The Igbo Nation: A Story Of Successes written by Nicky Okoye—A Response by C. K. Ekeke

— I have been reading a number of articles and essays written by so-called Igbo scholars and intellectuals on Biafra and on-going challenges in Nigeria. Some of them make me sick.  
I have never wanted to respond to them except on few occasions. However, this piece by Dr. Nicky Okoye warranted such a response. Even though, I’m not in the business of responding to writers and public commentators, because I believe each person is entitled to his or her opinion; however, it must be based on facts. Ideas and opinions based on facts not on selfish and self-seeking purposes.  

And so, the article: The Igbo Nation: A Story Of Successes written by Nicky Okoye, is also a case of one single narrative. 

First: Dr. Okoye says that Ndigbo complains of marginalization “based on who and who gets Federal Government appointments.”  

Federal appointments is just a small part of the satanic and systemic marginalization against the former Eastern region of Nigeria. Does he not know that no person from the Eastern region heads any of the 13 major military and intelligence institutions in Nigeria today or serves in Buhari’s kitchen cabinet – out of the 42 appointments he made? 

The only time an Igbo man headed the Army unit was during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan when Major General Iherjirika was pointed as Army Chief.  

I wish Dr. Okoye is reading the series on: “Why Nigeria Must Be restructured.” 

Does it make sense that the State of Kano receives more revenue allocation than all the five States in Southeast combined? Does he not know that the crude oil that is flowing at my backyard is controlled and owned by a man from katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, etc.?  

I’m posting the series for him to goggle and read.  

·Oil Resources Revenue: Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured Now! [5]

Written by

 Created: 12 June 2017

·Bloody Religious Crises: Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured Now! [4]

Written by Tim Elombah

Created: 05 June 2017

·Oil Blocs: Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured Now! [3]

               Written by Tim Elombah

               Created: 03 June 2017

·Revenue Allocation: Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured Now! [2]

Written by

Created: 02 June 2017

·Injustice of Revenue Allocation in Nigeria – by Annkio Briggs

Written by Annkio Briggs

Created: 02 June 2017 

Second, has Dr. Okoye visited the Southeast region recently assuming he does not live in SE? Does the region look like rest of Nigeria? Southeast looks like a conquered region – with army, police and all kind of military checkpoints everywhere on major dilapidated interstate roads and even State as well local roads.

Here is just a short list of infrastructural injustices against former eastern region: These are uncompleted and unfinished federal projects in Southeast region. 

·The 2nd River Niger Bridge

·East-West Highway

·Enugu-Onitsha/Enugu-PH Expressways

·Akanu Ibiam and PH International Airports

·Calabar and PH Seaports

·Dredging of River Niger

·Eastern Gas Pipeline network (CAP)

·Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC)

·Ogoni oil spillage cleanup

·Legislative Constituency Projects

·National Conference convened by President Jonathan that adopted, among other things, the restructuring of the country.

·The Constitutional Amendment, initiated under President Umaru Yar’Adua, and funded to the brim to address the concerns for equitable distribution of states and local governments.

·And many others

Third, does Dr. Okoye not read or hear about the relentless rape of young girls, married women, torture, and massacres being unleashed upon people of Eastern region by Hausa-Fulani and Fulani herdsmen?  

Below is just a recent list and does not include the pogrom and genocide of the 1940’s, 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and continuous massacres of today being committed against the people of eastern region. This is a list of unarmed young Biafrans rightly agitating for self-determination, which is an international law.

·Onitsha massacre of 30th August 2015,

·Head Bridge Onitsha massacre of 17th December 2015

·Aba High school massacre of 9th February 2016

·Nkpor massacre of 29th and 30th May 2016

·Asaba massacre of 30th May 2016

·Port Harcourt massacre of 1/20/2017

·Asaba Delta State massacre on 12th February 2017 

Does he have an insight into the politics of Boko haram and the global powers behind Chibok girls that dethroned Goodluck Jonathan? Does he know that Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and other powerful women and men from the United States of America all tweeted and campaigned about phantom Chibok girls?

Forth, Dr. Okoye writes about Igbos are the wealthiest group in Nigeria because of their businesses all over Nigeria, which include, Road Transportation (Buses), Spare Parts, Electronic devices, Pipeline laying, Petroleum Tank Farms, Computer Technology, Cooking Gas, Building materials, Boutique Hotels, International Trade, Wines and Liquor, Cosmetics, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Private Hospitals, Oil Servicing, independent Filling Stations, tyres, watches, office equipment, household fittings, tiles and flooring, shoes and leather products, markets, shopping malls and plazas, medium and low cost housing, SME manufacturing, etc.” 

That assumption is partially correct, because no Igbo or person from Eastern region has ever been listed among the billionaires of Nigeria/Africa. Northerners and South Westerners (SW) continue to make the list: 

Here is a link for him to read: 

Aliko Dangote (North), Mike Adenuga (SW), Folorunsho Alakija (SW), are Femi Otedola (SW) are the billionaires well known in Nigeria/Africa and guess what, they are all in oil business controlling the crude oil that runs from my backyard. In addition, Dangote has all the import licenses which include cement, rice, sugar, tomatoes and other essential goods that come into Nigeria. 

