Recently, Nigerians marched out in their numbers in some States of the Federation to protest the unbearable economic hardship ravaging the entire nation.

From North to the West it was protest galore. Some of us sensible folks were taken aback while the so called protest lasted. At the middle of it, some northerners began to question while the Igbos were not taking part in the protest and while they were not perturbed or bothered. The answer some of us who witnessed the Nigeria – Biafra war told them was that there was no hardship in Igboland. This answer is premised on what we saw during the war in this part of the country and we made our children geared and braced up to the situation.

ONE other Major thing some of us observed during the ill fated protest was that nowhere did anyone hear where ALL the NIGERIA SECURITY AGENCIES shot a bullet either to dispass, scare the Protesters or to those involved in looting. Why was it that way? The short and simple answer is that those who were TARGETED for maiming, killing and destruction did not come out or participate. Who are they? The Igbos. It is on this note that I commend the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide being led by the resilient, indefatigable, intelligent, articulate and Erudite Statesman, Scholar and Engineering Generalismo Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu for his directive to Ndigbo Worldwide not to participate in the aborted protest. Because those targeted did not participate, the protest ended abruptly. Experience they is the BEST TEACHER. All past and present events in the Nigerian nation have taught Ndigbo big lessons. For example, Nigerian soldiers in 1966 planned a coup d’etat, those who have no memory tagged it Igbo coup because the spokesman was an Igbo man – Major Kaduna Chukwuma Nzeogwu. Yet, the people who quelled the Coup were Igbos – Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyironsi in Lagos and Colonel Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu in Kano.

Ojukwu and Jack Gowon went to Aburi Ghana to find solutions to the crises ravaging the country as well as peaceful settlement, they agreed on Confederation. Ojukwu came back and told his people that ‘ON ABURI WE STAND’. The same Jack Gowon returned to Lagos and renounced the Aburi Accord. It was this renouncement of the ABURI ACCORD that led to the Civil war during which over three million Ndigbo were killed. Prior to the war, millions of Ndigbo were killed in the Northern parts of the country for no just cause. Those who witnessed the Rwanda genocide did not see anything compared to the way dead bodies of Ndigbo were being hurled and brought down to the East with trains just like the way big trucks carry rubbish these days. At the end of the war that ended with the slogan ‘NO VICTOR, NO VANGUISHED’, Yet some sections of the country have since then ganged up against Ndigbo. Even some people have since after the war denied their ancestry to enable them belong to those who said power belongs to them. Unfortunately for those people, it was their brother that coined the name BIAFRA to ensure independence and survival of the people of the East. Yet today that war is TAGGED Igbo war.

In the recent ENDSARS protest in Lagos, most of the people killed were Igbos. In the just concluded 2023 Presidential Election, Ndigbo are still suffering from it for being accused of not voting for Tinubu. Yet, for the mere fact that not all Igbos will vote for a particular candidate, the present Governor of Lagos State Sanwo Olu has made it his daily breakfast and lunch to destroy all properties of Ndigbo. Where lies the ONE NIGERIA?. It is note worthy to mention that someone said that Igbos they allowed to come to Lagos from age 12 will now come and take over the area and that they will chase them out. It is the agenda Sanwo Olu is pursuing. One thing Sanwo Olu should understand is that neither his mother nor himself was born when Ndigbo started investing in Lagos. Ndigbo started investing heavily in Lagos because it was the Federal Capital of Nigeria. Based on the outcome of the Presidential Election, Ndigbo are no longer wanted in Lagos. An Oba in Lagos said not long ago that he will throw all Igbos in Lagos in to the Lagoon, nothing was done to him, but an Ezeigbo in Lagos who saw the dimension the crisis in Lagos was taking said that he will bring some IPOB members to come and stop the crisis,since that day till date he is still languishing in jail without trial. What a hostile country against Ndigbo. The Result of the Presidential Election is clear to the whole world who won. Instead of facing governance and know how to address the lingering turbulent economic situation, Igbos are seen as targets for elimination. A former President of the Nigeria whose tenure brought hope for peace, progress and unity of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recently was quoted as saying that those in leadership in the country should change their attitudes towards Ndigbo. He said that he doesn’t know why any good business Ndigbo embark on, the business will be stopped by those in authority. That is how to be a Statesman and Leader quite unlike the immediate past failed President whose actions and inactions proved that he came for another cankerworm. In fact the situation in the South East during his tenure as president was almost similar to what happened during the Civil War. So where lies the joy of Ndigbo to participate in such a protest?

In all Ndigbo should always count their teeth with their tongue in any emerging situation. That nobody was shot during the ill fated recent protest is ENOUGH lesson for them and they should all thank the present Leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide under Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu for guiding them properly. Udo Diri Ndigbo.

Fmr Chairman, Imo NUJ


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