The Pro-Buhari train has found its way to Awka: How much money exchanged hands?
I have heard many people, including Igbos and Non-Igbos, say times without number that the greatest problem of Ndigbo are Ndigbo themselves. It has been said several times that today, every Igbo accepts it as a fact. Thus when certain situations arise, eyebrows are no longer raised.
This is therefore why the current sudden praise singing for Buhari by Igbo people across Igbo Land isn't coming as a surprise to any Igbo. It started by the mass carpet-crossing of Igbo politicians from their platforms to the All Progressives Congress, APC, a party where President Muhammadu Buhari holds sway. Suddenly, the same party they criticised in the 2015 general elections as anti-Igbo has now become the only hope for Ndigbo.
As if to rub salt into injury, hordes of Igbo youths the other day embarked on a march in support of Buhari in Awka. They boldly proclaimed to anyone who cared to listen that Buhari held all the hopes for Igbo aspiration in politics. The message they were trying to send across was that without supporting Buhari or having his blessings, the Igbo are doomed.
Well, it is not as if I am against anyone belonging to the party of their choice. It is a free world, after all, and our own constitution guarantees that too. But the problem with certain choices is that they are not real. Often times, they are guided by pecuniary or other parochial motives. This is perhaps why Ndigbo have become the butt of jokes by the rest of the country about their love for money as if the others do not love money.
Over the years, the Igbo have been manipulated because of this love for money. All one needed to do was to select the noisiest of the noise makers and settle them or even drop a hint of better things to come and that is that. They will now come down to us and orchestrate the kind of noise we have never heard about their new master.
Thus, the Igbo people who only recently were crying their hearts out about marginalization by APC and Buhari are now the ones championing his cause and that of his party even more than the owners of the party.
Tell me, is this how the Igbo will ever be taken seriously by the rest of the country? How can they when it is already known that all we need are the few crumbs falling from the table of the slave master?
Those lining the streets with pro-Buhari placards comprise those who have been settled and those hoping to be settled. They were enlisted by the settled to work towards being settled. Not that I wholly blame some of them. To some, whatever they will get as a pat on the back for shouting themselves hoarse for Buhari will represent a life line. But they will probably need to shout louder, given that Buhari's ears have once been treated for hearing defects. In this case, they need to shout hard enough to be heard.
Nevertheless, I have no beef with true APC members. They are those who had long been in the party, even when they were in opposition to the centre. Perhaps the most respected of them is Senator Ogbonnaya Onu. He has seen it all from the days of ANPP to APC. Our own Senator Chris Ngige has also paid his dues and deserves our respect for having stayed in the party long enough to at least be recognized from above as a chieftain.
But for our political aspirants, many of them probably believe that crossing over to APC will guarantee them victory because the APC will rig the election. While I am not entirely ruling out an attempt to manipulate the votes of the electorate, it is hogwash to me for anyone to believe that fielding a no body against Obiano will swing the pendulum of victory in their favour, just because they belong to APC.
To begin with, rigging will never take place if the people elect to resist it. It only thrives where people are nonchalant and mercenary in approach.
Again, rigging can only be done effectively where the victory or defeat margin is low or tight. When a party is well and truly beaten, I wonder how anyone can perform a magic that can stand the test of time in court.
But above all, when the people are vigilant and protect their votes, woe betide anyone who plans to steal votes.
What I am saying is that anyone just taking to APC just because it is the party that reigns at the centre may need to have a rethink. The APC owners know their real members from those just flirting with them to win elections.
The APC politicians here need to work very hard indeed to get anything in the coming election. After all, is it not the same party of the man at the centre who, it is believed, has proved very clearly that he doesn't care for us? Anyway, time will tell.
A Word with Obiano @ Three
Last Thursday, journalists in the state and beyond were taken round projects executed by the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano. The next day came the celebration of his three years in office. It attracted personalities from all walks of life.
I wouldn't blame Obiano for rolling out the drums to mark his third year in office. Some others did not have the same fortune as the history of this state indicates. There was a governor that lasted 17 days and another had his office truncated by the court when he was barely three years in office. But Obiano is on course to completing his full first four year term with a chance to make it another four years. So you can see that his first three years call for celebration.
I congratulate him on this milestone and will also wish to chip in a word or two of advice.
You see, leadership is not easy. While it may intoxicate, it can also cause maximum damage if not well utilised. This last one happened to a governor here in the past who became a political leper after his first and what proved to be his last term.
But Obiano is lucky to have history to learn from. He has done quite well. Anyone who says otherwise may not be entirely fair to him. The country's ship is sailing on turbulent waters and it takes mighty good skills to be able to steer the ship and keep it on the right course. It is same in the states and this is why many states are tottering on the brink of collapse.
However Anambra has remained on course. The machinery of government is still working and there is hope that it will remain so.
Now, Obiano has been in the saddle long enough to have learnt many things, especially how to manage people. Ordinarily, Obiano is a man that is easy going. But as I have always pointed out, his greatest problem has been those around him. These are people who pose as saviours but are actually destroyers. Either as kinsmen or as friends, even as appointees, they have not done enough to help the cause of their brother, friend or master.
I have noticed that there are many people in this administration that lack commitment to the government they serve. By their attitude, it is clear they are not part of the system. They are only after what they can get and not what they can give.
By their utterances, actions and subterfuges, they have shown that Obiano will do well to do without them. These are people who may not achieve much for the governor in the coming election. If therefore the governor wants to survive, he has to weed out these people. There is no sentiment in governance. You do what is needed and damn the consequences. He has to move against these people to save his hide in November. These are people who will incur the wrath of the people against him if they dare campaign for him. This is so because of the poor relationship they have with their kinsmen and the public.
The governor therefore has to do the needful politically in order for his boat not to be rocked. The coming battle will be fierce. The enemy armada has been lined up and waiting for the order to attack. The coming battle will be for the stout of heart; not the faint hearted. It will be fought with and by people who are wholly committed to his project, people ready to make sacrifices and commit personal finances and effort to attain the goal.
It is for the governor to know where to get them. If he doesn't, let him fish out those who know. This advice may look strange but then I have been around long enough in this state to know how elections are won and lost. Is someone listening?