Please don’t assume that you know Ndi Igbo that much. If you brought a Rochas or Ikpeazu today to govern Nigeria, Ndi Igbo will rather vote a Kwankwaso. The problem here is that Peter was governor of Anambra and never blowed his trumpet as an achiever but Ndi recognized his performance. But because this was known only to Ndi at that time is why his appearance at the national scene first got their endorsement before others started hearing about his story.
But don’t forget Ndi Igbo will always go for competence if allowed to make their choices in any circumstances and they have been right on many occasions. Ndi Igbo massively supported Obasanjo from the south west and under Obasanjo the economy was growing; Ndi Igbo were right. Ndi Igbo massively supported Yaradua, under Yaradua peace was restored to Nigeria and the economy continued to grow; Ndi Igbo were right. Ndi Igbo massively supported Jonathan because they believed it was good to support a minority to achieve fairness and under Jonathan Nigeria became the biggest economy in Africa even though the corruption in PDP became obvious; Ndi Igbo were right.
Ndi Igbo refused to support Buhari because those who had experienced his regime in 1984 knew he was not a good manager of the economy and Ndi Igbo being lovers of business understood how it will turn out. Not because Buhari was a northerner; after all they have supported Yaradua and Atiku before even though they are northerners. And the Igbo supporters of Buhari were as much passionate.
Seven years after Ndi Igbo rejected Buhari because of their understanding of how business work, they have been proven right. Today inflation is spiraling out of control and Nigeria has become the poverty capital of the world with mounting debt. Dollars has gone beyond the imagination of Naira, insecurity is worst than ever imagined and the country is in total disarray.
Even take it back to 1967 before Nigeria’s civil war, ojukwu insisted on restructured Nigeria at Aburi so that the country can make progress but he was termed a rebel. But almost Forty years after some people started insisting on the restructuring of Nigeria, including our amiable Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who understands the importance of it.
Meaning that on many occasions in our national trajectory Ndi Igbo have been proven right but for whatever reason some people hate to love Ndi Igbo and have sought to blackmail them with ethnic prescriptions because many a times they stand boldly for what they believed in.
Yet it is Ndi Igbo that goes everywhere in Nigeria to live, invest, build, develop and live. No other ethnic group in Nigeria does that. Even when they say it is because indigenous people allowed them to I tend to wonder why they are not allowing other ethnic groups and why I don’t see heavy Yoruba investments in the north and prominent markets and businesses of northerners in the west. They don’t invest in each other’s domain and don’t build massively in each other’s domain but they claim they are more one Nigerian than Ndi Igbo who are ready to relocate with their families and billions to Niger state to start massive agricultural businesses if given the opportunity and they may never return to Igbo land if the state remains peaceful.
Put it this way: Ndi Igbo like a thriving society and not Ethnic jingoism, they have eyes for prosperity and not tribe or religion, they are bold to even condemn their own as long as he does not meet the standard. If you want to understand better how they think, bring a T. A Orji as PDP candidate, Rochas as APC candidate and an Adeshina of African Development Bank as Labour Party candidate and you will be shocked that both Igbo candidates mentioned will fail woefully in Igbo land because Ndi Igbo will not support such characters.
Obi has a good record in Anambra but was not known to many in Nigeria because Obi does not blow his trumpet. Yet Obi has been supporting education in northern Nigeria, including places like Sokoto and Benue without making noise; that is his style.
Yet if you are to situate Nigeria on equity and fairness doctrine, south east absolutely merits presidency at this time and if Peter Obi where to be their choice he is one of the finest Nigeria can get at the moment. He is passionate about Nigeria and he knows how Nigeria can be transformed, he has success stories both in private and public sector to show for his ingenuity and he is within the right age to undertake the task.
But the support he is getting is because those who know him knows his capacity to make a difference and those who are truthful to themselves, unbiased, not tribalistic and indeed God fearing knows that he stands out in this race.
But all power belongs to God and he gives rulership to who he wills as long as citizens make the right choices.
Hamza Sani Writes From Abuja