Racism, hatred, discrimination, injustice and the $22.8bn loan; By Fred Chukwuelobe

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria is going to borrow $22.7billion for infrastructural projects and the South East is not going to benefit from any. This is not only sad, but unconscionable.

The House of Representatives had withheld its approval citing the exclusion of the South East as it’s reason.

Finally, House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, convinced his colleagues to approve the loan without the South East, and he may have succumbed to political pressure.

I wrote on my timeline recently and praised President Muhammadu Buhari for reconstructing Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu; the Second Niger Bridge, Onitsha; two federal highways: Enugu – Port Harcourt and Enugu – Onitsha.

I added pictures, one of which, I must admit and I knew, was an architectural design (a picture out of many others on Second Niger Bridge), to butress my post. I said I’d praise our president when he does well so that when he doesn’t and I criticise him, I’d have reasons to.

Many of my Igbo brothers and sisters were upset at that post. Some, who are rabid reporters, known over the years for vitriolic writings, called us “efulefus and ofekes”.

Now, with the exclusion of the South East in this loan that many of us, through our taxes and businesses, will join in repaying, aren’t we really “efulefus” and “ofekes” for praising a president, who by this action, has rubbished all efforts we make to sell him to our people?

You mean at the president’s age and the love God (Allah) has shown him, he could sit down, prepare this loan and exclude a critical section of the country from benefitting? And that section will join in repaying the loan?

I’m not an Igbo “efulefu” or “ofeke”, as very bitter son of Ndigbo called those of us who insist on giving credit to our president when he deserves it. But on this loan issue, if anybody calls me names, I’d take the insult. I cannot argue otherwise.

There’s no way you can convince any Igbo man to buy into any narrative that this president likes us. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!

It, therefore, makes our efforts at marketing him not just difficult, but utterly insensitive and insulting to the sensibilities of any Igbo man.

And you can imagine how folks feel when we talk about racism in America, while on our door steps there is systemic discrimination and open injustice meted out to a people.

You see why our youths agitate for self-determination? Would you blame any Igbo man who is bitter right now? Would you blame those who wake up every morning feeling angry and cheated? No, sir/ma’am! You can’t blame them.

And as they chant in America, so do we chant today and say, “South East deserves better”! “South East Matters”!

I am sad. Very sad.


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