Persecution of Lagos-Igbo will bring out the beast in us all

Fri, Dec 1, 2023
By editor


By Steve Osuji 

WHAT CAUSED THE CIVIL WAR: Igbo envy and hatred have been common historical phenomena in Nigeria. The civil war of the 60s was caused by other tribes in Nigeria becoming paranoid about the rapid upwardly movement of the ‘bush tribe’ of the lower Niger that caught up swiftly and blazed ahead of them in every sphere of national endeavour. 

The British colonialists who ran Nigeria up until 1960, in their quest for merit in public service, ‘inadvertently’ hoisted Igbo at the helm of affairs of the fledgling Republic.

Ndigbo dominating the new public space by independence was purely on merit. It was not by any quota or manipulation.The exiting Brits wanted competent hands to handover the new nation and they found more capable.

But this was to the chargrin of other tribes who have wrought an unwritten policy not only to stop Igbo but to annihilate them by any means possible. 

The first weapon to be deployed was to shun merit and wholesome competition. This led the north to develop a huge entitlement syndrome. For instance, they have continued to claim disadvantaged position in education till date – for over 70 years. One then wonder how many years are required to fix something as basic as education among a people. But all they are doing is distort the merit system and hold others down. 

The second is to openly and blatant deny, shunt or supersede Igbo in public service placements and promotions. They are made to do the work but side-lined when it comes to benefits. The Federal Civil Service particularly, has been hell for Ndigbo since after the war and it gets worse by the day.  Igbo civil servants are virtually slaves in their country and they die in silence.

And third is an unspoken policy to gang up against Ndigbo and put them in the margins of all national affairs at anytime and by  any means possible, especially politically. For instance,  certain national positions and appointments have been made a taboo for Ndigbo. The presidency,  for instance has rotated between the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba to the unconscionable exclusion of Ndigbo since 1999. This is how the term, MARGINALISATION came about. It has been OPERATION SUPPRESS NDIGBO since after the civil war. Consider an extant example: the other reason Mr Godwin Emefiele has been in detention for 180 days is because he bears an Igbo name (though he may claim not to be Igbo).

PASTOR TUNDE BAKARE BLOWS THE COVER: Back to the present,  you may not like the theology and emotionalism of the fiery preacher, Tunde Bakare, but one must acknowledge his courage and candour. In a trending video, he has not only condemned the ongoing carnage against Ndigbo in Lagos, he has revealed the official plot to worst them.

He says in the video that he was invited to a parochial meeting to plot the economic holocaust against Igbo in Lagos. He asks them what the offence of Ndigbo was and they said Igbo had taken all the land in Lagos; thereupon he asked them whether the Igboman purchased the lands or put a gun to anyone’s head?

Recently,  social media has been awash with pictures of destruction of magnificent buildings belonging to Ndigbo. Abule Ado on the Badagry axis is one example. Many other areas have been mentioned. 

Markets dominated by Ndigbo have been routinely shut down for days on flimsy excuses like hygiene and sanitation. But we know that Local Government officials collect levies for keeping markets and public places clean. Again, why is it that each time state officials extort the traders to the tune of tens of millions in order to have the markets reopened?

BOLA TINUBU LEADS IGBO PERSECUTION IN LAGOS: Ndigbo have lived in Lagos as long as any settler group, long before amalgamation. Many are in the fifth generations.  Igbo have played more role in helping to develop Lagos perhaps more than any other ethnic group. Igbo being outgoing and economic adventurers are largely peace loving people. 

This is captured in the Igbo wisdom: ojemba enwe ilo, meaning an ardent traveller courts no enemies. Igbo are all over the country,  indeed, the world, developing their host communities and creating wealth for all.

However, the advent of Tinubu’s win-by-all-means brand of politics in Lagos since 1999 is now setting the Igbo in Lagos on a collision course against some misguided Yoruba people. Since 1999, Igbo bloc vote in Lagos has become significant to swing any election in the state. This is a political reality. 

In democracies where politics is played according to reason and persuasion,  emerging political blocs are canvassed especially. Parties seeking their votes blandish goodies to them by way of localised candidates, appointments and promise of special infrastructure. This is what happens to American Blacks and the Hispanics. Their bloc votes swing elections in some states and counties so the parties devise strategies to win their vote. 

You can’t win my votes by demolishing my house or hampering my businesses. You can’t chase Igbo out of Lagos. You can’t exterminate Ndigbo in Lagos,  Nigeria or even from the surface of the earth. This is my quarrel with the Tinubu strategists like Dele Alake,  Bola Onanuga, Femi Gbajabiamila and Babatunde Fashola. They are possessed of such provincial mindset which is the reason Lagos has largely underperformed compared to its peers in Africa and beyond. The Tinubu political clan that seized Lagos in the last quarter century regard the city state as their personal estate.  They milk the cow more than they feed it. This is why Lagos remains at the bottom of every HDI index by UN bodies.

