Enough of the Demonization of Southeast Presidential Primaries Delegates


I have been reading a lot lately about people condemning delegates from the Southeast for failing to vote Southeast presidential aspirants in the recently concluded primaries, and I want to say that these delegates should be left alone as they have committed no crime.

Among everything I have read about these Southeast delegates the one that turned my stomach most with anger is the ultimatum issued by one jobless fraudster parading himself as Ohanaeze Youth Council President. This young man hasn’t got any known means of livelihood, and has been in this position, for at least eight years. Ask him, where the election that produced him as Ohanaeze Youth President held, and he will throw insults at you, ask him to list other members of his executive and he will start jumping up like some feral dogs caught in a trap, ask him what affiliation he has with Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, and he wouldn’t have a word.

But this impostor and alms collector would go from one office to the other cadging money off gullible politicians seeking cheap popularity and issuing press statements like being an Ohanaeze Youth President is like working in a soft selling blog’s newsroom. This young man, like every fraudster, aligns himself with any position that he thinks is popular, in order to remain relevant or to keep his alms begging business running. His press statements are pay as you go. If you are running for an election today, and you want a press statement issued in the name of Ohanaeze, pay him 10,000 Naira and he will quickly issue a press statement in the name of “Ohanaeze Youths”. If he wants money from some people in Imo Government House, he issues statement in support of them.

I had taken a decision to ignore him, but everyday, the young man keeps making Ohanaeze a butt of jokes. He keeps bringing embarrassment to the name. Everyday, people call me to ask, who is this young man? Does he speak for you? Sometimes, I simply keep quiet, at other times, I explain that we don’t know anything about him. But, this recent press statement, banishing Party delegates for voting for the candidates of their choice is the height of it. He brings the entire Igbo youths to international opprobrium. People reading this from the civilized world would think that the tribe represented by such youth is remnants of the Neanderthals.

It is deliberate not to mention the young man’s name. I don’t give his type such publicity.

For the avoidance of doubt, Party delegates did not commit any crime for voting those they feel comfortable with. Ohanaeze as an organization has no business with partisan politics. We do not compel people into any partisan decision and we do not expect every Igbo man to hold the same political opinion. People are free to do what they choose to do.

Party delegates as their names imply owe their loyalty to the Party and they are justified to have voted whom they believe will win election for their Party. They are also justified to have voted for the candidates that took them seriously by consulting with them before the primaries. As an individual, I believe that votes cast to any of the Igbo aspirants were wasted votes (This is my personal opinion, and not thar of Ohanaeze).

Candidates who emerged as their Party’s flag bearers are not those voted for by delegates from their tribes or geopolitical zones, but those who were able to spread their campaign across the nation and got people convinced about the viability of their candidature. If only Southwest delegates had voted for Tinubu, he wouldn’t have been the Presidential candidate of his Party, and if only Northeast delegates had voted for Atiku Abubakar, he wouldn’t be the candidate of his Party today.

Yes, Ohanaeze campaigned vigorously and still campaigns for someone from the Southeast to become Nigeria’s next President, but the Southeast is not a slave colony where the leadership takes decisions and imposes it on everyone. It is a test of our republicanism that there will always be people who disagree, people who vote otherwise. And we are also not looking for a Southeast President, but a President of Nigeria of Southeast extraction. We recognize that the Southeast alone cannot produce the President of Nigeria. We need the support of all other geopolitical zones in the country.

Let me conclude by congratulating all delegates to the presidential primaries of our various Parties, for voting in line with their convinctions, and I say that I am personally proud of them, and every reasonable Igbo of the Southeast is also proud of them and hold absolutely nothing against them.

ALA IGBO SHALL HEAL, especially from the many jobless alms collectors and fraudsters parading as their leaders.

Onwuasoanya is the Acting Youth Leader of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide.

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