As the wise saying goes, if you want no disappointments, don’t indulge in illusions. He who lives on illusions dies of disillusion. Unfortunately, some Nigerians that barely survived disillusion after the earthquake of the 2015 Presidential election are still living in illusions.
When you hear an Igbo man whimper that “As it stands now, Buhari can only win this election by rigging and use of force to intimidate voters”, it is a symptom of someone who is living in an Atikulated political cocoon. When you check, you will find that 95 % of his/her Facebook friends believe that their President is one Jubril from Sudan. That is the first indication that his /her circles of friends are still stuck in the political mud of 2015.
The Atikulated political cocoon is the constellation of mutually-reinforcing social media political experts that can have created an echo-chamber that has made it difficult for them to cope with political reality in Nigeria.
The Atikulated political cocoon is social media groups where some Igbos have refused to detach themselves from people whose names end in Okeke and Okafor and venture into the political groups made up of Bayo, Segun, Adamu, and Mustapha
The Atikulated political cocoon is the place where it took an awfully, awfully long time for some Igbos to admit that President Buhari is not Jubril. The Atikulated political cocoon is the place where Igbos have persuaded themselves, in defiance to evidence, that Jubril, unlike their hero Goodluck Jonathan, OBJ and Yaradua combined is at least working to address the decades-long infrastructural deficit in the Southeast.
As an example, for years, the Federal government neglected the building of a befitting monument for the foremost illustrious son of Ndigbo. For years, contracts were awarded only for the political elites of PDP in the Southeast to embezzle the fund. At some point, the delipidated/uncompleted monument became a symbol of what Igbos point at to indicate that we are marginalized and that they don’t care about us.
Buhari came to office, completed the project. But the Atikulated Igbos living in denial and political cocoon, instead of seeing the beauty in the befitting monument, now see graves all over Zik’s round-about Onitsha.
For years, we whined that they don’t want to build another modern bridge across the Niger. For years, the second Niger Bridge was being constructed on paper and used as a bait for Igbo vote. Buhari came and commenced actual visible construction. However, the Atikulated political activists living in a cocoon are either blind or are claiming that the bridge is now an irrelevant project because it is Buhari that is attempting to make it a reality.
For years, we lamented about infrastructural development in the southeast. We watched Enugu Onitsha express road turn to erosion site. then Buhari came and commenced rehabilitation on the road, but the Atikulated Igbos living in denial and political cocoon, instead of seeing sincere intent and visible progress are only focusing on some sections of the road that the reconstruction has not reached.
What a shame. Why have we turned Igbo land into a whining society?
It worries me that a good percentage of Igbos are in a hermetically sealed bubble in which only their own views are reinforced and an alternate reality is reflected
I understand that life isn’t fair. It’s true, and you still should deal with it. Whining about our political predicament will not level the playing field, but learning to rise above it is the ultimate reward.
When everyone you encounter agrees with you and hails you for refereeing to your president as Jubril; when you are loved for dismissing dissenting political opinion, it does not prepare you to develop the political and emotional intelligence that is crucial to thriving in a multicultural country that is fluid and dynamic.
Here is a take away from this piece, Igbos should pay closer attention to the multidimensional geopolitics in Nigeria if we are to avoid another four years of whining about the outcome of the February 16th election.
Ndigbo have a saying that a man may refuse to do what is asked of him but he may not refuse to be asked.
So, I will ask you to step out, just for a few seconds from the Atikulated political cocoon, and maybe, just maybe you will get enough fresh air to stop fabricating of illusions.