If you are seeking to understand why many Igbos want out of Nigeria, take the case of actor Chinwetalu Agu and his painful ordeal in the hands of the Nigerian Army and the DSS as a good example. First, they lied against him, said he was soliciting support for IPOB. Second, they said he was not assaulted. But a video of the incident showed soldiers dragging him on the road.
These glaring lies and injustice didn’t stop there. He was handed over to the DSS where he spent days being interrogated for what exactly?
They interrogated him for days because he wore a red and black cloth with the inscription of the rising sun, sharing N10,000 bread to the poor in Anambra. In a country where everything has become very expensive. Inflation rate is over 17% with the unemployment rate surging above 33%. A country that imports more than it exports and 1 dollar is now N570. Things are horribly bad that the government borrows to fund the budget and run the country. Common bag of water (pure water) is now N320. Something we bought N80 some months ago. A tiny egg that sold N40 some months ago is now N70 while a paint of garri sold N600/700 some months ago is now N1300/1400. Titus in tin, that one you use to cook indomie that was N350 some months ago is now N700. With this little info, you can guess the rest.
Someone out of the bottom of his heart decides to use his own money to feed the poor ends up being humiliated and lied against by the people who are supposed to protect him.
To every reasonable human, such a dehumanizing condition of being dragged along the road in public by poorly educated soldiers who prey on the weak but take to their heels when confronted by fellow armed men is a traumatic experience that will take years to heal. That incident alone screams injustice. The flagrant violation of Agu’s fundamental human rights and the wishy-washy statement by the army that reeks of falsehood and character assassination reminds us of a known trademark and a particular desire to clamp down on people’s freedom.
In today’s Nigeria, security agencies and its operatives are horribly partial. People from the southeast are haunted, hunted and pursued like an endangered specie just for staging peaceful protests or sharing bread wearing black and white cloth with an inscription of the rising sun, while criminal bandits from the north are given five-star treatment, petted, begged to repent. They are even given motorcycles and money and big ceremonies held in their honor. Even security agents escort some highly placed individuals to visit these criminals in the forest. It seems like there are now two constitutions in the country: one for the special north, the other for the south.
Take for instance, Gumi. The Islamic cleric has been a vocal voice for the bandits. Soliciting for amnesty on their behalf. Visited them, negotiated for ransom to be paid to them, even supported them saying they are not criminals. He walks about freely today, not a single invitation by the DSS. The army dare not arrest him. He’s untouchable because he’s from the north which is the impression so far given.
What about bloodthirsty herdsmen? Many of them arrested for attacking communities are quietly released by the police, according to a renowned Oba.
While the main terrorists are clothed, bathed and given shelter, when you dare to say you have had enough of the injustice and tribalism, you become proscribed with the security forces sent after you to wipe out your tribe in the name of one Nigeria.
Bandits are still having a field day in the north. Boko Haram still controls LGAs and herdsmen are still hustling lands with farmers. Yet, you choose a man wearing Biafra colors, unarmed to show your strength. Shame!
Looking at the political terrain since 1999, all those shouting one Nigeria yet promote candidates like Tinubu, Bello, Atiku are hypocrites. They truly do not care about the unity of Nigeria. To them, it’s all about their personal selfish interest.
While all these are going on, the north still wants to retain power in 2023. The southeast since 1999 has not produced the president, has no sense of belonging.
Mmiri amaa mamiwater.
Alexander Thandi Ubani