By Steve Osuji
FINALLY, there is foolproof evidence that President Mohammadu Buhari has an irrevocable policy of ‘Igbo asphyxiation’.
While the world has erupted over the gruesome killing of George Floyd by white policemen in Minnesota, USA, here in Nigeria, our country’s president has literally placed a knee on the neck of the Igbo nation of the east, enacting a slow death since 2015.
Even before his inauguration, the president-elect didn’t mince words when he had blurted that ultimate faux pas that he would not be expected to treat all Nigerians equally: he there and then enunciated the 97% to 5% hate rule.
Five years on, President Buhari has been clinical and vicious in executing his Igbo exclusion policy in order to strangulate them even to utter death.
If anyone was in doubt, the $22.7 billion foreign loans recently tobogganed through a supine and complicit National Assembly (NASS) must be the limit of what looks like a genocidal hatred for a people by their president.
Consider such a huge amount of sovereign loans ($22.7b) for 34 development projects to be secured from eight financiers including the World Bank, China Eximbank, Islamic Development Bank, German Development Bank, African Development Bank, among others.
These 34 crucial infrastructure projects are spread across all the zones of Nigeria except in the southeast zone where the Igbo are predominant.
Some zones like the Northeast Northwest and Southwest got more than one. Even some states like Kaduna has something preferential called: Kaduna State Economic Transformation Programme worth $350 million and another one: Katsina Health System Projects, with $110 million allocated to it.
There’s also a $500 million National Social Safety Net Project. That’s cash for Nigeria’s cash madam, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk to play around with. Remember she’s still busy handing out the $322 million Abacha loot refund.
Worse, there is the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development. Millions of dollars are budgeted for these transnational projects but not a single one for the southeast.
To rub in the Igbo hate, projects are planned to skirt the Igboland. A $3.5billion Coastal Railway Modernisation from Calabar, PortHarcourt to Onne port.
While the modern Lagos-Ibadan railway is almost completed, the massive Lagos-Kano Railway Modernisation project costing over $5 billion is one of the heftiest jobs on the loans book.
There is already Abuja-Kaduna railline in operation; there’s Abuja Mass Transit and now we have phase two of Abuja Mass Transit to cost about $1.3 billion. Yet the entire southeast zone has no functional railline right now.
There had been two rounds of borrowings from China ($7b) for railways in Nigeria. Southeast zone was deliberately excluded.
During the debate in the Senate last March, southeast senators led by Ike Ekweremadu and Enyinnaya Abaribe made various consultations and caucus meetings but their efforts fell on the obdurate ears of the president.
The House of Representatives debate was even stiffer and eventually deadlocked. But just a few days ago, the loans were hurriedly passed in the House as well, ignoring the protestations of various segments of southeast people and indeed calling their bluff.
By this singular act, Buhari has put the dagger in the heart of Ndigbo. Over $30 billion foreign loans to be repaid by Ndigbo even though they were capriciously excluded from enjoying the benefits therefrom.
The next generations of Igbo children will be repaying loans they know nothing about. It is this kind of spiteful hate that retired Col. Dangiwa Umar referred to in an open letter to the president a couple of days ago “Mr President, I regret there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments… favouring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.”
Apart from the fact that most of the so-called projects listed against the loans will not pass the simplest scrutiny (imagine $500b for NTA digitisation, that’s free-fund!), so most of this money are destined to be stolen and filtered away by a hypocritical and rapine administration, Igbo leaders under the aegis of Ohaneze and any other group must put it on record that in due time Ndigbo would reject and repudiate these particular loans.
Let this document be articulated and circulated to the appropriate quarters for record sake.
Buhari’s implacable angst against Igbo people is well known and documented. It’s an eternal hatred that will follow him to his grave. Let no Igbo man expect him to change. Igbo people (including yours truly) who supported him and voted for him are now ashamed of themselves.
Having denied Ndigbo any worthwhile appointments in his regime, he is now embarking on economic attrition. For five years, the only project completed in the southeast is a mausoleum – morbid affection, if you ask me! All the other projects (2nd Niger bridge, Enugu-PH Expressway, Akanu Ibiam Airport) which had been started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration are still uncompleted five years on!
This exclusion from these major loans projects is GENOCIDE by another means. He has cold-heartedly placed his knee on the Igbo neck for five years. I bet he’s surprised we are still breathing!
Let this be known by all true Igbo and let it be resisted by all means.
– Culled from Steve Osuji’s Facebook page. It was published on June 5, 2020
– Jun. 10, 2020 @ 9:45 GMT |