persist except something is done about it; and have decided to challenge the status-quo. Using their valuable experience, education, resources and courage acquired by constantly locking heads with the best and brightest of the world, who they daily butt-heads with in the competitive world of living abroad and in foreign lands amidst strangers, they will outperform, out-legislate and out-govern the present crop of incumbents? Even some Diaspora Nigerians in America have formed a somewhat government in exile with a functioning legislature called "Peoples Parliament" whose membership include the publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore. In their last legislative seating, they passed a resolution banning the enfant-terrible of Nigeria, the evil-genius Ibrahim Babangida from ever running for any elective political office in Nigeria. They also passed another resolution declaring IBB the enemy of the Nigerian State and Icheoku is happy to identify with both resolutions, being what we have been urging ever since IBB indicated his interest to re-emerge from his "stepping-aside" doldrums and go finish off what remains of his enemies and some marked men? They also plan to see election observers/monitors to motherland during the coming 2011 elections. The publisher of SaharaReporters is one prominent Diaspora Nigerian whose effort to remedy a broken Nigeria by throwing searchlights into its dark-sides and its corrupt political/military class, has caught the world's attention and Icheoku is proud to have an association with SR as a reporter. There is also the "Transform Nigeria Group" with offices in California, London and Texas which is also working to hold political leaderships in Nigeria accountable and plans to participate fully in the 2011 elections. So many other groups are getting ready to ensure that vote are counted in 2011 and Icheoku commends their efforts.
Icheoku recently happened upon one fund raising in San Jose (Silicon Valley) California USA for a Diaspora Nigerian who is running for a senate seat in Enugu State, Nigeria. Chicago based civil rights attorney Benjamin Obiora Nwoye (pictured) said he was in San Jose to meet and greet with his Enugu State fellow Diasporas, and also inform them of his plans to run for Enugu East senatorial seat, a seat presently occupied by former governor Chimaroke Nnamani. According to him, former governor Chimaroke Nnamani never deserved and should not have ever served in the first place, talkless of any wishful thinking of his for a second term. Continuing, this successful civil rights litigator maintained that in a more advanced law-driven and civilized society, someone with a 100-count criminal charges pending against him should never have been qualified to run for any office while the prosecution lasted? That being so tainted by reason of the indictment Chimaroke Nnamani should ordinarily have been precluded, disqualified and barred from running for any office in the land, including Enugu State East senatorial seat! Attorney Nwoye who was fired up and excitedly looking forward to doing a civilized battle of wits and conviction for the souls and minds of the people of Enugu East senatorial district, looked and spoke like a man on a mission, fueled with a burning passionate desire to bring about much needed change to the constituents. He also berated Chimaroke Nnamani for being a nominal senator, who never took the floor of the senate nor moved any motion nor had any bill to his name throughout his nearly completed 4 year term in the senate. According to this erudite lawyer, the people of Enugu State deserves better; and being a state with a highly trained and educated manpower, they will be much better served by someone with his background and credentials, but not the current incumbent passive Senator Chimaroke Nnamani. Ben Nwoye was completely revved up and ready to go, as he delivered his exhilarating speech to the Enugu community and friends gathered to hear one of them, a prospective senator of the state speak! For Ben, it is not the bounty of office that is solely driving his engine for a senate run as he is quite successfully accomplished, financially; it is rather his urge to serve - service, service and service to his people of Enugu East senatorial district. Having been long fed up and tired with what is, he now wants to go help bring about what 'would have been and should be' to the people of Enugu East senatorial district, which Chimaroke Nnamani has failed, refused, is unwilling or unable to do. Icheoku wishes Attorney Benjamin Obiora Nwoye God's speed in the battle for Enugu State East senatorial seat and wants to emphasis that for any willing mind, nothing is impossible! Anyone in doubt, should take a look at the color of the present occupant of the American White House and then do the math - judging from where he was and where he is now. This time around, it is not going to be only Americans that dream, but also Attorney Benjamin Obiora Nwoye who has a dream and the Senator of Enugu State East senatorial district he shall soon become, Insha Allah, God willing!
In Dallas Texas, another Nigeria is spewing rage against the entrenched crass political establishment back home and is also getting ready to throw his hat in the ring next 2011 elections when he plans to run for the governorship of his native Akwa Ibom State. In Olathe Kansas, a Nigerian from Ankpa Kogi State is also potential House of representative candidate. In Oakland California, another Nigerian from Ondo State is preparing for a house of representative run in his native Ondo State while another Nigerian, Attorney/Businessman Samuel Ogbu Nwobodo-Ogbu is also gearing up for a House of Representative run in his Nkanu Federal Constituency of Enugu State. According to Icheoku findings, the incumbent representative who Ogbu Nwobodo-Ogbu plans to replace is not even from Enugu State but from neighboring Ebonyi State, and was imposed on the constituency by former governor Chimaroke Nnamani? It was also discovered during our investigation that this "foreign" representative of Enugu State in the House of representatives, who is from Ebonyi State, does not have nor maintain any constituency office or even a telephone line in Enugu where or through which her constituents can reach her? Icheoku wonders why no court action was taken out prior to invalidate her office and send her packing back to Ebonyi State. And the list of these budding aspirants goes on and on throughout the wide-world of exiled population of Nigerians in Diaspora.In the final analysis, Icheoku, borrowing the line from a Peoples Parliament member, Rudolf Okonkwo of Boston that “Nigeria is a failed nation that works for those who failed it;” prays and hopes that these crop of emerging politicians from the Diaspora will not similarly so benefit themselves only; but will endeavor to create a futuristic Nigeria where every Nigeria can freely aspire and benefit from and fairly too. May be these new generation westernized Diaspora Nigerian politicians, by their hard, honest work, will reverse the present course of hopelessness to one of hopefulness and thus render moot the observation of Okey Ndibe, speaker of People's Parliament, that Nigeria is “a nation conceived in hope, but nurtured in hopelessness.” Which Nigerian will not be proud to belong to a working, viable and functional Nigeria, but definitely not the present rot wherein the roguery transcends the entire strata of the society. Icheoku is affirmative that if biblical Lot's God were to present himself to Nigeria today and ask for just a few honest men, that it might be an impossible task finding such a few good men to spare it of condemnation. But good enough, we are in the days of the New Testament today, and God is more accommodating and very forgiving of our transgressions. Goodluck to you all Diaspora Nigerian aspiring politicians who are enroute motherland for the 2011 elections; and may the Almighty One protect and shadow your every move as you traverse the land to sell your candidacy for office!