In continuation with adopting this medium to express one’s reasoning on the place of marketing, in the light of the growing ‘clarion call’ for implementation of a concept which paves the way for the emergence of “An Igbo President” for Nigeria come the next opportunity for electing someone for this position, more highlights (by way of sub-headings) here further favour easier evaluation of this. They depict how suitable this idea stands as something that fits into the ‘mold’ of marketing. That is, the suitability of “An Igbo president” as a concept for effective marketing.
I urge for readers’ fortitude as my position about this subject follows only after a critical consideration of vital issues which help in shaping the ‘marketability’ of this concept. Obvious portrayal here would make for readers’ easy identification of restraints to its feasibility or otherwise. Indeed, I hesitate to be a ‘hard nosed’ judge on this sensitive issue. Going through this submission will no doubt reveal my leaning on the subject, which is purely based on professional (and not political) appraisal.
Before the next presidential election, “Ndigbo” should watch out for likely excuses such as “seeking the face of God” (a well known ‘refrain’ of a former president); “my people urged me to run”; “I need more time to complete the projects I have started”. They should remember the old saying that, “a boy’s tendency to end up as a debtor later in life can be determined from his disposition while playing seed-games with other kids” – Insight into what would shape up in future. Indeed anyone who thinks President Goodluck Jonathan will not run for the 2015 presidential election (in spite of whatever accord with “Ndigbo”) has ‘another think’ coming, and the suitability of “An Igbo president” as a concept for effective marketing becomes untenable.
Choice of a nationally acceptable candidate
Looking at the practicability of an entire ethnic group uniting to make a choice of ONE candidate, some are wondering the form of magical operation “Ndigbo” intend to put in place towards evolving such a process. With the degree of disharmony as expressed earlier, and likelihood of some going to any length to defend their dissenting standpoint (typical ‘Igbo style’), so many are bound to perceive achieving this as a miraculous feat which has not occurred in Nigeria’s history.
At a period when non-accountability and non-responsibility are fast becoming the norm around; journeys of wealth not easily traceable to any humble beginning; those with questionable characters emerging as leaders (giving the impression that those of integrity are in very short supply), how can “Ndigbo” convince the rest of the country that ethnicity should comprise the ‘modus operandi’ for choosing the next president of Nigeria? In the light of what obtains, in marketing, where product acceptance leads to brand loyalty, should there not be preference for the immergence of a nationally acceptable candidate first, considering the diversity of Nigerians? A candidate who is likely to make a good president should be considered first, even before taking a look at any who would be acceptable to the entire country.
The South East geo-political zone of Nigeria (comprising Abia, Anambra, Eboyin, Enugu and Imo states) is homogenously Igbo in composition. Despite this, we know of “Ndigbo” spilling into Rivers and Delta states, both in the South-South zone. If the much touted zonal structure of the South East zone being the sole beneficiary becomes acceptable, will it be fair to restrict the choice of candidature to only this zone, even where the best ‘Igbo candidate’ emerges from either Rivers or Delta state?
The known prejudiced cultural loyalty in favour of the male gender among “Ndigbo” is not in doubt. Virtually all petitions against appointments of women to public offices in recent time, reflective of male chauvinism, have originated from this group. Despite the prevalent patrilocal form of marriage among the Igbo (having wife join her husband’s family or people after marriage), we have seen spade of petitions recently urging against female political and judicial appointees benefitting from posts allocated to their husbands’ states.
Without distorting readers’ judgment at this stage, curiosity made me to critically reflect on likely candidates that stand out clearly, fitting into the billing for presidential candidature among “Ndigbo”, not dented by the ‘negatives’ outlined above. I was able to objectively identify three who stick out as ‘presidential materials’ among the group – Two females and a male (a serving senator). ນີ້, can “Ndigbo” give thumbs-up for a female Igbo candidate, even if she possesses the best credentials?
In the words of the present 7th National Assembly (NASS), its efforts at amending the 1999 Constitution would be concluded about the second quarter of 2013. Its attempt at tinkering with this document that outlines Nigeria’s basic principles by which it is governed is neither here nor there. Many are wondering if this body would make a favourable difference to reflect the will of Nigerians, considering the self-serving attempt of the 6th NASS – If it would not gloss over issues like change of political system (many have realised that the present US style presidential system is not the best for Nigeria); when the public has no cause to doubt that the 469 members of the legislature gulp 25.1 per cent of the nation’s overhead, this body will obviously not favour voting for the much cheaper parliamentary system of government, burning ‘its fingers’ through ‘out-legislating’ itself. “Why would a turkey vote for Christmas?”
While considering adopting (in an amended constitution) the issue of geo-political zonal structure in the light of regional federalism, what happens to the subject of electing Nigeria’s head of government based on zonal arrangement? If NASS says ‘NO’ to the issue of deliberately allotting the office of the President or head of government to any group, the concept of an Igbo president or head of government (as being advocated) becomes a pipe dream. ນີ້, where lies its ‘marketability’?
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