From the inception of this ill-fated abomination of an amalgam called Nigeria, the Northern elite have not hidden their hatred for true federalism in Nigeria. According to them – not just the old stock but even the contemporary political and religious leaders of the Northern stock-: “Nigeria must remain an extension of our great-grandfather’s estate.” Every Nigerian, including the politically and posterity-wise blind politicians we have today from the South –especially, the South-East, ought to know that they and their generations will be adequately punished if this evil scheme of preponderance by the entire North against others becomes unabated in these days of global awareness. And Nigerians as a whole stand to lose what may be taken home after the inevitable break-up if this spirit of callousness and injustice remains a law in the country just as the killing of Igbo and the destruction of their property have gained supportive reasons even amongst Igbo leaders in the Nigerian government, and as the terrorist Boko Haram has equally gained apologists and even admirers amongst leaders and citizens from the Northern protectorate alike. Why I write is not solely so that an irrefutable argument can be presented; I write to warn – knowing fully well the power of words and the place of visionary leadership in the rudder of man’s continued existence. I write to quash the ignorance of those who call themselves “wise” and would continue to wish – to their own shame and eventual damnation – that those bound under the yoke of Nigeria are not awake. If anything, the burdens of the decades gone have taught us that silence is death while choosing to speak and act has an outcome of either a continued death-state, or life. It is the ground that carries all by the compelling strength of the seas; therefore, if we do not rise up again injustice and dehumanization, the ground will revolt until we fall in-between the downward sloppy cleavages.
For the benefit of those who find it difficult to correlate the importance of history to the lives they live, well, without history, there would be no you. Every politically-alive person in the entire world today, even without being truthful, knows that Northern Nigeria is of the Saharan sphere; this can be attested to by the number of desert dunes often experienced in the North. Having said that, every geographically and politically alive person in the earth today equally knows that, according to established routes for cattle-rearing, livestock are often many times larger in number than people living in any of such places. Having said that, everyone should be reminded that the early census carried out in Nigeria, with the treacherous overseeing of Her Majesty’s representatives, was blatantly and challengingly counted in favor of the North. The Northern part of Nigeria was allowed to allocate themselves almost 2/3rd of the Nigerian benefits. Today, the North has a total of 409 L.G.As. while the entire Southern protectorate (comprising of South-East, South-South, and South-West) is left with just 387 L.G.As. This has been the very formula which has kept Nigeria corrupt, unjust, unequal, and far from being a federation for over fifty (50) years. It will be recalled that, apart from other unjust and compelled agreements reached between the North and the South under Britain – seeing that our leaders were eager to stand Nigeria as an independent state at the time– the population falsification of the Northern states was carried out to pacify them for nothing and to lure them into joining an independent Nigeria. Naturally, that numerical inflation which saw to the dominance of Nigerian politics by Northern politicians was designed to give them the upper hands and doubled benefits in everything. And as a result of this faulty foundation, the North has always, like an ungrateful child, demanded, over and over again, everything that belongs to the other even after having collected theirs.
The implication of this faulty foundation, callous and compelled unity, hit directly on the Southerners. And while the Igbo of the South-East were committedly demanding for equal rights and freedom for all, the North was busy playing politics of “divide-and-rule” against the Igbo – tearing them apart from their South-South brothers in the hope of perfecting – to an extent – what Gowon, Nigerian government and Nigerians intended would be the annihilation of the Igbo race. And as is the clear outcome, the Yoruba took the opportunity and had a field day of what makes Nigeria. As the North intensified, by every means, their cold war against their non-enemy Igbo, the Yoruba strategically captured the financial pillars of Nigeria…and, like wood eaters, chopped it down the drain. While most presidents and top leaders of Nigeria had always come from the North, and while most of them ruled dangerously – embezzling the state’s fund – they did little or nothing for their people. Today, more than ever, other Nigerians claim that Igboland is already filled with humans, yet Igbo are second to the largest numbers of Nigerians in every other state of the federation. This, therefore, can only, clearly and truthfully imply that Igbo are the largest in population in Nigeria yet, we are one state lesser than the Yoruba tribe, and two lesser than the Hausa/Fulani of the North among the three (3) major tribes in what is still referred to as Nigeria. Every Nigerian who has lived long in the North knows where population concentration of the Hausa/Fulani of Nigeria lies. But even as this injustice has become an evidence before all and sundry, governments have come and gone without daring to approach this imbalance which has become a wedge to the country’s growth.
As it is today, with the leadership of Nigeria under a South-Southern man in the name of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the leadership of the North has welcome and integrated terrorism as part of their “fight for survival.” Just as the leadership of Boko Haram maintains that some Northern governors have been sponsoring their killing of Igbo and Christians, police and the army, the Northern leaders have been coming, one after the other, to declare their support for the terrorist activities of Boko Haram against other Nigerians. From their religious to political levels, many of the Northern leaders have become Boko Haram apologists, while some even in government offices are short of declaring their proud membership and support. Today, what the Northern leaders are shamelessly claiming is that the amnesty granted the Niger Delta youths was the cause of the rise of terror from the North. But it will be correct to remind them that terror against other Nigerians have always risen from the North: their has never been, in the history of Nigeria, a time when Hausa/Fulani people in Igboland were suddenly pursued, rounded up and killed for something that has to do with the federal government and Igbo people; if anything, the governors of the South-East have always gone extra miles to protect them even to the detriment of the people who elected them for their service, first and foremost. While the Igbo and other Nigerians have been continuously and unprovokedly killed in the North by BH with the full political, arms, and financial support of most Northern leaders, the army, which has become another terror to unarmed people of Igboland, ceaselessly and unashamedly raid the peaceful MASSOB. Nigeria is accursed and I will not waste a prayer on her deliverance until every single blood-stained stone on it is torn down.
