Author, editor and polemicist CHUKS ILOEGBUNAM revisits his 2007 book where he made the case for an Igbo President and why he’s working hard to update and reissue it.

I posted on Facebook on Friday, announcing my plan to re-issue my book on the Igbo presidency. What I wrote has been attracting a lot of reactions.

In 2007, I wrote and published THE CASE FOR AN IGBO PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA. My intention was simply to strike a blow for justice, knowing as I did and still do, that without justice, Nigeria is at best heading nowhere and, at worst, is bound for disintegration, perhaps most violently.
 
The central factors that prompted my publishing of the book 15 years ago are again all in accent nationally and, in fact, advertise themselves now in far bolder and weirder reliefs than ever before.

Sharing the inheritance

Looking critically at all sides of everything once again, it struck me as apposite to update the book and re-issue it, even as the country gropes towards 2023 – the magical, general elections’ year.
 
In the first edition, more than a passing attention was given to the concept of equity. There is this Igbo name, Nkemakonam (Nkemakolam). There is another: Nkemdilim (Nkemdirim). May I not be bereft of my due, prays the first name. May my lot abide with me, pleads the second. The temptation to introduce my family name in this short piece is irresistible. Iloegbunam – May the enemy not murder me. 
 
Ndigbo have a way of responding to these names, especially when critical issues are up for consideration. “Of course, you are entitled to your due but who deserves to be disentitled of theirs?” “Touch wood, the abidance of your lot is meet, but what impunity dictates the disinheritance of another?” I loathe the contingency of my life ended by the enemy! Does humanity not make imperative my antipathy for my neighbour’s life ended by his enemy? Rationally speaking, should murder not be out in the affairs of human beings? 

The review and reissue

Dig this: The situation of the Nigerian Presidency leaves us in the hypothetical situation in which three brothers, say, are sharing their wealthy father’s patrimony. Brother A pockets N50 million. Brother B keeps N40 million. When Brother C asks for his first million, he is told by A and B that a decision had been taken to further distribute Papa’s wealth between the duo. What kind of peace should the thoughtful expect in such a family?
 
I will complete the update for this new edition of the book in time for it to be unleashed at Easter 2022. Some of the politicians and aspiring politicians of today were non-elements in the presidential equation of the time that this book first hit the Nigerian public. Their cases are now taken up and analysed. For instance, the Asiwaju Tinubu question is examined, not just in terms of his “life ambition” but also in connection with its national ramifications. Some of the noisier loudspeakers strutting around and staking entitlement to the presidential office are, of course, no more than jokers and upstarts. Their nuisance value also comes into focus.

To the limits of my pocket, I plan to have this book sold at a rock-bottom price. The acquisition of wealth has never numbered in the propellers of my existence. But, quite frankly, this is one occasion in which I wish I were plenty. Were I plenty, I would have this book distributed for free across the board. At concerts. Inside motor parks and bus stops. Around markets and shopping malls. Far above sea level in airplanes. At the entrances to the places of worship. At venues for ballgames. Everywhere!
 
It was the character Isabella who, in denouncing corruption, said in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure that, “it is excellent To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant.” Many in this country fail to appreciate that the misapplication of advantage has no other name than corruption.

The central plank of my argument in this book is that the finger of equity and justice that fits should be used to pick the nose of national breathing. No one should presume to have the right to skin a child because it has to be cured of rashes. 

The contention here is actually basic. Anyone that lashes out at his testicles and feels the pain must realise that the same anguish will befall whoever else suffers the fate of pummelled testicles. In short, the Golden Rule cannot have gone on vacation or, at the very least, the pursuit of justice dictates that spirited efforts must be made to prevent it from taking off on the pretext of the existence of something known as annual leave.

Chuks Iloegbunam: the case for an Igbo President

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