Published On: Sun, Sep 24th, 2017

No Igbo, no Nigeria!

Nigeria may be sliding into a Rwanda-like situation with the Igbo being primed as scapegoat for Nigeria’s problems. The Operation Python Dance II of the Army which is responsible for the current escalation of tension in the region and confrontation with IPOB members is only the latest in a series of anti-Igbo actions by this government to marginalize and profile them as threat to the unity and progress of the nation.

Let no one be deceived: there can be no Nigeria without the Igbo. Those who think the Igbo are dispensable and a nuisance to the nation are only living in a fool’s paradise. They neither understand Nigeria’s history nor the political dynamics of the ethnic balance in what Prof. Ali Mazrui described as the Tripod Heritage. Those, who believe the Igbo are irrelevant because of their diminished political status after fighting, and the continuing agitation, for Biafra, are actually the real enemies of the country.  I repeat: Nigeria cannot be without the Igbo!

President Buhari has not hidden his hatred and disdain for the Igbo since assuming office. Very early in office he had declared that he would not compensate those who did not vote for him with appointments, evidently isolating the Igbo for exclusion in government since they voted massively for his opponent. And he made good his threat by ignoring the Igbo in all his strategic appointments, apart from Ibe Kachikwu, who was eventually removed from the NNPC and made redundant as junior minister to him. Though Igbo, he is actually from Delta state.

In the recent recruitment into the DSS, Katsina state, his state, received 58 slots more than the 42 for the entire five states in the southeast zone. In a management shake-up in the NNPC few weeks ago no Igbo was involved in the 38 staff appointments. However, the emerging danger is not really the clear and evident policy and administrative ethnic cleansing of the Igbo, but insidious reasons for it.

The invasion of the east by the army is being rationalized to flush out criminals and stop the secessionist threat by IPOB. Nmamdi Kanu is on administrative bail and will have his case in court on October 9 and does not need the army intervention unless we are discounting the role of the judiciary in the determination of his case. A simple deduction from the military action is that it is intended to intimidate the people and demonizing them as a threat to national unity as a convenient pretext to further decimate them.

Official propaganda justifies Buhari’s anti Igbo policies on the basis of its population now put at 16 million extrapolating ostensibly from the 2006 census records, which had been discredited and proved largely by Lagos state to be contrived. Nothing could be more obnoxious and vindictive against the Igbo than such blatant distortion of facts and history. We may be entitled to our opinions but nobody has the liberty to be entitled to his own set of facts. Facts should be sacred because they are the basis and foundation of history.

A report by Dr. Joe Abah, Director General, Bureau for Public Service Reforms, detailing employment into the Public Service juxtaposed against population of each region shows that N/E with a population of 19.0m has 7,793 employees; N/W with a population of 35.8m has 8,806; S/E with a population of 16.4m has 16,540 N/C with a population of 20.3m has 17,661; S/S with a population of 21.0m has 18,038; S/W with a population of 27.6m has 19,620.

Figures don’t lie, it is believed, and on face value this may seem true of the statistics. However, only a mischief maker or somebody with a political motive would accept or believe the figures because their base or reference figures, namely the population figures, are patently wrong and misleading.  Lagos state which conducted a separate enumeration proved that the national census was cooked. Eze Festus Odimegwu, former chairman, NPC, revealed that Nigeria has never had a proper census since 1963, for which the likes of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso demanded for his sack; and he was sacked.

For the same census, the south had insisted on including tribe and religion in the enumeration forms which the north rejected and former Obasanjo ignominiously acceded. Igbo are everywhere in the country and they were not properly capture as Igbo; rather they were unidentified statistics in their different host states. For instance, it has been established that Igbo in Lagos are at least 35 percent or about five million of the population. Are these people part of the 16 million? This applies to the 36 states and Abuja.

Without accurate population figures, we can only speculate and conjecture. The CIA World Factbook puts the Igbo population of Nigeria at 18% of a total population of 177 million, or approximately 33 million people. “Southeastern Nigeria, which is inhabited primarily by the Igbo, is the most densely populated area in Nigeria, and possibly in all of Africa”, it says. Such population could easily put the Igbo on top 10 most populous countries in Africa. Nigeria can only destroy the Igbo at its own peril.

No country can toy with this number of people within its borders and have peace. Blacks in the United States are just about 26 million and they have become a pillar of the society and whatever affects them is of national concern, not to mention the Jews who are even fewer. For a Nigerian leader to deliberately work against the Igbo is suicidal to his leadership and a threat to peace and stability.

Nigeria is a carefully constructed architecture designed by the British to assure mutual ethnic balance. The Tripod heritage is a political metaphor of the three ethnic foundations of the country. A tripod is a three legged stand; remove one leg and it will tumble. Nigeria’s problems actually began with the creation of states in 1967, the subsequent civil war it precipitated and the promotion of the south south as alternative power block to the Igbo on account of their oil. But the fact remains that there can be no peaceful and stable Nigeria without the Igbo; it is politically impossible.

Indeed, the Igbo are the only nationalistic and cosmopolitan group of the big three, which is clearly evident in not only the position of Zik on the political nature of the country and their itinerant nature.  Northern nationalist posturing is mere pretentious as the region was founded on the slogan, ‘North for northerners.’ A majority of the Igbo live outside their native land unlike the others, who by nature are clannish and inward looking.

Without prejudice to the unholy marriage of convenience of the APC government between the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba, the two groups cannot form a basis of political unity for the country. Perish the thought!  They are too diametrically opposed to each other in terms of socio-cultural, economic and political world views to coalesce on a permanent arrangement. The Yoruba are the most advanced and wealthy part of the country while the north is the reverse; the other sections like the Igbo and south south fall in-between them. So it is politically impossible for them to coexist.

Remember, the north can only accept such a relationship on the basis on domination and the Yoruba – with all their advantages – will not agree to such a servile position for too long. Only the Igbo and the rest of them can because they lack the leadership, cohesion, and strength of the Yoruba. The British understood this acts before coupling them together. The crisis of existence today is the selfish and self defeating plot to strangulate the Igbo.

The continuing onslaught against the Igbo is an Islamic agenda to destroy the most potential challenge to its hegemony in the country. The Igbo and the south south are predominantly Christians, quite unlike the Yoruba who have a large Moslem population, and it would take a violent jihad to subdue them. This is the crux of the matter and southerners who think and believe that Islam will romanticize them after taking out the Igbo should think again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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