Before the discovery and advent of petroleum and its value in Nigeria, Enugu coal had been a major source of pride and income to the Nigerian government. At that time, no Igbo person canvassed for their privileges and resource-control rights because the British authority killed our women in Aba, and wiped-out our men in Enugu when they protested against poor pay and treatment. But the people of the Niger Delta, after decades of injustice and forceful silencing of the their youths by the government of Nigeria, took it upon themselves to fight for their rights or die for it – not being unconscious of the democracy of the world today and the roles of human rights organizations throughout the world today. As a result, many of them have started finding any reason to feel human even in their own land which the government has forcefully and unjustly declared a national mineral base. Although Igboland is among the Niger Delta group, refineries and several other federal government projects have been seen by the government of Nigeria as best suited in every other place apart from Igboland. And I do not want to restate other mountain of injustices against Igbo by the government of Nigeria in its quest for a foundational support for an already-decayed root. My questions to the Northern leaders who set free killers but condemn innocents; who support and sponsor terrorism but condemn the rights of the Niger Delta and the inevitable manifestation of an internationally recognized sovereign state of Biafra are these:
- For the decades that the country was, with strong hand and in autocratic ways, ruled by Northern politicians who packed whatever they laid their hands on of the country’s wealth to the North, whose duty was it to develop the North and establish the Northerners – the ever-marginalized Igbo or the unjustly treated South-South, or perhaps the Yoruba looking for gains from every fights…and therefore being ever-ready to sponsor a fight for the sole purpose of gaining?
- There are mineral resources all over the North which are steadily being mined – one of which is gold; where does the money accruing from the entire goldmines going to and what part of Nigeria’s budget have been mapped-out for sponsorship with the minerals of the North?
- The Northern soil is rich for agricultural developments; why has the government not taken over the land as a national agricultural zone and award agricultural contracts to foreign and domestic firms for the purpose of sourcing money for national funding out from there?
- The clear injustice of Nigeria against the East led to the secession of Biafra – who did that without going about killing others to prove a point. The Nigerian government descended heavily on a people who thought that justice is found in Nigeria and Britain and that Nigeria would not dare to invade Igboland and start committing genocide at will against an already-oppressed people without the intervention of the world community; of this Ibrahim Babangida has sworn to put on his military uniform to repeat should Igbo or any other cry out from the overbearing burden of the North and of Nigeria in One-Nigeria, but he would not as much as say a world concerning Boko Haram in his house whose clear and stated aim is to have a strictly Islamic nation. My question is: for how long do you humans really think that injustice will prevail? And what makes you actually believe and instill in your children that yours alone is to rule, while others are to slave for you?
The hammer of justice is swaying. Every religion speaks of God and His place amongst men, and every heart beats only to the dictates of the divine; no one has the power of life and death except God. And anyone who snuffs life out of his neighbor – by way of induced-hunger, injustice, denials, marginalization, false-witness, or outright murder – is already judged and condemned. This is why the leaders of the entire Northern Nigeria should wake up or, at least, be sober in mind enough as to allow a friend wake them up from their self-induced slumber on the realities of the times we have found induced on ourselves. This is a time of justice and it is swaying by no human hand. The Northern leaders are putting their generation to shame – both by their silence and their utterances and reactions regarding the injustices in Nigeria. Rather than blame the government or Niger Delta for the terrorism by the North against others, they should, first of all, level all the blame squarely on their past and present leaders. The fact that they are not ashamed to declare that the poverty in the North is driving the youths to excesses, without explaining to the youths what they have achieved for them and the country the 98% of the entire Nigerian existence that they have ruled, unmasks either their ignorance or their unrepentance to wickedness and injustice. If the Northern youths must revolt out of poverty, their complete attention should be directed on their leaders who have robbed and milked them dry all the years they have ruled – not on Igbo, Christians, or Jonathan. If the youths of the North are killing Igbo, Christians, and the forces of Nigeria solely to show their hunger-angered reactions, and if a man like Sanusi stands to create a legal backing for the terrorist reasons of their children, what would the youths of the South-East who have been marginalized, tortured, and shamed continually do? A learned and highly-placed man like Sanusi of the CBN who makes case for Boko Haram and their need to kill and drive out Igbo and Christians out of the North to prove a point displays an excellent example of decay among the bests in Nigeria’s leadership. A country where blood-spilling, ever-increasing hatred, animosity and unforgettableness are fueled by the actions and inactions of impertinent and unrepentant leaders is already doomed. What the government of the day, as others gone, is doing is just to gather what they could before the dooms day. But they only forget that, on that day, the one in the house will run outside, the one on the roof cannot run in, and some will seek for cover under the rocks. Wicked people often forget that wickedness and every act directed against the peace of a peaceful man is like a cankerworm that eats down a wood-mansion; in the end, the wicked will stand naked, ashamed, worthless, helpless, dying and judged…before all eyes. It does not matter if the division comes today, the sword of justice must cut its pound of flesh from the guilt – even if he/she hides in the underground or moon fortresses of the “new world order.” Justice, divine justice which is commensurate with Nigeria’s hardness on God’s creation, is what Nigeria is dully getting; and this justice will be fully poured – no matter whom you think you are or what you think you have securely hidden beyond man’s reach. Let every evil thought from Nigeria and from every part of the world against Zion become an everlasting chain of fire against those who plan in vain. Amen.
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu, [email protected]