As we prepare for the 2019 elections, it is necessary to start repositioning Ndigbo by first telling ourselves the painful truth that will likely piss us off, then, set us free. That bitter-painful truth is that the leadership of the PDP and APC in Igboland, just as in other sections of Nigeria, is incompetent, deficient in integrity and the capacity to deliver good governance to our people. Our current leaders, again, like the rest, has a doctrine of personal enrichment on our behalf. This is disastrous and should, thus, not be allowed to continue beyond 2018.

My diagnosis of the uncertainty facing us in the 2019 elections in Nigeria indicates that there is danger ahead. Some Ndigbo, especially those currently benefiting from the APC and PDP charade, will be reflexively inclined to resist this diagnosis. But the truth is that it will remain a dangerous time for Ndigbo in Nigeria if we restrict ourselves to the two failures, PDP and APC as our political platforms.

The erratic, embattled, paranoid leaders in APC and PDP who feel that they need our sentiment to win reelection in 2019 are already throwing out every primordial sentiment to get our votes. I wept for my people when I watched Rotimi Amaechi and Uche Secondus for APC and PDP respectively made caricature of Ndigbo in the name of courting our votes. Clearly, these our Igbo brothers from River state with a long history of using and dumping Ndigbo at will are at it again. Governor Wike is the latest to have used and dumped Ndigbo.

In an attempt to get the Vice Presidential position under PDP in the 2019 election, Senator Ekweremadu deprived Ndigbo of any meaningful position in the PDP national executive. At some point, Senator Ekweremadu even sabotaged the PDP candidate in the Anambra State 2017 governorship election in order not to give Peter Obi an advantage in the jostling for the VP position. While Ekweremadu was buying houses across the world, Gov. Wike outsmarted him and is cementing himself or his anointed stooge as a possible VP candidate in PDP. Ndigbo has, therefore, been clearly schemed out as an irrelevant component in a party they claim as their own.

The APC, on the other hand, is a party of flawed actors like Andy Uba, Orji Uzor Kalu, Rochas Okorocha, Arthur Eze and Tony Nwoye. These political actors have proven that they are incapable of delivering governance to our people. The only bait being dangled in our faces in an attempt to make the much-needed inroads in Igboland is that Ndigbo will have the Presidential slot in 2023 in APC IF they massively support Buhari in 2019. I am not buying into that especially with Bola Tinubu lurking around and still nursing the ambition of becoming the Nigerian President someday.

The fact that these men that have failed are still positioning themselves as our “saviors” should be irritating to every Igbo man and woman. How can you commit the progress of a people, the entire tribe to mediocre and outright failures? Clearly, it is the likes of these greedy political class that reminds us of the terrible human obstacles to the political progress of Ndigbo in Nigeria. So. Why shouldn’t Ndigbo seek their redemption through different candidates and political platforms?

Our political class may have succeeded in reducing the position of Ndigbo in the Nigerian complex political equation to an insignificant constant. But, the choice of rescuing ourselves is in our hands. Even though APC and PDP’s incompetence defined our recent past, it is catastrophic to allow the same gloomy demeanor to dictate our present and dam our future. 

If you want to gauge the collateral damage the abysmal performance of the elected representatives have inflicted on Ndigbo, gauge the chaotic rhythm of our heart in our lamentations on social media. On the belief that Ndigbo deserves better, we’re all connected and on the same page. But, when it comes to what to do to liberate ourselves from bad leadership, we refuse to be pragmatic. We urge our people to get their PVCs ready for the 2019 election. I ask, for what? What is the use of PVC when we restrict ourselves to recycling candidates that have failed us?

Today, there are many "schools" on different social media platforms discussing the failure of governance at different levels of government. However, there is no single school that will teach us how to change the situation unless we present alternative candidates to the failed leadership class in APC and PDP. We need an economy in the Igbo states with sustainable growth, which will ensure stability, encourage investments and create wealth. These we have not done in the last nineteen years of democracy. These we will not get with the current crop of leaders in APC and PDP.

A goat that dies in a barn was not killed by hunger. The good news is that we have capable and tested hands that can deliver the goods to us. Beyond incisive discussion on social media platforms, can we take action that will leave millions of Ndigbo in this country better off than the past 20 years? Can Ndigbo revolutionize their fortunes in the Nigerian polity through a different political platform?  What will lead to the Renaissance Ndigbo? And, more important, how can this Renaissance be more than words?

The first step: we should dust ourselves up and stop shedding tears and nursing the wound of the defeat of PDP in the 2015 election. We should stop hallucinating over Goodluck Jonathan. We should stop hallucinating over the old-new suitors in APC. There is no thrill in almost doing anything in the game of life. The thrill comes from accomplishment, and many times the difference between accomplishment and failure is having the right mental attitude.  

Ndigbo will continue to be incapacitated and paralyzed if we continue to line up behind PDP and APC. They have failed to alleviate the economic hardship of Igboland, anarchy has taken root in our communities. The failure of PDP and APC has left the trees black and shading their leaves; the birds are now sick and too weak to fly.

To fly in 2019, Ndibgo can and should jettison PDP and APC. We should coalesce around an alternative political coalition; we should debate this on our various social media groups; we should project candidates on this new political platform. It is only then that the clarion call on our people to get their PVCs ready for the 2019 elections will be potent and progressive. That’s the only way to fulfill the need for a spontaneous rebirth of something new that will usurer in a contemporary period for our growth.

So, no more shedding of tears, no more piteous groan; no more chaotic response; Let us chose our candidates in a new political coalition; let the Igbo Renaissance start with the 2019 election. Together, we can.

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

Churchill Okonkwo

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