The Jostle for the 9th National Assembly Leadership. Quo Vadis Ndigbo?

By Charles Onyeagba

To all intents and purposes, the 2019 General Elections have been won and lost. The spate of national and international congratulations and felicitations is very indicative of this. That the people of Nigeria have spoken from their various proclivities and hamlets is also not in doubt despite the refusal by some to accept the INEC verdict on them. This is all part of the democratic process and the excuses for not conceding defeat are not hard to find. In the main, a good number of Nigerians voted freely, never mind the figures about registered voters, uncollected PVCs and voters turnout on election day. Never mind also about disputations with regard to Collated results. Infractions are marginal in occurrence and with continuous practice the will soon be a thing of the past.

Action has now shifted to relishing the victory and jostling for positions of benefit especially at the National Assembly. Not much attention is given to the State Assemblies or the Executive…for obvious reasons. The National Assembly is where the big pie is. That is where one Nigerian earns a monthly remuneration package that will take thousands of fellow citizens off the unemployment market and he is never been required to explain the reason for the size of such pay or how it is spent. Quite unlike the Executive. It is also where the fate of millions of Nigerians are decided by a few people, who, again cannot be held to account. Forget the blabbing about Recall.

The benefit derived and derivable by the millions of voters from the elections usually end up as a pitiful token, in cash or kind which they collected during the campaigns. Little wonder the intense monetization of the process and the subsequent behavior of both givers and takers. Meanwhile election promises remain unfulfilled as the citizens return to status quo or worse and the new powers-that-be who were shaking everyone’s hands disappear into the corridors of power and become inaccessible…that is, until the next four years.

Having rid themselves of the rest of us, they commence a jostle for a place in the National Assembly. The contenders seem to have no respect for values and ethics as all regard themselves equally qualified for leadership . In other climes, a cursory look at the stature of members will throw up the leadership. Ndigbo opine that the male chicken can usually be known from the egg shell. Classroom students can readily choose their prefect. In the National Assembly, it appears to be a free for all. While the gesticulating Chairman of the majority party insists they already have a Senate President, the Minority leader say that they are waiting for a slip from the APC. Given what happened in the 8th Assembly, it is not difficult to understand the posturing.

What are the facts and issues? Each political party set out with an agenda, hopefully, that will help it deliver on its election promises. These programs promise to improve the lot of Nigerians who have had it rough since 1960 when we took charge of our affairs. Military incursion was a woeful attempt to set the country on the right footing.

Elections help Nigerians choose which party to trust. The analysis of the 2019 exercise, showed, like the earlier ones, for whom segments of the country voted. The South East, remembering Ekwueme and, egged on by massive propaganda in the Social Media and so much hype, put all its eggs in one basket! It could have worked out if the Atiku ticket had sailed through. But most indicators and pre-election analyses had shown that, devoid of sentiment, Buhari could not have lost, all things taken into consideration. Ndigbo had no fall back arrangement as some other groups had. What used to be Biafra and Delta State had miscalculated. It was the father of the vulture who told his children to leave their head and neck hairless so that kinsmen can see where to pat them. Anambra State in fact, in the entire region, was the only place the President could not make 25%.

Now the time has come to share the goodies. A new clamour has begun, even from the same zone that it deserves the Senate Presidency since by the tripod calculations in Nigeria, the North and West had retained the two top slots. Logically this makes a lot of sense but in actual fact, who would give the region from where the most vile and vicious attacks came from during the campaigns, the No. 3 slot in Nigeria’s power equation? Certainly the opposition will not do that. Only God or a very charitable person can do so. Ndigbo knows that while planting maize, the farmer does not carry the rodent, ururu in his bag. All things considered however, Ike Ekweremadu could have become the next President of the Senate.
Having shot themselves in the foot, through political miscalculation or naivety and bad blood arising from very divisive campaign rhetoric, the South East may yet again lose this opportunity which should have been theirs for the taking. It was an election to produce those that will rule Nigeria. It is not a referendum on the ranting of some petite demagogue.

Comrade Charles Onyeagba writes from Awka.

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