And in particular it must be emphasized that it would be most unscientific to close our eyes to some possibilities because we do not like them. Wishful thinking is apparently a thing that cannot be avoided. But it should not be mistaken for scientific thinking. And we should also recognize that the allegedly scientific prophecy provides, for a great number of people, a form of escape. It provides an escape from our present responsibilities into a future paradise; and it provides the fitting complement of this paradise by overstressing the helplessness of the individual in face of what it describes as the overwhelming and demoniacal [political] forces of the present moment. (cf. Karl Popper "The Open Society and Its Enemies")
Conspiracy theorists have swung into action since the changes effected by the President with regard to the service chiefs of the country. The rifest with regard to the Igbos, being that the appointment of Major-General Ihejirika as the Chief of army staff is aimed at enticing them towards aligning with the President in the on-coming general elections. Notable Igbo sons and daughters have reacted to this conjecture, but I wish to comment on one of such reactions coming from a group of politicians going by the name "Igbo Political Forum" being chaired by Chief Simeon Okeke and parading some eminent members such as the erstwhile senate president Ken Nnamani, erstwhile governor and minister Achike Udenwa, senator Uche Chukwumerije and many more. This group of politicians in their reaction to the appointment of Major-general Ihejirika emphasized the fact that Ihejirika merits the position for which he has been appointed and in that case, such appointment is commendable. However, the group added that it is committed to the realization of an Igbo president come 2015 and to the negotiated agreement with Northern Political leaders. It is at this point that the reaction of this group becomes disturbing. The disturbance is that the two notorious candidates - IBB and Atiku - in the forth-coming election are the ones spouting the mantra of assuring the Igbo's of the presidency come 2015.
Those who like to play God have simply not learnt anything from what has happened in the political terrain these few months. It was Karl Marx who said that you don't plan history on paper. Our political juggernauts who had their plans intact did not expect the intervention of nature in our politics. The demise of Umaru Yaradua and the ascension of President Jonathan has caught them napping. What I am saying is not that the aspiration of any Igbo man towards the presidency come 2015 is out of order rather that we should beware of those who promise that which is not in their capacity to give. A future wish or aspiration cannot blind us to the present realities. The Igbo's must not follow Babangida to assert that "because of your tomorrow we sacrificed our today." We all know the outcome of that sacrifice. It is the decisions we make today that will shape our tomorrow, and we should not ridicule ourselves today just because of a preconceived tomorrow.
The so called Igbo Political Forum should be reminded of the realities of the moment. If what their commitment to an Igbo presidency come 2015 means, is the support of Babangida or Atiku, then they are simply committed to their selfish and stupid interest and not that of the Igbos. The presidency - in a democratic Nigeria - be it in 2011, 2015 or beyond is not the birthright of the Igbo's nor is it that of any particular tribe or ethnic group and anybody promising it to the Igbos is nothing but a political quack who wants to pander on the tribal or ethnic sentiment of the people to ascend to power. As Popper whom I quoted earlier said "in politics and in medicine, he who promises too much is likely to be a quack," we - Ndi-Igbo - must reject political quackery and not allow irrational and primordial sentiments to usurp the place of rational planning in our political affairs. The commitment or the aspiration to see a person of Igbo extraction occupy the seat of the presidency must be matched with rational planning. This means that the Igbos have to go in search for a marketable candidate; one that has what it takes to be a president that is acceptable to majority of Nigerians who will be doing the voting come 2015. Such a person must possess both the qualification and pedigree to match any other candidate that will compete with him or her come 2015. Any other way or under-arm tactics is unacceptable in a democracy and is bound to fail.
In fact, most of the current politicians of Igbo extraction do not posses what it takes to be a good president. We can name them, Achike Udenwa - a clown who presented himself for the office in the last election, Uche Chukwumerije - an IBB apologist, Orji Kalu, Ikedi Ohakim, Jim Nwobodo, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu,etc .It is in this regard then, that it becomes disheartening when one hears about the rumour going round that the erstwhile senate President Ken Nnamani is aligning himself with the ex-dictator Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and is positioned to run with him as the Vice-President. Nnamani, given the part he played during the era of Obasanjo's "third term" campaign, his establishment of a leadership institute and his political commentaries has carved out for himself a place worthy of honour among true democrats. It will amount to a political suicide if the rumour is true and that he has chosen the part of infamy by dallying with devious characters like Ibrahim Babangida. There is still time for him to retrace his steps if actually what we are hearing is true. He should know better that Babangida is not the route to Igbo presidency.
The problem of Ndi-igbo goes beyond the presidency. Charity they say begins at home. Igbos must look beyond the presidency and confront the multitude of problems at home. What is happening in Igbo states? None of the members of this so called Political Forum is saying anything about what is going on in Imo and Abia states. These two states have become notorious and are seen as ridiculous when it comes to governance and security. We must live in the present and the future will unfold itself. As the holy book says " seek first the kingdom of God and all other things will be added unto you." We - the Igbos - must, first, hold our governors and local government chairmen accountable then and then can the presidency be added to us. If we cannot organise our states, I don't see any argument for the office of the president. Instead of this clamour for Zoning and tribal-presidency, we should be more strident in the clamour for true federalism and regionalism. True federalism will afford us the opportunity to develop at a faster pace without much hindrance from the centre. We have what it takes to develop at a faster pace when compared to many ethnic groups in Nigeria.
All in all, political quackery will never lead us anywhere rather will be enriching the pockets of lickspittles and unctuous servitors of the Igbo Presidency.