An Igbo President: Is Marketing This Concept a Waste of Time? (2)

An Igbo PresidentIn 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.

This is a four part article, endeavour to read part onepart twopart threeand part four

Also in line with constraints which constitute stumbling blocks in this regard, it is essential to point out that in 2006, at the peak of the renowned tenure elongation or third term saga, several leading Igbo politicians were in support of it at a period the demand for “Igbo having the next turn” at the presidency was almost at fever pitch. It should be recalled that the tenure elongation project marked the intention of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, through a constitutional amendment, to continue in office beyond his two terms prescribed by the constitution. Though he has consistently denied sponsoring the move to foist tenure extension on the nation, Nigerians are not in any way convinced that he had no hands in it.

It is on record that there was even a declaration at this time by the headship of Ohaneze Ndigbo (a respectable apex Igbo socio-cultural group, representing all Igbo communities within and outside Nigeria) which endorsed tenure elongation. About the same period, a prominent Igbo politician, a former minister for foreign affairs and now the country’s High Commissioner for a North American country, once described the concept of an Igbo president as ‘’idiotic”. In the same vein, representatives at the National Assembly, of various constituencies in the south east geo-political zone (an area homogenously Igbo in composition), voted almost overwhelmingly for third term – Though the few who worked against it carried the day when the chips were down.

What about a recent public pronouncement of a ‘big shot’ Igbo businessman, known to have consorted immensely with late maximum ruler, General Sanni Abacha, urging the incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (of Ijaw ethnic minority group), to vie for re-election by 2015? This came at a time the Igbo or “Ndigbo” were raising the tempo of the clarion call for one of their own to be elected president in the forthcoming 2015 election. More so, various self acclaimed Igbo socio-political groups, with eyes on likely favour from interested political strong holds, have come forth ‘blasting’ promoters of Igbo presidency, tagging such as “promoting an unviable project for selfish ends” or “lacking tact and political sagacity”.

With all these, where lies the unity among “Ndigbo” that makes for wholeness in concerted efforts required for product development (as clearly obtainable in marketing), and easily replicable in concept structuring as applicable to this subject? From biblical expressions in Matthew 12:25, Mark 3:25, and Luke 11:17about the resultant effect of “Every kingdom (or house) divided against itself”, it has become easier to decipher the ‘marketability’ of this concept.

Place of the incumbent president
Some holding on to antecedents, see the incumbent president’s (Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s) so called agreement with “Ndigbo” on supporting him during the last  presidential polls of 2011, for his compensation with a ‘presidential endorsement’ of an Igbo president during the forthcoming 2015 election, as not going to be discharged. They are wondering if any such agreement really exists. If so, was it verbal or written? To them, any proof of such an undertaken seems to be ‘blowing in the wind’, as these close watchers are still mindful of how the People Democracy Party’s (PDP’s) so called zoning agreement on presidential candidature played out not long ago. When it comes to related agreements, Nigerians are now wiser, and view such with ‘a pinch of salt’.

It should be recalled that in 2002 the PDP arrived at an ‘informal’ agreement on rotating (zoning) of strategic elective positions along Nigeria’s north and south axis. The essence was to inculcate a sense of belonging among its members and national acceptability from the various ethnic groups in the country. Somehow this agreement was over-ridden shortly before the 2011 elections to pave way for Dr Goodluck Jonarthan’s candidature.

Many see strong likelihood of the incumbent president overlooking whatever agreement with “Ndigbo” as earlier stated, to seek re-election in 2015. Where such accord exists with no form of documentation, it can be easily reneged. To these, this President’s ‘body language’ of ‘Yes’ to re-election is easily discernable even where he urged promoters of such to refrain from distracting him. Keen watchers are yet to understand what the ‘distraction’ is all about, after he had made it clear to Nigerians (shortly after being sworn in as President in 2010) that he would run for only a single term. This seems another form of dilly-dallying on the issue, and tallies with his not-well-defined position at a CNN’s interview (with Christine Amanpour) shortly after becoming Nigeria’s president the first time, on whether he would run as presidential candidate or not in the 2011 elections. Observers believed this was a ploy to bid for time? They saw it as a smart move towards ‘feeling some pulse’ before arriving at an appropriate decision on whether to go ahead or otherwise. Looking at what occurred after is no longer a matter of conjecture.

To be continued. Read the third part here:


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