By Emmanuel Copi Iriogbe
The above question has become imperative because having observed events since Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29,2015 and the drift of the Nigeria state into chaos and anarchy, other regions have come out with position statements by their leaders.
It must be emphasized that the Midwest remains the only legal entity since its creation was through a constitutional process, approved by law, plebiscite.
The Midwest Federation has been blessed with such noble and respected statesmen such as Anthony Enahoro, Denis Osadebe, Chief Marierie, Chief Festus Okotiebor, Demas Akpore, Ambrose Alli, Samuel Ogbemudia and most recently, Chief Anthony Anenih to mention but a few. All of blessed memory.
These men have come out to speak and do things that propelled the Midwest to its present state of being recognised and appreciated in the country.
However, the question on the lips of many people in the federation is what has become of the new generation of elder statesmen that dot the the plains of Edo/Delta.
While the South East have the Ohaeneze social cultural association, the Afeniferi holds sway in the South West and Arewa in firm control of the North.
Though a conglomeration under the acronym of PANDEF was formed recently to speak for the South South, it is pertinent to note that the representation of Edo and Delta states ( the two component States that form the Midwest) is nothing to talk about,
It gladens the heart to note the efforts of Dr.Pedro Obaseki who has kick started the process of raising a platform, (the Midwest Movement), to champion the cause for the Midwest. The question still remains, why have the elder statesmen in the Midwest not found it necessary to key into this noble initiative.
The reason why such a question has become imperative lies in the fact that if Pedro who has being carrying out most of the advocacy campaigns is picked up by the government of the day, who among our leaders will come out to speak on his/ the peoples behalf. He like others agitating on behalf of the Midwest, such as yours truly, Emmanuel Iriogbe, Athanius Ugbome etc who are using the social media to champion the cause of the Midwest Federation can be considered as rookies, still learning the ropes of nation building.
The Afeniferi have elders in the mold of Senator Femi Okouroumu and others who by their age and pedigree have become untouchable in the Nigeria state.
This is just as Ango Abdullahi can spit fire on behalf of the Arewa Consultative Forum and get away with it. Our brothers, East of the Niger can count on Barrister Nwabueze, SAN, to speak for Ohaeneze and go home and sleep comfortably without any worries of being picked up by security operatives to answer for his utterances.
In recent times, we have witnessed gatherings of leaders from the South South geopolitical zone with able represention of other ethnic nationalities devoid of same from those of Midwest extraction.
One begins to wonder if our elders are too afraid to speak out and if so, for what reasons.
That Nigeria is sliding into a precarious situation is a statement of fact, and this has made restructuring of the nation a must which will be accomplished in the not so distant future. We in the Midwest can not hide under the umbrella of the South South to achieve our aim of having a Federation where all ethnic group will have i ts place of pride.
This is where the Midwest Federation is desirous of elders who have attained the status of untouchability in the Nigeria and world context to come out and speak for it.
This is not too much to ask.
I just want to say my own.