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Beware Ndigbo

By Sam Amaku

The name OGBUAGU, is not just a common name. It is even more than that. OGBUAGU is a name traditionally bestowed on people in the olden days to connote BRAVERY, and answered in places like Umuahia in Abia State, Oguta in Imo State and in Orumba North and South Local Government Areas of Anambra State- all in Igbo land. Those who go by this name, of course must have had some historical attachments to them, especially in those past years.
OGBUAGU, in English translation means LION KILLER. That was why in those olden days, for one to earn the name-OGBUAGU one must either have been a Lion Killer or carried out such an outstanding act of uncommon BRAVERY in the Community. The BIG question, however, is how many Lions really should a man kill to qualify him to answer the name OGBUAGU? Literarily in Igbo land, the elders in the Communities, would also use the name OGBUAGU as an adage to know for instance, how many times a sane adult would wait for a snake for instance to bite him before he re-acts? In other words, since a “stitch -in-time, saves nine” why should a man patiently wait for an on-coming DANGER to catch up with him?
The current National issue of daily discussion, has been the QUIT NOTICE which a body that calls itself the AREWA YOUTH CONSULTATIVE FORUM in the Northern State of Nigeria, had issued or rather legally served on all IBO residents in all parts of the 19 Northern States of Nigeria. By that singular act, those folks have indirectly confirmed that the Igbo people are truly stranger elements -mere VISITORS who also have NO shares in this big geographical entity called NIGERIA.
Yet in those good olden days, Nigeria was known as a country of THREE main tribes -Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa. Today, the Ibo race is systematically being EXCISED from Nigeria by all means. Even the elephantic role played by an Ibo man -the late sage, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the attainment of Nigeria’s independence has since become ordinary historical materials best for the archives.
So, with the AREWA YOUTH QUIT NOTICE they also added. CREDENCE to the sustained agitation by the Ibo race for their separate existence since from all indications, they are no longer wanted in Nigeria. To attach more seriousness to their threat, the AREWA groups, also gave the Ibos a deadline of 1st October 2017 when they should have finally vacated their territories, OR…? Recall that the BIG question at the start of this write -up is” how many Lions would one kill to be able to qualify for the presumed rare name of OGBUAGU? There is also the popular saying that “once beaten, twice shy” hence” a stitch in time, saves nine”. So, does anybody listen to the on-going CLARION CALL? Why obstinately wait for the rainy day? Has this life any duplicate? Thank God for the early intervention of the Acting President, Prof. Yemi  Osinbajo who sternly warned of the Federal Government readiness to take action against such evil perpetrators to take action against such evil perpetrators of National disunity. But judging from similar events of the past in this country, and also realizing that once beaten twice shy” would it not be ridiculous and equally amount to an act of stupidity, childishness and foolishness for one to waive off such well thought about, calculated and very widely publicized ultimatum with naivety? There is also an adage which says that the stubborn fly which refuses to leave a dead body, eventually will end up inside the grave with the deceased. If this country, indeed the Ibos, especially had not experienced POGROM the story now would have been a mere fairy tale. But it all happened life and many families lost very dear ones. So A more that 65 years after those ugly and chilly experiences, who really now wants a REPEAT?
Yes, as usual and as normally would be expected, government ORDERS had since gone out for the arrest and possible prosecution of those behind that criminal and unconstitutional act-the QUIT NOTICE on Ibos. But how many of those well known elements have been arrested and taken to court for trial since then? Have the people gone underground or eloped through the desert or the Mediterranean Sea? Is this the first time such ORDERS had been dished out and nothing really happened after all? Has anybody cared to follow up events especially with the subsequent posting on the internet as well as the interesting contents and language of a well documented letter to the Acting President? It was a reaction to the Acting President’s intervention and call on some National Leaders to ensure that PEACE reigns. The lengthy letter, now on the internet, traced the Nigerian Political history, starting with the first coup defeat in 1966, the Nigeria three years of Civil War to the current agitation for the Republic of Biafra. That letter was endorsed by some eminent Northern radicals indeed by one Ambassador Shettima Yerima which also goes to confirm the caliber of persons behind the so called AREWA YOUTH. From the language of that letter, in which Ibos were called all sorts of derogatory names, were the AREWA YOUTHS, of a truth not dancing to their Master’s tunes? Of course, this is Nigeria. It is our country, yet there are the UNTOUCHABLES; those who erroneously believe that the certificate of occupancy “C of O” of this county Nigeria is in their hands. They see others as mere “STRANGERS and TENANTS” who should be served QUIT NOTICE at will and be ejected at their own whims and caprices as the LANDLORDS. And this is why the URGENT need to RESTRUCTURE Nigeria which calls, the former Military Head of State Gen. Gbadamosi Ibrahim has also recently length his weight too. He expressed fears that unless this was done Nigeria would be doomed. This would help us live in PEACE and not in pieces, if quickly accented to. But, who really are the Nigerians.  How come that the Ibos who from one of the three major Tribes of Nigeria are now relegated to the background and almost excised from the map of Nigeria after they have contributed so much to make Nigeria whatever she is today? In fairness, why are the Ibos now so hated and unimaginably marginalized? I must however, commend Ambassador Yerima and his groups for their courage in advising the Federal Government now to organize a referendum as an ultimate solution to the current demand for a Republic of Biafra. Of course, after the gruesome three years of the Nigeria -Biafra War (more than 56 years ago) the ethnic and other Socio -Political cum Economic bickering of the past are still raging endlessly, then where do we go from there? Endless bloodshed is also not the answer. So for how long shall we continue to speak in DISCORDANT voices, yet pretending we are ONE NIGERIA, a situation that obviously has held down further advancement of this nation?
