By Nwabueze Akabogu
The reported agitation by the Anglican Communion in Anambra State for the zoning of the governorship position to the Communion during the upcoming gubernatorial election in 2021 obviously portends grave danger and a recipe for chaos and anarchy if not quickly nipped in the bud.
The call indeed was ill-conceived, mischievous and absolutely in bad faith. It smacks of flagrant abuse of the sensibility of Ndi Anambra who had been enjoying religious harmony and peaceful co-existence over the years.
Ndi Anambra, and, indeed, Ndigbo, are reputed for their entrepreneurial spirit and pursuit of excellence in all their human endeavours and as such they abhor all forms of favouritism and parochialism as meritocracy is always their watch word. Ndi Anambra are forward looking and focused people with uncommon determination to achieve the best in life, not minding any obstacles in their way.
An average Onye Anambra, and, indeed, Onye Igbo, has an inbuilt spirit of competitiveness and does not believe in half measures but rather always aspires to achieve his set goals through hard work and perseverance.
It is against the back drop of the foregoing therefore, that those fanning the embers of religious bigotry, division, and unhealthy rivalry in Anambra State could rightly be described as enemies of the people and whose antics are simply to undermine the peace and tranquility of Ndi Anambra as one people with a common destiny.
Ndi Anambra are indeed intelligent and wise people who cannot easily be hook-winked or swayed by religious sentiments or primordial consideration but will always be guided by what they consider as the best for them at all times. It is utterly disgusting and the height of absurdity for any misguided individual or group to preach religious intolerance or disunity in the present era and age of our socio-economic and political development as a people.
All well-meaning Anambrabrians, and, indeed, people of goodwill, must stand up and condemn the latest satanic moves by religious bigots to tear Ndi Anambra apart purely for their selfish ends. Ndi Anambra, nay, Ndigbo, as a people, had in the past demonstrated their capacity to always recognize and stand by meritocracy rather than mediocrity.
One would recall, rather with nostalgia, that in the First Republic (1960-66) Ndigbo played a pivotal role in the Nigerian political evolution based purely on meritocracy and nationalistic spirit, rather than primordial sentiment or sheer political narrow interest. This rare attribute of Ndigbo was clearly demonstrated during the election of the first Mayor of Enugu Municipal Council in the defunct Eastern Region when an Hausa man and a Muslim then based in Enugu, the late Umaru Altine, overwhelmingly defeated an Igbo man and a Christian, Philip Nnaemeka-Agu, of blessed memory, who was a legal luminary also based in Enugu in the historic Mayoral race. The voters during that election were predominantly Ndigbo and Christians. The late Philip Nnaemeka-Agu later became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria before his demise.
The above historic account simply summed up the nationalistic spirit of Ndigbo as a people who always recognize the best and go for the best without minding whose ox is gored.
Furthermore, our founding fathers in the Nigerian project such as the legendary Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. M.I Okpara, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, all of blessed memory, among other nationalist leaders, are being celebrated today due to their tremendous contributions and personal sacrifices to the Nigerian Nation. Our people never bothered or cared about the ethnic or religious denominations these departed heroes belonged to, but, rather, the selfless services they had rendered for the emancipation of our people during the pre and post-independence era in the country was obviously the enduring legacies they left behind for posterity and which has constantly remained indelible in the minds of our people.
As the 2021 gubernatorial election in Anambra State is fast approaching, Ndi Anambra are once again enjoined to beam their searchlight on all the potential candidates for the governorship race within the South Senatorial Zone, irrespective of their political party platforms, religious denominations or social background, with a view to electing the most credible candidate with impeccable character and track records of enviable achievements as the next Governor of Anambra State, come 2021.
Any other primordial or parochial considerations outside the above acceptable criteria would certainly amount to a great disservice to our people and run contrary to the wishes and aspirations of Ndi Anambra and which must be rejected outright in the overall interest of our people and generations yet unborn.
Nze Nwabueze Akabogu (JP) is a Regular Public Affairs, Commentator and Analyst.
He wrote from Enugwu-Ukwu, Anambra State.