REMINISCENCE OF THE INDIGENISATION PERFIDY: The refrain we hear among Yoruba rascals is: go to your state. Of course they would want to wish Ndigbo away so they would inherit them. But they won’t support a referendum for the creation of Biafra or an Igbo sovereignty. 

It’s reminiscent of the post civil war situation during which Ndigbo lost most of their assets including houses,  landed properties, businesses, stocks, insurance policies, etc. To make the defrocking of Ndigbo total, it was decreed that only 20 pounds sterling was to he paid to every Igbo even if he had a deposit balance of  millions of pounds in the bank.

Though the war was over, the Igbo was down and out. It was at this time that the Federal Government, with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as chief economic adviser chose to introduced the Indigenisation Act, 1972. 

With this singular law, about 1,300 multinational corporations in Nigeria were converted to Nigerian ownership ( read Yoruba ownership). The Igbo stripped financially, had no dime to partake in the purchase of the blue-chip  shares. Yoruba therefore, mopped up majority of shares and equity and took over most of the multinational corporations set up by the British,  Americans, Lebanese and other foreign nationals – UAC, UTC, the banking and financial services,  production assets, etc. This is how come Yoruba nation acquired the greatest economic assets of Nigeria after the civil war and gained the most economic leverage in the country by sleight of hand.

But sorry to note that most of these mammoth corporations have been run into the ground by the Yoruba managers who hijacked them. Graft, incompetence,  indolence, sybaritic lifestyles (owambe) intrigues and rigimo, caused the death of these large conglomerates. Those that are still existing were rescued by former foreign owners who returned hastily to retrieve the carcasses. Cadbury and Lever Brothers are two such examples. 

After they hijacked and lost the foreign assets, now they eye the little businesses built on the sweat and grit of Ndigbo. 

ARE YORUBA AGAINST FOREIGN INVESTORS? If you can pull down the houses and businesses of fellow citizens,  how do you expect foreigners to trust you with their businesses?  One day, you are going to go after them as you did in 1972. No investors would trust the Yoruba enough to plant any serious investment on their land.

FINALLY,  IGBO WOULD SURELY FIGHT BACK: Let it be put on notice that Igbo would fight back and defend themselves if pushed to the wall. Igbo would arm himself and return fire, let no one forget that. If you continue to target and pull down Igbo properties,  Igbo can also bring down properties,  even public buildings. 

Before the purview of the FG and all the security agencies,  Igbo were prevented from voting,  maimed and bloodied in Lagos as if they were aliens in their country. None of the perpetrators suffered any consequences. 

Now the Lagos State government, apparently gingered by the Tinubu presidency,  is pursuing a hate agenda against Ndigbo in Lagos. 

It’s on record (YouTube) that the wife of the president,  Oluremi Tinubu publicly stated in 1999 that they would chase Ndigbo out of Lagos and inherit their properties. The current Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly reiterated Mrs Tinubu’s comments. During his inauguration a few months ago, he had outlined plans to annihilate Ndigbo. Speaker Mudashiru sounded like  a Ku Kkux Klan chief and the whole world was repulsed at such effusion of primordial hate against fellow citizens. Mr Bola Onanuga, top journalists and presidential adviser, had in what seemed a Faustian slip blurted out that Igbo would never be able to vote in Lagos in subsequent elections. And one of the more enlightened of the Tinubu group,  former governor Babatunde Fashola had loaded a horde of so-called Igbo destitute into trailers and dumped them by the foot of the Niger Bridge. This happened when he was governor of Lagos State.

 These are manifestations of deep, subconscious hate against Igbo. To think that these champions of hate are rustics who migrated from Yoruba hinterland with twisted tongues and having little understanding of metropolitan lore. 

Who would imagine that in a world in which an Adeyemo is currently an undersecretary in the US administration and a Kemi is a top minister who lines up for the UK  PM job, such an ethnic group would prosecute bloody ethnic ‘war’ at home? But the reason is simple: Lagos is currently under the spellbound by a gang of narrow-minded carpetbaggers led by President Tinubu. 

But let it be stated today that this official attack on Ndigbo in Lagos will lead to one sure consequence – the violent break up of Nigeria. And the violence may start with the burning down of Lagos!

Never again shall Igbo accept genocide and pogrom!

Never again shall the war be on our soil!

Never again shall we run from evildoers or surrender to evil!

Enough is enough!


-December 1, 2023 @ 16:37 GMT |