The Igbo Bloc Vote And Consequences Of Their Political Miscalculations

By on April 3, 2015


First here is what is being circulated as an OPEN LETTER from Governor Rochas Okorocha (caveat: I have NOT personally verified that he did in fact issue this release, but the points he raised are very germane to my discussion about the Igbo vote on Lagos elections later in this article. So read it first…)

“Dear Igbo Compatriots:

One of the closest Igbo man to the President Elect is Dr Chris Ngige Onwa, a Senator who was defeated in the Senatorial Election.

See how bad Igbos are at strategizing? They couldn’t override a pathological hatred for General Buhari to make a hedge bet and return this man to the Senate, to enhance his chances at Senate President, in case General Buhari wins, which he did.

Instead folks played tribal and religious politics to the tilt as drunken sailors, and failed the man and the chance to make history as Senate President.

That’s what happens when emotions trips common sense and folks succumb to hustlers like Peter Obi and Arthur Eze, hustlers after their own interests instead of the masses they pretend to serve.

I urged caution, I pleaded that we were making a huge mistake to hitch our wagon on Jonathan who wasn’t going to win. And predictably he lost, so also our chance in the new administration.

I hate to gloat.

But maybe, maybe, only maybe he gets a good ministerial appointment, but nothing beats being Senate President.

Igbos are very bad at politics.

Fifty years after independence, we are yet to produce a president when others have taken multiple turns. Our answer? Blame others! If you only Hausas didn’t do this or Yorubas didn’t do that, perhaps the god of politics will bless our lot.

And sadly it won’t stop until we learn to coexist with others instead of our ‘better than thou’ attitude when dealing with the Hausas and Yorubas. We are not better than anyone, these folks we thumb our noses at, are God’s creatures like us.

We don’t like the Hausas and we don’t like the Yorubas, yet we populate their States in search for our livelihood.

Our politics should mirror our economic aspirations, not the other way around. There is no wisdom in living in the North, earning a living, yet despise the Northerners. That’s being ungrateful. The gods of politics don’t like that.

How long can this collective amnesia insulate us from meaningfully seating at the table, making contributions to Nigeria’s political evolution?

How long can this foolishness go on?

How long?

There is a miserable silence across the land today, because we are realizing that we were sold off for pennies by pimps who parade as Igbo leaders.

Where are they? Anyone home?”

Hmmm … I sincerely hope Igbo people are listening to one of their leaders and vote wisely in LAGOS FOR THE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS.

They have flexed their muscle at the last presidential elction in Lagos and the indigenes of Lagos are NOT smiling.

Despite their heroic efforts on behalf of Jonathan, Jonathan still lost Lagos and now the APC leadership and followership is taking a close look at the Igbos and what their ascendancy in Lagos politics means for he indigenes. Right now it is not looking pretty and a lot will depend on what they o on Aprril 11th.

I think the Igbo Leaders in Lagos need to sit down and ask themselves the logical question: WOULD IT BE IN THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST TO VOTE EN MASSE AGAIN FOR PDP IN LAGOS? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AGBAJE ULTIMATELY LOSES? Lagosians WONT FORGET!

Of course should they flex any muscle against the ruling party again and lost, they can also FORGET any patronage by the new governor.

It is a political reality that you cant vote EN MASSE against a candidate and then expect favours from him after election. Lagos state learnt this bitter fact over and over again in the last 16 years of voting against the goverment at the center. It wont be different for Igbos in Lagos and this wont even be about tribalism at all.

BOTTOM LINE IN POLITICS: YOU CANT EXPECT SPECIAL PATRONAGE OR SPECIAL CONSIDERATION IF YOU DIDNT VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE. Even if the candidate does not discriminate against you, he cannot be disposed to FAVORING YOU…… That is something igbos must think about VERY SERIOUSLY.

No matter the anger of the igbos against the APC Govt in lagos, the fact remains that Fashola Govt (just like Tinubu Govt before him) has IGBO COMMISSIONERS AND LOCAL GOVT LEADERS when we know that could NEVER happen in igboland. Right now the APC in Lagos rightly see the igbo action at the presidential level as betrayal and the people may take this out on them and their businesses if this action repeats itself at governorship elections and then Agbaje loses. Lagosians may not be so forgiving.

So, if the Igbos want to vote AGBAJE as a BLOC VOTE, then they had better be sure that AGBAJE would win otherwsie it would be a VERY LONG 4 years for them under Ambode. Again, this will NOT be about tribalism but about ‘who is against me cannot expect me to empower him’. Case in point: OBASANJO WAS A YORUBA PRESIDENT BUT HE DEALT MERCILESSLY WITH LAGOS STATE AND DENIED THEM MANY BENEFITS OF FEDERAL POWER SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY VOTED AGAINST HIS PARTY IN LAGOS.

This is POLITICS and not tribalism.

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.

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