What is the sense in Ndigbo killing their fellow Ndigbo?

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While some Igbo elders and politicians are busy with their campaigns for the most important election of the year, to secure a new president to succeed Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, they must not forget that most people in Nigeria today are very unhappy that despite the enormous manpower and mineral resources nature endowed the country with, the Nigerian government has gradually but steadily turned the country into a paradox. Nigerian leaders have continued to operate a policy of official corruption that lends its weight to the rich families becoming richer by any means and the poor families becoming poorer by all means. 

And as a result, Nigeria has been smothering in a long while and there is no doubt about that. In the North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-East, South-West and Deep South regions, the story is virtually the same. There is no single day people are not kidnapped. No single day people are not murdered in cold blood, in their homes or while returning from a journey. Particularly irksome is that school children in the north are being kidnapped from their schools in hundreds and huge ransoms are paid to relieve them. With this much money, the bandits purchase more and more sophisticated weapons, waiting for when they can be used possibly for war against perceived enemies. Some people believe that government has a hand in all that is happening at this time, which they see as part of the Fulani agenda to overrun and dominate Nigeria. Others believe that Nigeria is too big for any single ethnic component to over-run and that any such move would definitely divide the country. 

In the south, the young radicals that have no easy access to kidnapping hundreds of school children and asking for huge sum of money as ransom, break into and ransack police offices and steal their guns and other vital ammunitions. With these they kill their fellow Igbo in a bid to cow them to accept and do whatever they say. The security situation has actually become scary.

Ask any young person and the first thing he will hasten to say is: “I want to leave this God-forsaken country”. And if you asked him “to where?” his answer would be “anywhere. Anywhere else is better than Nigeria.” It simply means that we need to look inwards and not only ask why this is so but more importantly try and find a solution to the problem. 

A rather scary video clip of armed militants possibly from the Niger Delta region making the rounds recently could well be a signature tune and an indication of the precarious condition Nigeria could soon find itself in. In the clip, militant agitators in camouflage military uniforms and total face-covering masks were seen wielding and brandishing sophisticated weapons. Their spokesman read from a white rough sheet of paper. His words: “The same military that (failed) to provide and protect properties have turned themselves into a military of killing, raping and maiming innocent individuals and rendering our area and our youths jobless. So many others have decided to treat us in the same manner.

“Don’t worry, because we are coming to destroy all your infrastructures in Abuja and Lagos. Even though the oil companies operating in our region that have decided to undermine our people, be rest assured that your days will soon catch up with you. Due to the insensitivity of the Nigerian government on issues that are bothering its citizens, today the country is in turmoil. (There are) protests everywhere and strikes in several sectors. The #Endsars protest that took place almost crippled the nation’s economy. It is among such ill treatment that gave birth to these unprecedented protests. Nigerian government ought to give Nigerians good governance. Today the various zones in the country are calling for the division of the country called Nigeria. So, as a group determined to give total liberation of our people, we will destroy all the oil facilities both on-shore and off-shore. In no distant time, we will be seen to be crippling the Nigerian economy”.

With the hard look on the faces of this militant group, no sane person would think they are joking. Recent happenings in the country give credence to the possibility that they could match their threat with action.

In recent times, there have been remarkable increases not only in the frequency with which Igbo citizens are being slaughtered possibly by their fellow Igbo in the name of separatist agitation. Of particular poignancy is the gruesome shooting of government officials who are said to be working for Fulani domination of the Igbo ethnic nationality. 

Many times, we have told the young Biafran agitators that many roads lead to Rome. Many roads lead to the village arena. Many roads lead to the stream. So, there is always need to count the cost of whatever decision the youths take and to configure if the price was worth. There is absolutely no reason why Igbo should kill their fellow Igbo for any reason at all. All Igbo are one. The Igbo are known to be the most democratic people on the entire African continent. And true democracy implies that citizens are free to associate with whoever they want to. Democracy tolerates dissent. This means that if a man chooses to belong to party ‘A’ for example, it does not necessarily mean that his wife and grown-up children must belong to the same party. They can decide to belong to Party ‘B’ and the man must allow them make their own choice. That is the beauty of democracy. 

There must be a stop to this madness of Igbo youths shedding their own peoples’ blood. The land is so soaked with the blood of innocent Igbo people that if only our youths listened, they would understand why they must stop and take another route to the arena. When our young ones agitating for Biafra keep killing people at work, like the Customary Court Judge and the Local Government Chairman they murdered in cold blood the other day, what did the killers think about their families? If the wives were not working, the children would stop schooling. And what offence did these innocent children commit to deserve such a heartless punishment from people they would have been calling ‘uncle’ when Igbo was Igbo?


In these days when there are no jobs anywhere and many civil servants and security personnel had to accept their appointments so they could have some money legitimately to maintain their families, it is a travesty of justice to hold them down as serving a government that is the only one they have at hand. Even those of them abroad who are issuing orders on when to sit at home and when and where to work, even they know that they left Nigeria with their Nigerian passport. Many of them still keep those passports and yet they induce their loyalists who have no jobs at home but would want to feel relevant in the scheme of things in the country to keep killing their fellow Igbo. This is not the Igbo before the Nigerian civil war. At that time, every Igbo was his brother’s keeper. It didn’t matter if he came from Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Midwest or Calabar. Igbo was Igbo. But what do we have today? 

As elections are approaching, many offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC have been destroyed, some burnt. We are told that the separatists are saying there will be no elections in the South East and that all they wanted for the Federal Government to do was either to give them Biafra or call for a referendum so that Nigerians will all decide whether they still want to live together as one united indivisible country or whether they wanted to go their separate ways, because things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold. 

Judging from the current volatile security situation, and despite President Buhari and some of the Eastern Governors assuring adequate security for voters, there is the possibility that voting might not take place in some areas in the region, as well as in some other parts of the country. 

In south-east more than 100 police and other security personnel have been killed since the beginning of 2021 in targeted attacks, according to local media. And since 2021 when the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, issued the stay-at-home order that completely paralyzed economic and social activities across the region, in response to the government’s detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on a series of charges including terrorism, the region has known no peace. No one knows whose turn it would be next.

“You cannot even mention the election,” said a lawyer from the south-east who requested anonymity out of concerns for her safety. The lawyer said that when she mentioned to her mother that she had taken a long round trip to pick up her voting card, her mother replied that it was “not something you want other ears to hear because you don’t know who is who”.

James Barnett, a researcher affiliated with the Hudson Institute in Washington DC, said insecurity remained a significant challenge in the south-east. “This is seen in the degree to which residents still adhere to sit-at-home orders, not out of sympathy to the militants, but out of fear for their lives. It seems clear that militants, whatever their motivations, remain capable of terrorising ordinary Nigerians in the region with concerning consistency.”

Whatever is the reason, Ndigbo should stop shooting themselves in the leg. The people being killed have no capacity to stop the Federal Government from doing whatever they decide to do. That is the irony of these senseless killings of Ndigbo by Ndigbo. 

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