Monday, September 13, 2010
COAS IHEJIRIKA'S APPOINTMENT, GREAT BUT CAUTIOUSLY EXCITED!
Icheoku admonishes the Igbo nation not to be so overtly excited that their kinsman, Major General Ihejirika, has been appointed the new Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army. Ihejirika is a professional soldier who has just been called upon to lead the Nigerian army and to them he owes his service and not to the Igbo nation. Admitted he was born Igbo but now serving the Igbo-inclusive Nigerian army, but there should be no unreasonable 'great expectations' of and by the Igbo people of and from Ihejirika. Igbo people are here once again reminded that Major General Ihejirika is not an Igbo chief of Nigerian army staff, but a Nigerian chief of army staff who happens to be of Igbo extraction. Also what is excitable about work as Ihejirika has now been called upon to do or is it the fact that he, the workhorse, is of Igbo extraction that is throwing up such a frenzy among the Igbo nation?
The immediate past president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dozie Ikedife, aptly articulated the proper position which the Igbo nation should take on the appointment of Ihejirika and to which Icheoku agrees, that "there was nothing so special in the appointment of our kinsman as chief of army staff." The only exception however lies in what the current president of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, said, that "the appointment of Ihejirika as COAS signalled the healing of the wounds that the Igbo nation had been nursing since the end of the Nigerian civil war." Continuing, Uwechue said “his appointment is psychological. It helps to show that whatever happened after Ironsi has been put behind us. It indicates the integration of the progressives into the Nigerian system." Icheoku cannot agree more and adds that while evil-genius Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was waiting until 2015 to integrate the Igbo nation fully back into Nigeria through a promised presidency, President Goodluck Jonathan has beaten him to that by now handing over the headship of Nigerian army to the Igbo nation. What other way to show a fully integrated Igbos than to put them in charge and let them control the chief security apparatus of Nigeria - its army. What a master-stroke by the master tactician himself, a man reputedly known for his Obama-like demeanor, placidity and calmness, President Goodluck Ebelechuku Azikwe Jonathan. Icheoku says, finally equity and fairness has come to the seat of power in Nigeria as the Igbo nation has now become accepted as a full integral part of Nigeria with equal right to the leadership and headship of their joint army of one. Unlike the lip-service of the genocidal Yakubu Gowon whose three "Rs" of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction never took flight nor were in any form or shape implemented, President Jonathan has by this appointment made a bold statement that 40 years after the Nigerian/Biafran war ended in a "no victor, no vanquished" platform, that the subterranean feeling of 'conquerors and conquered' within Nigeria's diverse nationalities should be forever put to an end. Icheoku commends this boldness and objectivity. However unlike the thinking in the United States of America that with the election of President Barack Obama, racism and black Americans marginalization would come to an end but appears now to have become exacerbated, Icheoku hopes and prays that the Igbo nation will not mistakenly assume that it is now Uhuru in Nigeria and that their troubles are now over. Now is the time to increase their agitation for equal treatment and fair allocation of resources in Nigeria until there is a a sixth state in South East Igboland to equalize it with the rest of other zones in Nigeria, other federal appointments, a second bridge over the River Niger, an international airport in Igbo land, good roads, federal industries, electricity including the rehabilitation of the Oji River thermal power plant, as well as an Igbo presidency in 2015. Or are these too much to ask by a people who has contributed so much for Nigeria's unity through leading the unity-way themselves by usually being the second largest ethnic settlers to any indigenous population throughout Nigeria. Their commercial prowess also helps sustain Nigeria's economic well-being and survival, so why not give them what they deserve and want in order to encourage them to continue doing what they do best - integration and enterprise. At last the Nigerian/Biafran war could be said to have come to an end with this appointment as a man from the heartland of former Biafra nation, hitherto branded foe of Nigeria, is now put in charge of the Nigeria army. Or better still and for a comic relief, Icheoku says what an irony of fate that the victorious Nigerian army has now through the back-door, finally surrendered to the conquered Biafra by letting a former Biafran take charge of its army? How about that for some stress-relief for the millions of Igbo former Biafrans, who witnessed the atrocious war, conducted with vengeance by vermin Gowon and Awolowo; and which saw more people die of other causes than from bullets and bombs; with millions of women and children perished as a result of Awolowo orchestrated starvation and its related malnutrition ailment, kwashiokor. Congratulations Major General Ihejirika and thank you President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan for being dispassionate with the appointment. At last a non direct partisan has ascended the seat of power and wants to redress as an impartial arbiter, the lingering disputation of the last forty years of post war Nigeria between Igbos and the rest of Nigerians. Icheoku says the ball is now on Major General Ihejirika's court to deliver on the expectation of an ever-ready, strong professional Nigeria army of one, ready to take on any foreign aggression and such other security tasks as the commander in chief, President Jonathan, might from time to time ask them to execute. Provided Major General Ihejirika does not fall victim to the legendary banana peel syndrome which usually afflicts Igbo public officials and gets the deserved support of every Nigerian and their uniformed men and women under his new leadership; and knowing fully well that he will be the center of focal attention by Nigerians eager to see how a former Biafran would manage a Nigerian army, Icheoku believes that he will succeed and bring pride to both President Jonathan, the Igbo nation and the entire Nigeria. Once again, congratulations Major General Ihejirika and let the healing of Nigeria, through a full integration geared appointments such as this COAS, of former Biafran Igbos proceed with full steam!