Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ndigbo in Nigeria: History is My Witness

Few days ago a friend, Patriot and a committed Nigerian,Emmanuel Majebi reminded me of the tragedy of looking the way and keeping quiet by men who should know better in times of crisis. He reminded me of the calamity that will befall a society or nation when real men choose to be neutral in times of great moral crisis. He reminded me that evil triumph in every society when good and thinking men do nothing. Hear Emmanuel: "The story is usually told of how Years after the devastation of Germany in WW2 ... There was a meeting of German Egg Heads ... And the question was how did it come to past that a nation that produced Great Thinkers like Friederich Niettzshe.. Karl Max ...Albert Einstein....Bruno Bauer. Friederich Engels... Etc ..etc...get siezed and goaded into ultimate destruction by a looney like Hitler... Who was not even originally German but Austrian!!!! The thinkers came up with the conclusion that complacency and indifference until it became too late ... Was the main cause!!!!"

A.J.P Taylor captured it succinctly when the German war machines crumbled in 1945 when he said: "The real problem of German history is why so few of the educated recognized Hitler as the embodiment of evil" The blame was put squarely on the inability of the German political class and the elite to rise up to the challenges of Hitler and his collaborators. The consequences of their inability to call a spade a spade resulted in the death of 20 million people and the massive destruction of property worth several billions of dollars. The rest is now history!

Before 2015 and after the 2015 general elections I had a running battle with the some Igbo writers and opinion builders both at home and abroad on the choice of words they throw to the public space. I reminded them those of them living outside Nigeria that they creating millions of enemies for our people living and doing businesses outside Igbo Land. I was abused as a sell out, a saboteur, and betrayer. Nnamdi Kanu's Radio Biafra was there and is still there as I write this spewing and spreading hate, ethnic bigotry and primordial tendencies with reckless abandon. I did not see Ohaneze, Ndigbo Lagos, Aka Ikenga and other Igbo political class rising up to say enough is enough. The brigandage continued unabated until the Arewa Youths of the North responded in their way few weeks back and hell was let loose. Yes, the Arewa Youths flouted the Nigerian Constitution by asking Igbo to quit their territory. Yes,the Arewa youths took laws into the hands. Yes, the Arewa Youths response was  reckless and totally unacceptable but has anybody taken mental notice of the abuse and uncensored choice of words used on the person of the President and Northern Nigerians by some Igbo at home and abroad? Why did our leaders keep quiet in the face of these provocative statements and abuse? Why did they not care about others in Nigeria? Why did it not bother them? Why was Nnamdi Kanu not called to order? Did they address any press conference calling for seizure of hate speeches and abuse of others who are different from us? 

The same Igbo leaders who could not speak when elders are supposed to speak were the ones visiting Nnamdi Kan u in prison taking pictures with him. Now what signals are we sending to other Nigerians who are not Igbo? Can you see what I am seeing? Can you add two and two to get four? Can you see that Arewa Youths ran away with the thinking that those who are abusing and cursing them got endorsement from Igbo leaders? The evil spirits visited in the night and the Child died in the morning and you are still waiting for the proof of what happened. What the Arewa youths did is to practice what political scientists call balance of terror, balance of abuse, balance of hate, balance of ethnic bigotry and balance of primordial sentiments.

It was when the Arewa Youths reacted the way they did that Igbo suddenly remembered that they have investments worth trillions of Naira outside Igbo land. It was then that former Governor Kwankwaso reminded Igbo that they are occupying the size of South East in the North. It was then that it dawned on Igbo and other Nigerians that we need one another. It was then that we started looking into the Our Constitution. It was then that Igbo leaders started speaking out. It was then that they realized that hate speech can cause war because war starts by hot exchange of words. It was then that it dawned on Igbo that while it is easy for Northerners to quickly vacate the South East it may not be too easy for Igbo to move their physical assets out of the North. It is impossible. It was then that we realized that nobody has a monopoly hate language. 

