FEATURE ARTICLE

Temple Chima UbochiSunday, June 11, 2017
ubochit@hotmail.de
Bonn, Germany

THE ULTIMATIUM THAT IGBOS SHOULD LEAVE THE NORTH IS A PRAYER ANSWERED

Pray, and let God worry (Martin Luther)

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves (William Penn)

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

If you want your prayers answered, get up off your knees and do something about them (Wally Lamb)

Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that (Oliver Stone)

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort (Jesse Owens)

Ango Abdullahi is a liar from the pit of hell for saying that the Igbo should quit the North and that Northern money was used to develop Southern Nigeria (Reno)

Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts; put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live! (Bob Marley)

here comes a time in a person's life when what he cherishes, and strives to achieve, becomes elusive. And then, all hopes seemed lost! But, completely out of the blue, the elusive goal becomes a reality, on its own, without much effort or struggle; making one to wonder why all the prior hassles, and nothing to show for them.

If what's storming becomes a reality, then we can say that God's time is really the best; as the way of God is different from that of men, because, He moves in a mysterious way to perform His wonders, when He deems fits.

Can what the Igbos have been looking for, all along, "in Sokoto be in their Sökötö"?

Just as my friend used to say: "It's over"; and really, Nigeria's over, and we didn't know that it will happen so soon! We must thank Buhari, who has made the imminent break up of Nigeria possible. The Ultimatum from the Northern Youths to the Igbos, living in the northern part of Nigeria, will bring about the completion of the demise of Nigeria, already initiated by Buhari.

I had hoped against all hopes that Nigeria would one day be out of the woods, thinking that the leaders will do the right thing by restructuring the country, so that we can revert to the regional system of government. Now, there's no sense hoping or waiting for the impossibility.

Wherever the interest of my people will be better served is where I belong. I'm first and foremost an Igbo man, and then a Nigerian, because, Igboland is still enclosed within Nigeria. Wherever Igbo land is, is where I belong; its people, are my people; and its God, is my God.

My only regret is that the breakup of Nigeria should have been possible earlier and easier. Article 1 (2) of the United Nations Charter recognizes the "principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples"; why didn't they allow the Igbo to make that decision before now? Do you know that the post-independence constitution of Nigeria had a clause for referendum in it, but was removed by the Abdul salami's government, in 1998, when it was cobbling together the present day constitution?

The Igbos have lost a lot to get to this stage. What's the sense of telling the Igbos to leave the North now, when they should have been allowed to go after the 1966 pogrom in the north? Why was Aburi Accord rejected by the then federal government led by Yakubu Gowon, as what the northern Youths are demanding now would have been settled in 1966 through the tenets of that Accord? Why must about three million south-easterners die, in that senseless civil war meant to keep Nigeria one, if now the Igbos are been given the ultimatum to leave the northern Nigeria? When the Igbos felt that their security is no longer guaranteed in the forced union called Nigeria, and wanted to leave, they were stopped by force; and now the same people who stopped them then, wants them to leave now. We all know that the north would have seceded, long time ago, if not for the benefits of the oil from the south. Now, the value of oil's going down, so, they can afford to be on their own.

One fact is that the so called Quit Notice hinges on jealousy and envy; because, as things are getting harder everyday in Nigeria, due to Buhari's actions and inactions (misgovernance), the "good things" are no longer flowing, as usual, for so many Northerners, who have taken for granted the resources from the south they have been enjoying all these years. Those Northern Youths, who have been spoon-fed, can't bear it that the Igbos, in their midst, are having it "good", while they are "suffering" in their own place. Those Northern Youths can't understand how the Igbos, who started from nothing, after the war, should be having the best houses, cars, businesses, delectable women, "in another man's land", while the owners of the land are "suffering"? But those greedy Youths forgot that the Igbos, "living big", in their midst, worked hard for their money or property? My people say that "if you tell a poor man what it takes to be rich, he would prefer to remain poor".

While the Northern Youths were depending on the government for everything, the Igbos were toiling, day and night, and what they have now are the fruits of their labor. Those Northern Youths can no longer stay and watch as their own fortunes depreciate, while those of the Igbos, living among them, continue to appreciate. They can't understand why the Northerners are getting poorer, but the Igbos, who came to their zone, are getting richer; they can't help it but to wonder how the Igbos will be putting up beautiful mansions/houses and thriving businesses, while they, the Northerners, are failing. Telling the Igbos to go, those Northerners want to covet the Igbo properties and businesses over there.

