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Thursday, December 8, 2016
Igbo, politics and permanent interest
~The SUN Nigeria. Wednesday, December 7, 2016.
I recently saw the wanton of insults piled on ex-Governor Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK) by mostly the young generation of Ndigbo on his facebook page and instantaneously developed more pity for this generation. What are the grievous offences of OUK that warranted such unrestrained vituperations? One, because he joined the APC. Two, because he pleaded with Ndigbo to believe in one Nigeria and support this present government for the development of our region.
The Niger Deltans that were directly affected by the loss of the 2015 presidential election have, for long, buried whatever hatchets/angers they were wielding and aligned with the government at the centre in order to attract development to their region.
Onye mere ndi Igbo ihea? (who did this to the Igbos?) is a question begging for answer. The same Igbo crying to the world that the government at the centre is marginalising them are still those restricting their people from having anything to do with the government at the centre. If we restrict our people from aligning with the government at the centre, who is going to channel our problems to the government? Who is going to protect, present and ensure that our interests are treated fairly?
The Igbo of old generally believe in the truth. They believe that ezi okwu bu ndu (truth is life). It is unworthy to note that a chunk of the new generation of Igbo value those who masturbate their emotions with heaps of lies than those who tell them the unadulterated truth. In my numerous writings previously, I have carefully enumerated the merits of fighting for a one Nigeria and the demerits of fighting for secession. The Igbo stand to gain a lot in Nigeria if we fight hard to have selfless political leaders that will represent our interests and not their selfish interests.
Without trying to exaggerate, the Igbo have dominated virtually every business climes in Nigeria with their incontestable business prowess. Till this moment, Igbo are found in their great numbers in all the remote communities in Nigeria, even in the remotest villages in the volatile North East region of Nigeria. We are bridge builders all over the country and the world at large. We are not just hardworking, but also responsible, intelligent and successful businesses people.It is high time the successful, responsible and intelligent Igbo came together to speak out and educate our people on the need to embrace a united Nigeria. We must not allow the lesser number of empty noise-making mediocrities to dominate the larger number of the silent intellects with their high clashing noisy cymbal of secession. What we need to crave for at this moment is for good governance and effective representation at the federal level.
Igbo have sacrificed a lot in promoting the unity of this country. We sacrificed millions of lives, businesses, finances and property during the civil war and uncountable post civil war crisis. We have also contributed enormously in building the economy of this country. We have contributed enormously in growing the internally generated revenues of every single state in Nigeria. We joined in building beautiful cities and towns across other regions in this country without nursing the thoughts that we came from other region. Those asking our people to relinquish our years of hard labour in this country because of their selfish agitation are the real enemies of the Igbo people. We must not abandon our years of hard labour because of the selfish interest of few empty and noise-making inconsequential set of people.
Nigeria is a land blessed by God with rich natural resources, diverse cultures and people, but we are yet to be blessed with leaders that will harness these blessings for the good of the citizens. We have more than enough natural resources and people to build every region in this country. Good governance at the regional level and good representation at the federal level are all we need to build our beloved Igbo land. This also is the vision of OUK, which prompted him to align with the central government.
We must desist from treating our fellow Igbo working with this government for our general good as lepers. After all, for good six years, the previous government that we gathered all our political eggs in her basket left our region with nothing memorable to be proud of. Ndigbo must be politically wise and vibrant now. In the history of human politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies. The only force that propels the human political horizon is the force of permanent interest.
• Paul wrote in from Abuja.
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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