Editorial

Protect Igbos in the North

We’re right on October 1. Will the October 1 threat be carried out? What if fighting breaks out in the north as a result of the hate-stuffed quit notice given the Igbos which rallied the northerners to drive out the Igbos from today?
What is in place in the north to secure the targeted people? We ask just in case.
The withdrawal of the notice was assumed to have cancelled the war cry mentality it certainly set up in the psyche of the ordinary people of the north. Despite the withdrawal, many Igbos left the north in fear and nothing says that the northern population has been persuaded to love the remaining Igbos it has been asked to mark out for ejection if they did not leave as ordered. What if nothing has changed?
It is in this regard that we anticipate the arrival of October 1 with bated breath, and foreboding. That day is another day to fear in the bumpy, tumultuous and convulsive history of this country over the question of unity.
Nothing has been as potentially dangerous to the peace, security and oneness of Nigeria as that threat to the lives of Igbos. FGN merely got the Arewa youths to reluctantly retract the statement as if that was enough to obliterate the general deep-rooted hate instigated by the strong 3-month quit notice declaration. The anti-Igbo sentiment it generated did not just go away because the notice was verbally withdrawn. Anybody thinking it did is just a dangerous, mischievous optimist. Nobody could have been completely sure or convinced.
The Military and the Police must therefore sufficiently garrison and be in place in the north to soak up any uprising against the defenseless Igbo remaining in the entire north. Such a move is the only convincing assurance that Nigerians can live anywhere in their country. They must not also live in fear there, for the one-Nigeria motto and watchword to have meaning.
If the Igbo are allowed to be driven out of the north, that would take us close to the end of the road of one-Nigeria and back to the ‘amalgamation’ days.
If Nigeria has to break up, let it not be chaotically violently. If at all, it has to be orderly. This is the way we see it – to save lives and avoid mass destruction of costly infrastructure built up over the years.

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