Indications have emerged that Nigeria would experience rapid growth and development if an Igbo emerges as president in the 2023 general elections. Both research and opinion polls conducted by News Echo revealed that Igbo wards have always showed audacious capacity in various fields that if allowed to ascend the presidency, the country would certainly fly.
According to Mr. Ibecheozor George, a retired civil servant from Enyiogugu, Aboh Mbaise LGA of Imo State, Nigeria is down because the Igbo is down. Ibecheozor stated that the country would start witnessing development in all sectors the moment a qualified Igbo is voted in as president. He said, ”I entered secondary school in 1966 and the crisis – the January 15, 1966 coup, the July 29 counter coup and the pogrom against Ndigbo reared their ugly faces. Thus, we stayed back and returned in 1970 after the Nigeria, Biafra civil war had ended. It therefore means that I was in Biafra. I witnessed what happened. That is, the wonders of the Igbo nation between 1966 and 1970. In Biafra, there was no airport but General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu built an emergency airport at Uli and it became the third busiest airport in Africa.
In Biafra, telephone lines were cut off by the Federal Government of Nigeria but our leaders installed telephones whereupon we talked to the world and all the countries of the world spoke back to us. In Biafra, Ojukwu converted what was the University of Nigeria at Nzukka to University of Biafra. He directed the College of Engineering to produce a device with which Biafra would use as an antidote against the flying jets, armoured tanks and shelling machine of the invading Nigerian forces. Within time, University of Biafra invented the Ojukwu bucket otherwise known as Ogbunigwe. The Ogbunigwe was a devastating weapon that dealt severe blows to the Nigerian forces. In Biafra, we refined our oil and there was no fuel scarcity. If Ndigbo could perform those wonders in a war situation, imagine what they can do if given the chance to rule Nigeria. I really agree that Nigeria will fly if given the Igbo an opportunity to lead”.
Prince Clinton Uba is a journalist and publisher of NEWS MIRRIOR magazine. He wonders why Ndigbo always talk about the presidency, marginalization as well as blaming all the ills in the South East at the doorstep of the president of Nigeria. ”Let me tell you that the answer to our problem is not the Igbo becoming the president of Nigeria. The solution to our problem is for South East governors to sit down and articulate workable programmes for their respective states. Let us develop our nation and the idea of looking unto Abuja for the solution of our problems in Igbo nation will be a thing of the past”.
He added: ”In any case, yes, I agree, with an Igbo as president, I mean, a good Igbo man, Nigeria will witness tremendous growth and development. At least I am aware that what we have today as University of Ibadan is the idea and vision of a great Igbo academic, the late Professor Kenneth Dike. He was the man, as the first Nigerian vice chancellor of UI, who transformed what was a university college, attached to another university in London, and made it a really international academic institution. Again, another Igbo, the late Professor Eni Njoku, was the first vice chancellor of University of Lagos, the great UNILAG. Njoku laid the foundation of UNILAG and was also the man who chaired the commission that gave birth to NEPA and PHCN even as it has been unbundled to different companies. If an Igbo could do all these in the beginning, it means that, if given opportunity, the Igbo can really deliver Nigeria from her present state of quagmire”.
A report by nigeriamonitor.com quoted a United States academic report for 2015 as saying that the ”Igbo of South Eastern Nigeria are the most brilliant black African race. According to the report: “a search through the promotional materials of school for a black student – all schools and colleges would always show some black faces in their promotional materials if they have any – reveals that they have had at least one black student, and it was, unsurprisingly, a Nigerian Igbo.”
According to the report, ”This is just as two teenage Nigerian high school students, Harold Ekeh and Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, have broken a record of being accepted by eight Ivy League schools in the United States. Ekeh is a 17-year-old senior student at Elmont Memorial High School, Long Island while Uwamanzu- Nna is a high-school student from Long Island, New York. Schools within the Ivy League are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
However, the feat, according to two online news portals, NBC News and MSN, revealed that both teenagers are faced with “a big decision to make soon.” For instance, Ekeh was granted admission by 13 universities, including all the eight Ivy League schools.
The NBC News reported that Ekeh is faced with the dilemma of whittling down his college prospects, having applied to 13 colleges, with the hope to “maybe” get into Stony Brook University, about an hour east of his home in Elmont, Long Island.
But, in recent weeks, the cascade of reply letters started pouring in: Harvard. Yes. Yale. Yes. Princeton. Yes. Not only did he get accepted to all of the schools he applied to, those include all eight Ivy League institutions. Speaking with NBC News, Ekeh said: “It’s very, like, stunning.
It’s like getting hit with a brick, honestly. When you see congratulations, you’re like, wow your hard work has paid off, definitely.” The straight-A student has accomplished the rare feat of getting into all of the nation’s Ivy schools, crediting his parents’ work ethic for setting an example and a desire to strive in his adopted homeland after emigrating from Nigeria 10 years ago.
“I find that I’m very over-involved,” Ekeh said, counting advanced placement classes and extracurricular activities, such as science research, school plays and being editor-inchief of his school newspaper, as filling up his time. Ekeh, who scored a 2270 out of 2400 on his SATs, said: “I do have conflicts that maybe I’ll have this programme at the same time as I have another programme and so it’s hard to choose which one to be involved in.
I expected to maybe get into Stony Brook, a couple of other safeties, just based upon the SAT and the GPA, but I was still never certain of anything. There are so many variables taken into consideration in college admissions, so I was never certain of anything at any point.”