We are gradually witnessing what happened in Biafra from 1967 to 1970 when Patriots and genuine Igbo leaders who offered alternative views to Ojukwu then were branded as saboteurs and t ied to the stake and gunned down. Zik, C C Onoh and Professor Enegere of the University of Nigeria Nsukka confirmed this to me.  God forbid. We are in the age of ideas and the age of learning. May the voices of the uneducated, unlettered, and the uncivilized in Igbo land not swallow the voices of reason, hope, truth and life. Before the declaration of Biafra on 30th of May 1967 at the then Eastern House of Assembly all the bonafide leaders in Igbo land were seated. More than 80% of the people in that hallowed Chamber rose up for Biafra and it came to pass. Now if we want Biafra again 50 years after everything must be debated, Mark my words. Let us call for the debate and let the intelligentsia and those who can add two and two together to get four go to speak for Igbo land. A lot is at stake in Nigeria, and I do not want Igbo to lose again.

I agree 100% that Igbo have suffered systemic, organized, structured and official marginaliz ation in Nigeria but let us go into constructive and civilized engagement to redress the imbalance. For us to do this we need to play better politics by working with other Nigerians. I have a reason why Igbo should see Nigeria as their Country. There is no other country in the world where Igbo language is spoken. Yoruba have three million of their kinsmen and women in Benin Republic. The language spreads to Liberia, and even up to West Indies. The Hausa- Fulani have their kinsmen and women in Mali, Niger, and even up to Saudi Arabia etc. If there is serious crisis in Nigeria they can move. Igbo have no outlet anywhere in the world. You cannot plant and another will come and harvest. You cannot build and another will come and occupy.

Now what is the way forward? Igbo should stop persecution complex, marginalization complex,defeatism syndrome , leadership complex, and what Prof Ozodi Osuji will call selfish sense of superiority, and paranoid grandiosit y. We can do better than this. Nnamdi Kanu' Biafra project will not fly in the 21st Century. Igbo must see Nigeria as their own where they have invested trillions to build. We are all Nigerians. Given my experiences in Nigeria and Igbo land we may not be able to live as one in one Country. I am a living a living witness of what happened when Enugu was carved out of the old Anambra State. I am a living witness how Ebonyi State always join the North when issues concerning South East are put to votes at the National Assembly . I am a living witness when former Governor Orji of Abia State sacked all civil servants from Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu from the State civil service. Catholic Diocese of  Ahiara Mbaise cannot accept the man is from Anambra State as their Bishop. An Anambra man Mr Cletus Ibeto who bought the Nkalagu Cement Factory cannot start operation because the bigots feels and an Anambra man cannot buy and own Nkalagu Cement Factory. This is the country the s mall boy Nnamdi wants me to be part of. Let common sense prevail even though I know commonsense is not common. Case Rested!

Joe Igbokwe

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March Of Ethnic Nationalists: Friendly Warning For British, French [2] ―Fani Kayode

Written by Femi Fani Kayode

Meanwhile, just as their counterparts are doing in Nigeria, the racial integrationists, the champions of globalisation, the apostles of a new world order and the advocates of mass migration continue to test the waters by attempting to place obstacles in the path of the true believers and ethnic nationalists all over the world.

For example Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, suggested that this was not the time to discuss the issue of a new referendum for Scottish independence just two weeks ago.

Thankfully Alex Salmon, the former leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, responded to her in an eloquent manner by assuring her that if she continued talking that way her words and attitude would actually guarantee Scottish independence rather than prevent it. 

His warning is appropriate and timely.

Again just last week, the President of the European Commission, Jeanne Claude Junker, who is one of the world's most rabid and diehard integrationists and globalists, said that President Donald Trump's stated desire to see "more Brexits" and to "witness more countries leave the European Union" was "provocative and inappropriate" and that in retaliation the European Union may consider calling on states like Ohio and Texas to secede from the United States of America.

Nigel Farage MEP, the former leader of the British United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and one of the most formidable and respected nationalists in the world today, jumped into the ring the following day with a swift and devastating response.

