Right now, the ancient city of Orlu is now transformed to a town under siege. Life for the residents since the past two months has been anything but peaceful. Unfortunately the so called leaders who are supposed to be protecting the people are the ones putting the lives of their kits and kin on the firing range. It pierces the mind that Gov. Hope Uzodimma, a former senator from Orlu zone, is the same one at whose instance the military has besieged his zone unleashing mayhem on his own people because according to him they are in search of what he called ‘hoodlums’. What a callous act coming from a supposed chief security officer of the state.
It is further shocking that he stated that the military violence on the people would not stop until the ‘hoodlums’ are fished out. Uzodimma’s hoodlums are supposed to be allegedly members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a vigilante outfit credited to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).
The ESN it is gathered was born out of the failure of the docile and prevaricating Southeast governors to take measures to protect their subjects from the menace of the invading Fulani herders. Igbo in their own soil suddenly became constant victims suffering from rape, kidnap and killing including destruction of farm crops all of which threaten their means of survival.
Except the Igbo governors alone, it is strange that any true Igbo man in his right thinking would allow himself to be so humiliated in his own house by stranger elements as we are suffering in the hands of the herders with our so called leaders turning a blind eye and paying mere lip service. Worst is their actions and inactions are supportive of the agenda to exterminate the Igbo race.
Nigeria as it is has never been so polarized under President Muhammadu Buhari who is alleged to claim to hate Igbo and every of his body language dramatizes it. Every ethnic group but the Igbo are taking various measures to protect their own. It is on record that aside the Amotekun security outfit, the Southwest are boldly calling off the bluff of the Fulani hegemony and trying not to lose an inch of their land.
Recently, the federal government replaced all the service chiefs in the country without any coming from the southeast. This attracted the sympathy of the other ethnic groups who are condemning the action. At a time the Igbo are attracting the concerns of other groups over their marginalization by the powers that be, Uzodimma is further taking actions against his kinsmen and in support of their enemies. This is sad.
The quality of governors that represent the southeast has always been a thing of worry for the Igbo. They are more concerned with their selfish interest than the interest of their subjects when it comes to defending them on matters affecting the Nigerian project. This is a serious indictment on the two political parties that have so far thrown up this lily-livered governors who can never open their mouth to speak instead they will sacrifice their kinsmen on the altar slavish adherence or obedience.
While the unarmed IPOB boys campaigned for a separatist state the governors through their actions and inactions saw to the blacklisting of the group as a terrorist group while the violent prone Fulani herders walked free in the land even against police instruction that no one should bear arms. The Fulani stooge governors shunned the Igbo philosophy of ‘onye aghala nwanne ya'(be your brother’s keeper)
These same governors were there when the military invaded Afara Ukwu in Umuahia, the home of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in search of him during which they extinguished scores of lives of innocent Igbo youths. At various times lives of Igbo youths have been lost in unprovoked attacks by the Nigerian military in Aba, Onitsha, and Port Harcourt.
Last year at Enugu over twenty Igbo youths were dispatched to their untimely death’s by the same trigger happy Nigerian soldiers. None of the governors could utter a word in protest. Not even the governor of Enugu State under whose nose the incident occurred could call for a judicial commission of inquiry.
The Igbo nation have suffered more unprovoked attacks and marginalization manifested through various means. It is in Igbo land that the military would regularly launch sieges under one kind of operation or another. If crocodile is not smiling, python would be dancing. It is in Igbo nation that you would have uncountable security checkpoints which have grave implications for ease of doing business. Business is the major occupation of the Igbo man.
Since the present crisis rocking the country many northern leaders in realization of the grave consequences the Fulani invasion of other lands are creating, have raised a voice in condemnation. Some have also condemned and supported the ban on open grazing while others are linking the killings by herders to foreign Fulani.
Rather than join in taking actions to free Igbo of the Fulani violence, Uzodimma instead are encouraging them. In whose interest is his governorship position? Those who allege that he has come to implement a northern agenda may after all be saying the fact. The northern agenda which is dangerous, repressive, oppressive and counterproductive is what the people have vowed to resist.
We are shocked that the Imo governor has taken the matter too far by inviting the military to hunt a supposed group of freedom fighters he chose to call hoodlums. While the real bandits who are destroying the country and kidnapping school children regularly are enjoying rave moments, ransom and negotiating with northern leaders through the likes of Sheik Gumi and Miyetti Allah leadership Uzodimma opts to destroy his innocent kinsmen. What could be the justification if not to present himself as a good, loyal stooge? Why can’t the Igbo governor engage his so called hoodlums in negotiation?
When the federal government’s military apparatus cannot provide security to the citizens and the state governors who are closer cannot help either it is natural that human beings would take appropriate steps to protect himself. In the north you have the Hisba and other groups, the Amotekun in southwest all legitimized.
The failure of the Igbo governors to do what is necessary is what has given rise to the ESN powered by MNK. It should be made known to Uzodimma and his other Igbo governors that the people have no confidence in them anymore. It is very clear where their loyalty lies as well as whose interest they are serving, certainly not the people.
We want to warn again that the leaders at all levels should exercise caution in the manner they take actions against the people. The Imo governor’s action inviting the military has the implications of arming other ethnic groups to attack the Igbo elsewhere. It is clear that those who may seek to protect them are against them
The action of the governor will further challenge the Igbo youths in their agitations. They have no jobs and seeking to exterminate them in their own soil will push them to the wall to fight back. We should remember that he who is down fears no fall.
We want to remind our leaders to tread cautiously bearing in mind that there is life after power. They will soon descend from power to rejoin the same citizens that they are now hounding.