Many Nigerians were not surprised at the threats of some Northern
Youths to the Igbos of the South East to leave the North within
three months. We were not surprised because we saw it coming.
America Central Intelligence Agency [ CIA] predicted over twenty
years ago that the outcome of the 2015 election in Nigeria was going
to break up the country except a pragmatic and Charismatic leader
emerged as the President.
Many people did not take the warning or the prediction seriously, but
I did, some of us did. We knew that Nigeria would break up some day
but what I expected was a peaceful breakup. A peaceful breakup
without bloodshed or killing one another so that we could still be
friends or good neighbours after the breakup.
The former USSR has broken up into fifteen Republics without wars
or bloodshed and some of them are still parts of the Commonwealth of
States except maybe some that were sponsored by some European
Countries who are still fighting their own cold wars.
Let me first of all say am a Nigerian, a proud Nigerian and want to
remain a Nigerian, MY wish is that the North withdraw the threat in
the interest of peace but this threat should not be taken lightly.
2015 elections had come and gone but the wounds are yet to heal. We
have once again been reminded of the civil war that ended almost 50
years ago. The government in power has not even done anything to heal
the wounds created by the election and bring all Nigerians together,
but instead President Muhammadu Buhari came with his theory of paying
attention to 75 percent of those who gave him the vote over the five
percent that did not vote for him. He did not just say it but has
walked the talk with his appointments so far and the citing of
projects despite constitution provisions to the contrary.
Various Youths groups in the North rose from a meeting in Kaduna with
a warning to Igbos in the North to leave the Region.
One Mallam Abdulazeez Suleiman who read the declaration tagged
‘KADUNA DECLARATION’ said the North is tired of the 1914 Amalgamation
of Nigeria. It reads ‘ we are hereby placing Nigerian Authorities and
the entire Nation on notice that as from 1st October 2017 we shall
commence the implementation of visible action to prove to the whole
world that we are no longer part of any Federal Union that should do
with the Igbo.’
Very strong statement indeed. What the statement means is that they
will begin an attack on Igbos in the North if they refused to leave.
The question is should we take the warning lightly, my answer is NO.
The reason is that Northern Youths had issued such threats in the
past and were carried out fully.
First they warned in 2011 that if Goodluck Jonathan won the 2011
election the country would be ungovernable for him. They carried it
out. By the time the election results were announced over 800 people
were killed in the post election violence, then came BOKO HARAM
that actually made the country ungovernable through out the tenure of
Jonathan in office. Infact Boko Haram issue was one of the reasons
why Jonathan lost his reelection bid.
Besides as we were approaching the 2015 election the same Northern
Youths came out with a warning that the country would break up if
Jonathan won the election. Even Buhari himself threatened that if
the election was rigged Monkey and Baboon would soak in their own
blood. To carry out the threats Fulani herdsmen started to
stockpile weapons of different types especially AK47 riffles. Well
Buhari was declared winner of the election but the herdsmen are now
using the AK47 they acquired to terrorize Nigerians, to kidnap,
kill and rape yet no one is on trial for now.
Now what is the offence of the Igbos to deserve this quit notice from
the Northern Youths. The reasons they gave was because of the
success of the sit at home declared by IPOB on 30th May 2017 to mark
50 years of the declaration of Biafra Republic. The question is what
is wrong in Remembering and honouring those who died during the
Biafrans civil war just as Nigeria itself celebrate Armed Forces
Remembrance day every year and even some states in the country like
Lagos state, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Kano etc who also celebrated 50
years of their creation.
Besides if the sit at home order by Biafran agitators was the real
reason asking Igbos to leave the North, why Igbos living in the
North who in the first place have said many times that they are not
Biafrans and also ignored the sit at home order. This is exactly
what happened in 1966 when over two hundred thousand Igbos were killed
in the North because according to the Northerners their leaders were
killed in the 1966 coups. As a result over two hundred Igbos living
in the North including women and children even unborn children in the
womb of their pregnant mothers were slaughtered, most of whom knew
nothing about the coup and had nothing to do with the coup plotters.
I want to suggest reasons for this quit notice given to the Igbos to
leave the North, first the government want to divert attention to its
misrule as the two years of Buhari’s administration has been a
failure. Secondly, I believe a lot of things will happen in the
country between now and October. President Muhammadu Buhari may not
be able to continue in office due to ill health or death. This may
lead to Constitutional and Succession crisis between the Yorubas
and the North as the North may not want Osinbajo to take over. It’s
a way of warning Igbos not to take sides during the crisis or they
will be forced out of the Region and they will lose their investments.
This is more likely to happen just as the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu
warned Igbos ahead of 2015 governorship election in Lagos that
they would end up in the Lagoon if they voted for Jimmy Agbaje.
The third reason is that the allegations of the coup plot is yet to
die down. The North may actually begin to attack and kill Igbos who
are the most visible non indigenous ethnic groups in the North. The
killing will continue and the government will pretend not to be able
to do anything about it. It may make the coup plotters to strike ‘to
stop further killings of innocent citizens’ as the government would
have been accused of failure to protect lives and properties. This
third option will receive International support for the coup plotters
especially the United Nations, African Union etc. This was the reason
why the Military coup in Egypt was welcome by the International
community after the overthrow of former President Morsi of
Islamic brotherhood of Egypt.
WHAT THEN SHOULD IGBOS DO. I want to caution Igbos not to take the
warning lightly. Igbos should begin the process of returning back
home and leave the North immediately. Igbo leaders should also draw
the attention of the International Community, the UN, AU ECOWAS,
AMERICA, FRANCE, ISRAEL etc to the pogrom that is about to take place
in the country. They should seek for international help to help them
evacuate their citizens from the North and resettle them in the
East. Many of them were born in the North and do not have any other
home except the North and some may not even know where to go to and
call home in the South East, an IDP camp may not be a bad idea. OUR
LEADERS HAVE GONE MAD AGAIN.
IN THE LONG RUN if this period goes without crisis, Igbos should
begin to take seriously to the idea of developing their Region. Igbos
should begin to return their investments and Assets back to the East.
You can now see the foolishness of trying to claim that you are not a
Biafran and that the Biafran struggle is only a South East affair.
Igbos should begin to take seriously to the idea of setting up the
SOUTH EAST DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION. Every Igbo should contribute to
this Commission which will develop the Zone, provide Infrastructure
and create jobs for the Youths.
The agitation for Biafra may not actually be against Nigeria but
against Igbo leaders who have abandoned their people. The continued
agitation will put the Assets and Investments of Igbo leaders in the
North and Lagos at risk. This is an agitation Nnamdi Kalu is trying
I have no doubt that if Igbos both home and Abroad contribute to
this fund over N500b will be realized before the end of the year.
Igbos in the North and Lagos should invest massively in it as a way of
protecting their investments outside. This is because any insecurity
problem in the South East will also affect them through a reprisals.
Vincent Egunyanga , Public Affairs Analyst Write This From Asaba.