By Great Imo Jonathan
Ndi chee nu echiche
After reading a profiling statement of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s aide, Jacks Obasunyi and Dare Ajiga against the Igbos, relating to a statement made by some IPOB members as regards the death of army chief of staff I felt cold. They both attempted to manipulate those comments to appear as the opinion of the Igbos. Yet I came across a video by Mayegun, a Yoruba guy and comments of a few other persons who are not Igbos showing their disdain for the late chief. Those IPOB boys have accused him and other officers of killing their members in their hundreds during their rallies to call for the restoration of Biafra. It is naturally expected that they will consider anybody in uniform as enemy. But to use this opportunity again to rekindle hatred against Igbos is nothing but a demonic affair.
THIS IS AN AGE LONG HATRED AGAINST IGBO AND IT WAS HERE BEFORE 1966.
In 1945, indigenous peoples in Jos, Plateau State, had a clash that had nothing to do with Igbos. But in the end, Igbos were killed and their shops were looted and burnt down for what they knew nothing about.
Again In 1953 in Kano Igbos were massacred and their properties looted for an issue they did not create. Enahoro who was Awolowo’s associate had moved a motion for independence and the north was opposed to it, they went to the north to try and convince the people, northerners took offense and rioted. They killed Igbos, looted their shops and burnt them down. Yet the was not an Igbo man.
Yet in 1953, the north wanted to secede from Nigeria, (exactly what IPOB is asking for now) an Igbo man called Nnandi Azikiwe pleaded with them so that we can all leave as one family. Life bullets were not used to exterminate their young ones as being done in Igbo land now. Rather they were begged.
Then the worst happened. A fine gentleman and refined military officer from Okpanam in present day Delta State, South South Nigeria, along with Ifeajuna, Ademulegun and two others got other military officers both of northern and southern extraction to execute a coup in what they considered an attempt to clean up the political space in Nigeria. It was eventually branded Igbo coup. Despite the counter coup that led to the retaliatory killing of over 300 top Igbo military officers and Ironsi the then military head of state, they still went ahead to massacre thousands of Igbo civilians for an issue that was a simply a military affair and at best involved the political class. Over ninety thousand (90,000) Igbos were killed in a pogrom, women and children, poor artisans and traders massacred in cold blood. Yet it was not a war.
Then came the ultimate blood letting event of 1967 to 1970. A genocidal war was levied against eastern Nigeria. In a manner to explan the deep seated hatred for the Igbo, women and children were bombed to death in their millions. This was against rules of engagement in war. Women and children were targeted for mass murder. The Asaba massacre story is still being suppressed because those who did it are now ashamed of their history.
By the end of 1970, over 3 million Igbos had been killed in that genocidal war, over 2 million of them being women and children, a genocide only next to the Jewish Holocaust.
There has never been blood letting like it on the continent of Africa. Yet there still are efforts to suppress this story of animosity, even to the extent of banning history from being thought in schools in the country.
Yet the obsessive hatred against the Igbos that a British journalist working for the BBC talked about when he interviewed one of Nigeria’s leaders before independence and 1966, has not stopped.
Since after that war Igbos are still being killed and are made to suffer loses from issues that does not concern them. Even when others quarel amongst themselves they will find a way to settle it with the blood of Igbos. Kano 1980, Maiduguri 1982, Jimeta 1984, Gombe 1985, Zaria 1987, Kaduna and Kafanchan 1991.
They either start as religious riot or ethnic crisis. The ultimate end is that Igbos will be killed and their properties looted even when they are not party to the quarrel. It continued in Bauchi and Katsina 1991, Kano 1991, Zangon-Kataf 1992, Funtua 1993, Kano 1994, Kaduna 2000, Kaduna 2001, Maiduguri 2001, Jos Crisis-Setember 2001, Kaduna 2002 and Jos-November 2008.
Yet there was the beheading of Gideon Akaluka in December of 1996 in a POLICE STATION in Kano.
And then there was the post April 2011 Presidential Election: 10 youth-corps members and numerous citizens murdered and Igbos were not spared. Not to forget that there was Jos Christmas Eve 2010 killing of Igbos, Mubi January 6 2012 and many Igbo deaths caused by boko haram.