He said that Junkers' words were inappropriate and misplaced because the United States of America came together as a consequence of consensus whilst the Europe Union was brought together by fiat and compulsion.

He also made the point that, unlike America, which is a transparent and functional democracy, the European Union is run by a group of faceless and unelected bureaucrats and officials at the European Commission in Brussels.

Farage is absolutely right. His was indeed a beautiful response. Both Salmon and Farage have spoken the minds of millions of people all over the world including Nigeria.

The bottom line is that you cannot compel a people to remain part of any nation unless they choose to be in that nation and you cannot deny them the right of self-determination and the freedom of choice and association.

Thankfully that message is spreading. The forces of integration and globalisation are clearly on the ropes in today’s fast-changing world just as they are in Nigeria.

Nothing can stop the quest for self-determination or the glorious march of the ethnic nationalists.

A couple of weeks ago in an essay titled "The Hausa Fulani, The Yoruba and The Slaughter in Ile-Ife" (Part 2) yours truly wrote the following:

"The right to take pride in our ethnicity and invoke the principle of self-determination cannot be denied.

We reject the concept of globalisation and the enthronement of a new world order. We reject the concept of an artificial, man-made, multi-cultural, multi-religious, mongrel mega-nation that is made up of ethnic and religious incompatibles.

We reject the notion that we must bury our ethnicity, forget our differences, arrest our development, discard our values and enthrone the idea of a strange and complicated hybrid nation where we are expected to live with and accommodate those that hate our faith, despise our people, scorn our values and that rape, maim and kill our loved ones and compatriots in the name of religion, conquest, land, cows and cattle.

The truth is that no force in hell or on earth can stop the rise and establishment of the sovereign state of Biafra, Oduduwa or any other ethnic nation that will one day be carved out of what is presently known as Nigeria".

I believe that these words are relevant and prophetic. Those that do not see the wisdom in restructuring Nigeria have guaranteed her future dissolution.

Yet sadly this is a fact that appears to be completely lost on both the British and French Ambassadors given their simplistic and asinine contributions to what is essentially a very complicated, multi-layered, multifaceted, problematic, volatile and dangerous long-standing debate which borders on the nationality question in Nigeria.

May the counsel of the Lord stand in our nation and may His name be glorified. 

(To be continued…)

Open Letter To The Acting President In Response To The Position And Fallacies by Arewa Youths

Your Excellency Sir,

The attention of Igbo Ekunie Initiative, a coalition of professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora has been drawn to an open letter written by so-called Arewa youths. As is typical of the “Sharia North” and their arrogance, bullying and internal colonialist (born to rule) attitude, the letter was filled with hate, lies, baseless claims, pedestrian propaganda, innuendoes and an unconscionable even criminal justification of genocide.

It is our intention, therefore, to respond to aspects of the letter which we consider deserving of a  response if only to set the records straight and to state our stand in regards to the state of the nation.

Firstly, we must commend you for your statesmanly approach to resolving long-standing issues of nationhood and contradictions that have continued to plague the nation. You have in a few months demonstrated an exceptional capacity for leadership despite obvious inhibitions.

However, we must disagree with you in your declaration that Nigeria is an indivisible, indissoluble entity. If anything, the lessons of history have taught us that no nation is indivisible and indissoluble. In this, we agree with so called Arewa Youths that Nigeria remains subject to international laws particularly the United Nation’s Charter which recognize the inalienable rights of all groups and or indigenous groups to self-determination. While we appreciate the belated recognition of this fundamental right by the North, we are amused that Arewa youths only just discovered the existence of this right.

The right to self-determination is a fundamental; integral to the UN since its founding in 1945. In recognition of this fact, we hope Arewa youths will now have the humility to apologize for the Illegal war waged against Biafra which was ab-initio a repudiation of international laws on self-determination they now acknowledge. We also hope they would apologize for all the incarcerated and murdered members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose only crime was the peaceful expression or non-violent demonstrations for their right to self-determination as recognized by the UN and African Union charters.

