By Clement Udegbe
WHEN some ’Boys’ gathered in the month of May this year to issue Quit Notice to Igbos to vacate the north by October 2017, they must have thought to themselves that they will shake Igbos, put fear in them, send them crawling on their bellies, and ask for mercies from the northern youths. But they did not and it will not happen. In 45 days from today the time for Igbos to leave the north will expire, yet Nigeria has refused to listen to the Arewa Spoiled brats!
In spite of the moral support they had from their elders in the north, who came out spewing lies against the Igbos, courting violence, nothing happened. Then they coined that hate song against Igbos in the hope that it would invite the wrath of God upon Nigeria, for this madness shall pass too. After all, harder, more violent words were used against Nigeria, and Igbos by implication in 2014, and three years later it has all come and gone. Buhari has become president, he is now in London resting, all the noise about cleaning up Nigeria have come and passed.
We were told back then, that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was the problem of Nigeria, only a hand full of South Southerners, South Easterners, supporters of Jonathan Ebele Goodluck, GEJ, were the only corrupt politicians. But APC has been in charge for over two years and running nothing has changed. PDP’s corruption has blended so well with APC’s thievery, to marry the APC kleptomaniacs, so that all that noise has passed.
We heard that no civil servant or top Federal Government official would travel overseas for medical treatment, but today, my beloved President enjoys prolonged medical stay in London, and all the expectations have passed. Think of it, is it not nice that the Nigerian State is paying for it all? Our presidential plane parked permanently there, the conquered territory of the rich and powerful, retired but not tired military politicians of Nigeria, is picking up the bills, and nothing will happen, it all shall soon pass away too, without any lessons learnt.
Time was when I almost accepted and thought that with Buhari, and the APC Change mantra, it will only be a matter of days and the law and rules of Nigeria will begin to apply to us all, that all men will become equal before the law, there would be orderliness, electricity would be available and regular, our roads would be tarred, second Niger Bridge would be built, politicians who stole since 1999 would be caught, exposed and prosecuted.
But days became weeks, months and years, nothing really changed for good. Instead, Naira ran away from the US dollar, robbery increased, kidnapping, hunger increased, the judicial system faced the most violent assault in the history of Nigeria, almost everybody in government started to lie, and believe lies. And it became clear that all those talks have passed away, while we continue to trust God for His hand for deliverance for the poor.
The idea from the Arewa Youths and their supporters must have been to distract us from noticing the absence of Mr. President from office for some months and running. The talk about impeachment for abdication of his duty post, has passed away, the crushing of Boko Haram, the plan to deal with Fulani herdsmen even from behind have all passed away too.
It is a pleasant surprise that Igbos did not respond with harsh words to the Arewa Youth, even IPOB spoke with measured caution, attached little weight to the threat, and continued with their God given quest, knowing that this distraction too, shall pass away but with a difference – Igbos have woken up to the hatred by the northern youths and will become wiser at last for it.
Igbos have realised that go north, west or south there is no place like Igboland. Igbos now know and have accepted that their youth could be shot at without cause by the Police, and the Army and no one in government would bat an eye lid. They have realised though painfully, that we need each other in Nigeria, but we also hate each other in such a strange but passionate way, that Igbo Christianity and this new violent Islam propagated using Fulani herdsmen will not work.
Much as Nigeria will not split in a hurry, the Arewa Youths are bent on setting her ablaze. Something must be done by those who profess the God who is Love, not because of our sentiments, but because the Bible says so, that God is Love. We must pray and act for violence to stop in Nigeria. All Igbos must pray for the siege to dissipate, while they look forward to the land of their promise, wherever and whenever that may be.
If the Arewa Youths do not know love, then we all must take them for what they are, and be more circumspect in dealing with the loveless, and hateful. They gave Igbos quite notice, but in return Nigeria is receiving Quit Notice from the Niger Delta, source of oil our livelihood, the very source that Nigeria has insulted, neglected, abused and deliberately allowed to deteriorate. The same source where divide and rule reign most supreme in the nation.
That is why since the Quit Notice by a Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, CNDA, for all other tribes to leave the oil region before October 1, “stake holders ” and leeches have jumped up saying it was illegal, irrational, superfluous and not the solution to the problems facing the country. I think it’s about time Igbos opened their eyes!