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IGBOPHOBIA: Why Aare Kurunmi's Rating Of Easterners Is Out Of An Assessment Marred With Cynicism

IGBOPHOBIA: Why Aare Kurunmi's Rating Of Easterners Is Out Of An Assessment Marred With Cynicism Recently, a rather controversial and ar...

IGBOPHOBIA: Why Aare Kurunmi's Rating Of Easterners Is Out Of An Assessment Marred With Cynicism

Recently, a rather controversial and arguably illogical piece has been in circulation on various social media networks. And, the content is as usual, nothing less of what has constantly obtained; a jab at the Igbo nation and the South Eastern region, starring from the uproar and discontentment of various dissidents in the western and northern parts of Nigeria over the unbearable economic hardship that has enveloped the enclave, and the subsequent mysterious refusal to the bewilderment and disappointment of those who dearly crave their workforce to achieve their desired goal. 

By invoking past memories and encounters, the East have opted to maintain strategic ambivalence and allow the North, West handle the crisis "they brought upon everyone". And, from the forgoing has this acclaimed Pan-Yoruba activist called Aare Kurunmi Kakanfo decided to continue throwing tantrums against the Igbos and accusingly positing that they would start another war in Nigeria.

In his view, the West (Yoruba) would never politically align with the East - as that would imply the "total surrender of the political, economic, social control of the South West to the Igbos" and such would not be possible. Ironically, Mr. Aare is making these nettlesome remarks at a time the Igbos are maintaining silence and apathy in any national issue. 

For posterity sake, this obsession and fear-mongering of a "domineering Igbo devourers" has been in play since time immemorial and has always served as an easy-to-use card for whosever decides to deploy their ignorant peasants against the bogeymen while advertently and distractively keeping them peasants in perpetual hunger and misery. 

Either from the days of the Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello or Dr. Obafemi Awolowo up till the contemporary moment, the Igbos have always served as the perfect frightening objects or rather subjects, for the tactical, selfish politicial games of the ruling class. And, this has not changed nor is it expected to.

The Igbos in contrast to another ethnic make-up in Nigeria – and by admission of independent international sources, have evidently invested more in the Nigerian project without demanding for any extraordinary favor in return. If history serves right, the first and Igbo man to assume or contest a significant political position outside the East, was Nnamdi Azikiwe - who is regarded as one of the founding fathers and Pro-independent activists of the British amalgamated Nigeria, and this was when he contested for the premiership of the West and eventually lost or rather was kicked out by tribal jingoists led by his erstwhile comrade, Chief Awolowo.

It is important to emphasize that the actions of Azikiwe was ultimately influenced by the sentiments, purpose and promise of the Nigeria they ostensibly fought for; a Nigeria of pragmatic regionalism but with Federal characteristics devoid of tribalism and nepotism. Clearly, his detractors were not on the same page with him, thus he was roundly kicked out and he came back home to lick his wounds.

On the Economic level, the Igbos have mobilized and invested in immense proportion in other regions of Nigeria, even to the detriment of the development of the East, their homebase. They live amongst the community of wherever they are found, contribute to the development of the community and pay their tax as legitimate citizens and residents of where they are domiciled. The investments worth billions of dollars of Igbos are littered across western and Northern Nigeria, while later are recalcitrant to do same in the East.

The Igbo man has not fermented, sponsored funded any political party, candidate - either within the SouthEast or outside- for the sole benefit of himself, enterprises. However, he has exercise his constitutional rights to harbor a political will and not be intimidated to express it, and this he has done not from a tribalistic viewpoint, instead on meritocratic basis. And if that is what Mr. Aare Kakanfo refers to being "meddlesome", then he needs to be schooled about the entailments of the Nigerian constitution.

Admittedly, it is unarguable that there is an unsolvable fundamental ideological difference between not only the East and West, but inclusively the North. The incompatibility is glaring enough that all can see it. And, since Mr. Aare obviously believes that the Igbos needs to keep to the east, he should shun the hypocritical rhetorics of another Civil war and join campaign for the expulsion and exit of the East from Nigeria and even ban Easterners from visiting and travelling to Nigeria (then it would be essentially the west's and north's).

Igbos are not only in the deceptive "South East geopolitical zone" and cannot be reduced to such. The man who led the infamous January 15th 1966 mutiny vilely called "Igbo coup" - which was primarily about saving Yoruba land from an impending takeover by the ultranationalist Fulani warlord, Sir Ahmadu Bello and enthroning Chief Awolowo as president, is from okpanam present-day Delta State - though it is now assumed to be no longer part of the Igbo nation. 

It is an insult to human intelligence, and it is only Brain-wrecked individuals and people would accept such a travesty. Not after the serial pogroms and Genocidal war that claimed the lives of over 3.5 million people (mostly children), not after the massacres of every male child in Asaba. Not after the" shoot everything that moves" order and "if the Biafra children must die first, then it is just too bad" euphoria by Benjamin Adekunle AKA black scorpion.

The East, the Igbos remains unapologetic for being who they are; for their economic wittiness, for being meritocratic, hardworking and resistant to oppression, for being true Pan-Africanist. Nevertheless, they have decided to maintain strategic ambivalence and that shall continue until the desired result is achieved. 

In summary, the Igbos have paid heavily in their course and adventure of unfortunately finding their selves in a British amalgamated Nigeria. They owe nothing, rather those who killed, starved their children to death, stole their hard-earned money in the banks and gave them £20 to fizzle away,3 are those who owe them and will surely pay in folds when the time comes.

The East never asked for war nor did they started the Nigeria-Biafra war, as lately admitted by the Chief genocidist, Yakubu Gowon to the hearing of the global community. However, as always, the East reserves the right to defend themselves against aggression and threats of extermination as obtained 57 years ago. Self-defense is a natural right and all people are entitled to it. Those fanning the flames of war should be guided and advocate for the peaceful desolation of Nigeria.

Written By Enenienwite Ikechukwu

Edited by Ogah C S Maduabuchi 

For Family Writers Press International.

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