Why Igbo, like other Nige­ri­ans, need unity, peace

Sunday Trust - - VIEWPOINT | COMMENT & DEBATE - By Nu­rudeen Dauda Dauda writes from Kaduna State

The Indige­nous Peo­ple of Bi­afra (IPOB) must be told that it shows lack of sound knowl­edge of many coun­tries in the world for one to be­lieve that the only way to have unity or progress or devel­op­ment is to have a coun­try with peo­ple that speak the same lan­guage and prac­tice the same re­li­gion.

South Su­dan, the new­est in­de­pen­dent coun­try in the world, is still strug­gling for peace from 2011. I want to be­lieve that ma­jor­ity of the Igbo are not with IPOB. There­fore, since IPOB is un­able to con­vince all the Igbo to re­lo­cate their busi­nesses back home it will be dif­fi­cult for them to achieve Bi­afra.

Ma­jor­ity of the Igbo do not want Bi­afra Repub­lic now even if they be­lieve in it. They still want a united Nige­ria for ob­vi­ous rea­sons. Ar­guably, there are many Igbo in other parts of Nige­ria. Ar­guably also, the Igbo have more in­vest­ment in other parts of Nige­ria than the to­tal num­ber of in­vest­ment in the South East.

The Igbo in the South East who have never gone out of the re­gion need to be re­minded that ma­jor­ity of their kins­men pre­fer to stay in other parts of Nige­ria and do their busi­nesses than in the East. For in­stance, the thou­sands of Igbo that left the North in an­swer­ing the call for se­ces­sion by the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu in 1967 came back to the North im­me­di­ately af­ter the civil war and met most of their prop­erty in­tact.

It is a fact that every vil­lage in the North that has up to 50 peo­ple has an Igbo man with ei­ther a pro­vi­sion store or med­i­cal store. Fur­ther­more, Igbo traders in Monday Mar­ket, Maiduguri in Borno State have re­mained there de­spite re­peated at­tacks by Boko Haram. Igbo traders in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have re­mained de­spite the in­sur­gency.

There­fore, Igbo youths must say no to the in­sti­ga­tion by the IPOB leader who stays abroad for a greater part of his life with­out clear knowl­edge of the peace the Igbo have en­joyed in all parts of Nige­ria over the years. They also need a united Nige­ria more than other Nige­ri­ans be­cause of their in­vest­ment.

The re­newed ag­i­ta­tion for Bi­afra is trig­gered by some self­ish po­lit­i­cal elite who might have par­tic­i­pated in the un­prece­dented loot­ing that took place dur­ing the pre­vi­ous govern­ment of which in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still on­go­ing. These peo­ple fear that if the present govern­ment gets sta­ble, the on­go­ing probe by the EFCC might catch up with them and as such they re­sorted to in­sti­gat­ing youths to cause un­rest which might con­sume all of us if cau­tion is not ap­plied.

Sabon Gari Mar­ket, Kano; Monday Mar­ket, Maiduguri; Ter­mi­nus Mar­ket, Jos; Sheik Abubakar Gumi Mar­ket, Kaduna and all ma­jor mar­kets in the North are pop­u­lated by Igbo do­ing their business with­out any ha­rass­ment.

In the same way, most of the peo­ple from the North stay­ing in the south­ern part of the coun­try or in Igbo land are ar­ti­sans or those

There­fore, Igbo youths must say no to the in­sti­ga­tion by the IPOB leader who stays abroad for a greater part of his life with­out clear knowl­edge of the peace the Igbo have en­joyed in all parts of Nige­ria over the years since the end of the un­for­tu­nate civil war

who are do­ing me­nial jobs such as man­i­cure, pedi­cure, vend­ing wa­ter, butch­ery cob­bling, among oth­ers, in­clud­ing fed­eral civil ser­vants.

Some peo­ple be­lieve that be­cause of our eth­nic and re­li­gious di­ver­sity we can­not co-ex­ist peace­fully. But In­dia has over 1,000 eth­nic groups and In­dia is the most multi-re­li­gious na­tion in the world and is pro­gress­ing rapidly.

Prof. Fa­rooq Kper­ogi once said, “Many Nige­ri­ans think our coun­try is un­work­able be­cause it was “forced” into be­ing by the Bri­tish colo­nial­ists. This view frankly amazes me.” He added with a ques­tion, “Is there any na­tion in his­tory whose for­ma­tion was the con­se­quence of a demo­cratic con­sen­sus?

“His­tor­i­cally, most na­tions were formed through con­quest, ex­pan­sion­ist wars and force­ful co­op­er­a­tion, not by con­sen­sus.”

On this note there­fore, all the re­gions of the fed­er­a­tion have their so­cio-eco­nomic prob­lems and de­vel­op­men­tal chal­lenges. Let’s de­mand for so­cial jus­tice within the con­text of Nige­ria. Let all Nige­ri­ans con­tinue to de­mand for good gov­er­nance.

On this note I call on well-mean­ing and peace-lov­ing Igbo el­ders to cau­tion the IPOB leader and his fol­low­ers. May God Bless Nige­ria.

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