Below are reactions to the article by Dr Ugo Egbujo
(A) So Many Questions & Thoughts, By Ier Jonathan
1) Is it the job of the Igbo elite to find and fish out the ‘unknown’ gunmen or the job of the Nigerian police and DSS, none of which institutions are headed by an Igbo elite? We should note that those heading these agencies are the elected elite answerable to all Nigerians with a sworn duty to prevent these occurrences. Last time I checked, they got votes from every part of Nigeria – at least enough to get declared winners of the 2015 & 2019 elections (apart from Uzodinma but talk for another time). But we want to blame the unelected & civilian Igbo elite such as (Chukwuma) Soludo.
Just wondering. These our same security services know how to fish out IPOB members and innocent protesters and shoot them on camera. In that event, all elite keep quiet. Until civil society does investigations and calls out the army for shooting unarmed innocents and protesters. Who will speak for the innocent?
2) I thought we were all one Nigeria? Which Nigerian elite spoke up for the South Eastern people when they were being slaughtered by the army? Or when they recently went on a shooting spree in Owerri? And last October in Obigbo? And for the young people killed during EndSARS? At least, with terrorist attacks in the North, several groups from the South rushed to the aid of our brethren and sisthren in the North. When Chibok happened, an Igbo elite woman and other elite women went to bat for those girls at great personal risk. Who is rushing to the aid of those suffering in the South East or even in the North west? Or the middle belt?
3) I see that Dr Ugoji does not spare elite anywhere. He also called out the Northern elite in Feb (see below) Thankfully, he is writing and shouting – he is an elite I believe so he has done his part as an ‘Igbo elite’. I will await his article on the silence of the Middle Belt elite. I presume he does not lump them under the Northern elite. By all means, let all those he calls out start shouting. I hope it will stop the ‘unknown gunmen.’
4) All this ”blame the unelected elites’ silence” business. Not saying they don’t have a role to play o but are our government officers not the ultimate real power elite here with their large security votes and major resources etc? Are they not the ones with a sworn duty to protect the people? How is it that we are now waiting for unelected elite all over the place to shout?
5) Most of us on this platform are probably considered ‘elite’ and are doing our bit the best we can with our meagre resources but our Stockholm syndromed minds will have fellow elite like Dr Egbujo blaming civil society and civilians for security failures instead of calling the elected elite to account for failing to ensure the lives and security of the people to account. This our syndrome needs healing and several doses of common sense so we will think clearly.
5) I guess Dr Egbujo dare not call out the real power elite under whose watch these horrible failures have happened. Gen Muhammad Buhari on whose desk this buck stops. His Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Gen Attahiru – COAS. IGP Usman Alkali Baba. DG DSS Yusuf Magaji Bichi and whoever heads the State Security Service for failure of intel. The governors of these states who should be doing community policing etc with their security votes. Or maybe he does not want to ask difficult questions.
6) I see he only mentions the VP’s anecdote on the evils of war. So the VP has not cottoned on to the fact that most parts of our country are now war zones? And this is already a reality for many Nigerians? Oh I forgot. He and President Buhari are safely locked up in Aso Rock. Dem do well.
7) Maybe Dr Egbujo thinks he may be arrested if he addresses the real elected elite. Or hounded and verbally attacked by Lai Mohammed, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu. So, perhaps, far safer to berate the ‘unelected elite’. Low hanging fruit. Easier to lash out at them. I understand. It makes us feel we are doing real advocacy. I have done same myself once upon a few times. The bros try. Even me I am learning to Un-Stockholm Syndrome my mind. That nonsense they used to tell us…”Profer solutions”. How is that my job? Am I the elected person responsible for solving security issues or governing the state? Chai! We have suffered. Anyhoo, back to point.
8) Seems we have forgotten to ask ourselves: Okay, the unelected elite shout and condemn the ‘unknown gunmen’ as we should. Then what? Will the unknown gunmen stop? Will they surrender?
Perhaps, the Igbo elite and elite of all other regions can borrow a leaf from our Northern elite, find the ‘unknown gunmen’ and offer them amnesty with state backing while granting interviews telling us how they are our brothers etc. and housing them at govt houses so they can recant and go back to carry out further crimes then be slaughtered by rival gangs in their enclaves (Kankara kidnapping mastermind on my mind). Perhaps they should even be absorbed into the security forces so they can help us solve crimes. (I certainly hope not!).
9) I think it is time to free our minds of this blaming each other mentality and face the koko of the matter. Nobody is safe with a failed government who are the elected elite here. These are the people we should be holding to account ALL over Nigeria for failing in their sworn duty. Let us channel our energies properly biko. We are too easily distracted.”
•Ier Jonathan is the founder of Sessor Empowerment.
(B) By Kevin Oji
This essay best illustrates the subversion of self by self, the archetype of the predicament of Ndigbo. It is really troubling and leaves me seething in colic rage. Is this blanket and sweeping condemnation of Igbos a percussor for the final solution? I shudder! Is it a justification of a vast conspiracy to visit naked force on us?
