Editorial

Igbos: segregation or marginalization?

All key federal jobs went to the north. This seemingly deliberate exclusion of the Igbos in appointments so far made by the president leads to all kinds of dreadful and dire conclusions. It can be weighed on two evils. One is the evil of segregation. The other is marginalization. The latter is the lesser evil about which the South east has been crying for so long.
The former is the killer one, both for the segregated and the segregator. This was how Apartheid in South Africa began. The Blacks were segregated after being first marginalized. It was a secret plot of the White imperialists which took a long time to be exposed and defeated. By then millions of lives fighting it had been wasted. As this trend causes strong agitations in our country, the President is surprisingly keeping mum, showing the kind of impunity and insensitivity that we have never seen its type in this country.
To say the least, we are alarmed. What is happening? Are we going back to the Apartheid days in Africa? Can we afford the cost of Apartheid in a country riddled with vandalism of all sorts ravaging its strategic facilities and costly installations? Our country is contending with militancy, corruption, economic sabotage, terrorism and violent crimes. The country is earning less and less income from oil, which may lead to bankruptcy if care is not taken, in addition to all these. And she is also facing the worst inflation ever as a result? Is there a primitive, sinister secret plot again against anybody in the country? If there is, it will only waste our time and set us back many years. We say a deafening no to that. It is bound to backfire like Apartheid. No body should attempt that.
What patriotic commentators with foresight see in this is nothing but raw nepotism on the part of Mr. President’s new administration. In our opinion, this observation is correct. It is very disturbing that the Igbo problem in Nigeria has degenerated from marginalization to segregation.
Besides, the appointments amplified disunity, rather than unity, which has been Nigeria’s development mantra. This is a somersault in direction that we hardly expect.
The only hope is if future appointments will redress the issue of imbalance in federal character and end the policy of segregation against any part of this country. On the issue of merit which was used to defend the loathsome, parochial, monopolistic appointments, merit was killed on the altar of the quota system policy which was a self-defeatist trick used to assuage so-called ‘disadvantaged areas’.  Is merit now of importance? That’s well and good. Let’s then go the whole hug and to the brass tax and install it wholesale.

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