nce upon a time, the hen was asked by its neighbour why she always makes a lot of farce anything the kite or hawk comes to take one of its chicks. They asked her if she thinks that her noise and flapping of her wings would stop the predators from taken her chicks. The hens answer was quiet incisive and wise. She said that she makes a lot of noise each time the predator comes not because she believes that it would prevent the certain fate, but so that people would know when she lost her chicks so that no one would say that she eats them. The Nigeria situation is progressing like a typical Nigeria melodrama, without any clear cut strategy or method but with bribery and prayer because that is how we do things.
In the last one year, I have engaged with Nigeria issues and have received a lot of contacts from Nigeria many of which ask me why I am involved. I tell them it is because I am a Nigeria and they laugh. Then they ask me do you think there is anything called Nigeria and I say yes and their mockery in their laughter becomes more obvious. They wait for a short interval and say, old boy Nija don finish. ’Sebi you be Igbo, why you no dey see’. ‘watin dey wrong with you people sef’. ‘Na waoo, Dey de kill you people and you still to go’. ‘My brother, my people say na only tree dey stay the same place when somebody don tell am say e wan cut am don’. One Igbo man sent me a mail “why Do you delight in bashing your own people. Are those faults not also in other ethnic groups”? my answer is reported below:
“Is the truth any different because I say it? This is the problem with the black race. They keep quiet in the face of evil and then wonder why evil flourishes. The excuse has always been because the perpetrators are their own people. What has keeping quiet done for us apart from it has enable criminal elements in our midst to gain power and destroy our country and future. Do you not see? My people are people who believe in honesty, justice, equality, social justice, the rule of law and tolerance. A man is not brother because we share the same mother, father or ancestry. A man is my brother because we share the same civil and noble values. I choose to define myself by the values I hold dear. Many of the problems in the world are caused by people who narrowly define themselves by their religion and ethnicity and hide behind them to justify evil and condone corruption. Corruption like all criminal activities does not discriminate between people or ethnicity. A corrupt man is a dangerous man to the society and I will oppose him even if he is my brother. Do not forget that Cain killed Abel. I think you should concentrate on the problem and finding ways to stop the rot, in Igbo land instead of trying to play the ethnic or tribal game. It does not work anymore. The world has moved on. Our people need men who can speak the truth and bring the change we need. Have a good day. Regards “
I am involved because finally in 2010, I can to the sad conclusion that Nigeria is governed very badly in the interest of very small corrupt elite and that it is unjust, wrong and unsustainable; and unless the country makes some very serious changes and undergoes a paradigm shift it will implode. My articles are just one way I believe I can make my own contribution. I am not writing so that I would be offered an appointment. I cannot possibly serve under any government that uses its attorney general to obstruct the prosecution of corrupt politicians and would do nothing while the people who destroyed Aba are walking free and enjoying their loot. My attitude to corruption, probity, stewardship and the rule of law are perhaps too Oyibo for me to fit into a system that appear to have accepted a culture of criminality, impunity and mediocrity. Unless of course, I am in a position, with the power and responsibility to make the changes I believe Nigeria needs. I can only be part of serious and honest change in the way Nigeria is governed today. For that I would be ready to be a hen.
I write because there are a lot of injustices in Nigeria and the leaders are far too corrupt, self-centred and ethnic minded. This has been highlighted by their reactions to the unfolding tragedy in Nigeria which did not reflect the objective facts. The most appalling and utter mind dumbing is the reaction of Igbo leaders and the attempt by some leaders from the north to defend Boko Haram and give legitimacy to terrorism and unprovoked, premeditated mass murder of innocent people in a time of peace. Igbo leaders’ lack of clear strategy to ensure justice for the victims, ensure that they are not forgotten and set mechanism in place to help those who are caught up in this madness is as ununderstandable as it is tragic. As an Igbo and a Nigeria, I am pained by the death of any innocent Nigeria in this senseless killing and have called and continued to call for justice for the victims not because they are Christians or Igbos, but because they are innocent and did not deserve to be killed in the way and manner they were. As a doctor whose only life ambition was to be a medical missionary, I cannot keep quiet in the face of the evil in my country of origin. This is why I believe it is an outrage for anybody to seek to justify this unwarranted and unprovoked genocidal killing.