Last year, a woman evangelist was beheaded there in the North of alleged blasphemy. Shortly after, a male pastor of a Church was also openly murdered there in the North. A host of other innocent Christians was similarly murdered while several Church buildings were destroyed.
You may wish to ask: how many of those culprits have been arrested and tried in the Law Courts since those incidents occurred. Has the Nigerian government now licenses the killing of human beings at will? Who then is deceiving who? It is one thing for authorities to give others and another cup of tea for those ORDERS to be carried out to the letters. Again, one may ask; are there sacred cows” in this country who can commit crimes such as murder and walk away on our roads free?
A well-known fellow Nigerian journalist, Dele Giwa, one time managing Editor of the famous Newswatch Magazine was openly murdered in this country through a letter bomb delivered to him in his house. That was during one of the Military regimes in this country. Dele Giwa and I worked together as employees of the defunct famous Daily Times Group of Newspapers, although Dele then was the Editor of the Sunday Times and also maintained a weekly column known as PARADOX. Similarly, a onetime Federal Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige was equally gruesomely murdered by some suspected hired assassins who later abandoned him in his own pool of  blood inside his parlor.
These incidents took place many years ago. Of course, many of such high profile murder cases had also taken place in this Country which included the mysterious death of a well -known political juggernaut of yester years in the former Western Religion, the late Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu alias ” Penkelemesh”. He was the strong man of the defunct NCNC Political party then in the West while the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the Premier and Leader of the defunct Action Group Party.
Investigations, of course, had always been ordered by government into such cases but several years after, Nigerians are still asking who are the killers of Dele Giwa, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Alfred Rewane and a host of others? Remember, the Late Chief Bola Ige was also one of the front liners of the FEDECO, one of the most popular Yoruba Cultural umbrellas apart from the ODUDUWA and AFENIFERE groups. See what is happening today in our country since the battle against official corruption began. If you stole our public money and you are about to be exposed, just do one thing. Quickly align yourself with the ruling party and you have safely landed. And like the Biblical saying, you would be patted on the back and told “Go, my faithful servants, your sins are forgiven” that’s Nigeria for you.
So in the face of all these uncertainties, who wants to be a sacrificial lamb after a QUIT NOTICE had been issued? Why any reasonable, Igbo person should stay back necessarily as if one has no home to fall back to? Is it not only when one is alive that one makes a case and demands one’s right?
The ultimatum by the ARENA YOUTHS (backed up by some heavy weights) of course had been duly given. A deadline of 1st October, 2017 has been placed. Full Stop! So it is only a fool who will see an imminent death ahead of him and still waits for it to happen. Thanks to the South East Governors who quickly re-acted by sending some Buses to rescue their people in parts of the Northern States. However, their reported efforts and response was like a piece of stone thrown into the Atlantic Ocean. Did the Governors really do any home work before dispatching those vehicles? Did they imagine how many people or families would have been involved and how many Buses and trips would have been involved in such exercise? Anything that is worth doing at all should be done properly as human lives are concerned. No doubt, there are many Ibos who may wish to get out of there but for the monetary involvement.
The ugly experiences of the late sixties should serve as enough lessons and warning now to the living, so those who have ears to hear let them hear especially when one is dealing with a group of people whose temperamental behaviours, you cannot predict at anytime.
I sincerely think that Governor Rocha’s Okorocha’s RESCUE MISSION should be more appropriately applied now for his people over there, this time around. One must equally give Kudos to the people’s General, the out spoken Archbishop and Bishop of Enugu Diocese of the Anglican Communion, the most Rev. Dr E.O Chukwuma (OON) who warned at his 3rd Session of the 16th Synod in Enugu that what happened to the Ibos in 1966, should not be allowed to repeat itself. He said that Nigeria would not be able to stand it, if it happened again.
In a good setting and in a friendly atmosphere, people can live anywhere they like, work and do their business without molestations as reasonably provided in our constitution. But as things are today, there is really nothing wrong, if one comeback home to help in the development of one’s State just as the Anglican Bishop of Owerri Diocese, Rt. Rev.  Cyril Okorocha PhD had recently said.
What is wrong if we even collectively make the South East our own Korea, China, Paris, Miami Beach, London, Dubai and the rest of the Asian Countries? With proper planning and useful investments, we shall improve our economy. Thus, we shall be saving our people from the risks of drowning some of them take while unconventional trying to cross the mediterean sea or die in the scorch of the Sahara Deserts while in search of imaginary greener pastures. The clarion Call! May God save his people!!

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