‘Blame Yourselves’, Prof Al-Bishak Tells Igbos After Woeful Presidential Primaries

Igbos should blame themselves for their poor showing in the just concluded presidential primaries of both APC and PDP, Prof Al-Bishak, lecturer with the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, said.

Al-Bishak, a Professor of African Literature, said, “The Igbos have generally performed poorly. Who are they to blame but themselves?”

Recalling his prediction in an interview with THE WHISTLER two years ago, the veteran journalist said, “The
North via APC voted overwhelmingly for the Southwest which has made Ahmed Bola Tinubu APC’s flagbearer.

“The Igbos performed poorly. It’s because the Ndigbo political class lacks strength of character or conviction. There is no unity of purpose among them.

“They are very divided among themselves. No proper coordination or strategy. Every Igbo man wanted to be President, nobody agreed to step down for the other. They were only united in crying about injustice which they think they suffer from other sections of the country but don’t see the injustice they foist on themselves.

“Imagine the case of PDP whose 80 of the 95 southeast party delegates voted for non-Igbo presidential aspirants! But all the presidential candidates that won their party primaries in both APC and PDP had other aspirants from their geopolitical zones step down for them.

“Ironically, however, Igbo politicians could only step down for politicians of non-Igbo extraction. Cases in point are the APC Igbo Senator that withdrew from the race for the Senate President Ahmed Lawan and the Igbo female politician that stepped down for Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

“Why the Igbos cry against injustice in politics because it has not produced an elected president doesn’t stand because it’s not the only geopolitical zone or ethno-religious group that hasn’t produced an elected president.

“Neither the Northcentral nor Northeast has produced an elected president in this civilian dispensation. And both geopolitical zones are dominated by minority ethno-religious groups. The point I am making is that the Igbo man is very qualified to be elected Nigeria’s President as a citizen.

“But, it will not happen on a gold platter based on mere ethno-religious or geopolitical sentiments. It will happen as a result of hard work and horse-trading with other Nigerians.”

On the chances of Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, Prof Al-Bishak said, “Peter Obi untactically left the PDP for the Labour Party to become its presidential candidate. The problem here is that he may be misconstrued as reducing himself to an Igbo champion for whom the Igbos will rally for votes but will surely distance himself from the majority of other Nigerians who will see him as an ethnic champion.

“I thought Rochas Okoroacha would do well but his too many political controversies in the South-east and lack of stability in the polity robbed him of any chance.”

He said Niger Delta politicians ‘surprisingly appear to have more political sagacity than the South-easterners by winning the second highest votes in the PDP and APC primaries’.

According to him,” Even some Igbo chieftains are rooting for Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State, who had the second highest votes in the PDP presidential primary, to be Atiku’s running mate.”

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