The resourcefulness of Igbos in Nigeria – J. Freeman

07/06/2017, 21:29:02: J Freeman : THE IGBOS ARE MORE USEFUL TO THE NORTH THAN ANY OF THE UNDER LISTED AREWA YOUTHFUL FORA: BEING A REJOINDER TO THE KADUNA DECLARATION BEING A JOINT POSITION PAPER ISSUED BY THE AREWA CITIZENS ACTION FOR CHANGE, AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM, AREWA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, AREWA STUDENTS FORUM AND NORTHERN EMANCIPATION NETWORK ON THE IGBO PERSISTENCE FOR SECESSION AS ISSUED ON TUESDAY 6 JUNE, 2017

BY
JF. Dabo
(A Social Development and Political Analyst)
[email protected]
Www.freemanjubal.blogspot.com.ng

PREAMBLE
The challenge of Nigeria today is not security challenges, it is not the Niger Delta militancy, it is not actually the corruption of Nigerians, it is not even a case of a failed democracy but a matter of immaturity and lack of wisdom in managing such blessings as diversity in it ramifications as prevalent in Nigeria. It calls for concern when we wake up each day only to be greeted with such news from the north that seem to suggest that there are ancient primitive minds still existing in a twenty first advanced century. It was with such shock and disappointment that the news of the so called “Kaduna Declaration” greeted my ears. But, we are welcome to the north where these things should not be causes for surprise. Indeed we still have the disciples of the renowned Sir. Ahmadu Bello who still feel that the nation “called Nigeria should be and estate of their great grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio…” (Parrots News Paper, October 12, 1960). These characters still feel and believe Nigeria is their inheritance and they must “ruthlessly” maintain that.

Today Arewa youth are at it again. I shall here use Arewa youth since all the above listed fora are youthful all in nature. Let it also be noted that it is a youth from the North that is writing.

I have lived my entire life in the North where i was born, just as my father was and even his great grand father, hence, I have all legitimate rights due to a Northern Youth. However, I shall sincerely clear the air, and set the plain ground where many mighty rejoinders will soon fall on with regards to the said Kaduna declaration. I shall in brief respond to very few but important points that demands response if we must make clear the fact that this declaration lacks merit even within the majority sense able Northern Youths.

THE CASE
It is no longer news the fact that a statement was issued on Tuesday 6 June, 2017 by a collection of fora that claims to be speaking for the entire north and taking a stand with regards to the issue of secession loudly proclaimed and associated to the Igbos. It was clear, the fact that this Arewa fora declared war against the natives of the Igbo tribe resident in the North. Whatever necessitated this declaration, whoever sponsored this, whatever acceptance this declaration has from the minority tribes in the North is not my concern here. But my concern is to bring to bare the illegitimacy of this declaration even within the North.

WHAT NECESSITATED THE DECLARATION
The document itself made clear the triggers of this declaration. As stated in the declaration, the Arewa fora as listed why they feel it necessary to make such declarations. They stated in the declaration thus:

1. That the igbos who they so defind as “the cruel Igbos”, have done and are doing more damage to ‘our’ collective nationhood than any other ethnic group; being responsible for the first violent interference with democracy in Nigeria resulting in a prolonged counter-productive chain of military dictatorship.

2. That the Igbos similarly orchestrated the first, and so far, the only civil war in Nigeria that consumed millions of lives and sowed the seed of the current mutual suspicion and distrust.

3. That the Igbos are also responsible for Nigeria’s cultural and moral degeneracy with their notorious involvement in all kinds of crimes, including international networking for drug and human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings, high-profile prostitution and advanced financial fraud.

4. That at the peak of the devastating Boko Haram violence in some parts of the North, available records show that the Igbo people have variously been apprehended while attempting to convey catches of dangerous arms and ammunition to the
troubled regions.

5. That there are today sufficient reasons to suspect that some Igbos masquerade as Fulani herdsmen to commit violent atrocities across the country in order to cause and spread ethnic disaffection.

