Southeast Should Know That Politics is a Game of Numbers By Joe Igbokwe

Joe Igbokwe


“Your child cannot surrender her waist for edifying beads and you will use the bead to decorate another child. A vote for Buhari in 2019 means a return of power to the South-West in 2023. I am sure you will vote wisely”
—Fashola

Fashola is the former governor of Lagos State, a state in Nigeria for 8 years. Lagos economy is bigger than that of Cameroun, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia and others. Today Fashola is the super Minister of Works, Power and Housing in Nigeria and I know what it means. I served under Asiwaju BAT, served Fashola for 8 years and I am serving under Gov Akinwunmi Ambode. I have seen it all about the majesty of South West politics. I have been in Lagos since the early 80s and I have learnt a lot. Fashola does not speak anyhow but when he decides to speak he throws punches. Every Igbo who is interested in Nigerian politics must read every word in Fashola’s unputdownable above. It carries weight and it speaks volumes.

President Buhari known for his honesty and integrity has spoken to Igbo leaders on several occasions to invest in APC and wait till 2023 to have a shot at the Presidency. Boss Mustapha, the SGF has echoed the same anytime he had opportunity to speak to Igbo. For three and half years other Nigerians waited to see whether Igbo will grab the opportunity with both hands and work towards it but all to no avail. To demonstrate his love for the Igbo, PMB has initiated and is executing big projects in Igboland and plans to do more and yet no respite came.

What it took to reveal the innermost chambers of the real Igbo political leadership is the emergence of Atiku as PDP Presidential Candidate. Atiku moved and picked Mr. Peter Obi as his Vice. We are now living witnesses of how Igbo political leadership accepted it hook, line and sinker. Suddenly some Igbo who think the fulani man is the problem of Nigeria turned 360 degrees to throw their weight behind Atiku. That was when all the doubts about where Igbo are going was removed.

It now becomes clear to South West that Igbo may have pitched their tent with PDP and hence Fashola’s intervention. Since Fashola made the above statement some people have been giving it different interpretations. Some are claiming that APC and its leadership have reneged in their promise to Igbo.Some are asking: What happened to Igbo Presidency Project in 2023? What happened to PMB and Boss Mustapha’s Promise? Why is Fashola saying this now?

The truth of the matter is that you can take a horse to the river but you can’t force it to drink. Yes the PMB and Boss Mustapha challenged Igbo to take up the challenge but they cannot force Igbo to do what they do not want to do. Politics is a game of number. See below the distribution of registered voters in Nigeria’s six zones.

NORTH WEST: 18,900.543
NORTH EAST: 10,038,119
NORTH CENTRAL: 7,675,369
SOUTH WEST: 14,298,356
SOUTH SOUTH: 8,937,057
SOUTH EAST: 7,028,560

For an Igbo to win a presidential election in Nigeria they need to work with other Nigerians. Demographic distortions have not helped Igbo in the sense that no ethnic group move and settle across Nigeria with ease more than the Igbo. Millions of Igbo reside outside Igboland and therefore contributing to the number we have seen above from other zones.

All the states in the South West are APC. With South West and North West on one page the game is almost over in 2019. Now if Igbo understand what is playing out, they should know that the shortest distance to the exalted office is to support PMB with their votes in 2019 and wait till 2023. I see no hope in Atiku’s Presidency for the Igbo at least for now. No sensible person will trust Atiku with the keys of our National Treasury at least for now. Atiku represents part of our ugly past and this is true.

Other Nigerians will not vote for you out of sympathy. Your votes must count. Fashola’s words may not be the final words as we approach 2019. Let South West push their votes and let South East do the same. After the elections have been won and lost in 2019 in favour of APC then the real negotiations, permutations, dynamics, calculations, analyses will start. South East can now argue with their votes that OBJ ruled from 1999 - 2007 and Osinbajo would have completed 8 years as Vee Pee in 2023. I am sure other Nigerians will listen to Igbo. This is the way to go.

One more thing: Igbo must put a stop to this Biafra distraction being sold by the small boy Nnamdi Kanu. Other Nigerians feel Igbo leaders are encouraging the political neophyte to break up Nigeria. If igbo leaders are supporting Nnamdi and Biafraud project in the night and come out in the morning to speak Nigeria, I consider it that some people are playing Ostrich here. Other Nigerians will not want to hand over power to those that will facilitate the break up of Nigeria. This is a no go area and my hands will not support it.

JOE IGBOKWE IS THE PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS IN LAGOS STATE, WRITES FROM LAGOS

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