Ndigbo and the choices before them for 2019 presidential election

There are seven groups in South East (SE) with different ideologies as we approach the 2019 elections. These groups have considerable support base and are waxing strong. While it is not bad to have different political ideologies and recognizing the freedom of association and right to free thinking of any individual, it is good to know and adopt the ideology that will benefit the general interest of the people than few.

In the coming elections, it is considered that two major political parties are dominating the polity. Based on the understanding, analyses as to where, what will benefit the Igbo people more are drawn using the two parties as the base. But Igbo people are sympathetic to more than these two parties which may make them not to vote en bloc to any considered choice. The Seven groups that I have identified are;

The APGA/ Gbor group

To some people, the All Progressives Grand Alliance party (APGA) is considered as Igbo party and to others like me, it is a national party with large presence and its base in the SE. In the time past, APGA being considered as the third big party having a state and few members in the National Assembly, has often adopted a presidential candidate of another party without having their own. This time around, APGA has a presidential candidate. It’s their right to have, as a full fledged political party and get their support from the SE. APGA has a SE person as its VP candidate.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) group

It is quite understandable that this group will support their party which is in power. But how has the party benefited the people to earn the support of the Igbo people? Why do we need to support the APC group having not benefited much from appointments, infrastructure development and others?

The Four is Better Than Eight group

This group, as I have observed, is championed largely by members of Gov. Obiano political group. They are as well APGA members and others who are sympathetic to this ideology. To them, it is better to support President Buhari now and after four years, the president, will simply hand over to an Igbo president. Instead of waiting for another eight years to dream of Igbo president with another political party and candidate, it is better to support the president now and wait for a smaller four years.

It may also be considered as a pay back from Gov Obiano. During his re-election campaign as Anambra state governor, Gov. Obiano went cap in hand to Aso villa to meet the president. He may have pledged to support the president after his re-election. Few days ago, the members of the Obiano administration were spotted at the Aso villa in the company of the president.

Obiano is the only APGA governor and you wonder the interest he is serving; his party, his administration or Igbo people? What concrete deal did they secure to convince us that four is better than eight? Will the president hand over power simply because those with this ideology supported him to win?
This group being largely in APGA is working for APC.

The Boycott The Election group

This group is championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). They have the belief that they are no longer Nigerians and while they are still within the sovereignty, they will no longer participate in its elections or other civil required duties. Boycotting the election is a way to show civil disobedience and force the hand of the government to pursue their demand for referendum which will give the people right to choose whether to remain in Nigeria or form a new country.

Boycotting election has since been seen as placing a group to be politically irrelevant and would disconnect the boycotting groups from the power play. It rarely nullifies or invalidates any election. The group demonstrated this ideology in the last Anambra elections but it did not stop the election nor rendered the election invalid. It rather affected the group’s relevance in the power play.

The Peter Obi/ PDP group.

In nearly 35 years, the Igbo people have not been close to the Nigerian executive arm of the seat of power. As former Anambra state governor Peter Obi is nominated to be the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), this group see it as the generally accepted option.

At the time the restructuring of Nigeria question is asked, they believe Igbo people should not have the option of staying aside and allow others to decide for us. At least from the executive point of view, there is a considerable influence a VP can exert which will be to the benefit of the general Igbo people. A lot of people have seen this as Igbo project which makes everyone to partake in the making of the presidency and to work for its actualization.

No doubt Peter Obi may have political opposition within the South East, but, having seen his development strides within Anambra state while he was there as the governor, there is confidence that he is carrying the aspirations of the people on his shoulder; psychologically and development wise.

The Muoghalu group

This group is waxing strong. Being that Igbo people have been clamouring for the presidency, this is a good opportunity to put an Igbo man on the seat. Due to the dominating presence of the APC and PDP, the Muoghalu group may not be adequately heard.

The Ezekwesili group

Coming a little late into the scene, Oby is more aligned to the youths. The group may not be highly considered due to the domination of the front line political parties but it is waxing strong.

The choices are quite before us to make to the benefit of the general people. We want Igbo president, we have two strong voices on the ballot. We want to be in the executive arm, we have two VPs. Yet others do not want Igbo people to be on the ballot at all this season while others do not want to participate at all.

All the groups have genuine ideologies but one of the consideration should be which group will best serve the interest of the Igbo people within the Nigerian polity. It is left for the individual to pick wisely a group that will serve his interest as well as the general interest. Everyone is entitled to one vote. You are to make your choice according to your conviction.

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