We hope Arewa youths and the North will be willing to pay adequate compensation for lives and property lost in the course of these crises. In the same vein, it’s common knowledge that there is widespread discontent across Nigeria due to decades of Northern oppression/misrule and we urge Arewa youths to impress it on their members of parliament/president Muhammadu Buhari who incidentally is one of them to pass a motion that will allow all sections of the Nation campaign for and hold a referendum to freely determine if they want to remain in Nigeria or not.

In our view, this would be a final/peaceful and civilized settlement of the ever increasing contradictions and bloodletting that has long plagued the nation.

In regards to some of the laughable fallacies/distortions of history bandied by Arewa Youths. Courtesy of the Southern League of Professionals (SLP) who had earlier issued a statement on “facts of Nigeria’s history”, we restate as follows:

That hate crimes/mass killings/genocide and other expressions of intolerance, hate and war against other ethnic and religious groups by Hausa-Fulani’s started in the North in 1945, before independence and more than two decades before the January 1966 coup.

That likewise in 1953, thousands of Southerners living in Kano were massacred by Hausa Fulani’s simply because Chief Anthony Enahoro called for Nigeria’s independence in the Parliament in Lagos.

That the pogroms/genocide by Hausa-Fulani’s against Igbos/Easterners in 1966-67 was, therefore, a continuation of an institutionalised culture, system of hate crimes/mass killings/genocide against  other ethnoreligious groups long established in the North and that continues till today with Boko Haram terrorism and Fulani herdsmen massacres across the Middle Belt and the South.

That the January 1966 coup was pretentiously given an ethnic name to justify genocide even though it was not in the composition of officers and men who carried out the coup homogenous by the tribe and when all over the world coup doesn’t bear ethnic names notwithstanding its composition.

That the coup though unfortunate was occasioned by the introduction of corruption such as election rigging in TIV land in 1960, rigging of national census in 1962, the incarceration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo on treason charges, the massive rigging of elections in the western region in 1964 leading to daily riots (wetie) and thousands of dead from 1964 until 1966 by the Northern led federal government in a bid to create a corrupt and undemocratic one-party state.

That these corrupt/unpatriotic acts, the decimation of democracy and other heinous vices by the Northern led federal government created the conditions that engendered the unfortunate intervention of the military.

That the principles of a coup as recognized all over the world is chiefly the struggle by a group of officers and men to capture power and where that fails to face the consequences.

That subsequent coup in Nigeria even though obviously ethnic in nature were not given ethnic names. i.e. the July 1966 genocidal counter-coup that has the notoriety of crossing the street and killing thousands ordinary Eastern civilians  (first genocide on African soil and the first time a coup includes killing ordinary civilians) has never been called an Hausa-Fulani coup, nor was the Buhari, Babangida, and Abacha coups called Hausa-Fulani coups.

In the same vein the Dimka coup was not called a Middle Belt Coup, nor was the Gideon Orkar coup which attempted to excise the core Sharia North from Nigeria, being the 2nd major attempt to balkanize the nation called a TIV or Middle Belt coup.

That hence other coups have not   been  given ethnic names, it’s evident the proponents of the idea of an “Igbo coup” created the myth to  justify the heinous criminality of genocide, which shamefully became the first genocide on African soil preceding that of Rwanda and opening the evil floodgates of mass killings elsewhere on the continent.

That genocide is the most heinous crime known to man for which there is no possible justification and that the Hausa Fulani are singularly responsible for pioneering such atrocious crimes on African soil and opening the floodgates for such evil elsewhere on the continent.

That the pogrom/genocide/mass killing of more than 100,000 Easterners by officers and men of the Nigerian army, police and civilians of Hausa-Fulani stock which included unspeakable barbarities such as the mass rape of women, disembowelling of pregnant women, wholesale slaughter of civilians including children at a scale and scope never before seen on the African continent, while a Northern head of state whose primary responsibility is the protection of lives and property did nothing or even colluded, led to the declaration of Biafra as a last bastion of self-defence from  genocide.

