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Monday, September 19, 2016

ABC Nwosu: Why North is afraid of restructuring -ABC Nwosu -|- DEVOLUTION OF POWERS: Igbo youths, women, others disagree with ABC Nwosu


  • Why North is afraid of restructuring -ABC Nwosu
  • DEVOLUTION OF POWERS: Igbo youths, women, others disagree with ABC Nwosu

Why North is afraid of restructuring -ABC Nwosu
Written by Iheanacho Nwosu,Abuja
~The SUN Nigeria. Thursday, September 15, 2016. 

Prof ABC Nwosu served as Political Adviser to erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was later appointedminister of Health. In this interview, he spoke on the ongoing debate over restructuring. He argued that those kicking against restructuring are doing so because they are benefitting from the current warped system. He also spoke on the state of the economy and other nationalissues.

Areyou surprised atNigeria's current situation or you expected it?
The current situation ofNigeria was not expected by anybody at the time of last general elections. Neither the PDP which I belong to nor the APC which successfully replaced us, was expecting that more than one year in power, this will be the situation . Andwhat is the situation? Officially, Nigeria is in recession. Politically, we are more divided than ever. The North eastproblem has not quite ended. If it has quite ended, then there would not be IDPs; everybody wouldbe back in the villages contributing to the growth of the country. To make matters worse, the South East feels that it is not a part of Nigeria under the present administration. Whetheryou call it IPOP or MASSOB or any name, it is playing out the typical south East philosophy that a person rejected does not reject himself.

Now, you have the Niger Delta Avengers. You see all kinds of militant groups from the riverine areas. No matter what you make of it, It is a moveborne out of the fact that the people of the area are feeling unjustly treated.
The economic consequence is that we have our oil export atthe lowest level. All these things that I am describing require political solution.
The late President Umaru Yar'Adua applied a political solution and it worked. So, I don't see why we cannot apply political solution of talking with brethren when people are feeling dissatisfied.
So, the state of the nation is not only bad but requires urgent repair.

There are claims that Nigeria actually went into recession in 2014 when your party was still in power, can you controvert such insinuation?
If there's anything I don't agree with, it is a person in charge of a situation finding all kinds of lame and stupid excuses for why things cannot be done. Anybody who goes on that direction means that even idiots can be on power. I am using very strong words deliberately. You don't have to continue the past for the problem you have been elected to fix. You don't have to continue to heap the woes of the country on the military. And if there was any good that the military did, you won't even recognize it .

Some say NPNmessed up everything and that was why the military came.
This blame game has been going on. New administration always criticise and blame the predecessor for all manner of things. The only regimethat didn't do it was the one I joined from day one, in 1999. It didn't blame the administration of Abdusalami Abubakar.
On May 29th, 1999, Obasanjo appointed me. Before that time, he hadnever seen me. He hadnever met me. In his right pocket, he had the NNDC bill, left pocket ICPC bill. Both laws are still in existence. Yetthe nation was going through serious challenges that time . But he never blamed his predecessor.

What he was only concerned about was that governance has to be done.
I will mention five things quickly. One , he immediately auctioned the GSM liecenses; now telecommunication is all over. We are using GSM, we are using internet. We are using all these and yet some people wouldtell you that we had 16 years of PDP rot. And most of these peoplewho say this were either PDP governors, chairmen and speakers for eight years.
I don't listen to that. As soon as the oil price came up, Obasanjo tried to set up sovereign wealth fund. Go and find out the governors who opposed that most, they are the same governors now saying that we didn't save for the rainy day.

PDP government was the brain behind excess crude account. It got$18 billion debt reprieve.
It was during our administration thatwe coined the phrase democracy dividend and started looking at the various sectors. The same people who say 16years of PDP rot, commissioned the Abuja, Kaduna rail line. Did they havea miracle of building it in one year? Accepted, they did miracle, then let themcontinue doing other miracles.
When you come into a situation, you appraise the situation. If it is bleeding, you stop it and know how best to bring it back to life. That's the attitude that's permissible.

Would you say this government is confused or lack idea on how to address the current economic challenge?
I am not in government, I'm not a prophet, neither am l Rev. Fr. Mbaka to see through prophecyhow it can be done. All I know is that many Nigerians, good Nigerians have said, if something is not working, try to see how it can work. That'show I see the word, restructuring. Our federation is not working. It hasn't been working. Therefore, restructuring is the best thing that should be done now to see if it will work. ButI'm baffled that a government that says Change cannot understand change, even when it comes to structures.