The Northern Youths want to reap what they didn't sow; and the question is: even if the Igbos, in the north, leave without their businesses and properties, will those greedy Northern Youths be able to maintain those things they will likely scramble for? Give them few months, and everything will crumble. That was what happened when President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe confiscated the land of the white farmers in that country, in a bid to redistribute it to the blacks, who're the real owners of Zimbabwe. But there was a mistake there; a good intention with a wrong approach; because, the blacks who took over those lands were unable to cultivate them, as the whites did, and that brought the Zimbabwean economy down, and unleashed unprecedented hunger in that country. It's not enough to take over something, but can that person maintain it so that a vacuum would not be created?

One thing is for sure: No matter what some of the Northerners say against the quit notice, many of them are behind it. My people say that "a bird dancing in the street has something beating a drum for it in the bush"; some of the Northern elders are the unseen hands manipulating the North Youths, as they are "cutting in the bush, but will come out on the road to ask who's doing that".

The spokesman of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, justified the order issued by the northern youths to the Igbo to vacate the northern region in three months. The naij.com just reported that Prof. Ango Abdullahi says the northern youths issued a quit notice to Igbos in response to the unpalatable behaviour of their guests. Ango Abdullahi states that the northern youths are venting their anger and frustration over the irresponsible behaviour of Igbo youths and elders. The northern elder says the arrogant and irresponsible actions of Igbo leaders and youths should stop immediately.

Can one imagine that a man who calls himself a professor (quota professor), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice chancellor, and a onetime Education Minister (Federal Commissioner), in his capacity as the mouthpiece of the Northern Elders Forum, should reiterated their support for the Northern Youths who gave the Igbos, in the North, a quit notice? He even asked why the northern governors should be against the quit notice. The issue being that if Ango Abdullahi is asking the Igbos to go, on the premise that the country has been divided, then that's highly welcomed. Then the onus will be on the present government of Nigeria to embark, with immediate effect, the official process of dividing the country. Failing to do so, the government is to be squarely held responsible for whatever that befalls the Nigerian citizens. But if Ango is supporting that the Igbos should go, on the premise of retaining the "One Nigeria Unity", then, he's trying to eat his cake and have it.

The northern Youths shouldn't worry about the Igbos leaving; all they should do is to tell their leaders not to stop the Igbos when they will be leaving. Infact, they should implore their leaders to conduct a referendum, and if it's the wish of the majority to have their own country, so shall it be. My warning to the northern youths is that they dare not touch any Igbo person, as they have been doing since 1966 without paying any price for it. This time around will be different, and I hope I'm not making an empty threat, as I know I speak for so many Igbos. We will not watch them kill fellow brothers and sisters again; and Femi Fani-Kayode made this point, when he wrote:

"The northern youths must be warned, and in very clear terms, that this is not 1966. Any pogrom or slaughter of Igbos in the north again will lead to a swift, immediate and devastating retaliation throughout the south. Those that gave the Igbo quit notice in the north are playing with fire and that fire will consume them. They are opening the gates of hell and they will enter that gate. They are plunging us into darkness and we shall enter that darkness together. Nigeria belongs to us all. I urge the core Muslim northern elders and leaders to call their youths to order before they spark off a series of events and a crisis that may not only lead to a second civil war but will also lead to the end of Nigeria. This time around the Igbo are not alone. An attack on them is an attack on every southerner and every Middle Belter. And such an attack will have grave and unfathomable consequences".

To put the record straight: the Igbos will not beg any tribe to join them in forming a new nation. I read where Senator Omo-Aagege, representing Delta central senatorial zone, was saying that the Urhobo nation is part of Nigeria and not interested in seceding or being part of Biafra. Who cares? The senator should not worry; Igbos will not force them into any union. Let the Urhobo and others remain in their Nigeria. We have had enough of Nigeria. Even the Igbos of Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, who have been living in self denial, since after the civil war, because they were brainwashed to deny their Igbo identity, are also free to opt out of the incoming Igbo nation - who wants to belong, is welcomed; and who doesn't, is free to choose where to belong. But they should remember that if the northerners start killing the Igbos, they will not differentiate between an Urhobo and Igbo, or, between a person bearing Igbo name, who's from Rivers State, and the person bearing the same Igbo name from Abia State.