That no people would face such a genocidal assault and opt not to defend themselves. That on the 6th of July 1967, having reneged on the Aburi accord and refused the offer by Colonel Ojukwu to conduct a referendum in line with international law, Nigeria commenced an illegal war against the same people/Biafrans it had failed to protect from genocide in repudiation of international law/UN charter that recognises the right of all peoples to self-determination.

It’s instructive to note that following the counter-coup, the North was the first to declare an intent to secede (Araba) from Nigeria. It took the intervention of British diplomats and the lure of crude oil resources for the north to make a volte-face from secession to one Nigeria predicated not on love of country but on crude oil resources and designs of ethnic domination.

That since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war, instead of learning from the war and investing in nation building; manifest designs of ethnic domination, oppression, marginalisation, misrule and continuing hate crimes/mass killings of other ethnoreligious groups by the Hausa-Fulani has been all too evident.

That In 1993, Moshood Abiola won the freest and fairest election in Nigeria but the election was cancelled and he was murdered in cold blood because the North didn’t want a Yoruba to come to power.

That In 1999, Dr Alex Ekwueme who with other colleagues had risked his life to form the PDP (the only party with national spread) was on the verge of becoming the presidential candidate of the PDP, when the Hausa-Fulani military oligarchy interfered with the normal democratic process by imposing Obasanjo who had just come out of prison through a rigged process because they didn’t want an Igbo man to become president thereby creating another injustice.

That the North has continued for decades to taunt, insult, exclude, humiliate and oppress other ethnic groups with their claimed “born to rule arrogance” and internal colonialist machinations.

That hate crimes/mass killings/genocide against other ethnic groups by Hausa-Fulani has continued to date with the killers never prosecuted.  It’s instructive to note that the killers of Mrs Bridget Agbahime were recently set free by the Kano state government despite all evidence against them. Likewise, not a single Fulani herdsman who carried out mass killings of thousands of people in Enugu state and other Southern and Middle Belt states has been arrested.

That Northern Nigeria is the only place in Africa where fellow citizens are routinely killed on ethnoreligious grounds. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the North now harbours Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen both of which have been classified the 1st and 4th deadliest terrorist groups in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

That instructively; the so-called Arewa youths who are ranting about peaceful protests by IPOB have never condemned the mass killing rampage of Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and South nor the ongoing murderous war against the nation by Boko Haram.

Nor did the so-called Arewa youths say anything when twelve core Northern states treasonably declared Sharia in repudiation of the Nigerian constitution thereby effectively seceding from Nigeria and causing riots that took more than 20,000 lives.

That the so-called mischievous quit notice by Arewa youths whose leaders ironically live in Lagos, again demonstrates the barbarism, absolute ignorance and consequent failure to realize that residency rights like property rights as governed by international law transcend citizenship. Thus Nigerians live in Ghana, America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere even without being citizens. Likewise, British citizens living in other parts of the EU have not left because of “Brexit.”

The likes of Arewa youths have once again odiously shown the world why Nigeria remains the dreg of humanity/a failed state where basic indices of civilization and rule of law remain absent.

Yet it’s instructive to state that the core North will be the ultimate losers to be mired in devastation and desolation if and when all settlers leave same way the Northeast has remained desolate and devastated since Boko Haram terrorists drove everyone away. Ironically those who are suffering and more than 2 million who have become internally displaced refugees because they have nowhere to go are Northerners. Predictably, the same fate awaits the rest of the core North.

Overall, the Hausa-Fulani has only brought hate crimes/genocide, oppression, internal colonialism, tribalism, corruption, marginalization, injustice, and misrule to Nigeria. It’s instructive that all Nigeria’s institutions, Refineries, Nigeria Airways, Railway lines, steel plants, Universities, hospitals, NEPA, NIPOST etc. collapsed under successive Hausa-Fulani rule due to massive corruption. The nation also assumed the notoriety of being named the most corrupt country in the world under the leadership of Generals Babangida, Abacha, and Abdulsalam Abubakar.

