Sunday, August 13, 2017

Quit Notice, anti-Igbo Song for Genocide, and Existential Threat to Nd'Igbo

By Nkem Ekeopara


Arewa Quit OrderCurrently, the Igbo in Nigeria are facing an existential threat. That is especially so in the area usually referred to as core North (North East and North West zones of Nigeria). First, on June 6, 2017, a Coalition of Northern Youths in what they termed Kaduna Declaration issued a quit notice to the Igbo. The coalition comprised the Arewa Citizens Action for Change, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Arewa Youth Development Foundation, Arewa Students Forum, and Northern Emancipation Network. The reason adduced for the notice was Igbo Persistence for Secession.

In the declaration laced with hateful language, they Northerners demanded that all Igbo resident in the North should leave on or before October 1, 2017. They indicated that their “first major move shall be to reclaim, assume and assert sole ownership and control of all landed resources currently owned, rented or in any way enjoyed by the ingrate Igbos in any part of Northern Nigeria.” And after October 1, 2017, they said, “effective, peaceful and safe mop-up of all the remnants of the stubborn Igbos that neglect to heed this quit notice shall commence to finally eject them from every part of the North.”

On August 11, 2017, two months after the inciting and hateful declaration was made, the Federal Government of Nigeria through its Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, tried unconvincingly to explain why the Northern “youths” have not been arrested in spite of calls from various sections of the country. He said the “youths” said they were quoted out of context. Every critical-minded person would be wondering what the “youths” meant by being quoted out of context when their declaration is there on social media in plain language. The explanation is not strange, because in Nigeria, these “youths” and their people own the country. Always, they’re above the laws of the land.

And while the issue of quit notice remain unresolved; anti-Igbo songs in Hausa calling for genocide against the Igbo are being widely circulated in the North and on social media. More than one week since this was noticed, no one has been arrested, and no broadcast media in the North has been sanctioned for airing the songs. Gauging the way Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed commented on the issue this past week, some broadcast media outfits up there are airing the songs.

Obviously, a section of the contraption called Nigeria is again preparing to perpetrate another round of genocide on the Igbo. Let’s not forget that before Rwanda, it happened to the Igbo. So, we do not need to keep referring to Rwanda in order to understand the impact of genocide, except to compare the hate actions of Hausa-Fulani radio and other broadcast stations with the actions of the Hutu Interahamwe Rwanda Genocide Radio Station. Beginning from Sunday, May 29, 1966 to early June, the Igbo and other Easterners were gruesomely massacred in the North. And on September 29, 1966, they (Northerners) started what the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka described in his book, The Man Died on page 24 as “the most comprehensive, undiscriminating savaging of a people within memory on the black continent.” The people Professor Soyinka was referring to are Igbo people. This savaging lasted for days. When the smokes had cleared, about 50,000 Easterners, mainly the Igbo, had been atrociously killed and this included thousands, who miraculously survived the May pogrom, and had returned to the North on the pleadings of the Northern Emirs and the advice of their governor, Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Ojukwu was haunted throughout his lifetime by this advice. Many more thousands were injured with more than two million displaced. Is anyone thinking that in this 21st Century they can repeat this, and get away with it? It remains to be seen!

As already mentioned, many of the victims of the September/October massacre survived the May massacre, and returned home. As also mentioned, they returned to the North on the pleadings of the Emirs, who assured them of their safety,  and on the advice of their governor, Col. Ojukwu. And they were killed. This is why the Igbo resident in the core North should not stay back just because an Emir has assured them of protection. In 1966, those who ran to the palaces of the Emirs were not spared. None should stay because an Igbo political mercantilist like Orji Uzor Kalu has assured them that nothing will happen to them come October 1. And none should stay because the government and the security forces will protect them. In 1966, the security forces joined in the killing of the Igbo and other Easterners and the government of the then Northern Nigeria was complicit.

Since 1914, the Igbo and their Eastern neighbours have paid too much price for this amorphous amalgam called Nigeria. First, in November 1929, our great grandmothers were brutalized and some killed during the Aba Women’s War when the courageous women fought against the imposition of Warrant Chiefs. On November 18, 1949, twenty-one miners mainly of Igbo origin were killed in cold blood and 51 wounded at Iva Valley shooting in Enugu by the colonial administration police for demanding for better condition of service. In 1945, the Igbo were killed in Jos by the Hausa-Fulani. In 1953, they were killed in Kano after the Northern delegates returned from Lagos where they were booed when they walked out, following Anthony Enahoro’s motion that Nigeria should become independent by 1956. And the 1966 pogrom already mentioned and the genocide during the 1967-70 Nigeria-Biafra War are other prices the Igbo have paid to sustain this British vampire called Nigeria. There is a litany of the killing of the Igbo in the North since the war ‘ended’ and no one has been brought to book.

Those behind the quit notice and the Anti-Igbo song for genocide are certainly working in tandem. They’re serious! And the Federal Government of Nigeria so far is not doing anything serious to checkmate these people. In Katsina where the Emir, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman  said he will protect the Igbo, a youth group, Katsina State Progressive Youth Alliance in statement yesterday literally said the Emir is speaking for himself. The Secretary of the group, Abdullahi Muhammed declared that they support the position of Coalition of Northern Group that issued the quit notice. Shamefully, South East governors as usual are maintaining a criminal silence so as not to upset their masters in the North. If they’re wise, they should be mobilising their people now for any eventuality.

Nigeria’s survival is not worth another drop of blood. Therefore, the Igbo still in the core North should know that it’s only a tree that would be told that it’s going to be cut down and it’ll still stand in place, waiting for the axe man. It is time for Nd'Igbo in the core North to bid their genocidal hosts farewell and return home. Ndụ b isi.








References: 



Arewa a.k.a. Hausa-Fulani "Youths" Issue Quit Order to Nd'Igbo
Hausa-Fulani Release Song Calling for Anti-Igbo Genocide and War.

 Hausa Audio Urges Extermination of Igbo People in the North.

Translation of anti-Igbo Hate Song in Hausa Language Being Circulated in Northern Nigeria