Ekeh, one of five brothers, said he wants to study biochemistry and become a neurosurgeon. He is inspired by his grandmother, who began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s when he was 11. He wants to find a cure. “There are so many researchers working for Alzheimer’s disease right now and many neurogenic disorders that definitely a cure can be found soon,” he said.
As for where he is going to college, he isn’t quite sure, but would like to stay close to family. “I am leaning towards Columbia right now because I’d like to stay in New York City for I guess the rest of my career and work at Mt. Sinai,” Ekeh said, adding that America has given his family a life they might never have had in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Uwamanzu- Nna, who also had found herself in the same situation, told MSN News that she has a big decision to make soon. The Elmont High School valedictorian, who was accepted into all the eight Ivy League schools, also gained admission into Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Uwamanzu-Nna is the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, who said her parents instilled in her the value of education. “Though I was born here in America, I visited Nigeria many times. And I’ve seen that my cousins don’t have the same opportunities that I have.
So, definitely, whatever I do, I want to make sure that it has an impact on Nigeria,” she said. She also said her own tenacity and persistence helped shape her into becoming a great student. But as with a lot of students, she did face hardships with some classes.
“I struggled with numerous classes in the past. But I guess what allowed me to be successful, ultimately, in those classes, is my persistence and my tenacity,” she said. Though Uwamanzu- Nna hasn’t decided on which college to attend, having scored a GPA of 101.6, and with a recent invitation to the White House Science Fair, reports indicated that there’s no doubt that she would continue her academic excellence.
The report that suggested the outstanding academic performance of the Igbo revealed that if only environmental factors were responsible for the different Intelligence Quotients (IQs) of different populations, the world may expect to find some countries where Africans had higher IQs than Europeans.
The report cited empirical backup using theories propounded by eminent scholars such as Richard Lynn, a British Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Ulster and Arthur Jensen, who was a professor of educational psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
The report’s findings also revealed that while the fact remains that black immigrants to the U.S have shown achievements that were superior to native black Americans, studies had also shown that it had been a phenomenon studied since the 1970s at the least.
Using Lynn theory, who was also an assistant editor of the controversial journal Mankind Quarterly, who is known for his views on racial, ethnic and national differences in intelligence, the report revealed that: “Failure to find a single country where this is the case points to the presence of a strong genetic factor.”
For Jensen, the report said: “Regression would explain why Black children born to high IQ, wealthy Black parents have test scores two to four points lower than do White children born to low IQ, poor White parents.” The report also stated that at first, it was just the Caribbean blacks who were a subject of this unexpected outcome.
As black Africans kept immigrating into the U.S, they showed even higher levels of achievement than the native blacks. Many scholars theorised on the reasons for these differences, from Thomas Sowell’s proposal that this disproved the validity of discrimination against native blacks as an explanation for their underachievement (Sowell, 1978), to other scholars who suggested that these immigrants were just the most highly driven members of their home countries as evidenced by their willingness to migrate to a foreign country (Butcher, 1990).
What most of these theories failed to predict was that the children of these immigrants would also show exceptional achievements, especially academically. It is only in recent years, as the immigrants have stayed long enough to produce a sufficiently high number of offspring, that it had been observed that they are over-represented among high academic achievers, especially when compared to native blacks, particularly at very elite institutions.
What has been missed in the IQ debate is the full logical implication of these achievements: they have effectively nullified any arguments for a racial evolutionary explanation of the well-known IQ test score gap between blacks and whites.
Even more fatal for the racial hereditarian side of the debate has been the corroborating data of school children performance in the UK, particularly when the black Africans are divided into their respective nationalities and tribal ethnicities.
Arthur Jensen gave at least two empirical tests that could potentially falsify his thesis of a race based genetic explanation for the black-white IQ gap”.
Taking it from sports angle, a popular sports commentator and former Abia State Sports Council chairman, Mr. Ejikeme Ikwunze generally known as Mr.Football, pointed out that the feats of Ndigbo in sports were good evidence that South Easterners would make Nigeria proud should one of them be elected president. ”You must understand that even six years before independence, precisely in 1954, during the Commonwealth Games in Vancavour, Canada, an Igbo, Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna, put Nigeria’s name on the global sporting map when his jump six feet eight inches fetched the country’s first ever gold in sports. Later, boxer Richard Dick Tiger Ihetu became the first Nigerian to bring a world boxing title home when he fought America’s Gene Fullmer on August 10, 1963 at Ibadan. It was the first time a world title fight was staged in Africa. Do not forget that Rangers were the first team in Nigeria to reach the final of any CAF organized competition when they played to the final of the CAF Champions League in 1975 but lost to Hafia of Guinea. Enyimba later emerged as the first, and so far, the only team in Nigeria to lift the CAF Champions league. Remember also that the first Nigerian to haul an individual Olympic gold medal is Chioma Ajunwa just as Chief Jerry Enyeazu was the brain behind the National Sports Festival and Sir Emeka Omeruah, as NFF chairman qualified Nigeria to her first ever World Cup Finals in USA ’94. We cannot forget that it was Coach Chris Udemezue that qualified Nigeria to her first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup Finals in 1983. There are so many other examples to buttress my point”.
Similarly, the activities of Igbo wards like Oby Ezekwezili at the ministry of education and due process office, the late Prof Dora Akunyili at NAFDAC and Chukwuma Soludo at CBN were all highly commendable, indicating that if an Igbo is president, Nigeria will indeed, fly and develop.