Furthermore; the Hausa-Fulani and their Sharia cohorts remain the only group opposed to every progressive attempt to restructure and move the country forward, preferring instead to maintain the parasitic, unworkable, murderous, unjust and corrupt status quo.

There is, therefore, no doubt that the Hausa Fulani has been and remains Nigeria’s greatest fault line. Indeed this was given practical expression by the Major Gideon Orkar coup which instructively attempted to forcefully expel the Hausa-Fulani States from Nigeria.

The fact that the core North/Hausa-Fulani states were the only states targeted for such excision lends credence to the Hausa-Fulani problem in Nigeria.

We submit that insofar as the Hausa-Fulani remains unwilling to depart from its arrogance/bullying and remains unwilling to change from its colonialist mindset and murderous culture in view of having a restructured nation governed by justice, equality, the rule of law and true federalism, it will forever be impossible to co-habit with such people in the same country.

In closing; we take cognisance of the fact that 12 Northern states already technically seceded from Nigeria by declaring Sharia in repudiation of the constitution. We, therefore, urge the federal government to organize a referendum where all component units will choose if they want to remain in a Nigeria so unjust, so oppressive, so un-progressive, so dehumanized and bastardized by decades of Northern misrule.

Yours Sincerely,
Chief Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Tel. +44 7748612933

Mr. Lawrence Nwobu
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiative

Ethiope 2019: Who shall speak for the constituents?

As a writer with socio-political interest, I have not failed to
confront our ruinous and ravenous political lions, right in their

Lately, the writer in me went into his cave and guess what; many
pundits believed that I have been settled or warned by some political
juntas, to with threat or shelve my swords to get political
appointment. It is salient I state here that lovers of my pen know
that I am not a saint but I am not immune against ‘Iborism’ neither
will I be part imposition of unpopular candidates on the people.

Some political juntas within Ethiope Federal constituency enclaves are
fasten their political seat belts, calculating who would succeed
Lovette Idisi at the hallow chamber of the National Assembly.

Making incantations and praying hard for God to arrest Ibori heart for
their favour, simply because, politicians in my dear State has
succeeded in mortgaging their political future for possible
endorsement from him, instead of credibility of aspirants vying for
political positions to be critically assessed.

Reasonable constituents have clamoured for true democracy over the
years. Most constituents have wished for quality people to emerge at
high echelons of National Assembly instead of the perpetuation of
puppets that will be instrumental to misrepresentation. Interested
politicians showed keen interests for elective offices while
demonstrating their commitments to the party’s success at the poll.

This period witnessed acute display of strong bitterness among family
members and long-standing friends because of divergent views.

Yes I may not make it to the Vatican’s hall of “santus homes” but when
it come to getting things right in my domain, I prefer to pace with
suicide than go against my principle and conscience. My pen cannot go
to bed while innocent constituents are under inept, clueless, confused
and mortgaged representation; if eventually the right person is
supported base on credibility than the mortgaged principle of
endorsement by one man or influential few.

Ethiope Federal Constituency would regain her rightful place in the
comity of things, the moment we begin to think and act as one who
demands justice at all time. If Kparobo dynasty is surging to mortgage
the future of the people, if hatred have continued to spread like wild
hammatan fire, it is because we as a people is without acquaintance or
goal, we have remained cowards and slaves in our royal homes, with
poor political representations in the past.

As a progressive, I am not saying that Ethiope West or Ethiope East
should produce the next member to represent the good people of Ethiope
Federal constituency at the hallow chamber, neither I am against
Lovette Idisi to seek second term; but what I am after is a level
playing field for all that may join the race for the green Chamber.

For me as a progressive thinker and analyst, Lovette Idisi has tried
his best in the house, as a lawmaker because his primary aim is to
make laws favourable to his people; he deserve commendations,  than
condemnations he is currently receiving from constituents.

