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Thursday, August 11, 2016
Why Ndigbo rejected national prayer at Enugu Town Hall Meeting
~Vanguard Nigeria. Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
ENUGU--The Town Hall Meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture at Nike Hotel Resort, Enugu, enultimate Monday, must have been an eye opener to the organisers on the position of Ndigbo on some national issues, including "the new National Prayer, restructuring of the country, marginalisation and alleged politics of exclusion by President Muhammadu Buhari," among others.
The meeting was attended by traditional rulers and top government functionaries who remained standing in the crowded tent for hours due to inadequate number of seats.The first contentious issue during the meeting bordered on the "National Prayer," aimed at reducing the time spent on prayers during national events.
The Master of Ceremony had kick-started the occasion after brief introductions by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, by asking the crowd including the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi and his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, deputy governors of Anambra, Abia and Ebonyi States; the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and five other ministers including that of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Chief Audu Ogbe (Agriculture), Prof Isaac Adebowale (Health) and Mr Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), among other high ranking officials, to recite the national prayer after him.
After most of the attendees had "parroted" the national prayer and the occasion began, the proceedings were interrupted once again following objections by some religious leaders who insisted that proper Christian prayers must be conducted if they must be present.
The Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma who said the second prayer, implored God to assist Ndigbo in their current economic and political tribulations, occasioned by alleged marginalisation and exclusion from top political positions in the country.
Chukwuma described the national prayer as unacceptable to Ndigbo, who he said were deeply religious. He prayed God to direct the ministers present on the occasion to be truthful in their defence of the Buhari administration by telling the people nothing but the truth.
In their contributions, the former Information Minister, Chief Nnia Nwodo Chukwu and Igwe Chris Ogakwu of Udi Ancient Kingdom, accused the administration of discrimination against Ndigbo in appointments into positions of relevance in the country.
Reacting to the allegations by the three people, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige, faced a herculean task trying to convince the people that all the political office holders, especially governors, were also, guilty of nepotism.
Ngige tried to rationalise the appointment of key officers of the Federal Government from a section of the country, saying, "Since the bishop prayed that we shall speak the truth, let us tell ourselves the truth.
"Everybody knows that just like the farmer who after harvesting his yams in the farm would roast some for those who accompanied him to harvest them before sharing the rest to others, more appointments would be made to address areas of perceived injustice."
He was however, interrupted when the crowd began to murmur in disapproval. He continued, "Our people should not wallow in self-pity. Ndigbo are not playing second fiddle. We should put on our thinking caps and plan."Nwodo had said that available records showed that Igbo had over half of the property in Abuja, Lagos and parts of the country adding that they would not have been interested in agitating for Biafra if not for marginalisation by the Federal Government.
But, Ngige regretted that "If our youths had acquired skills, they would be self-employed and shunned Boko Haram, IPOB and Avengers."According to him, there were no more white collar jobs but blue collar ones and urged the people to discard the idea of their "persecution syndrome," as the Buhari-led government was not marginalising any section of the country.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Ogbeh, had also said that the era when herdsmen moved about destroying people's farmlands would soon be over as all cattle would be confined to ranches. He said the government would not be inviting people to go into agriculture, only for some cattle to go and eat such crops, adding that already, the military had set up a committee headed by General Edward Nze, to stop herdsmen from moving about with AK47 rifles to kill farmers or other Nigerians.
"Killing of Nigerians has to stop. Very soon, no cow will be allowed to roam around but confined in ranches...," he said.
THE IGBO RANT
BIBLICAL TRADITIONS OF NDI IGBO BEFORE THE MISSIONARIES CAME TO AFRICA* IGBO 101.
THE IGBO TRIBE AND ITS FEAR OF EXTINCTION
The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities
Written by Emeka Maduewesi
~on fb. 28th September, 2016.
The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.
The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.
In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.
Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.
In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.
The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.
Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.
The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.
The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.
The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.
This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.
RT. HON. DR. NNAMDI AZIKIWE TO DR. CHUBA OKADIGBO (1981)
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