Go and look up your history and know how many times Igbos have been mindlessly killed since 1945 to date.
Yet some people are not satisfied. Recently, Nigerian youths from across the country protested against police brutality tagged Endsars. Some over zealous government officials mismanaged the situation and everywhere went up in flames. Quickly the manipulators of Nigeria against the Igbos cooked up their narrative in order to instigate the Yorubas to attack Igbos in Lagos but the Yorubas resisted their propaganda. This mindless propagandists did not even mention that many of shops that were looted or destroyed in Surulere Area and Aja belong to Igbo people. They did not mention that in the South East where Igbos are predominant properties where also destroyed, including the famous Aba North local government headquarter. They wanted to manipulate things again so that Igbos can be attacked and their properties to be destroyed. They succeeded in Rivers where Governor Wike, basking in his zealous stupidity attacked Igbos in Obigo in the guise that Endsars protest was an IPOB affair and that they operated from the town. He has succeeded in killing many Igbos in that community and closing down Igbo markets in the city. A product of abandoned property reinventing hatred against Igbos.
Yet no one remembered that Igbos in Abuja were killed during the protest and their properties destroyed in Apo.
The trend is continuing with the recent statement by the shameless Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman who was seen on video assaulting a security guard in Abuja. Rather than explain his nonsense behaviour he sent his media aide to put out junk of a press release trying to implicate Igbos and create ethnic sentiment against them being their usual fall guys. Not minding that the security guard in question is from Plateau State in northern Nigeria where the Chairman comes from.
As if that was not enough, Lagos State commissioner of police raised another false alarm trying to cause serious disaffection between Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos. He was supported one “fame chaser” called Joe Igbokwe who is always sell his people out for his selfish interest, a man whose belly is his god. But God did put them to shame as the Yorubas again told them off. And it was eventually discovered to be a lie but nobody knows if they are still planning to bomb Lagos in order to implicate Igbos.
Then came Mr. Malami, the AGF, with his killer herdsmen and Igbo motor parts dealers narrative. Something suggesting that he was levying another ethnic hatred against Igbo business men and women in the north. But it did not materialise.
And now the death of Nigeria’s Army Chief is being used to malign the Igbos again. Any statement made by a typical IPOB member who sees the army as enemy for killing over 700 of their members since 2017, is posited as Igbos speaking. I mean people that have never equated any statement of herdsmen or meyattialah as that of the north talk more of those of Boko Haram or Bandits using comments by IPOB members to colour the opinion of Igbos, notwithstanding the fact that millions of Igbos are not their members and many are opposed to them.
And I ask: what is this hatred all about? You hate them so much yet you don’t want to let them go. How much more of their blood do you want before your vampire gods will be appeased? You sent Python to dance against their protesting harmless youths and you extracted their blood and buried them in shallow graves. They gathered to pray at Ngwa High School in Aba and you turned the venue into a horror field shooting life bullets as many of them were sent to their early graves. You sent Crocodile and all manner of metaphorical animals to stop them from speaking out against their oppression and they have paid severely with their blood but it doesn’t appear you are yet appeased.
1945 to 2021 is long time enough to have shown hatred against a people. Don’t give me that nonsense excuse of 1966 coup because you the killing of Igbos started before then. Your 1966 coup was just a good excuse enough to attempt to annihilate them because the war you levied on them looked like a premeditated genocide. The BBC British journalist interview even before independence was a good reference to the hate against Igbos before the coup. Or how do you explain that many other coups outside that one were not branded along ethnic lines?
Enough of this hatred against Igbos. Whatever that is motivating it is evil. Igbos love to travel, relate with others and even build and develop places where they reside outside their homeland. They are hard working and adventurous, bold and ambitious. I see those who hate them like the brothers of Joseph who hated him for nothing but his dreams and coat of many colours. If Joseph could be so hated for his dream and coat of many colours and Cain could kill Abel for offering God the best sacrifice I am not surprised that some people can hate Igbos. But don’t look for cheap excuses to hinge your dark heart.
Great Imo Jonathan
(Disclaimer, the content and opinions are that of the writer and based on history)