No doubt, you cannot give what you don’t have, especially as it
concerns politics, Idisi being a pupil in political nursery school
cannot in any way compete with someone already at the political
secondary school and as such he should graciously allow a capable hand
to represent the people come 2019 for equity and fairness.

National assembly (Reps and Senate) are for rogue politicians, who can
easily read in between the lines. Halims Agoda, Sunny Emeyese and
Lovette Idisi did their best in the House but their best was not
enough for the people, hence the need to send fresh blood to the
house. Not minding the self contradiction of being a progressive
thinker, in all fairness I think it is the turn of Ethiope west and by
extension Oghara to produce the next rep member come 2019.

I have no doubt in mind that every aspirant would be given a level
playing field, where credibility would be taking as priority, that is
currently receiving boast. Who shall speak for the constituents? Will
Ibori impose candidate on the people? If yes, who will have the war
chest to confront the lion in his den?

The answers to the above questions are key to get 2019 right, where
our voice shall be heard. This would form the basis if we are united
as a people or not we may get it wrong.

As a people, we are still been sentimental about what benefit all of
us, being a social person, I have been privileged to meet with people
especially people that matters, where I asked them some salient
questions about leadership formula in Ethiope Federal constituency and
by extension within the PDP family.

I was informed that because of what was styled as gentle man agreement
of political positions and Ibori factor made them to behave funny,
enduring what they could not cure; leaving constituents in the abyss
of poverty. Is it supposed to be so?

We as constituents would go far if we stop politics of sentiments and
sowing a seed of discord among ourselves and act as constituents from
Ethiope with ‘character competence, commitment and compassion. It is
possible, yes it is.

Kparobo Ehvwubare, is a journalist, political analyst and Media
consultant wrote from Oghara-Delta State. Could be reach on or +2347067546856.

The Ndigbo question!

By Abraham Ogbodo 

The Editor of the Guardian, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

For today’s purpose, I would like to re-introduce myself. My name once again is Abraham Obomeyoma Ogbodo. Kindly note the middle name, which says it all. In spite of the geo-ethnic echo of my last name, I am not from Nsukka in Enugu State. I am a proud Urhobo man. In fact, my name used to be AMOS Abraham. It was one overzealous school teacher at the point of my entry into secondary school in 1975 that told me that: “My friend, we don’t answer such names here! Will you give me a better name now?”

I substituted my father’s first name with his middle name and that was how OGBODO came to be, which cannot be clearly placed in Urhobo notations, except the explanation by my father that he was born on the same day Ogbodo, a great warrior and community leader in Abbi, a neighbouring community in Ndokwa West local government area of Delta State was killed by British forces and it was suggested by one visitor that came to see mother and child that the great warrior had re-incarnated in the new born baby in Oghara Agbarha-Otor.

This little piece of history is absolutely necessary in view of my topic today-the marginalization of Igbo in Nigeria. I do not want to be (mis)interpreted in the context of my surname. Let me also say that it is not only the Igbo that are marginalized in Nigeria. The true position is that everybody is marginalized in Nigeria. Perhaps, a better way to put it to avoid hurting other quarters is: why are Igbo feeling marginalized in Nigeria? I say this because there are so many people who genuinely think it is Ndigbo that are marginalizing others in Nigeria. Such people would tell how non-Ndigbo cannot survive in the Southeast the same way Ndigbo survive in zones outside the Southeast. It is because none can withstand the competitive spirit of Ndigbo. They have capacity to conquer all the way especially in trade.

For working hard to put his environment under conquest, the Igbo man is accused of marginalizing others. It poses a deeper problem if hard work ceases to be a positive measurement. I think people are just falling short of clear articulation. Maybe they are trying to say that in doing business, Ndigbo create their own rules and do not respect the general rules of engagement. Thus, the manifest advantage the Ndigbo enjoy in trade is seen as not so much a function of superior acumen as it is a manifestation of some sort of mercantile Machiavellianism that persistently promotes the end over the means. Others, who fall on the receiving end of this approach, find this offensive.