These points, supporting those above, were posted in Alexander Otti's Facebook page by one Eddie Sky, who wrote: "A lot of Urhobo people want Biafra because it is better to be a Biafran than a Nigerian. Urhobo man has a better understanding with an IBO man than a Hausa man. I am an Urhobo man, when a Hausa/Fulani start their killing of Ibos in the north the Urhobo man is not spared, he is seen as an IBO man. Me and my household as an Urhobo man will always support Biafra. And, Dorothy Menyuah Hart wrote there also: "If your name is Nkechi from Ika or Elechi from Ikwere and you said you are not Igbo, never bother about the declaration by the Northern Youths asking Igbos to vacate Northern Nigeria. You have nothing to fear as you can only explain to them you are not Igbo and they will embrace you and move over to butcher the other Nkechi and Elechi from Afikpo".

Many Igbos are regretting that the Igbos would lose the properties and businesses they have in the north, if they're forced to leave, or if Biafra becomes a reality. Yes of course; these will be the collateral damages or the prices to pay for our emancipation. You lose something to gain something. Infact, I have no drop of tear for those who would lose their "things" in the north or elsewhere, if Nigeria should break. They were warned, all along, to be careful. In the 1990s, the Igbos in Lagos invited Ojukwu to chair the opening ceremony of the shopping complex they built around Trade Fair complex. There, Ojukwu advised the Igbo traders that it would have been better if these structures were put up in Igbo land, warning them to remember tomorrow, as nobody knows what it might bring. Today, 70 percent of the land and properties in Abuja, we're told, belong to the Igbos; a large percentage of the best houses in Lagos are owned by the Igbos; the north is alive, businesswise, because of the Igbos. The irony is that their south-east is stagnant and in decay, while the Igbos are developing other peoples' places. One day, unless the international law comes into play, Igbos will lose most of the things they have outside Igbo land. Mr. Dibia also wrote, in Sahara reporters, that today in Nigeria, Igbo traders occupy over 60% of Nigeria's trading activities. They were critically involved in the development of important areas in Lagos State: Idumota, Apapa, Ikeja, Alaba etc. Remove Igbo traders in these areas and see what will happen to Lagos!

Figuratively, the Igbos, outside Igbo land, should have "two shirts"; one in their place of residence, and the other in Igbo land. So that in a situation like the one we might experience soon, they can fall back on the one "hanging" in Igbo land. Putting all their eggs in one basket, when they know the volatility of Nigeria, was a big mistake.

I must commend the south-east governors, usually known for their stupor, for waking up from their slumber, this time around, and were ready to do the right thing. What must have come over them this time around? They surprised so many of us in a positive way. It was reported that the Governors of South-East states, on Wednesday, June 7, held emergency meeting over the quit notice to Ndigbo residing in the northern Nigeria. At the meeting, the governors agreed on immediate plans to convey Igbos in the North back home. This disclosure was made by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in Enugu, Wednesday night. Vanguard quoted him as saying that the Governors had almost mobilized? thousands of luxurious buses and trucks to evacuate Ndigbo, but for the timely intervention of Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

By the way, was Rochas Okorocha, of Imo State, at that meeting? It would be a surprise, because he behaves like a Hausa/Fulani.

Being in Nigeria has pulled the Igbos behind. An enterprising people have missed where they were supposed to be, just because they're in a forced union with people having Stone Age mentality in this modern age. If Biafra was allowed to exist in 1967, by now that nation would have been well above India, China, South Korea etc in terms of industrial development, and it would have pulled the whole African continent up, along with.

If Nigeria is a country that tells itself the truth, it would have advanced, industrially, just like some other countries, in Asia, which gained their independence almost at the same time with it. If Nigerian leaders, especially those who ruled immediately after the war, had any love for Nigeria, they would have tapped and utilized, for the good of all, the expertise, the talents and know-how the Biafrans used in prosecuting and sustaining the war, for 3 years, from nothing; when the federal government was bragging, prior to the war, that it will over-run and crush the Biafrans in three months. Three months turned into three years, and the federal forces almost lost the war.

