As far as the 2019 general election is concerned, neither the position of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), nor that of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, is to the best interest of the Igbo people of Nigeria.
Mazi Nnamdi Kann had called on the Igbo people to boycott or not to participate in this year’s general elections scheduled for February 16 and March 2, 2019.
The pro-Biafran leader anchored his position on election boycott on the ground that it would be a way of protest against the Nigerian government’s refusal to conduct a referendum for the creation of Biafra.
But not many Igbo people bought to Kanu’s call for election boycott. They reasoned that election boycott would not be to the best interest of Igbo people, because whether or not they boycotted it, election must still hold, and a winner must emerge. In that case, whoever had emerged without the participation of Igbo people, as far they are still in Nigeria, might not be to their best interest.
They further reasoned that going by Nnamdi Kanu’s prescription, the call for boycott of 2019 election is principally targeted at the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who is suspected would collect block votes from Igbo people, both at home, and in the diaspora, that is, in states outside Igboland.
Before now, Kanu had, in 2017, called for the boycott of Anambra State gubernatorial election for the same reason of protesting against the government’s refusal to conduct a referendum, which however was ignored by Anambra people.
When Nnamdi Kanu felt that his call for the boycott of 2019 election might not work since majority of Igbo people were determined to participate in the election, he came out with the tantrum that Atiku Abubakar is not a Nigerian, but from Cameroun. The aim, according to some analysts, was to make Igbo people despise Atiku and his candidature.
But Kanu had forgotten that he had earlier told the people that Atiku’s main opponent in the Presidential race, Muhammadu Buhari, was a cloned man from Sudan!
So, who do the Igbo people choose – a man he said was from Cameroun, which was a mere historical past, or a cloned man from Sudan? He only want Igbo people to “sidon look”. But the people equally refused.
Now, Professor Wole Soyinka. After going through the list of 71 or so candidates jostling for Nigeria’s Number One position, he picked Professor Kingsley Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, as his preferred candidate.
Soyinka had earlier said that he would not be voting for either President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the APC and the PDP respectively, in this year’s Presidential election.
But Soyinka was being clever by half. He was one of the influential Nigerians who imposed Muhammadu Buhari on the people in 2015. Now, he has seen that not many people in Nigeria were enthusiastic about Buhari returning to office in 2019.
Soyinka knows that if Nigerians would not be voting for Buhari, they surely might be rooting for Atiku Abubakar. He also knows that many Igbo people were backing Atiku Abubakar, who had chosen one of their own, Peter Obi, as his running mate.
So, in order to split Igbo votes which would be going for Atiku Abubakar, he decided to openly throw his weight behind an Igbo man, Kingsley Moghalu. The aim, according to some analysts, was that a lot of Igbo people would now be supporting Moghalu since that might be an opportunity for Igbo people to have a President of their own.
The implication is that a lot of Igbo votes that were meant for Atiku Abubakar would now be split, and Muhammadu Buhari of the APC would carry the day.
But Igbo people are not fools. Yes, Kingsley Moghalu is their son, a distinguished one at that. He is eminently qualified to be the President of Nigeria. He has the intellect. He has the knowledge. He has the experience. He has the vision. He has the passion. He is young and he is progressive.
However, in the race for Aso Rock in 2019, Kingsley Moghalu does not seem to have what it takes to be President. He has no political structure. How many people belong to his political party across the country, even in Soyinka’s ward?
Moghalu has no viable governorship candidates, no Senators, no House of Representatives members, no State Houses of Assembly members. So, how does he operate if he is elected President? That will be a very big problem.
In other words, Kinsley Moghalu may be a very good candidate, but please let him wait till 2023, since any vote for him this time around, as Wole Soyinka has suggested, may be a wasted one.