Still on what is important

Cheta Nwanze
3 min readFeb 19, 2024

It is true that in our relationship (especially) with the West, there is a bigotry of low expectations. But what is also true, which is hardly ever talked about, is the tragedy of low ambitions…

I just saw the nonsense that Tony Nwoye did and called a Tech Hub, and I’m happy that the most vicious attacks on him have been from Igbo people for bringing us disgrace. Culturally, we say, “Alusi rie nsi, akowalu ya osisi ejiri tuo ya”.

Tony Nwoye WTF?

There is a reason that until 2023, the man lost every election he contested (yes, he became a House of Reps member in 2015, but that was a tribunal decision). Among the Igbo, we know ndi kpaa nku ahuhu, and have a way of knowing that when you let such people in, ngwere ga bia na nke ngi.

Having said all that, one thing that most of our people, Igbo or non-Igbo in Nigeria, fail at is due diligence. Tony Nwoye, who has been rejected so many times, got elected this time simply because he was in the Labour Party. Because of their enthusiasm for Peter Obi during the elections, people in Anambra North simply voted for the Labour Party across the board. Their kin in Aniocha/Oshimili across the Great River did the same during the same elections and put a chap called Ngozi Okolie into the House of Reps even though his stewardship of his state’s Direct Labour Agency left more complaints than tangible achievements.

Is it a wonder that despite the acclaimed straight-forwardness and frugality of Mr Obi, not one of the 14 Labour representatives or six Labour Senators has declined any of the outrageous monetary “gifts” that have been sent the way of the National Assembly since June 2023? It is difficult not to argue that these chaps are merely grifters who hitched a ride on the insurgent popularity of Mr Obi and rode on his coattails into office. Tony Nwoye certainly falls into that category.

But this is on the people of Anambra North, ndi Igbo, and Nigerians at large. Before the elections, a study by

and showed that only 1 in 5 Nigerians were interested in the Senatorial elections, and 1 in 6 in the House of Reps. This is on top of already preexisting voter apathy. I remember writing about the dangers of this disinterest in down-ballot elections and using, funny enough, the same Ndudi Elumelu, who was swept away for a non-performer, as an example.

Dear Nigerians, for the sake of argument, let us assume that Peter Obi was sworn in on May 29 last year. Would he have been able to function effectively as President with such characters in the legislature?

If we survive until 2027, we will need to learn how to focus on the other elective positions. A democracy is not just about the President.

--

--

Cheta Nwanze

Using big data to understand West Africa one country (or is it region?) at a time.