You saidchange personnel, we accepted. Nigerians have voted your change personnel. They are saying change structure. You say no way. How and why? Because the same problem is there, you need to change structure. Change structure is restructuring. Economic change is diversification. If government says it wants to diversify, it has acceptedchange indiversification.
The old people have been changed, what government is finding difficult is change of structure and I don't know why? Fine, but it is going nowhere until it changes items in the Exclusive List, even in Legislative List.

We must re-examine thatitem 39 that says petroleum under the liquid, gas and solid are the exclusive preserve of the federal government. We must ask why we arestill finding it difficult to pass the petroleum industry's bill. These are the cob webs government has to remove. Restructuringis not going back to regions. I'm shocked at that kind of ignorance and nonsense. Who says restructuring is going back to regionalization?

But is it not the impression that some of those canvassing for it have created?
I don't think so. Those canvassing for it somehow say, go back to it, some say make geopolitical zonesregions. Restructuring is let us change the structure. What is the structure? Thereis too much power at the centre. Federal government has too much power, too much responsibility, too much money, too much to waste.

ButPDP government resisted that during its own time?
Because the PDP government resisted it, because the military put it there, because the NPN didn't do that does not mean that the APC can as well keep throwing it to everybody's face. It does not mean we won't do that. So, what is the change? Nigerians voted for change.
I thought change was if it is not goodfor the country, we will do it. Is there anybody who has not seen that federal government has too much power and too much responsibility? Is there anybody who does not see that over 60 to 70 per cent spent on recurrent expenditure is wrong? Is there anybodywho does not see that the federal government has over 800 parastatals and that it is wrong? Is there anybody who doesn't see that having over 42ministries is wrong?

Are you also baffled by the level of polarizationbetween the North and South on this issue of restructuring ? Do you agree that those seeking the restructuring do so because of their hatred for the North?
I'm not baffled. My simple answer is that I served in the same committeeon the devolution of power withAlhaji Tanko Yakasi during the National Reforms Conference. I knew all that happened then.

So, I will not be unkind to him. But if you say those who want the country restructuredhate the North, I might as well tell those who say don't restructure hate the south, then it becomes conversation of the deaf.
Why is it that people are asking for restructuring? The structure that we have is anti- development. The structure we have is unjust and unfair. I belong to the school that regardsrestructuring more of devolution of power than regionalization of Nigeria. If people are living all over Nigeria, working all over the country, going to school all over Nigeria, It means that government can be organized according to the wishes of everybody.

What would you fathom as the reason the North is against calls for restructuring of the country?
It was very clear to me at the National conference. Is there anybody who is benefiting from a systemand still wants it changed.
The current system gives Kano State 44shares from local government funding and Lagos of comparable population, 20, Oyo 31, Imo that's the largest state in South East, 27, Bayelsa that produces a lot of crude, eight.

It is not fair, it's not just. It is not that they should have equal number of local government. It is that local government all over the world are removed from the central account. They are not part of the central account. They are part of the federating unit account. Andon this, there was an agreement at the last National Conference.
Many of themthink that if you remove this kind of unjust system, it will not be to their advantage. But what they do not know is that it may liberate their creative energy. It may make them rise to the challenge. Kano can develop and get the same kind of internally generated revenue as Lagos is getting.

We are seeing what is happening in some states that are challenging themselves. Anambra is existing on its own. They are not having problem paying salaries. The state did several things under governor peter Obi and has maintained to pull itself up to paying salaries, investing and correcting its educational system. It wasn't like that in 2000/ 2001. So, it's a case of challenging people to develop. I am sure that people will be challenged. But not everybody in the North is against restructuring. We have heard Atiku talk of restructuring and it is not the first time he would canvass that. When we were going for the conference in 2014, I still remember the back page of ThISDAY newspaper where Atiku had a lenghty article and agenda for the National conference and it was on restructuring and how Nigeria should be structured.

Some have argued that he is doing that to get the minds of the Southerners and get their backing politically, would you discountenance such suggestion?
Anybody can feel the way he wants about any person, but that's not my concern. By 2014 when we went for the conference, what made you think that Atiku, even if he was the presidential candidate in APC, would win on that party's ticket? So, we don't know tomorrow from today, so I judge what you see today on its value. I judged Atiku from what he said in 2014. What has happened in 2015/16 and what will happen in 2017-19 we don't know. So, if you said something in 2014 and you are still continuing to say the same thing today, he should be taken seriously.

