WHICH WAY NDIGBO? Lauretta Onochie
As far as we know, the last protest by MASSOB was peaceful. But how did the Federal government react to that peaceful protest? Many Igbo youngsters were arrested, summarily executed and their bodies dumped in Ezu River. What has the Igbo elites said about this? Nothing! What they have done is file behind each other, falling over each other to become praise singers for the inept government of President Jonathan, including Uwazurike himself.
Thank God there are still many Ndigbo who have souls that can think outside the cashbox. On Tuesday, 13 February 2013, Attorney Emeka Ugwuonye filed a Complaint against several named officers of the Nigerian Security Forces as perpetrators and criminally Responsible Persons for crimes against humanity in connection with the extra-judicial executions of Members of an organization known as Movement For Actualization Of The Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB)
After the outrage by other Nigerians that followed the revelation of the massacre of Igbo youngsters, a committee, yes another committee was set up to look into the matter, we are still to hear the findings of this committee and the Supreme Court of Nigeria has suddenly become super-effective, okaying the trial of Uwazurike and other of his Igbo compatriots.
The civil war ended over forty years ago and since then, most Igbo people have essentially isolated themselves from Nigerian mainstream politics. Most of the few who try politics do so for self interests. Its okay-ish, for those who suffered the direct consequences of the Nigeria civil war to still feel angry about their perceived maltreatment, but they must release their young people to rejoin Nigeria, to seek political relevance, which leads to power. You can have all the cash in this world, those who hold the reins of power will ultimately decide where, when and how you spend your money.
According to an outspoken critic of the President Jonathan's administration who writes under the pseudonym, Malik Shabbazz "No Way NDI-IGBO!!!They should have seen this coming with all their whoring ways...marrying strange bed-fellows..."
Another Nigerian, Disu Adeyemi Yesufu, asked a pertinent question, "How come there has never been a single political demostration in Igbo land? When other parts of the country were agitating against fuel subsidy how come there was not a single demostration in Igboland?"
They were not the only ones who felt that the silence of the Igbo nation regarding the extra-judicial killing of their kinsmen who merely exercised their rights, was deafening. Teddy Dike was more blunt in his contribution. According to him, "......Sometimes I ponder if the core principle of an average Igbo person rotates around money or personal gains. Community gains are only seriously pursued when element of such gains will bequeath some form of personal direct benefit to the people. So in the case of the executed MASSOB members - most people are not actively agitating for resolve as they don't see many opportunities for personal gains."
Unfortunately that is the impression many Ndigbo have left in the minds of those who share a nation with them. However, do we leave them to their own devices when crimes are being committed against them? Many of us think otherwise. Felix Brokadenero says, "The time to wake up is now, I am an Urhobo but Ndigbos are my brother nation." In response to my comment supporting Ndigbo, Ayo Akinfe has this to say, "I agree with you Lauretta. Most non-Igbos will be unconcerned about what happens to Massob leaders as our people still think along primordial lines. However, we must not make it easy for the government. Any day demonstration dey, you know where to find me."
Nigerians, Ndigbo are in trouble in our nation and Ohaneze has taken a vow of silence. Many Ndigbo are too busy with business to bother with Uwazurike and his co travellers. Do not be shocked to know that some Ndigbo do not even know of the existence of MASSOB. This is because they couldn't be bothered with anything happening around Nigeria. The government of President Jonathan has tried unsuccessfully to use their political Boko Haram to draw Ndigbo out of their market stalls by constantly creating the impression that bombs have a way of picking out and killing Ndigbo in a crowd of Nigerians.
Many Nigerians feel that we should stand up for Ndigbo. My guess is that they might not join us in their own fight. Nigerians must all come together to stand up to this bullying of Ndigbo by the government. Many Nigerians would be justified to ignore this call but It might be that this will be the fight that will bring back the one leg of the tripod that has been broken off for ages.