With the North consumed by a deadly insurgency, the South west enmeshed in a war of attrition against a deadly band of herdsmen, why is the South-East commanding unusual attention? Why is one of us invoking Armageddon on us?
This alarm I daresay may be part of an evil plan hanging over our heads like the sword of Damocles. There can be no equivalence with what is happening in totalitarian North Korea, Somalia and South Sudan to the events in the South-East. The deterioration of security in some parts of the South-East must not be viewed in isolation; it must be x-rayed within the confines of the security situation in Nigeria, a nation been goaded to the precipice by heightened ethnic saliency, the mismanagement of our diversity, politics of exclusion and deliberate abdication of responsibility by ethnic minded leaders and agents of internal slavery.
Is it not telling that Boko Haram allegedly receives its arms from the nation’s armoury as has been revealed by Sen. Ali Ndume, the Chairman Senate Committee on Army and there is conspiracy of silence by Northern leaders. I believe that such massive security breach can only be made possible by powerful enablers within the armed forces. Today, bandits are riding roughshod over our country, leaving on its trail anguish and death. This grisly saga has been normalised with fraternal visits by Sheiks, photo ops with governors and government officials and of course a lame pat on the back. While they have commenced with their dreaded descent into the blood of our brothers and sisters, these vagabonds are smiling to the bank with their blood stained loot.
And I ask: what is the crime of the Igbo elite in all these? For sure,some of us do not support the activities of IPOB, convinced that a violent breakaway from Nigeria will leave Ndigbo worse off but the deliberate marginalisation of Igbos from the commanding heights of our politics and economy is the single most potent driver of the Igbo youth to the IPOB cause. This sentiment is in plain sight and unmistakable.
The present Nigerian system is unsustainable unless we want to humour ourselves by pretending that all is well. Across the nation, even the chief beneficiaries of the present unjust system are secretly arming their youths, preparing as it were for any eventuality. The balance of terror may prove critical to the survival of the people yet! A few days ago,it was widely reported that Amotekun intercepted a band of herdsmen in Ondo State. Upon interrogation, they confessed that they had come for training in the military barracks. As unbelievable as this claim may be even though the military has denied this claim, I believe that there is no smoke without fire.
What steps have Igbo leadership taken to secure its territories and prepare for the evil day? At the last count,there are over 370 ungoverned territories in Igboland said to be inhabited by well armed cells waiting to be activated with devastating consequences. While Amotekun with the support of their governors and political leaders are combing their forests to rid it of undesirable elements, what steps have the governors and Igbo political leaders taken to secure our territories?
Ebubeagu was given birth to stave off the shame of their in action and not borne out of any conviction. It may yet suffer a stillbirth!
The vacuum created by Igbo political leaders has enabled IPOB as a credible alternative to inaction. Nature, it is said, abhors vacuum. The present day youth, children born after the civil war, it would appear, have decided to take their fate in their hands. Their immaturity, unfortunately, is playing out. The reason is not far fetched: there is no conversation going on between the youths and our political leadership. In deference to the great Chinua Achebe, things have fallen apart and the centre cannot hold, the falcon can no longer hear the falconer, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. Ndigbo should come out of their self-induced slumber to offer leadership before it is too late.
Vice President Osinbajo should take his civil war message with perhaps greater intensity to the North-East where Nigeria is already in the throes of an asymmetrical full blown civil war. He should take his message to sheikhs and sympathisers of Boko Haram inside the administration that he is number two. He should take his patriotic message to terrorist bandits and their sponsors who I believe are known to government. He should take his urgent message to IPOB and campaigners for Oduaa republic.
Most importantly, his government should retrace the various steps it took in the last six years to destroy our diversity in order to give every segment of this blessed country a sense of belonging. It only when every section of the country feels that they are not left behind can Nigeria live in peace and rise to fulfill its destiny.
•Kevin Oji is a media executive based in Abuja
(C) By Anonymous
Does this writer live in Nigeria? Does he understand the existential threats drowning Igboland and other Nigerians?
Does he really believe that we should all raise white flags in surrender and allow ourselves, our homes, our farms, our roads and forests taken over, our mothers, wives and sisters raped and killed?
Is he more concerned about the future influence of the vigilantes defending our lives and space or our survival now?
Where in any part of the world does a known group embark on coordinated massacres of citizens in their homes without government stopping, arresting and prosecuting them?
What exactly does he want the Igbo bishops, leaders, etc to come out to say that they had not said before? To thank those who killed Ikonso and to handover Nnamdi KANU to herdsmen so that he does not turn Igboland to North Korea?
I wish this writer would re-read and reflect on this confusing opinion and handover whatever payment he received for it. I won’t be surprised if he is a mere mercenary ghost with a fake appellation of Doctor.
There are only two possible options to avoid the calamities facing us as a nation namely; restructure the nation and secure the citizens from ethno-religious vandals. In the current state of affairs where people have taken to self-defense, there is bound to arise collateral consequences that we have to face. We are thrust between the rock and hard place.