On the flip side of the clamour for restructuring, some believe that it threatens the unity of the country. Do you see it that way?
Who has threatened the unity of Nigeria? Nobody has threatened the unity of Nigeria. These are what I call obfuscating issues. Have you seen meaningful people and groupsfrom South east talk about the breakup of Nigeria? Or have you seen meaningful people from the South west talk about breakup of Nigeria? Where the talk is coming is from the North. People don't want to listen to us that say, look, let's be fair,money is too much at the centre.
In the principle of federalism, where something can be better done by a state, why put it at the federal government. Why should federal government be sinking your own bore hole? Because I say it is not right, you say I'm thinking of breakup. If there is anything you can take now to the mind, it is that Nigerians do not want to break up. The unity of the country is a concluded matter in the hearts of Nigerians. Nigerians love a big economy, love a big market. That's why we don't want to breakup. They are only saying let's organize Nigeria so that what works for the North, works for the West, East, Middle belt and South south. 

Do you see not listening to this agitation threatening the unity of the country in the future?
I can predict the future, I don't think it will threaten the unity. Those who are opposed to it will be swept away. There's a law of nature. The law of nature is that we are young, we grow up and we die and the young people take over. That's part of the problem we are facing now. A lot of people are in government and who continue to be in government must have idea on how to run the economy in the 21st century that's likely dictated by market forces led by private sector and controlled by the government. Illustrating it locally, if you are cooking an okro soup, the Igbo man is expecting to eat his Akpu(fufu) from this okro soup.

The other person from the South south is expecting to eat his starch from it. The man from the North is expecting to eat his Tuwo shinkafa from it, the man from the west is expecting to eat his Amala from it. Instead of concentrating on making enough okro, you make a little and then the man with the Tuwo shinkafa runs away with the okro. There's no way the others will let him do it. So ultimately, we will find that the solution is to make enough for everybody because there's love for everybody and it will promote affection. I don't think the unity will be threatened. I think those who don't want this will be swept away.

Nigeria is faced with a situation where some states are unable to paysalaries and the situation compels them to keep demanding for bailout. Does this development put the country's democracy at risk?
There is nothing wrong with our democracy. Let's leave democracy out of it. Inability of governmentto pay salaries is complete irresponsibility by state Governors. If you look at the people who are not able to pay, they belong to political parties.

Like what Prof. Soludo said the other day to APC in Kaduna, when you leave a PDP state and get into an APC state, the difference should be clear. If you come to the South east, the core APC state is Imo State. It even decreed that people should work three days in a week, a thing never heard of before. Why is it that Anambra is paying? Anambra has increased salaries of workers. The state is doing well in Agriculture. Why is the state doing well? Is Anambra an oil producing state? Imo is an oil producing state from Ohaji Egbema, yet she is not paying salaries. And the federal government in a federal system thinks it should give bailout to them to pay.

This is one principal reason for restructuring. State governments are not subordinate government, they are co-ordinate government. Was Okpara going to Tafawa Balewa to arrange for payment of salaries? Somebody has clearly pointed out that three of the first generation Universities were built by states. The first University to be built was University of Nigeria.
Wasn't it built by Eastern region? The federal government institutions were University of Ibadan and University of Lagos. University of Nigeria, Nsukka was built by Eastern Nigerian government, Almadu Bello by Northern Nigerian government, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife by western Nigerian government. 

The West was first to set up a television in Africa from their own fund. Immediately, Eastern region set up its own. They were competing who would have the better secondary schools? Which people will get more grade 1 in school certificate than others? They were competing using state resources. If you had three groundnut pyramid this year in the North, next year you would have100. We had more cotton, palm oil, rubber, cocoa. But immediately we discovered oil, we abandoned the federal structure so that we can soak up the oil.
We don't see anything wrong about not allowing states to participate in oil, but allowing states to participate in their diamond or gold. The coal corporation was Nigerian company in Enugu. The entire city, Enugu was built with coal.

These are the thingsyou can revive by simply restructuring, by having a proper federal structure. These are the advantages that will come. We want governors to work for their people and not living above the means of their states.

