Somebody with an infectious sense of ‘serious’ humour, regretted that if one drove 10 kilometres in, or towards, the South East, one would meet at least 20 security toll-gates but in the North, bandits would carry a human cargo of 100+ on motorcycles and drive for 100 kilometres without seeing a single checkpoint. The other day, Chief Ozhekome had a frustrating experience. “My journey from Isele-Mkpitime, Delta State through Asaba, Onitsha, Owerri, Aba to PH was a strangulating reminder that the Igbos, despite their unquantifiable contributions to the Nigerian economy, are nearly a conquered people.
The checkpoints (Tollgates) along the above stretch of road are nauseating and asphyxiating, as the security agencies outdo each other to harass, torment, intimidate and extort money from travellers,” he said. However, he missed one point. Nd’Igbo are not nearly a conquered people; they are a conquered people as shown by words, attitudes, behaviours and dispositions of PMB and his government towards us. And rather than telling us ‘whatever you see you take; you are a conquered people’, they continue to pretend otherwise. At a certain stage, it becomes impossible to harvest a woman’s ‘holy of holies’ in the presence of her child because the child has grown old enough to know whatsgwan.
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Recently, they have sprayed a little bit of their highhandedness on the entire South. Obinna Aligwekwe on 2/7/21 painted a coloured picture of the situation. ‘In South West, be in possession of AK-47 and DSS will come after you, invade your house at unholy hours and even bomb the house. In the NW possession of AK47 earns one a photo up with the Governor. Ask for self-determination in the South East and you are a terrorist while in the NW, place a BH flag in a whole town and they pay taxes and tithe to you. In the South-South, insist on controlling your resources and the full weight of the law (whatever that means) with serious warnings are your lots but in NW, discover gold and it belongs to the state’. When Governor Akeredolu asked blood-thirsty bandits to vacate the forest reserves in Ondo State, and when the Southern governors banned open grazing, the Federal Government descended on them but just the other day, the Emir of Muri ordered all Fulani herders out of the forests in his domain or they would be killed. And this is what happened, as captured by one of the lone voices shouting in the wilderness.
Nd’Igbo are not nearly a conquered people; they are a conquered people as shown by words, attitudes, behaviours and dispositions of PMB and his government towards us
‘Governor Akaredolu did not even say that herders, if they failed to vacate the forests would be killed. He only said that they would be arrested and prosecuted-according to the rule of law. Fast forward to the Emir of Muri’s 30 day quit notice to nomadic herdsmen occupying forests in his emirate. He told them to vacate or be killed by his own people. Leave or be murdered! That was the message he delivered on Sallah day and he was unapologetic about it. Till this moment, I am still combing frantically the social pages of Femi Adesina & Garba Shehu, looking for statements from them that will reprimand the Emir for his ‘call to anarchy’ in case the herders don’t heed his call. I am yet to read from the AGF Abubakar Malami, SAN, lecturing the emir on the illegality…(Muiz Banire Political Class & Conspiracy of Silence; July 2021).
The other day, they visited Igboho (because he is an ‘IGBO’ name) and left behind sorrow, tiers and blood. They even arrested his chief cat! Shehu Garba said they killed and maimed at IGBOho’s house because of the ‘shoot at sight order’ by the Commander in Chief. But Gumi, in alliance with DSS and even our governors have caucused with gun-wielding bandits in their domains. As Engr Buba Galadima asked, ‘if we can pursue and repatriate Kanu back home from a foreign country; if we can stop Igboho on his way to Germany , why on earth can’t we arrest Kachalla Turji; Dogo, Gide, Dankarami and other notable bandit leaders operating in Nigerian territory’? Questions and questions but no answers.
As I was completing the first draft of this piece (26/7/21), three things happened. Kanu was tried in absentia at Abuja. Kanu was not there and he has never been armed and has never killed anybody. But the security personnel did a show of force at the court premises barricading all roads, harassing journalists, lawyers and some youthful ‘guests’. Some suspected IPOB members tried to enforce ‘stay at home’ in the East over the trial. When people are compelled to stay at home, they do so out of fear, not out of love and this does not help one’s cause. A good number of Igbo voices were there including Okwadike Ezeife, with his resplendent white beards; they were there willingly. That is how it should be. Secondly, two soldiers were kidnapped along Damaturu-Maiduguri road. I hope it was not orchestrated by Kanu, who was standing trial at that material time. Thirdly, the paramount ruler of Jeba people in Kaduna State, The Kpop Ham, Danladi Maude, was kidnapped by known or unknown bandits. Need I say more?
By the way, why has MNK not joined the APC so that he would be hosted by our vibrant President at Aso Rock, after which all his sins will be automatically wiped away? In this world?