E O EkeSaturday, July 4, 2015




here is no doubt that ethnic relationship in Lagos is under threat and this is purely as a result of the utterances and action of the Lagos state government, Yoruba supremacists and the Oba of Lagos. For some understandable but unacceptable reasons, they have resorted to the politics of hate and discrimination and the Igbos as always, have been at the receiving end.

After being driven away from the North under the guise of Boko Haram because some of them voted for Jonathan, it would seem that some people in Lagos state have decided t it is time to turn on them for simulate reasons.

I am alarmed at the way Igbos are singled out for discriminatory treatment and often the target of hate crimes for no other reason that they have succeeded where their persecutors have failed. It is time to do something about it, before it degenerates into ethnic cleansing and another pogrom.

The Mushin market was developed by Igbos. The closure of the marked and the threat to bulldoze it, while the goods of the traders are still inside, it, is not only a calculated act of wickedness from very hateful and prejudiced hearts, driven by envy and greed, but a shameless attempt to forcefully acquiring what another person has worked for.

It is attempt to hide behind the law to dispossess Igbos of what they worked very hard for, reminiscent of the dispossession of Jews of their possessions in Nazi Germany.

This is another unlawful action in what is evolving as a calculated plan, to subjugate and intimidate Igbos in Lagos in the continuing pogrom against Igbos in Nigeria.

The recent flame of ethnic hatred against Igbos, fanned by the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, Dr Abraham Ariyo and Oba of Lagos, is gathering strength.

The victimisation of Igbos in Lagos continues and the rest of Nigeria keep silent. What excuse can any democratic government have to act against law abiding citizens of Nigeria in Lagos, in the way and manner, the Lagos government has acted against Igbos?

What is the excuse for a civil government to act in such autocratic, irresponsible and inhumane manner?

The singling out of any ethnic group in a multiethnic nation for some unfair treatment, is almost always both the foundation of its failure and the beginning of its disintegration.

This is because no people can build a safe, strong and united nation, without paying serious attention to justice as fairness and equality of all under the law.

The attempt to exploit Igbos, who are the nation builders if Nigeria unfairly, or hide under the smoke screen of the law and power to persecute them in anyway, undermines the foundation and viability of Nigeria. Igbos are the glue that hold Nigeria together. The are the ones who build outside their ethnic region, if they disinvest and head to the East, Nigeria will cease to exist. If the prejudice and discrimination and persecution against them continues, this will become inevitable.

It has happened in Iraq, Sudan, Syria, and Yugoslavia, to mention only but three. It will happen in Nigeria, no matter how loud those who are benefiting from the status shout that Nigeria must remain one, if the persecution and targeting of Igbos for discriminatory treatment, is not brought to an end in places like Lagos.

With the closure of the The Market in Mushin, where the traders are predominantly Igbos and without regard to their rights as free citizens of Nigeria, the ethnic divide in Nigeria is being widened. Igbos established the Market and those driven by greed, jealousy and ethnic prejudice must be compelled by the law.

Such people do not stop, unless they are stopped. Their aim is to destroy those they hate. Hitler did not stop and I do not see those behind the closure of Mushin market stopping, until they have thrown Igbos into Lagos into the Lagoon as the have threatened. Only God knows how many they have already thrown into the Lagoon.

Igbos must take this development seriously, those who forget history, only live to repeat it.

Africa is still very underdeveloped and minds of the people, who perpetrate ethnic atrocities are dominated by traditional beliefs, religious beliefs and ethnic prejudice.

They find it difficult to be fair to people who are not either of the same ethnic group with them, or share the same religion. Theirs' is a primitive mindset, dominated by greed, hate and pride, which have very little place for tolerance, equality and fairness.

Therefore, those at risk of ethnic prejudice and unfair treatment must make effort to protect themselves. The world always arrived too late to the scene if genocide.

In my view, it is time for Igbos with investment outside Igboland to begin to repatriate them to places where they would not be targeted because they are Igbos.

Igbo leaders must now fight for Enugu, Port Harcourt and Calabar airports and port Harcourt and Calabar seaports to get the same licence and consideration as Lagos airport and Lagos Apapa seaport to attract more airlines, and ships so that Igbos engaged in international trades trips, are not compelled to travel via Lagos.

Lagos has benefited and flourished because of the privileges and monopoly it enjoys and it is time to level the playing grounds so that human effort and ingenuity will determine the outcome.

This would seem to be the the fair response under the circumstance. There is enough land between Port Harcourt and Asaba to contain all Igbos in Nigeria, if Lagos state government, the Oba of Lagos and Boko Haram wants to continue their terrorism against Igbos.

Igbos must now realise that no one can make another to love him or her, if the person has chosen to hate people like him or her. Nigeria's ethnic divid is deep, Igbos continue to ignore at our peril.

A cripple should not die in a war that everybody saw coming. Locking a market developed by Igbos and depriving families of means of their livelihood is a targeted act of terrorism against Igbos, which should have no place in a multiethnic democracy like Nigeria. It is a cold and calculated act of wickedness and an audacious attention at wealth grab.

It simply and clearly demonstrated that the perpetrators do not give the same consideration they give to those who share the same ethnic group with them to those who do not.

It is a targeted act of persecution, victimisation and terrorism against Igbos because of who they are. It is wrong. It should be unacceptable and should not be justified or condoned, if Nigeria will survive as a United country.

This is the time to address it. We should not wait, until area boys get orders from the Oba of Lagos, to begin to throw Igbo traders, who are protesting glaring injustice into the lagoon, or the police gets order from the governor to shot them.

What is happening in Lagos is another way to oppress and extort money from Igbos. It is and act ethnic cleansing and persecution and reminds me of how Nazi Germans were treating German Jews in the 1930s.

What use is a country which can sympathise with you, but can do nothing to help redress the injustice you suffer? Where are the so called Igbo Leaders?

This should be a turning point for Igbos who think we will escape the fate of Jews in Germany, if we continue to do nothing, while this pogrom continues.

I do not think I wish to continue to be part of a Nigeria, where Igbos are constant targets of discriminations and victimisation for exercising their rights to hold political opinion and support the party of their choice in the way and manner they have been targeted in Lagos.

It is time for Buhari to demonstrate that he is president of Nigeria and would protect all ethnic groups and for all who believe in freedom, justice and equality to speak out and do all in their power to bring back the Lagos state government and Oba of Lagos to the path of law, civility, justice as fairness and equality. These are the bedrocks of any viable nations.