Former President Obasanjo described PDP as being in intensive care unit, what do you make of the statement?
I personally refrain from criticising Obasanjo. But two areas where I am upset about what hehas done is in the area of PDP and the area of governance. President Obasanjo if you recall didn't form PDP. It was the late Solomon Larthat took the letter to General Abacha who had jailed Obasanjo. So, this PDP platform has been the platform under which Obasanjo was brought out of prison, contested election and under a year of coming out of prison became president for eight years. Just like I refrain from criticising Obasanjo, I would expect that he should refrain from certain things about PDP that gave him the platform under which he did so much good for Nigeria. I believe he did so much good. But the platform you used to do that good, please refrain from criticizing it. A lot of things he is accusing them of, he can see started from him. The worst thing he did was the tearing of PDP card.

Having said that, what I take away from the speech is that democracy is best served by two strong parties, one in government, one in opposition. In developed democracies like in Britain, we have the labour and the conservative. In America, we have the Democrats and Republicans .

But many also believe that there was large scale corruption in Obasanjo's administration especially the gratification given to the National Assembly members to support his third term project, do you agree less?
Large scale corruption would not have started under Obasanjo's administration.

Was it not under his tenure that N50 million naira was given to the National Assembly members to endorse his third term?
When there is money given and money taken, you don't go into it. The facts are known, if the President didn't want third term, it wouldn't have been heard of. If there were no money offered, then somebody would not tell you he offered money. But I'm talking of the kind of institutionalized corruption.

DEVOLUTION OF POWERS: Igbo youths, women, others disagree with ABC Nwosu
Written by Clifford Ndujihe
~Vanguard Nigeria. Friday, September 16, 2016

ENUGU-SOME Igbo youths, women and groups have disagreed with former Health Minister, Professor A.B.C Nwosu's comments that Nigeria needs devolution of powers to the 36 states instead of restructuring based on the six geopolitical zones.

In an interview with a national newspaper, yesterday, Professor Nwosu, who stressed the need for the Federal Government to shed some of its functions and resources to the states to stimulate development, said: ''I belong to the school that regards restructuring instead of one that regards devolution of powers.''

Disagreeing with Nwosu, yesterday, the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM; Igbo Women Assembly, IWA; and South East Christian Network, SECN, in a statement said that only regional autonomy anchored on true federalism will save Nigeria.

IYM Founder and Deputy Secretary, Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT, Evang. Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, said Prof. Nwosu was merely flying a kite to test the waters and monitor reactions in order to launch an attempt to sell the Northern version of restructuring to Nigerians.

His words: "The North wants to retain the unjust and unfair 36 states and 774 LG structure by all means. Incidentally, that is the crux of the disaffection that is at the root of the bitterness in the land. You cannot retain the source of the anger in the land and claim to have restructured the country by merely devolving more power and resources to the states. That will not stop the agitation, unless they do not want all these agitations to stop.

The only way to restore peace to Nigeria is a restructuring along the lines of six regions as federating units, built on true fiscal federalism, as the 1963 constitution where regions managed their resources and paid a certain percentage to run the centre. Anything short of that will achieve nothing.''

SECN Coordinator, Bishop Micheal Ibeneme, said: ''Prof. Nwosu knows the position of his people (Igbo) at Aburi, Ghana 41 years ago, he knows our people's written position at the 1994/95 constitutional conference, where Abacha even agreed to adopt the six geo-political zones as federating units. Nwosu knows the people's demand for regional autonomy both at Obasanjo's 2005 political reforms conference and Goodluck Jonathan's 2014 confab.”

He knows that the states cannot be the federating units because the real quarrel is how the states and local governments were created to cheat and oppress the East. Is he saying that the East should continue to suffer the cheating? We want our own Eastern Region, where we will explode our potential and go to the moon. Why are they afraid to give us back our beloved Eastern region where Dr. M.I. Okpara proved to the world what we can do? Only a reversal to six regions can save Nigeria now.''

On her part, Chief Mariah Okwor of the IWA said: ''The whole world have advised President Buhari to restructure Nigeria without delay but the North quickly packaged their own perverted version of restructuring and handed it over to some people to sell But it will not work. Since John Kerry handed down the grave warning to both President Muhammadu Buhari and Sultan of Sokoto of the dangers of continuing the unhelpful delay to restructure Nigeria, the enemies of restructuring quickly articulated a watered-down and fake version of restructuring which some people are now struggling to market.

The states cannot be used as federating units because the creation of the states and local government were skewed against our people. Give us back our Eastern region and watch us go to the moon in 10 years. We are caged and imprisoned in this 36 states structure. Prof. A.B.C Nwosu can never succeed in his attempt to sell Northern version of restructuring to us. Nobody will buy it. Only restructuring along six regions is acceptable, anything else is fake and unhelpful."

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

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.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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