Opinion

Ifeanyi Ubah Rallies Igbos To Vote For Sanwo-Olu

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Ifeanyi Ubah Rallies Igbos To Vote For Sanwo-Olu

 

By Ikenna Asomba

 

On February 26, 2019, in the far-away, windy and beautiful CITY OF CHICAGO, many a Chicagoans went to the polls to elect a Mayor (equivalent to a Local Council Chairman in Nigeria) and 50 Aldermen (equivalent to Local Council Councilors in Nigeria).

 

The Mayoral Election which was a 14-horse race went into a runoff between Lori Lightfoot and Tonie Preckwinkle, because both women who came first and second respectively couldn’t get up to 50 per cent of the total votes cast.

 

The runoff is billed for April 2, 2019. Anyone of them who emerges breaks a historic record as the FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN FEMALE to become the Mayor of Chicago, a city of over 2million people and over 70 neighborhoods.

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

 

However, the story behind the story above cited is that THREE young Nigerian-Americans of Igbo extraction- AMARA ENYIA (Mayoral candidate); UGO OKERE (Alderman Ward 40) and Chuks Onyezia (Alderman Ward 18) participated in the Chicago Municipal Elections.

 

These three Nigerian-Americans of Igbo extraction contested the Chicago Municipal Elections, competing with political heavyweights in the Chicago Political Firmament.

 

The trio may not have emerged from their various positions contested for, but it is instructive to note that they were not discriminated against nor asked to go back to their motherland to contest elections.

 

For the Amara Enyias, Ugo Okeres and Chuks Onyezias of this world, to have had the opportunity to contest for elections in the City of Chicago, in this present age, fact remains that a lot of efforts were put in place by many a Chicagoans (dead and alive) for the evolvement of democracy and political participation devoid of racism and discrimination in the city.

 

It is instructive to note that the City of Chicago clocked 182years on March 4, 2019, having been incorporated as a City on March 4, 1837. The rest they say is history.

 

NIGERIA’S EARLY POLITICS

 

The Southern and Northern Protectorates of what is today called and known as Nigeria was amalgamated 105 years ago, in 1914, a situation which saw the British Colonialists coalescing over 250 ethnic nationalities together as ONE COUNTRY.

 

It is therefore instructive to note that time was in 1951, when an Igbo man, Nnamdi Azikiwe won a regional assembly seat from Lagos.

 

Time was when a Hausa man Mallam Umaru Altine, emerged the first Mayor of Enugu Municipal Council in 1956.

 

MUTUAL SUSPICION AMONG NIGERIA’S ETHNIC NATIONALITIES

 

However, it is instructive to note that the current mutual suspicion among Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities didn’t kick-off in 1966, when the first military coup occurred.

 

Rather, the current raging mutual suspicion among the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria could be traced back to 1941 when Azikiwe became active in the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM), the country’s first nationalist organization.

 

Although, Azikiwe, some historical accounts noted supported Samuel Akinsanya as the NYM candidate for a vacant seat in the Legislative Council in 1941, but the NYM executive council selected Ernest Ikoli.

 

This reportedly made Azikiwe to resign from the NYM, accusing the majority Yoruba leadership of discriminating against the Ijebu-Yoruba members and Igbos, forcing some Ijebu members to follow Azikiwe, thus, leading to the splitting of NYM along ethnic lines.

 

This is as far back 1941- 78 years ago.

 

OTOGE LAGOS?

 

OTOGE (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH) in LAGOS, has been raging some few weeks into the March 9, 2019, Gubernatorial Election in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub.

 

The election is no doubt a two-horse race between Babajide Sanwoolu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Jimi Agbaje of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

Like 2015, when the Oba (King) of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu brazingly threatened to drown Ndigbo in Lagos Lagoons, perhaps, if the outgoing Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the APC had lost to Jimi Agbaje of the PDP, Ndigbo are once again about to be targeted in the political crossfire between two Yoruba brothers- Sanwoolu and Agbaje.

 

Some notorious thugs in Lagos, goaded by some irate politicians have continued to threaten fire and brimstone against Ndigbo, if the elections on March 9, do not go their way.

 

In several pieces, Yours Truly, has condemned this UNDEMOCRATIC POLITICS.

 

THE CURRENT POLITICAL DYNAMICS IN LAGOS

 

However, without sentiments and political emotions, the current political dynamics in Lagos, favours the APC candidate, Babajide Sanwoolu that Jimi Agbaje.

