The recent purported communiqué from leaders of the so-called southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria comprising the elected governors, elected legislators at the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly as well as so-called leaders of the Ohaneze in summary arbitrarily arrogated to themselves the absolute power and authority to represent and speak for Ndigbo on all issues concerning them and the rest of Nigeria. The communiqué that was signed by Chief David Umahi, the governor of Enugu State, however, aligned the so-called leaders of Ndigbo with the recommendations for restructuring of the country, though their support for structuring had an ambiguous proviso of accomplishing the restructuring “within a reasonable time.”
Pointedly two things are involved there. One is the arguable and indeed question claim to absolute power and authority to represent and speak for Ndigbo while the other is the compromising non-specific time frame (within a reasonable time) at which the restructuring of Nigeria should be achieved. There is a big caveat in both aspects of the resolutions of the elected leaders of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Hence, part of the purpose of this essay is to forewarn my fans and readers of the caveat emptor status of their assumed roles. However, probably theoretically, there may be a Sense in their nonsense. Otherwise, in reality and practice, it depicts an outright nonsense. They must have forgotten that they are representing Ndigbo of the blessed “Igbo amaghi eze” national psyche! Of course, they may be leaders of Ndigbo in state capitals and Government Houses at Abakiliki, Enugu, Awka, Owerri and Umuahia just as we have Eze Ndigbo all over Nigeria and in diaspora. Nothing more, nothing less!
It is not in the character of Ndigbo to hand over their leadership mandate exclusively and absolutely to a bunch of few people they chose and sent on an errand as their representatives at any level. So far as Ndigbo do not feed from any leader’s pot or sleep under any leader’s roof or depend on any leader for clothes or anything, no leader can expect to drive Ndigbo at his leadership whims and caprices. The so-called leader must first respect himself before expecting any form of respect from Ndigbo. And that entails the leader not demanding any form of worship from Ndigbo. Leading Ndigbo thrives better when the leaders proves to have the overall interest of Ndigbo at heart. And that involves allowing Ndigbo an ample latitude to exercise their individuality as it relates to working hard and figuring out how to fend for their individual selves and their respective families. In this aspect do NdIgbo share verisimilitude with the Israelites (Hebrews) in Egypt.
And talking of Israelites in Egypt one is reminded of the emergence of Moses as the rescue missionary divinely sent to lead the people of Israel out of centuries old captivity in Egypt which was anyway a fulfillment of the covenant of the God with Abraham which stipulated that the descendants of Abraham will be held in long captivity but after four centuries they would be regain freedom and return to the land that God showed to Abraham. That land was Canaan Land, the Promised Land! Anybody who knows the story of Moses will recall that at his first appearance he attempted the leadership by force style and was disappointed by the Israelites who pointedly asked him who made him king and ruler over them. Ironically, the same Moses came back to lead them to the Promised Land! Just like Ndigbo, the Israelites will not tolerate any imposition of leadership upon them by anybody. But when at the second time around with right divine sense Moss came to the people of Israel and was able to convince them of his sincerity that God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) had sent him to them, the Israelites took him as their leader. Yet, when the going got a little tough, the Israelites lost confidence in Moses! Indeed, there are some things Hebrew about Igbo!
It must be understood that before the emergence of Moses both at the first and second occasions the people of Israel had leaders in Egypt. But when Moses arrived, after expected resistance by the existing leaders of Israel, they gave way for Moses to lead them across the Red Sea out of their age long slavery in Egypt. This is precisely where NnamdI Kanu comes in as the Moses of our generation to lead Ndigbo out of Nigeria! The existing elected representatives must understand this and listen to Nnamdi KaNu after their expected resistance. There is nothing wrong in reminding that they the elected representatives are on ground in Nigeria. But with the coming of Nnamdi Kanu and the changing fortune of Ndigbo in Nigeria with Pharaoh now hearing our Moses out, the existing elected representatives must be packing and getting ready to follow Kanu out of Nigeria. Difficult as this may seem that is the only way this whole thing is going. At least it is incontrovertible by all honest Ndigbo that Nnamdi Kanu has impact Ndigbo far more and better than the entire so-called leaders of Ndigbo prior to his appearance on the national leadership scene of Nigeria. There is the finger of God in the coming of Nnamdi Kanu. At least Pharaoh of Egypt said so when Moses appeared in Egypt. Today, some bigger than life leaders in Nigeria are indirectly saying ‘There is the finger of God on the actions of this Kanu”!
Therefore, existing elected leaders of the southeast should stop playing the proverbial ostrich, living in fools” paradise with Pride and prejudice. They should rather take out time to listen to the message Nnamdi Kanu has brought for and from Ndigbo. Probably, they will see that their role in Nigeria will become strongly complementary to the good work Nnamdi Kanu is doing now in Biafra. Since there has not been any indication that Nnamdi Kanu is contending with the elected representatives in Nigeria, it is abusive upon Nnamdi Kanu and the Ndigbo that has been sent to deliver from bondage of Nigeria for the elected leaders to release that provocative communiqué. And as Gamaliel would remind the Jews about the actions of Peter and John, if Kanu is evil he would fizzle out along the line. But if he is of the Almighty God, it will be tantamount to fighting God. If the leaders of the people of Israel had released a communiqué claiming absolute rights to power and authority over the people, they may have missed their divine visitation and opportunity to be freed from Egypt into their Promised Land. While it subsists, therefore, what I would recommend is let elected leaders of the southeast be and let Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB be! May God be the judge of who is the divine leader of Ndigbo!