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Conversation Nigeriana (6) 



History lesson from the ‘Generator Country’
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By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha


Kalio: Our President has finally spoken!

Orezime: Yes, the come has become the come! He has even over spoken! Two interviews and a national broadcast! We’ve never had it so good under him!

Aboki: It is not enough that he has spoken.

Obukohwo: Exactly, whether or not he spoke well is the kettle of fish!

Tunde: He has spoken well! Especially from one side of his mouth

Emeka: Yes, the side of the mouth that says nothing good in Igbo people!

Orezime: You people have come again! You have been screaming from roof tops that he should speak; now that he has done so, you are shifting the goal post!

Aboki: The president is my kinsman; but I must tell the truth. As a leader, he must learn to balance all the forces in the land. Unity in diversity!

Tunde: A melting pot. A leader, especially a democratically elected leader, should be a statesman. He must rise above partisanship once he takes over the presidency! Anything short of that would trigger off bitterness, rage and violence!

Orezime: I am just afraid for this country. Where will all of this lead us?

Kalio: Regionalism! True federalism! This country cannot be the same again. Even if a southerner takes over in 2023, the push would be towards creating a weak centre.

Emeka: Not the Nigeria that I know! We forget too easily. Nigerians forgive their leaders and return them to office after a slap on the wrist!

Aboki: But I must say that he has dismissed the nonsense narrative that he is not in control of his wits! He showed that he was fully abreast of everything in the country.

Orezime: Give me five jor! I was happy that he granted an interview to Arise News and the next day, the mouth-organ of government did its own interview. The man has woken up! I pray he keeps the momentum!

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Emeka: As for me, it is good that he has spoken up and shown his open hatred for Igbo people. We used to think that his aides made things up. Now, the wind has blown and the anus of the fowl is exposed! Let me quote a social commentator, Festus Adedayo: if anyone was undecided that Buhari was at the roots of Nigeria’s worsening ethnic crises in the last six years, or so, that Arise TV interview removed all doubts!

Aboki: That is one man’s opinion fa! Is that what you must take seriously?

Kalio: The aggregate of the opinions of people expressed in newspapers is indicative of public opinion. All reasonable government pay attention to opinions in the newspapers!

Orezime: Exactly! Dr. Chris Ngige, a former governor and senator, has defended the president vigorously. He was explicit and definite in asserting that Mr. President loves the Igbo people and that Igbo people have been given high positions in the government!

Emeka: What else did you expect him to say? Attack or criticize his master and lose his seat at the table of power?

Kalio: But he could have kept quiet. This is the home that he must return to. He should not forget what happened to Ukpabi Asika, the man whom the federal government appointed as Administrator of East Central State during and after the 1967-70 war.

Emeka: People forget history. How could the president threaten a whole ethnic group with a sinister reference to the genocide of 1976/70?

Tunde: It is because nobody was brought to book. The three Rs deceived the people- there was a victor and there was the vanquished!

Aboki: Look here. The Igbo were defeated in the war. Did you expect the nation to just take them back with open arms and appoint them to head sensitive institutions?

Emeka: Why not?

Aboki: Because they could use such institutions to fight the central government!

Emeka: What nonsense! Fight the federal government? Do you believe such nonsense? Did General Ihejirika as Army Chief fight against Nigeria?

Obukohwo: Calm down everybody; calm down. We are here to hold a discussion to enlighten one another. We are not here to push ethnic agendas.

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Kalio: Look here, if you do not push your ethnic agenda. Forget it no one will do it for you. Nigeria is now dog eat dog! A tragedy if you asked me!

Obukohwo; I agree with you. I was shocked by the threat letter posted all over the Delta State capital last week threatening jihad against the state because the governor like other governors in the south, has banned open grazing! As of the time of writing, there had been no response from the president or the presidency!

Orezime: There has been a response from the Nigeria Police assuring everybody that they should go about their lawful duties in the state.

Kalio: Was that not what happened in Benue State? Did they protect the governor from the vicious attack by those scoundrels in herdsmen disguise?

Tunde: But why has the state governor not openly reassure his people that he would protect them from any attack?

Orezime: Can the governor protect his people if there is indeed an attack? Does he have control over any army or police or quasi-security outfit that can repel AK47-wielding hoodlums or jihadists?

Kalio: I am happy that Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has responded on behalf of the region! The response was scary if it indeed was issued by that dreaded body!

Obukohwo: Chief E.K. Clark, that old warrior has also said that ‘Niger Delta people will resist Fulani jihadists’ attack with all its might!

Orezime: Does Clark have an army?

Kalio: Not that I know of. But he is highly respected in the south, the last man standing from the older generation who still has the balls to speak truth to power!

Aboki: This is all dangerous to the survival of the country!

Emeka: Is that all you want to say? When a cow herders’ association, Miyetti Allah was threatening everybody, was it not dangerous? Is violence or words of threat the monopoly of one ethnic group? Come on! This government has created chaos. It banned IPOB but has allowed Miyetti Allah to thrive and issue ultimatums. He has not used such strong terms as were used against the Igbo to condemn the scallywags who rum the fiendish Boko Haram.

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Aboki: Look here, you misunderstand me. Even some of us from the north are embarrassed by Miyetti Allah. That body does not speak for me, does not speak for the north. The organization that speaks for the north is ACF!

Emeka: The perception in the country is different!

Tunde: Yes, the perception out there is different and dangerous!

Obukohwo: As you know, perception is very important in governance!

Tunde: A situation in which non-state actors have taken over the public space is unhealthy for us all.

Aboki: That is the point! We do not want another Libya here!

Emeka: I don’t care anymore, not with the rate of killings in the southeast of innocent people. I do not support Nnamdi Kalu’s strategy, if he has one. But the genocide taking place in Imo state right now should be tolerated in the 21st century.

Kalio: We do not want disintegration into anarchy!

Aboki: Nobody wants that!

Tunde; Tell your brothers in Abuja!

Aboki: Excuse me!

Professor Eghagha can be reached on [email protected] and 08023220393.

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