My greatest anger is reserved to the people who call themselves Igbo leaders who have led Igbo land to become a land of poverty, kidnapping armed robbery and unemployment. Yet, they have become rich enough to own fleets of cars, hundreds of buildings, and send their children to schools in England where the school fee is twenty five thousand pounds a year. These are the people who had nothing to say as Boko Haram unleashed a reign of terror on Nigerians a disproportionate number of which are Igbos. Even as some people in the north are muddling the water with misinformation and justification of premeditated murder, the Igbo leaders have kept quiet. This has made a lot of people to question their legitimacy and moral values. This silence says one thing clearly that they do not know what to do. They can ask for justice for the victims by holding the federal government accountable and insisting on Justice.
It is only justice that will bring peace. The question is what is justice? Justice to some people is getting even. To others it is getting away with murder. Boko Haram must not get away with murder. There should be no amnesty for any of them involved in this treasonable felony. They declared war on Nigeria and started killing innocent Nigerians. Whatever we do, whoever pleads for them, whatever anybody threatens to do, we must never forget this. We must never forget that the killed innocent people in the way and manner they kill cows. Cutting their neck with knives and placing it on their abdomen and recoding it and posting it in the internet. We must never forget even as we must move on, that these evil psychopaths recited the Quran before committing their evil and hideous acts. These inhuman acts of terror and hate must change the way we regard evil and treat offender. We must ensure that people involved in acts of terror do not benefit from it in any way. We must pursue them no matter how long it will take or how much it would cost. This is the only way we can ensure that the victims of these crimes do not die in vain.
I would want Igbo leaders to stop and imagine for once, what northern leaders would do if a group of misguided Igbo Christian youth declares war on Nigeria and starts killing Nigerians a greater number of which are Northerners and burning mosques on Fridays during prayers to celebrate the birth of Mohammed? Would the northern leaders take weeks to meet? Would they have said nothing to their people after the meeting? Would they have said nothing to the federal government about what they want to happen to the perpetrators? What would they have said, if Igbo leaders starts justifying the unjustifiable acts and asking the government to talk to the terrorist? What would they have done, if they have evidence that some eastern politicians were behind the group?
They north want the government to talk to Boko Haram so that it can explain why they kill innocent Nigerians. This is a big joke. The position of the government should remain that Boko Haram should lay down its arms and their leaders brought to justice. If this does not happen, Nigeria will pass a point of no return because people will accept that prophets who do not bear arms will come to ruin. If the government does not handle the Boko Haram issue justly and wisely; and allow the north to intimidate it into excusing the inexcusable, a greater number of Nigerians may be forced to acquire arms to defend themselves and Nigeria will become a more dangerous place and take another step towards its ‘somalisation’. No normal human being would like to live unarmed in a country where a terrorist group can strike at any time. This may be the beginning of the saturation of Nigeria with arms and the end of the beginning the of end of Nigeria as a peaceful country where normal people would like to visit. I say these things because the damage is often irreparable. Somalia is still burning and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iraq have not known peace.
Justice demands that the root cause of this problem be addressed. The part of the north which wants to define itself by the religion of Islam and its ethnicity should be allowed to do so and those of us who want to live in a country governed my civil values where the central Bank governor does not champion a sectarian religious cause and print money and donate it to the government of his state of origin can get on with our lives. Nigerians must insist on justice as fairness. This is the future. I hope my friend who asked me why I am talking about corruption in Igbo land will understand that a people who cannot tell themselves the bitter truth is a people that will never find the cause of their problem. I will stop talking when I see genuine signs of change in Nigeria. If the politicians will not stop stealing, I will not stop talking.