Friday 31 October 2014

Are Igbos really foolish? - by Clement Udegbe

Dr Junaid Mohammed,a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and currently coordinates the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen. He treats other zones of Nigeria with little respect, and obviously cannot hide his hatred and disregard for Ndigbo of the South East Nigeria.

In the Punch Newspaper of September 12, 2014, he described the just concluded National Confab as a waste of time, and that it achieved nothing, and argued that the agenda of the different regions of the South failed.

According to him: Those who wanted to use the result of the conference for their own political good, like Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party have failed woefully; the Igbo wanted to use the conference to achieve their demented agenda of equality or parity between the North-West and the South-East.

In his words: “If you are to use a serious map that is scientifically based, to show respective areas where you show the North-West as the palm of a hand, the South-East will only be a dot”.

Continuing, he said: The South-South request for resource control also failed; the recommendations of the Confab would not scale through the National Assembly that has Northerners in the majority; any of the presidential candidates in 2015 election who commits to maintaining the current revenue allocation formula would not win; anybody who commits himself to maintain the preponderance of the Igbo in all our financial agencies, ministries and department will also not win the next election; Goodluck Jonathan has already started boasting that he has given the Igbo more than anybody in the past, for that alone he will not win the next election. If he rigs it, there will be mayhem.

Dr. Mohammed has said it all; he should be held responsible for any bloodshed after the 2015 elections. He must be coming from a school of thought that believes Northern Nigeria must always produce the President and the heads of all Federal Government ministries and agencies in Nigeria.No wonder Northerners are swarming the NNPC through which they milk Nigeria as their inheritance as given to them by Great Britain and exposed byAliyu Gwarzo.In their wisdom, their tribe is meant to reap where they have sown nothing, while denying the actual owners of the oil any benefits with the vehemence of a suicide bomber!They cannot stand women in powerful positions as we have them now.

For the likes of Dr. Mohammed and his brother Murtala Nyako, GEJ is an Igbo man; how unfortunate!

A great beneficiary of the years of Northern rule of Nigeria, Dr Mohammed needs our sympathy and understanding because the tide in the affairs of Nigeria has continued to change as ordained by God who created the heaven and the earth. The refusal of any mortal to accept the will of this sovereign God over this nation is rebellion against God, and the consequences include destruction. God will judge that, and He does not fail.

Dr. Junaid Mohammed was reported recently as calling Igbos selfish and shameless in an interview published on the Hope for Nigeria website. I do not blame him. He is saying it as he sees the Igbo man. There are reasons to think that the Igbo man is selfish and foolish, I mean very foolish! After all, an Igbo Proverb, says that the madman knows what he does, but may not know why he does those things. Dr. Junaid may not know why he is saying the things he said, as a matter fact.

Let us face it, here is a people who were massacred in the North of Nigeria in 1966.They were killed in hundreds of thousands which culminated in a three years civil war.

What did the Igbos do right after the war? They quickly ran back to the same spots where they were killed in 1966 and re-established businesses in a bid to survive the hunger from the war.

They remained in those states,built houses, estates, hotels, and expanded the economy of their erstwhile killers! Some have children born in such places who can’t speak Igbo language! Is it wise to think that your enemy will love you because you came back to make money? No man will hate your father and turn round to love you! Igbos know this too well, but refuse to change, it is shocking!I was in the war, as a young boy, in the Biafra Organisation of Freedom Fighters,BOFF.

We were told then, that one way the Nigerian soldiers confirmed that an Igbo soldier was really dead was to shake a few coins noisily in his ears. If he did not move, then he is dead! This captured the greed or selfishness of an average Igbo man as perceived by Nigerians. This wrong notion may have accounted for the different attitude of some of us; the products of that training to money. We see money as the reason Igbos are insulted by every fool in Nigeria!

Since after that war, Igbos have succeeded most in working against themselves. First was the Onitsha sea port which the then Alhaji Shehu Shagari government wanted to build for Igbos, but ended up building that small canoe jetty in the name of seaport at Onitsha. Igbo sons were part of the deceit at that time, and it remains a scar on the conscience of those who betrayed their land by refusing to use that opportunity to give Igbo land a sea port.

When you demand for a seaport in Igbo land today, the Northern interests would get an Igbo professional to tell you that it cannot be done, forgetting that the United Arab Emirates built one of the biggest seaports in modern world today, in the desert! If these Igbo professionals that are being used are not fools, what will you call them? We know them, yet we clap when they vomit upon us!

Clement Udegbe is a legal practitioner based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo Credit: Abubakar Nurudeen 

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