REBUTTAL: Prof. Moghalu, The Igbo Have Moved On, But Nigeria Have Not |The Republican News

Section of Igbo Chiefs and Traditional Leaders

By Ike A Offor

It is disturbing when some Nigerians like Prof. Kingsley Moghalu make wrong assumptions just to score political points, he needs to be reminded about obvious facts he may have missed. His recent essay that the Igbo must move on caught my attention and that is why I am addressing it.

First of all, I want to remind him that the Igbo have moved on but unfortunately Nigeria have not moved on but bear unending grudges against the Igbo. Such grudges is why the region has been neglected and marginalised.

How do you know that the Igbo have moved on?

The answer to this question is everywhere in Nigeria and on every Nigerian lip when they want to be honest or want to express their anger about the Igbo buying up all their lands in their region or that they owned all businesses in their lands. The north and South West complain about the Igbo investing too much in their region, and want them out. Who then has grudges fro the past and who has moved on.

The evidence that the Igbo have moved on is why every village in Nigeria has Igbo man investing heavily in his businesses, building houses, hotels and supermarkets. Because the Igbo man has moved on is why the Igbo man go far and wide to embrace fellow Nigerians and invest in every town, city and village around Nigeria. If he has not moved on, he would not have done these things. Like one half Igbo and Hausa artist puts it recently, no Nigerian is more Nigerian than an Igbo man for these obvious reasons.

It is because the Igbo have move on is why they have huge control of the economic activities all around the country and even abandoned their own region while investing outside their own region. If the Igbo man has not moved on and has bitterness left from the war, they would have dug trenches and been fighting guerrilla war but he is busy investing and residing all over Nigeria at the detriment of their region, which many have deemed unwise. Perhaps, in the process of Igbo trying to be too patriotic they neglected their own backyard.

On the other hand, Nigeria have not moved on when the Igbo have long moved on since the war ended.

Let me quote Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe here. “The war ended 50 years ago but federal government still behave as if the war is still on” (though not verbatim)

Senator Enyinnaya succinctly captured it there how the Igbo have moved on but the federal government still treats the South East as if it is still at war with the region.

After the war ended, the federal military government under Gen. Yakubu Gowon with Biafra agreed to the 3Rs, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation but the federal government never fulfilled a single aspect of that agreement. Until today, there is almost no federal presence in the entire South East region. The federal roads in the East are the worst in the entire country. Even when these federal roads are rehabilitated by South East governors, they are hardly reimbursed by the federal government. This has discouraged the governors from expending state resources on the federal roads.

There is no international airport in the entire region until Goodluck Jonathan converted Dr Akanu Ibiam airport to International airport. Until then, the Igbo had to make the treacherous trip to Lagos to fly or go to Port Harcourt, when the region is supposed to have at least three international airports since they are topmost fliers in the country. These were done to make sure the economy of the region suffers and helped to force the citizens of the region to move away to other regions where they would easy access to these facilities.

The entire South East is not deemed fit to have seaports when the region commands the huge percentage of business ownership in the country. The Igbo travel more and do more business within and with the outside world, but the federal government does not see the region fit enough to have a seaport. Every effort was put in place to strangle the economy of the region via lack of international airport and seaports and other policies to make life hard for the Igbo

The federal governments located steel plants in Ajokuta and left out the South East though coal needed in the project is in abundance in Enugwu. They built petroleum refineries every other places and left out the East. They built airports, seaports and left out the South East. But they have built hundreds of checkpoints in the South East but the insurgency war I in the north. When will the war end?

This is not to remove the blame from the region’s state governors who have also failed to do their own bit to help push the region’s economy. They have failed to upgrade and maintain requisite infrastructural amenities for their states to do well. They have failed to build industrial estates where businesses need to incubate and grow.

You see while the Igbo have moved on, the federal government in the other hand have not moved on but maintained policies to strangulate the economy of the region and make it impossible for the region to prosper. After the war ended the federal military government revoked the licence of department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nigeria Nsuka because it was the brain behind the chemical, biological even nuclear warfare researches that sent chills down the spine of the federal military government. And up till now such policy has not been reversed. The 3Rs accord has not been implemented and there is no plan to ever revisit it or implement it.

So, you can see that the Igbo have moved on but Nigeria have not moved on. Let’s not talk about the incessant marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things in Nigeria. The Igbo have moved on so much that other Nigerians in their regions are now asking the Igbo to move away from their regions. So, what does Nigeria really want from the Igbo?

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The Cake Is Enough For All Of US: Obasanjo’s Statement Is Classical Reminder Of Problem With Elites

By Ike A. Offor


Former President, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo

The cake is enough for all of us, a statement credited to the former president, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo to the Biafran agitators, is not only a spit on the face of the Biafrans but a classical problem with the elites in Nigeria.

To the elites, Nigeria is indeed about ‘the national cake and sharing of the cake’. This is why the thought pattern since the discovery of oil was discovered has been to seat down in the seat of power and decide how the national cake should be portioned to whoever amongst themselves or whatever region within the country wrongly referred to as a federation.

This is why the unitary government system is desperately maintained by the elites to ensure that the status quo is kept intact for the sharing of the national cake.

What Obasanjo said is the classical expression of how the elites see the country, Nigeria, It is merely a cake that need to be shared from time to time, and reason why these elites are making sure the country do not transform to anything better than a contraption where collective cake is shared.

They are definitely not interested in governance or human rights and social development or myriads of other problems in the country. Do we still wonder why they are desperately against restructuring of the country?

Obasanjo at the conference marking the fifty years since the Biafran-Nigerian civil war ended, did not speak of the injustice, intimidation and marginalisation of the Biafrans and the entire region, which are the bane of the Biafra agitation. But he was interested in sharing  of the giant national cake.

It is time to tell Obasanjo that the Biafrans are capable of baking their own cake, which they have done very well without the help of the federal government since the war ended. The Biafrans were not given, except very few lately oil blocks but many have created wealth on their own from their own sweat.

The Biafran man, was only given £20 irrepsective of whatever amount he had in his or her bank account prior to the civil war. They were desperately deprived, destitute and wholly impoverished. But they built from this destitution to a good place of economic success, without being part of the national cake sharing clique.

We expected the former president, who not only took part in this war but made decisions that saw the end of the war and was among those who enacted and signed the no victor no vanquish agreement that brought to the fore the 3Rs, reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, which were never fulfilled up till today. The Second Niger bridge is a stark reminder of the ugly injustice to the region among myriads of others.

He was expected to speak about correcting these wrongs done to the Biafrans, but he chose to cajole or make caricature of the Biafrans on the 50th anniversary of such ugly experience by speaking about sharing of national cake. What an audacity, which is the very same temerity exhibited by all leaders before and after him, which is why nothing has been done to address injustice done to the Biafrans.

This injustice, is what had irked Biafran youths that made them form MASSOB, BIM, BILLIE, IPOB to address the gross injustice, marginalisation, which is the main anger behind their agitation for the restoration of Biafra. If these youths felt part of the country, there wouldn’t have been need for them to agitate.

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