Our Reporter, New York
A Nigerian poet and literary critic, Prof. Obi Nwakanma, has said that only a fool will take the Igbo peoples’ agitation for a better deal in Nigeria for granted.
The professor of Literature at the University of Central Florida made the remarks while elaborating on the presidential aspiration of Peter Obi during an exclusive interview in the online interview program 90MinutesAfrica hosted by Rudolf Okonkwo and Chido Onumah.
Prof. Nwakanma, who is also a journalist and author, described Igbo people as the “spine of Nigeria.” He said the nation would collapse if we removed the spine. “Anybody who takes the agitations of the Igbo for granted is a fool,” he said.
He emphasized that Nigeria would benefit from the Igbo ethos of Justice, fairness, and equity if Nigerians elect Peter Obi as president.
“I do think that an Igbo as president will offer Nigeria the alternative of the republic ethos which the Igbo embodies. That is the idea that all men are born equal. Everything that constitutes the ethos of the Igbo – justice, fairness, and equity, will become part of Nigeria. This is a fact that we must keep emphasizing, and Peter Obi embodies that.”
Though Prof. Nwakanma clarified that Peter Obi is not positioning himself as an Igbo president but rather as an Igbo person who wants to be president of Nigeria, he, however, expressed his belief that electing an Igbo person as president will help in foreclosing the recurring question of the civil war which remains one of Nigeria’s most critical historical contradictions.
Electing Peter Obi as president, the literary critic argued, “would be part of the means of resolving one of our most critical historical contradictions to end the civil war formally and to give Nigeria a new lease.”