6. That t is also on record that since the inception of the current democratic dispensation, the Igbos have shown and maintained open contempt and resentment for the collective decision expressed by majority of Nigerians at various stages via generally acceptable democratic processes.

These the above listed fora feels are reasons that only such declaration could address. Wisdom or folly is what we will soon uncover.

Mine is not to wash the Igbos off the claims. But every right thinking fellow would already see the politics in play with this so called Kaduna declaration. What amaze me is the strong will these fora states their stand. In the opening to their stand point, we are greeted with such words as: “From today, June 6, 2017, when this proclamation is signed, the North, … declares that it will no longer be disposed to coexisting with the”. It is not a call for the north to disassociate herself from the Igbos, nor is it an advice. But an order, of cause they call it a declaration. What one feels from reading this lines is first sympathy, then second is the power in the statement. I feel this fora are actually not alone but standing a representation of the big beast who is at back stage. To that regard, I call on Nigerians to take this issue seriously and not be deceived by any decision of arrest or call to caution that  the Federal Government or any State Government will offer, especially when such comes from the North. Nigeria should by now learn not to trust the words of some people on some particular issues.

Another thing we see in their stand is the clear statement that speaks of nothing but a declaration of war against the igbos where the documwnt stated thus; “… and shall take definite steps to end the partnership…” What I wonder is who these fora call the North. Is the North simply their backyard, or is Nigeria simply Sir Ahmadu Bello’s living room that they so feel they could stand authorities over anyone at anytime and on whatever issue they so desire?. The Northern minority group has a task to deal with this unholy practice that is capable of causing us a calamity we cannot imagine now.

BETWEEN THE IGBOS AND THESE FORA WHO IS UNCULTURED?

These fora clearly stated that their conclusion “is necessitated by the realization that it since ceased to be comfortable or safe to continue sharing the same country with the ungrateful, uncultured Igbos who have exhibited reckless disrespect for the other federating units and stained the integrity of the entire nation with their insatiable criminal obsessions”. I wonder who this description properly fits. First i wonder who is ungrateful between the Igbos and the North. The igbos have been denied the Nigerian presidency for long and they have not caused Nigeria a life on that, at least non that we can account for, but what and who is the cause of the 2011 election crisis that caused us lives and properties and still left ugly consequences as we have them prevailing today? Was it an Igbo man who declared that should he fail to will the presidency blood should flow? Who is truly ungrateful? The Igbo or the tribe these fora seek to represent?
For truth sake let us all reason together. Between the North and the south east, who have so far ruled Nigeria the most? Within the ages counted as Nigeria’s democracy ages, how many Igbos have had the opportunity to rule Nigeria? How many Northerners? Be free to quote me, the North is the problem of Nigeria. However, presently, the North is holding power in Nigeria. Hence, I find it unnecessary this declaration if it were legitimate. You are tired of Mr. A, Mr A have long been demanding freedom from you, is it not just wise that you let him go if in fact you are tired of tolerating Mr. A? I actually do not seem to see the rationale behind this declaration.

I find this fora more uncultured than any sect in this country call Nigeria. This fora have always released a bias, sectional and uncultured press statements times with no number. Most if not all of their activities have been sentimental and emotionally guided. One will wonder who is in fact fighting these fora that they keep being this furious at shadows that do not even recognize them as anything to be taking seriously. Or could it be a mere search for relevance which seem the order of the day now?

