I am sure for the vast majority of people outside of Nigeria and West Africa the recent deadly protests in Lagos was something that they might have seen on their news feeds briefly as they scrolled through their Twitter, Facebook or social media accounts etc. and just saw from their perspectives more Black on Black riots and trouble in Africa…
As the mainstream media has been focusing on such things as the farcical Presidential Elections in the United States, as usual in other less glamourous places around the world poor and unheeded people are being brutalized, murdered and persecuted. The complete hypocrisy and faux values of the mainstream media, the concerned politicians and those supposed humanitarians crying “human rights” is clear to see for anyone interested to look deeper than these peoples thin and snake like skins. It can be seen the world over; the vast majority of those that claim to care and fight for the rights of the persecuted care only about their own personal prestige and their bank accounts.
Nigeria, unlike what is projected by Hollywood and what is shown on the TV shows is a very wealthy country in term of natural resources, but the wealth is kept among the county’s elite. It is also a very culturally diverse and rich country whose ethnic groups date back to the time when humans first inhabited this earth.
The ethnic and cultural issues that are now occurring in Nigeria are in many ways the same as the issues with different ethnic groups in the Middle East and elsewhere. In the post-colonial world, the European colonists divided up the regions they controlled how they saw fit and gave no consideration for the people who had inhabited the lands long before they had turned up. A prime example of this in the Middle East is what happened with the Kurdish people due to the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916.
As the supposed develop western world focuses on their “First World Issues” and ride their moral high-horses people are still dying and being persecuted for trying to claim the lands and rights that were taken away from them by their imposed colonial masters over 60 years ago.
The below article will give you a fist hand perspective of how the #ENDSARS movement evolved and a short and to the point overview of the ethnic problems facing todays Nigeria.
I would like to thank Dr. Ezi Mecha of World Ebony Network for arranging this article and would also like to congratulate her for the excellent work that she and her associates are doing to educate people on the rich culture of, and issues faced by African communities within and outside Africa.
#ENDSARS by Uche Mbachu
Let me begin by making some simple clarifications about #ENDSARS and why the protest appeared to be in the South of Nigeria only.
There’s visible imbalance in Nigeria recruitment structure. This imbalance started with the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. This imbalance gave undue advantage to northerners in terms of recruitment of men and women into Nigeria security institutions. It also affects training and promotion down to civil service.
SARS PROTESTS HELD NATIONALLY?
ENDSARS started in the south because that is where the brutality was felt more. Although SARS protests happened in north Central region like Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger states, it didn’t happen in far northern states like Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Kano, Sokoto states. The reason it did not happen in the far north was obvious. There is no agitation for independence in the far north, so the heavy presence of SARS wasn’t there. The people had terrorism to deal with. In fact, it has been argued that SARS was sent to the south to kill as much people as Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen were killing in the north. So SARS was a Boko Haram in National uniform.
WHY DID THE ENDSARS TURN VIOLENT?
Let me point this out here. The youths peaceful protest did not turn violent. The protest was peaceful for 12 days. No casualties, no destruction of property, it was fun and free of intimidation. It remained like this until rumors started going round that if the protest lasted for a month UN will intervene on behalf of the youths. This rumor was followed by intelligence information that President Buhari was going to call in the army to quell the protest. This rumor was so strong that prominent Nigerians like former president Olusegun Obasanjo prevailed on the federal government not to call in the army.
At Lekki tollgate Lagos, youths with National flag, were singing National anthem when the streetlights was suddenly turned off and the CCTV cameras turned off. Immediately guns started blasted as though there was a civil war. Shooting and killing innocent protesting youths. Their crime was because they wanted to be heard.
Truckloads of thugs were brought in by government vehicles, some were brought in buses, others in sedan cars. There was a presence of state security services commanding and directing the thugs and hoodlums. After each attack, the hoodlums were transported to safe places where they were paid by the government. The videos and photos on these are available too.
It is important to note that the killing was possible because the government saw the protest as southern conspiracy to overthrow the government. The northern elders and governor’s communique after the protest gives more reason to this argument. That communique is also posted.
THE PROTESTERS ARE NOT HOODLUMS
The government is the hoodlums. It was the government who activated the services of the hoodlums, used them to quell the peace protest. The government failed to deactivate the thugs and hoodlums after using them, hence they became errant and went wild. How come the government has not made any arrest of those involved in the shooting of the peaceful protesters? The General that commanded the military operation that fired at the protesters is known. Why hasn’t he been questioned?