Biafrans refined petroleum from nothing; Biafrans manufactured Ogbunigwe (Bombs) out of nothing; Biafrans built armored vehicles with scraps; Biafran pilots were taking off and landing at Uli Airstrip in total darkness; Biafran central bank printed money, and only God knows how etc. If Nigeria had engaged and rehabilitated those Biafran Engineers, they would have taken Nigeria to a pedestal above all its contemporaries, which are today better off than it. The problem is that most of those Engineers are dying out without transferring those expertise, talents and know-how to others. What a country? Anyway, the solace is that they can only delay what will be, but nobody can stop it. Igbos are coming to take their rightful place in the world, where they really belong. They can't stop us now!

The Igbos are unique and pace setters, and these evoke hatred and jealousy in other Nigerians; a point Prof. Chinua Achebe, of the blessed memory, made, when he explained why Nigerians hate the Igbo. The Nation quoted Achebe as having said that Nigerians, especially of the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba stocks, do not like his Igbo ethnic group because of the southeast's cultural advantage. He traced the origin of "the national resentment of the Igbo" to its culture that "gave the Igbo man an unquestioned advantage over his compatriots in securing credentials for advancement in Nigerian colonial society." He observed that the Igbo culture's emphasis on change, individualism and competitiveness gave his ethnic group an edge over the Hausa/Fulani man who was hindered by a "wary religion" and the Yoruba man who was hampered by" traditional hierarchies." He said Nigerian leadership should have taken advantage of the Igbo talent and this failure was partly responsible for the failure of the Nigerian state, explaining further that competitive individualism and the adventurous spirit of the Igbo was a boon Nigerian leaders failed to recognize and harness for modernization. Hear Achebe: "Nigeria's pathetic attempt to crush these idiosyncrasies rather than celebrate them is one of the fundamental reasons the country has not developed as it should and has emerged as a laughingstock". He noted that the ousting of prominent Igbos from top offices was a ploy to achieve a simple and crude goal. He said what the Nigerians wanted was to "get the achievers out and replace them with less qualified individuals from the desired ethnic background so as to gain access to the resources of the state."

Nobody should despair because of the quit notice the Arewa Youths issued to the Igbos living in the North. Infact, it was long overdue, and it was what many of us have been praying for all along. For me the October 1 deadline is too far, let the North Youths carry out their threat today, today.

We all know what we have suffered in Nigeria; any Igbo person who wants to remain in there is on his or her own. That person must be gaining from that false union. We will not let such sellouts to pull us back.

On a final note:

I must refute the erroneous impression that Igbos love money or wealth. Everybody, no matter the race, creed or color loves money, but, Igbos' traducers have overhyped this particular characteristic, against the Igbos (On a lighter mood: anybody who hates money, should be sending it to me whenever he or she gets it) On the other hand; there's no need trying to convince others about the so called Igbos' "respect" for money. The Igbos understand the value of money or wealth, because of what it takes them to acquire it. Starting from nothing and nowhere after the war, with only 20 Nigerian Pounds in 1970, immediately after the war, it would have been hard for any Igbo family to make it today. But not letting anything to hold them back, the Igbos decided to struggle for survival. That's the reason why you see Igbo people everywhere, in all parts of the world, even in the most uninhabitable place, today. If you go to any place in this world and didn't see at least an Igbo person there, know that such a place would not be habitable even for any mammal or anything breathing.

If you say that Igbos love money or wealth, know that they worked hard to acquire it, unlike their contemporaries from other parts of Nigeria, who acquired it by virtue of where they were born, or their religion, or their connection. Nobody, in most "high places", were there for the Igbos, after the war, as they struggled, on their own, to make it. What one suffered to get, he or she will love and respect vis-ā-vis the thing that was placed on one's lap without any real personal effort or struggle. I advise others to leave the Igbos, "with their so called love of money", alone, as those other Nigerians will never understand what the Igbos have suffered in life, as my people say that "he who sleeps with his mother's slaves doesn't know that sex is expensive outside".

TIT BITS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE4hDrymvYw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KKGHOdU3HA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqIIW7nxBgc

THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!

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