 

The two major reasons are:

 

  1. The Political Networks and Machineries of both candidates across the recognised 20 Local Council Areas in Lagos.

 

  1. The financial war chests of both candidates leading into the elections.

 

It will be easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle that for Agbaje to beat Sanwoolu come March 9, 2019. Wake me from my slumber if this happens.

 

So, Ndigbo, getting emotionally involved in the political crossfire between these two Yoruba brothers, is unnecessary and not advisable.

 

This is not to say that Ndigbo as citizens of Nigerians and bonafide tax payers in Lagos, do not have a say as to who becomes their next governor come May 29, 2019. HELL NO! Igbo sons and daughters who are 18 of age, do have the inalienable right to vote and be voted for in Lagos. Likewise the Yorubas in the South East geo-political zone.

 

But fact remains that looking critically at the already charged political atmosphere of Lagos State, with notorious thugs running amok, goaded by major political actors in Lagos, with tacit and open support from the security agencies, it is expedient that Ndigbo play safe.

 

Yes, many a social commentators point at the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is being the lord behind this rage. Yours Truly, has called him out to properly guide these notorious thugs in Lagos, as they respect and listen to him.

 

But come to think of it, have you heard Tinubu spoken on this matter? Have you personally heard Tinubu threatening Ndigbo of the repercussions of not voting the APC candidate, Sanwoolu?

 

That is a pointer that when these notorious mad thugs go on rampage win or lose on Saturday, NOBODY, I mean NOBODY will bring Tinubu to book.

 

Not even in this HOBBESIAN STATE run by President Muhammadu Buhari, where a thug who is a tiger in Nigeria, but a pussycat in the United States runs amok.

 

Not even in this HOBBESIAN STATE run by President Muhammadu Buhari, where a private citizen like Tinubu before our very eyes, on national television, boastfully defended some two bullion vans stock-filled with cash entering and going out of his house in Bourdillon, Ikoyi, Lagos, in an election period, and not any security agencies nor anti-graft agencies batted an eyelid?

 

If any PDP leader, like Nyesome Wike of Rivers State, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, et al, had been caught in such ILLEGALITY, would the story be same? HELL NO!

 

So, in this HOBBESIAN STATE, where life is NASTY, SHORT and BRUTISH, Ndigbo must be wise, going forward into the March 9 Gubernatorial Election in Lagos.

 

Amid the threats against Ndigbo, I waited endlessly to hear from the Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, but to no avail.

 

I waited endlessly to hear from Igbo leaders of thoughts and elites, but to no avail.

 

All I kept on hearing, particularly across the social media were THREATS and COUNTER THREATS bandied by some emotional-laddened Igbos and Yorubas. BALDERDASHES! These are persons who have not been caught in the web of ethnic crises or wars.

 

Yours Truly, even in the heat of the recent Biafran agitation in Alaigbo, has always advocated for a Jaw-Jaw approach to critical issues towards a NEW CONVERSATION on how democracy works in saner climes.

 

Yours Truly, detests the WAR-WAR approaches advocated by some commentators in tackling critical issues of governance of this nature.

 

IFEANYI UBAH’S QUICK INTERVENTION AND ANTECEDENTS THAT SPEAK VOLUME

 

So, when the Senator-elect, Anambra South Senatorial District of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), our own Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, quickly waded into the looming IGBO-YORUBA ETHNIC CRISIS in Lagos, Yours Truly, heaved a sigh of relief, that truly, a JOSHUA is here for Ndigbo worldwide.

Some commentators casting aspersions at Dr. Ubah, may climb the highest of Irokos and Mahoganies, but can never ever see what Dr. Ubah has forestalled for Ndigbo in Lagos.

 

Having said that, it is apt to remind Ubah’s traducers to recall that in 2015, Ubah used his Political Structure, The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), for the PDP, to send a TSUNAMIC SHOCKER in Lagos.

 

For the first time, since 1999, the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Jagaban Borgu), Political Dynasty in Lagos got a crack. No thanks to Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.

 

Using the TAN Structure for his former party, the PDP, in 2015, her candidates won at least SIX Legislative Seats in Lagos and THREE Legislative Seats at the House of Representatives, Abuja.

 

  1. With the aid of TAN and unflinching support of Dr. Ubah, Hon. Rita Orji won the House of Representatives election to represent the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency.

 

  1. Hon. Oghene Egboh of the PDP defeated APC Ganiyu Olukolu to represent the Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency at the Green Chambers.