THE IGBOS ARE INDEED A THREAT

It seem there is something Arewa youth seem wanting to achieve in the North that she finds the Igbos living among us a threat and a block to that. Hence the best to employ is to threaten them into living the North for good. Above, these fora accussed the Igbos of being enemies to national integration, yet here we find them calling for each region to go her way because they are tired of ‘tolerating’ them. Child’s play, who is being anti-integration? Listen to them; “Rather than certain sections holding the whole country to ransom at every stage, each should be allowed to go its own way as we categorically proclaim today that the North is fed up”. I appeal to the gentle voice of reason in each and all to assess this statement. Who is holding who ransom. Is it the South East, or the North that have ruled Nigeria from of old? This is simply baseless. What I see here is that these fora have unsuccessfully attempted to read meaning into what does not even exist. Is it an Igbo man on the rule now? Or how is the Igbo nation responsible for the recession we are in? Is it an Igbo man that have been the chief of Army staff? Or how is the Igbo nation responsible for the jamboree in bringing to a lasting solution this security challenge? Is Boko haram representing the Igbo nation more than the north? Is the Fulani militia ‘igboiticly’ inclined? No, all these have direct and unquestionable links to the North. So who is actually holding Nigeria to ransom. Or could it be just that since the Igbos appear economically wise and strong so they now cause a threat to an untold agenda of the Arewa fora? I think that should be the point, at least a statement that reads; “by taking steps to facilitate the final dissolution of this hopeless union that has never been convenient to any of the parties”. Kindly meditate some more on, “never been convenient”.

THE IGBOS ARE MORE USEFUL IN THE NORTH THAN YOU ARE

To we the minority groups of the North, the Igbos have been more useful in terms of economic development, facilitation of national unity, brotherliness, peaceful coexistence to mention but these than the so acclaimed majority Hausa/Fulani tribe. But for the igbos in particularly Southern Kaduna where I come from, we will have been a dead zone. Remove the Igbos from Southern Kaduna and you will have no commercial activities in southern Kaduna. Is it because the over 53 minority groups in southern Kaduna are unwise or lazy? On the contrary, these minority groups are among the best you will find in any work of life you offer them an opportunity to venture into. But we have been so placed under a level where to make an effort towards economic, and political freedom, it seem impossible. However, with the existence of the Igbos and other nations from other regions among us, one could see a generation that is before the light of day and is making efforts towards freedom from the ungodly hold by the so acclaimed majority Hausa/Fulani tribes. Clearly one can see that given this development, it is normal for the so called Arewa Youth to feel the Igbos among us are strong holds to our agitation for freedom which surely is near accomplishment.

It is on record that there have been series of attacks in the christian dominated areas in the North, Arewa youth have not said or done anything useful to the realization of a lasting peace in these areas. They have not condemn the unholy activities of their brothers against those who are so termed ‘ infidels’. When the nation is boiling in recession, they have not issue out any useful economic advise towards a way out of the current economic recession. The Arewa Youths have not said a useful word about the boiling issues that seem to be dragging the nation to doom. Yet, they found it important to attack Femi, Fayosa and now the entire Igbo nation living in the north. How have these fora proof themselves as ambassadors of national integration than the disintegration stars and champions they loudly are? Let us make do with this.

It is a taboo to blaspheme against Islam,
Many have died on account of blasphemy against Islam,
Islam is a religion of peace,
Major terrorist groups in the north have claimed to be fighting an Islamic agenda,
All Arewa fora claim Islam as major in the North,
Non of them have sincerely condemned these terrorist,
They Igbos have been helpful.

Who is more a nationalist?

I pray the world is able to see the fact that there is more to it than we read in the declaration. It is not today that the issue of secession is heard, why are these fora taking it upon themselves to talk about something that lack merits where Nigerian challenges are discussed? There is a lot of investigation to the true activities of these groups to be done. To this end, I make the following prayer:

1. That all organizations, Associations, unions and groups within the North that do not identify themselves in this shameful and disgusting declaration should as a matter of urgency issue a press statement disassociating themselves with this show of unpatriotic spirit.

2. That the government should genuinely bring this fora to truly facing the law.

3. That any agency that granted recognition and registration to any of the aforementioned fora should in the spirit of the desire for national integration call off such registrations and recognition granted all these fora.

4. That all Northern Governors, Politicians, Religious and Traditional leaders should stand out in total condemnation of this declaration and ensure justice is done on the architects of the so called Kaduna declaration.

5. That the Igbo community should disregard this but stay vigilant in wherever they find themselves in the North.

By way of a seal to my rejoinder I give out this adage that is a fruit of my reaction to the Kaduna declaration by Arewa Youth, this day of Wednesday 7 June, 2017. Be free to quote. It reads:

“Nigeria is not Uthman Danfodio’s estate, if it were, Ahmadu Bello will still live”.

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