By Christian Eze Njoku…The quit notice issued by Arewa Youths to Ndigbo living in northern Nigeria to a large extent, seems to evaluate the intellectual capacity of both the regional and central governments and equate it for a known fact, that as Nigerians, we understand our tribal strengths, no doubt.
Having known that, it therefore leaves every sensible and conscious emotion in doubt as to why Arewa Youths are chosen to think for great elites of Northern extraction, owing to reactions from the government quarters that accommodate the Arewa youths. It is weak and unable to confront members of the organization for taking such position in this 21st century.
However, I just wish to remind our governments that history continually records how and where Ndigbo are loved. First, it was during the administration of governor Fashola of Lagos state, who callously deported Igbo bothers to a comfortable apartment at Onitsha bridge, and nobody reacted against such inhuman treatment. So the Arewa youths see Ndigbo as a tribe you can easily slap at will, after all, they live without god father (the Igbos).
Arewa youth’s insult tells how much more Ndigbo stands to be humiliated even in time to come, not minding what they have already gone through from the hands of the entire Nigerian state.
In Lagos Ndigbo and their businesses are rewarded with constant fire outbreaks in different locations with little or no compensation from the government, even when they are compelled to pay taxes even from trading chewing gum. In the end, the law allows for government occupation of such affected business environment.
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Again the fastest way of developing an interior hamlet into a city is by giving quit notice to the average igbo business environment. It is also a tradition that at the slightest provocation of the public urchins called (Agbero) among themselves in Lagos, the Igbo man’s goods are carted away for settlement. We may not have forgotten so soon the threat of Oba of Lagos to Ndigbo in Lagos, where he assured the Igbos of throwing them into the Lagoon should they fail to vote for his choice of political party.
In the North, the incessant killings of Ndigbo and their business empire confirms the level of hatred that exists.
Regrettably, of all these inhuman exchanges, Ndigbo still exists with vibrancy. As such I will suggest, instead of attacks on Ndigbo, people should embrace peace, rally round the Igbo-man to gain from the God given wisdom of Ndigbo in the area of commerce, considered the pivot in which the wheel of sustainable development is made easy nationally and globally. We all can attest to the fact that global strength is dependably on commerce which is a natural gift to Ndigbo.
It is worthy to note that no nation claps with one hand. We need each other to survive. The west is identified with administration, North with governance and south east divinely blessed with commerce, as evident by the rapid development experienced anywhere Ndigbo is present. It is also an established fact that other tribes never erected much structures as a sign of development as seen in Igbo land.
Please do note that asking Ndigbo to leave is dangerous to the Arewas much as it is known, that investments left over are better managed by the owners. You cannot build your trust of development from a left over. Ndigbo are able to turn one kobo into one Naira, through hard work and dedication, therefore, why would any group conscious of development ask such tribe to quit, if not politically motivated.
I do not believe that Arewa youths are alone in this threat.
Ironically, if the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is agitating to stay as a different entity called Biafra, it will make sense to support them, because they will leave obvious benefits in their departure as existing investments will remain. Understandably, cessation does not translate to enmity of existing companionship.
Government and Arewa youths must be careful so that insurgents do not cash in and take advantage of this threat.
To think of it, a quit notice on Ndigbo should be of concern to every other tribe, being that Igbo is not written on the face of each individual you meet. An igboman can speak hausa, even as a Yoruba man can speak igbo and vice versa. Therefore, Arewa youths need to be informed of the danger in making pronouncements and its adverse effects, not only on the economy but also on individuals, infrastructure and even their own brothers either deliberately or in irony.
Implications of such hate speech is not limited to the tribe it is credited to. I will like to advice against such careless statements. First, what mechanism have Arewas to identify an igbo man from any other tribe. If they are unable, it means the entire nation is at risk. Again, how sure is the Arewas that every Arewa youth is in agreement to evacuate the igbos? It is self-evident that some Arewas may be in love with one or two igbos, therefore conscience may not give way for hate action.
It is clear to me. Going by the scenarios on ground that there are factions, owing to the fact that the initial agenda of Arewas may have been compromised or contradicted as the Igbo quit notice was not initially the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the Arewa youth groups.
Most importantly, it is believed in many quarters that politicians may have infiltrated the Arewa youth groups, but they should understand the modus operandi (use and dump) of our gorilla politicians here in Nigeria. They must be aware that their promises never see the light of the day. Several organizations has lost their credibility for associating with our deadly selfish political class. Even politicians should learn not to cry foul when they lose election as a result of engineering/motivating hate statement.
To maintain the credibility and reputation of a group in the category of Arewa, they should disassociate themselves from these misguided and dishonest politicians. They should remain resolute to their golden agenda that is devoid of intolerance, resentment and hate.
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