 

  1. Hon. Tajudeen Obasa of the PDP won the APC candidate to represent the Ojo Federal Constituency at the Green Chambers.

 

  1. It was same story in Surulere Constituency 2 where Tunji Soyinka of the PDP defeated Hakeem Bamgbala of the APC to represent his constituents at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

 

  1. Rep. Dayo Famakinwa of the PDP defeated Lagos Deputy Speaker and fourth-time rep, Musibau Kolawole Taiwo to represent Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, LAHA.

 

  1. Rep. Olatunji Fatai Oluwa of the PDP defeated incumbent Abdoulbaq Balogun (AKA BAKI) of the APC to represent Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency 1 at LAHA.

 

  1. Rep. Dipo Olorunrinu of the PDP defeated incumbent Sultan Adeniji of the APC to represent Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 at LAHA.

 

  1. Similarly, Rep. Hakeem Bello of the PDP defeated incumbent Ramota Hassan of the APC to represent Amuwo Odofin Constituency 2 at LAHA.

 

  1. In 2015, this same Jimi Agbaje benefited immensely from Dr. Ubah’s structure, TAN, which doled out over 25 trucks of campaign materials to the Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation, which actually gave the ruling APC and the incumbent governor, Ambode, a run for their money.

 

These lawmakers above mentioned and Jimi Agbaje, all have Ubah’s phone numbers. They benefited one way or the other from Ubah’s Magnanimity, Political Structure (TAN) and Galvanization of Ndigbo in Lagos.

 

It must be noted that the areas these lawmakers represent are Igbo-dominated areas in Lagos. The rest they say is history.

 

See link- https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.naija.ng/amp/412919-apc-loses-six-reps-seats-in-lagos.html

 

OTHER TIMELY INTERVENTIONS OF DR. PATRICK IFEANYI UBAH FOR NDIGBO, NIGERIANS

 

  1. When a post-election violence hit Jos, Plateau State, in 2011, this same Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, sent Chattered Chisco Buses and Chattered Air Peace Airline to lift stranded Ndigbo back to the South East. The beneficiaries are still alive till date.

 

  1. When government authorities shutdown markets in Lagos, Abuja, for infractions, Ndigbo, plying their trades in these markets usually run up to Dr. Ubah for interventions.

 

  1. Dr. Ubah extends these interventions to Ndigbo and Nigerians in several African countries, including Asia, in times of travails.

 

  1. How can we quickly forget Dr. Ubah’s timely intervention to break the ranks of Nigeria’s dreaded oil cabals on May 24, 2015, ahead of the Inauguration of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

How can we forget so soon, how Dr. Ubah, forced an end to that biting fuel scarcity by opening the flood gates of his Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Depots, releasing about 13 million litres, approximately 400 trucks of petroleum products including premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, to ease the scourge of the endemic fuel scarcity that Nigeria had been plunged into.

 

Dr. Ubah’s UNDYING LOVE for Ndigbo Worldwide, and Nigerians in general spurs him to fight their causes like a FIELD MARSHAL when the need arises.

 

So, needless, these MUDSLINGS, VITRIOLES, INVECTIVE and ASPERSIONS cast at Dr. Ubah, particularly, by some emotional-laddened Igbo sons and daughters, over his timely intervention to rally Ndigbo for Sanwoolu in Lagos.

 

On a very serious note, Yours Truly, affirms that when Indegenous Lagosians (Yorubas) are TIRED of Tinubu’s Political Dynasty in Lagos, spanning over 20 years, let them DEMAND FOR and LEAD the OTOGE POLITICAL BATTLE.

 

Ndigbo, must AVOID being caught in the web of political crossfires between two Yoruba brothers- Babajide Sanwoolu and Jimi Agbaje.

 

After all, when Ndi Anambra said OTOGE to the IMPUNITY-RIDDENED Political Dynasty of Chris Uba (Eselu Uga), who determined who became what in our own Anambra State, dating back 1999-2006, it was Indegenous Ndi Anambra (Ndigbo), who fought for it.

 

So, when Indigenous Lagosians (Yorubas), have had enough of the Tinubu Political Dynasty, let them fight for it. Ndigbo STEER CLEAR!

 

By and large, by Monday, March 11, 2019, when the entire results of the Lagos Gubernatorial Election must have finished trickling in, history would be kind to Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, for saving Igbo investments worth trillions of Naira in Lagos.

 

Yours Truly affirms that the PEACE OF THE BIRD IS THE PEACE OF THE TREE.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, when the time comes in Nigeria, for a NEW CONVERSATION on how democracy works in saner climes, wake me up!

 

 

Ikenna Asomba is a Journalist and Social Commentator.

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