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Marginalization in Nigeria: We cannot insult our way into power, Dr. Joe Abba to fellow Ndigbo

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A public affairs commentator and policy and governance expert, Dr.Joe Abah, in a tacit reference to power sharing and marginalization in Nigeria, has said that Ndigbo cannot insult their way into power.

Dr. Joe Abah wrote this today in a tweet on his verified twitter handle, @DrJoeAbah, where he commands over 200k followers.

It is pertinent to mention that one of the leading conversations in Nigeria today is the issue of marginalisation of Nigerians of Igbo extraction. And those who are saying that may have their own reasons.

It is well known that Nigeria is a multi-ethnic society and Igbo constitutes one of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Others are the Hausa and Yoruba.

What does it mean for an ethnic group to be marginalised in the Nigerian context? While writing in Vanguard of 29 January 2019, under the headline: “Are the Igbo really marginalised?’, Tochukwu Ezukanma defined marginalisation thus:

“Marginalisation is the process and the consequences of a deliberate and systematic endeavour by other Nigerians and a continuum of Federal Governments to deny the Igbo their fair share of the national resources, and repress their progress across the entire spectrum of the Nigerian social life, especially, in politics.” 

However, while Dr. Joe Abah’s tweet did not directly mention the issue of marginalization, he may have been referring to how best Ndigbo can have a fairer share at the national stage, given the tone of the tweet.

Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, an Igbo has never been the President nor even the Vice-President. Former President Goodluck Jonathan who came close was an Ijaw man from South-South, and by origin not an Igbo. Ijaw is a minority ethnic group in Nigeria.

The issue of marginalization of Ndigbo is debatable and different people hold different opinions. Nevertheless , that is not the subject of this article.

Dr. Joe Abah in his admonition noted that if there were two political parties in Nigeria, Ndigbo should not pack themselves into one of those parties. According to him, they must have a “major stake in BOTH parties” and not be deceived to think that they can insult their way to power.

For the avoidance of doubt, Dr. Joe Abah is an Igbo himself.

See Dr. Joe Abah’s tweet below:

Dr. Joe Abah’s tweet on how Ndigbo can have greater stake in power sharing.