Can Dr. Okoye name one Igbo or anyone from the SE/SS who has such large-scale import license?  

There is no doubt that Igbos are industrious and hard-working. However, they do not control the main source of Nigeria’s wealth – crude oil, which is located all over former Eastern region: Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo, and Rivers.

Fifth, division or separating from Nigeria does not mean that Ndigbo will lose all their businesses in the North and SW. If it is done peacefully through U.N. and global powers, Igbos won’t lose much. By the way, there is no material possession or wealth that compares to freedom. When an armed thief or arm-robber comes to your house, do you protect your life and those of your family members or protect your properties? Nations fight and people die to be free. It is because of freedom that Christ died for human-beings.

The dishonesty, ignorance, fear, and cowardice of some Igbo intellectuals baffles me. Does this writer not see what is going on Nigeria? Does he read at all? Has he taken time to read and study about the Fulani invaders and radical Sunni Muslims? Does he know that Fulani were strangers and invaders in Nigeria? Today not only do they control the entire Hausa/Nupe/Tiv and Middle Belt indigenous peoples and their lands, but they control Kwara State, and recently major part of Ebonyi State. If we don’t stop them now, one day they will conquer us, enslave and Islamize us all. That’s the command of Usman Dan Fodio – who fought his way through West Africa into Northern Nigeria inhabited by the Hausas.  

Sadly, Nigeria has two kinds of radical Islam: Sunni and Shiite. But the most radical is Sunni because of their strict adherence to Koran. There are moderate Muslims – like the Sufi in Senegal and Ibadis in Oman. They are very peaceful. Even the Shia Muslims are much more moderate and peaceful than the fundamentalist jihadist Sunni.

Sunni is one of the curses of Nigeria, and the second is crude oil.

Sixth, he suggests that restructuring of Nigeria is the way forward. For years, many wise voices both from SE/SS and SW have been calling for restructuring but the north have adamantly said they don’t want restructuring. Recently, the AGF said no amount of agitation will lead to restructuring the entire northern elders and leadership do not want restructuring. So, what do we do? Continue with the status quo – because it favors the North. Do we continue in a lawless, corrupt and failed Nigerian State for fear of warmongering north or lose our properties in the North?

For me, Nigeria is even beyond restructuring. It must be divided because it is a failed and abominable contraption created by Britain for their economic-political domination of Africa… Even great and civilized empires have come and gone. So, what is special about Nigeria? There is nothing absolutely special about Nigeria.

Seventh, he says that Igbos have produced the Central Bank Governor, Charles Soludo, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the Minister of Petroleum (by marriage) Mrs. D. Madueke, the Chief of Army Staff, General Ihejirika, etc.”  

But he forgets to mention that for over 50 years since after the civil war, an Igbo has never been allowed to lead the country either militarily or contest for presidency under any major party. An Igbo has never been president and allowed to head any major military institution until off course General Ihejirika during the presidency of Jonathan. Why would a major tribe, a major stakeholder of the Nigerian project be forbidden to lead the country? Does he know that such satanic and senseless agenda exist in addition to other systemic injustices against Ndigbo?   

In the handover notes Lord Lugard wrote to his colleagues, Walter H Lang, on the 25th of September 1918, he said the following: 

·The HAUSA-FULANI has no ideals, no ambitions save such as sensual in character. He is a fatalist, spendthrift and a gambler. He is gravely immoral and is seriously diseased that he is a menace to any community to which he seeks to attach himself.

.The YORUBA – Lagos has for 20 years opposed every Governor and has fomented strife and bloodshed in the hinterland…., I have spent the best part of my life in Africa; my aim has been the betterment of the natives for whom I have been ready to give my life. But after some 29 years, and after nearly 12 years as Governor here, I am free to say that the people of Lagos and indeed the westerners are the lowest, the most seditious and disloyal, the most purely prompted by self-self-seeking money motives of any people I have met. 

·The IGBO. These people are predominantly Eastern Nigeria are fiercely rebellious with no regard for authority. Though industrious and religious, in deference to the objectives of her majesty and the crown, they are highly dangerous to be trusted with power.  

Honestly, that seems to be the correct description of the three major tribes of Nigeria. However, I still take IGBO any day because of their ingenuity, creativity, productivity and true religiosity. Even though they are rebellious to authority, they can learn and be changed. Igbos are republican in nature, however, as I have written before: Ohanaeze/Ohacracy do not characterize the best and purest form of leadership. We must learn to trust and obey those appointed, or selected or elected to lead us. 

The Igbo distrust for leadership is in fact the main reason colonial Britain ceded power to the North, whom they can control.  

Finally, Dr. Okoye made this atrocious statement: “So, a young man (referring to Nnamdi Kanu) was given access to a microphone, on a radio station and then he started spreading a hate message which has resonated with a number of his fellow ethnic group. “ 

I do not know Nnamdi Kanu. I have never met him. But after listening to some of his messages and the organization he put together called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). I’m bold and unashamed to say that Nnamdi Kanu is not only a great and courageous leader but a prophet. It is a statement that is open to debate in future.

Dr. C. K. Ekeke is a theologian, author, consultant, and leadership scholar. He is the founder and president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.