Politics

February 8, 2012

BOKO HARAM: Igbo can’t endure more killings – Uko

BOKO HARAM: Igbo can’t endure more killings – Uko

Evangelist Elliot Uko

BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE

Evangelist Elliot Uko, the President of Igbo Youths Movement (IYM) in this interview urges urgent action on the part of the Federal Government to halt the murderous activities of Boko Haram, which he said were targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan. He warns that without restructuring of the country and stoppage of the killing of Igbo, the country is headed for disintegration. Excerpts:

Igbo groups met at the IYM office in Enugu, last week, to deliberate on the killing of Ndigbo by Boko Haram. What did you agree on?

We agreed that Ndigbo will not retaliate Boko Haram’s killing of Ndigbo in a crude and bestial way. We also agreed to demand a National Conference without delay to restructure Nigeria along the lines of the Aburi Accord of January 4 and 5, 1967. We need to protect Igbo lives. The killings have gone on for much too long.

Those behind Boko Haram plan to destroy Nigeria violently because they are desperate to take back power. Federal power is still attractive because the unitary structure gives the presidency so much power. Those sections of the country that enjoyed it for decades are now feeling like a fish out of water because Dr Goodluck Jonathan is President. They want power back at all costs. It’s a horrific cycle.

Only a loose federal arrangement will restore sanity. Nigeria is being held together by the endurance and tolerance exhibited by Ndigbo at this very trying time. But there is a limit to endurance. Ndigbo are being slaughtered like goats in the North, they are running home destitute. There is no humanitarian gesture to give the refugees succour. We fear that our people will react in anger, then, the centre will not hold anymore.

Was that why Igbo leaders met recently at Nike Lake hotel and called for restraint?
Yes, that was a wise call because anything other wise, will let all hell loose and Nigeria will implode. But the Federal and state governments failed to put in place town hall meetings to address the people’s fears and apprehensions and they also turned a blind eye to the humanitarian crisis. I fear a violent reaction by Igbo youths. If Ndigbo lose their patience, Nigeria will cease to exist. That is our fear.

Evangelist Elliot Uko

Bus loads of Ndigbo

Everyday bus loads of Ndigbo arrive Ninth Mile corner Enugu with penniless Ndigbo running for their dear lives; government and NEMA are not around to give them succour. Emotions are running high. Something could snap and the country could boil. Ndigbo have suffered so much in Nigeria. Everybody is bitter. Igbo corpses are lying in morgues in most northern cities. The people are bitter and government is not doing anything to calm down frayed nerves. It is truly sad.

What do you want the government to do?
First, NEMA must move in to assist and rehabilitate the returning refugees. And coordinated effort must be put in place to allay the peoples’ fears. If not, there could be a reaction from the East that will jolt the world. You know Ndigbo, when they remove their shirt to fight they will not put it back until blood flows. The 1966 pogrom is playing out over again and the people are bitter, nerves are on edge. The government does not understand the situation. My people are very angry. If nothing happens soon, nobody knows how Ndigbo will react next.

It is completely unpredictable. Nigeria is clearly tottering on the edge of the precipice. Boko Haram has destroyed Nigeria’s unity. Nigeria will not be the same again.
A National conference is inevitable. Nigeria must be restructured along six federating regions. The Aburi Accord must be implemented to the last letter. That is the minimum demand of Ndigbo. On Aburi we stand.
You seem to be giving up on Nigeria…

No! If we want Nigeria to disintegrate, we will not be looking for a way to salvage the country. We will not be advocating confederation, we want peace. We don’t want war but Boko Haram and their sponsors want war. They think that blood letting will bring down the government and return power to them. They don’t know their violent agenda will take a different turn; they want power at all costs because it is the only thing they know; it is the only life they are used to lording it over everyone else because they believe they are born to rule.

They want Sharia rule over Nigeria. They want to control and enjoy Nigeria’s oil wealth. They believe they can bring down Jonathan’s government, but it has ran out of control. Maybe, God wants to restructure the country for good. The blood-letting is actually redefining Nigeria.

Nigeria will never be the same again, now we know that those who insist on this unworkable unitary structure only hope to rule others. If God brings up a leader from the South, they will resist and reject it. Nigeria cannot survive the way it is. Any delay in convening a National conference will only be postponing the evil day.

We are not giving up on Nigeria, but Nigeria must be restructured on Aburi Accord, Igbo lives must be protected. The killing must stop. Anybody who holds a contrary view is simply not being sincere. Nigeria, as it is today, is only being held together by Ndigbo’s uncommon endurance and tolerance. We love Jonathan; we don’t want his government to fall. Whether he appreciates our tolerance, I don’t know. If the Ijaw or the Yoruba are being slaughtered in churches, in town meetings, inside buses on their way home, at luxury bus motor packs etc, I doubt if Nigeria will still be standing.

What if President Jonathan refuses to convene a National conference?
It is inevitable now. Nigeria cannot stand some people, who have a very queer mindset. They believe their religion is superior. They are sympathetic to Boko Haram. They are victims of a 50 year old brain-washing agenda. Some politicians mobilized them along ethnic and religious lines during last elections.

They were told that Southerners are infidels. Nigeria simply cannot survive the way it is structured. These ignorant Northern youths are merely victims of brain-washing. The violence will continue even after Boko Haram. Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder.

It is not Jonathan’s fault. Jonathan’s is merely the target. Nigeria must be restructured now before it is too late. The ongoing exodus of Ndigbo from the North and the refusal of the government to assist them is the last straw. If something gives and violence erupts, Nigeria will simply cease to exist. Igbo is a very dynamic race, when Ndigbo take up arms, not even the UN can contain the explosion.