Even so, I shall try to be objective here. Who sets and enforces the rules? Let it be said that not too many human spirits are selfless. It is in the nature of man to run on the id (base instincts) and at best the ego (self consciousness) both of which fire him towards self aggrandizement and not self fulfillment. In fact, the super ego, which moderates and spreads consideration in the natural world is totally lacking in man, yet it is what is required to make a distinction between the human society and the jungle. And so, the super ego has to be invented somehow through the establishment of law and order to enforce moderation and consideration on the part of man.

It is fine if Ndigbo excel and conquer within law and order. The responsibility is also not theirs to remain within bounds. There shall be no order if laws are merely created without enforcement. I shall paint a scenario to underscore the point. The Ladipo auto parts market in Lagos is a typical example of the Ndigbo mercantile spirit running in conflict with law and order. The market has spilled to take up the stretch of the service lane of the Oshodi /Apapa Expressway that runs parallel to it. It has actually spilled beyond the service lane to take up part of the expressway. On a bad day, it takes the best part of an hour to roll through the less than 200 metres distance between Ladipo Street junction and Rutam House.

This failure has nothing to do with Ndigbo. It has everything to do with the Lagos State government, which has failed to enforce law and order. The beauty out there in Europe and America is not necessarily because those areas are populated by better human beings but the presence of a stronger official will to ensure law and order. The Ndigbo and indeed all other groups within the polity and the economy must play by the rules. The fear that enforcement of the rule in some places could be misconstrued as anti-Ndigbo is irrational and a correctness that detracts from leadership. It is this same absence of enforcement of law and order that is sustaining the carnage of Fulani herdsmen.

That said, it must be noted that it is the underlying sincerity of purpose that gives any official policy instant public acclaim. This is the lacuna that makes Ndigbo to be defensive and suspicious. In recent history, specifically after the civil war in 1970, the Nigerian State has done little or nothing to create the circumstances for the survival of Ndigbo. The post-war proclamation of no victor, no vanquished by General Yakubu Gowon was empty sound. So also was the over sung Federal Government policy of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (3Rs) after the physical and psychological devastation suffered by Ndigbo during the war.

If anything, Ndigbo were thoroughly vanquished. As it were, every Igbo man was awarded a B.A (Begin Again) with just 20 pounds. A phrase called “abandoned property” was introduced into government business to rob Ndigbo of their pre-war choice properties in cities across the country. All of these only deepened the humiliation of defeat in them. While still struggling to make meaningful livelihood out of 20 pounds, the Indigenization Decree was promulgated in 1972 to dilute the grip of multinationals on the economy and create the leeway for Nigerians to launch themselves into the ownership of hitherto foreign companies through equity participation.

Thus, instead of 3Rs as promised by the Federal Government, Ndigbo suffered further economic pummeling after the war. Castrated, they became mere onlookers in the equity bazaar that followed the indigenization processes. The economy had been redrawn and handed over to some people. Government was a no-go-area for them. The only window of survival opened was petty trading, which was, more or less, self-help. They put their all in it and helped themselves to survive the harsh terms of the peace.

In a nutshell, this is the context of the Ndigbo marginalization. They are highly suspicious of the Nigerian state and any official move at even creating order, but which hurts the Southeast in the short-run, is interpreted by a large segment of Ndigbo as continuation of the age-long victimization. It is a complex that has developed with the refusal of the central authorities to fully implement the 3Rs, almost 50 years after the end of the civil war.

Yet the state, either by design or default, is doing little to offer assurances. For instance, a Northeast Commission with big money to spend was recently okayed by the National Assembly to develop the Northeast after the devastation of the Boko Haram insurgency. But when a Southeast commission was proposed, it was promptly rejected in the lower chamber. Tell me, which commission has been empowered since the end of the civil war to develop the Southeast? This is the Ndigbo question, which must be answered if the shadows of Biafra must fade away. Meanwhile, I still remain your proud Urhobo man.