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Recently, it has been reported that the leadership of IPOB has asked people of Igbo nation to boycott the forthcoming Presidential Election and that of the National Assembly.

Recently, it has been reported that the leadership of IPOB has asked people of Igbo nation to boycott the forthcoming Presidential Election and that of the National Assembly.

Many Igbo leaders in their different capacitate have sounded a lot of warning against this call. Similarly, many Igbo writers in different media platforms have equally advanced several reasons why a boycott of the Presidential and National Assembly elections must not be in the best interest of the Igbo nationality.
 According to Abraham Lincoln, “it is wrong to join a mob without knowing the objective of such a mob”. It is my candid opinion that our history books are punctuated with outcomes of several boycotts the world over. In most instances, they simply do not work, rather turning out to be counterproductive. I must be quick to admit that some boycotts could have some limited effect. But this depends on several factors.
 Yes, the IPOB leadership is asking the Igbo Nation not to participate in the forthcoming elections, rather it is asking the Federal Government to organize “referendum to test the wishes of the Igbo nation as to whether or not they should secede from the country to form a separate nation of Biafra Republic.
As a political historian, I have studied a lot of the history of world events to know that in large measure considerations, in the present circumstances, a boycott would seriously hurt our already unasserted socio-political situations in the country. Admittedly, the call for a referendum by the IPOB leadership is a legitimate demand given the magnitude of marginalization of the Igbo within the framework of the Nigerian nation.
 But there are so many questions which the IPOB must consider. In the first place, if the Igbo nation boycotts the Federal Election or any other one, what will be the outcome? Will the prevent other five zones and other multiplicity of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria from going to poll? Will the political parties withdraw from the polls? And if we did not participate in the election, will it prevent other five other zones not voting for emergency of a new President? Will the country stop to exist as a nation?
Obviously, if we boycott the polls, a President would emerge. Members of the National Assembly would be elected. A new government would emerge without members from the Igbo nation. Then, they would progress to enact legislations that would obviously be anti-Igbo in all ramifications. And new President would progress to rule the country and will never stop because the Igbo nation did not participate in the elections. If this happens, God forbid, we shall look very childish in the eyes if the world.
Importantly, it could be realized and appreciated that today, what almost every ethnic nationality in this country is clamoring now is positive restructuring of the country t bring into being what some have referred to as “true federalism”  which was what the Colonial powers handed over to us before some people's racialism, poor advice, hasty actions without deep analysis of such actions and other ill advised measured played in to gradually nut inadvertently worked this good nation ours into the hands of the military apologist which marched the entire nation into the paws of Hausa-Fulani adventurists who have continued to rule the country without regards to the fact that this is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation.
Today, any objective Nigerian, no matter how myopic he can be must amidst that the forthcoming election is indeed a referendum on the government of Buhari with his cabal. Believe me if the APC does not rig the election successfully, Buhari must lose the election. But if they attempt to rig it, it is likely to cause precipitation in the land which nobody knows where it will lead us.
If through our collective efforts this government is replaced, then the issue of restructuring the country will be the first Legislative agenda as promised by Atikur Abubakar the incoming president.
 But if we boycott the election, and PMB wins again, the word “restructuring” will never come out of his mouth. Buhari is a diehard person; he does not have even the microscopic conscience for other peoples feeling except the feelings of his Fulani persons whose economic, religious, social and political agenda he appears to be pursuing.
Frankly speaking, if we boycott the election, it will tantamount to one after spending much money to prepare a rich dish invites his most bitter enemy to come and eat it. Is that not behaviour of one who is mentally sick?
Therefore, a call for boycott by IPOB leadership is undesirable and will not serve a useful purpose to the Igbo nation. Of course we all cannot be wrong or right on these Biafra agitation project.
I am a product of the Nigerian Civil War and its victory because I was among those Igbo people who trekked out of Port Harcourt on July 28th 1968.
In one of the chapter in my book “Chukwuemeka Ojukwu the peoples general”, I graphically place record how thousands of Ndigbo embarked on what I called modern exodus- a reminiscences of Jewish Exodus in the bible. Thousands of Igbo mothers with more than 5 children abandoned half of that number on the road side after failing to persuade other people to take them. It was indeed a horrendous event and experience.
I was an adult and educated one for that matter at the beginning of the war. And today I still remember most of the things that happened including some sabotages and conspiracies by some Igbo persons.
I honestly appreciate the younger generation who is not prepared to stomach the type of marginalization we are suffering in Nigeria. But it stands to reason that peaceful approach to National or international problems are always a better option.
I strongly support the position of Ohanaeze Ndigbo who believes that restructuring Nigeria will be a better option than asking for a referendum which does not have any iota of constitutional legitimacy.
Let us full participate in the five forthcoming elections because it is better option. The benefit of boycott is not sustainable. I am sure that once the process of restricting begins, we can demonstrate our strength by participating fully to ensure that the interests of the Igbo are reflected. After all between 1960-1965, when true federalism was effective, did we ask for sensation? Why not then and why now?  I rest my case.

 


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