THE SMOKESCREEN PANEL OF INQUIRIES
Right now as the said panel is sitting, the youths who were supposed to attend the hearing are being detained without bail, their bank accounts frozen. Those outside of the Government controlled areas are on the run, some are already seeking for asylum in foreign countries. Yet the government claims they are making efforts to resolve the issues of ENDSARS protest. On the contrary, the government is punishing the youths for the audacity to cry out. How can you set up an inquire panel, and then turned around and be arresting those who were supposed to testify at the panel? Government speaks peace with AK47. Is that peace?
SARS ACTIVISTS THREAT TO GOVERNMENT?
Nobody is a threat to government that fulfills her obligations towards her citizens. The anti SARS protesters are peaceful and government friendly. Their demands are simple. End police brutality and cut down the payment for our senators and National house of Representatives. Stop the payment of triple salaries to governors and politicians. In Nigeria, a former governor receives one and half of his salary as pension, and receives payment as senator. Are these demands supposed to be a threat to any government?
It is a threat because the government of Nigeria has her own agenda which Buhari is implementing to the later. The Fulanization of Nigeria. An agenda to turn Nigeria into a Fulani Oligarchy. That’s why SARS was so notorious in the south but not in the north.
Now you see why nations within Nigeria want to go their separate ways.
REASONS FOR AGITATIONS IN NIGERIA.
THE EVIL OF QUOTA SYSTEM, FEDERAL CHARACTER AND CATCHMENT AREAS
This means that positions in government are shared according to number of LGAs (Local Government Areas) in a state. The LGA governments are created to disenfranchised some sections of the country mainly the southeast (Igbo main states). Kano state for instance has 44 LGAs while Bayelsa, an oil producing state has 9 LGAs. It means that in federal recruitments into army, police, navy, air force, immigration etc. Bayelsa will get 9 places while Kano will get 44. Nigeria has 774 LGAs and over 400 are from the north. In other words, each time there’s recruitment, the north will always have more than other states. The same way they share Nigeria’s Commonwealth. This system guarantees that mediocrity, not meritocracy gets the bulk of appointment.
This affected SARS because majority of the members of SARS are from the north, under Buhari, they are majorly ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists or Islamic extremists of Fulani extraction.
The north does not have SARS because SARS was part of the government brutal instrument to checkmate the movement and or association of the people of southern Nigeria. So, the brutality of SARS, their exploiting tendencies, are only felt in southern Nigeria, an occupied territory of the northern caliphate in the guise of federal government of Nigeria. This was the reason SARS protest didn’t go far in the northern part of Nigeria. Although there were protests in some parts on the north especially north Central. The reason is obvious. Since 2015 Buhari came into power a massive, excessive ethnic cleaning and land grabbing is going on in the states. Also, the hoarding of covid-19 palliatives by Nigerian governors was felt Nationwide. Let me mention that the foremost reason SARS wasn’t popular in the north was because of the feudal system of government in the north that controls the Almajiris and the Talakawas in the north. These group of people are mainly the poor which is made up of the youths 65% and children 30%. They cannot act unless they were told to.
Restructuring is no longer feasible because the Nigeria state rejected restructuring and imposed a genocidal war against Biafrans of the then Eastern region. Now the Igbo Nationalist Movement wants a sovereign Igbo nation.
Igbo Nationalist Movement is the only voice so far that’s agitating for sovereign Igbo state.
We are not IPOB. Besides IPOB there are other pro Biafra groups that want the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra. These groups demand the entire former Eastern region that made up of defunct Biafra to become one nation again called Biafra.
No! IPOB is not an Igbo organization though the leader is Igbo. IPOB do not speak for Ndigbo, she speaks for those that want Biafra back. It has majority of its membership from Igbos, though other ethnic groups of the former Eastern region are also members of IPOB. They speak for no ethnic group.
There are other groups that agitate for their separate nation from BIAFRA. The Ogonis, the Ishekiris, the MEND are all from the former Eastern region who are presently in Nigeria Delta region. The ethnic minorities have demonstrated in many ways that they have no interest in forming one nation with Igbos. The Igbos also do not want a multiethnic nation where the issue of ethnic domination will continually resurrect. It is such conflicts that lead to terrorism or fuels terrorist groups.
It is not only the Igbos that want a sovereign nation. The north is now divided into two. The Hausas and the Tivs. The Hausas are under Fulani occupation, while the Tivs want to be free from Hausa and Fulani domination. They want their freedom too.
The West also is ready to go their separate ways. They want Odudua Republic. The only group that wants Nigeria as an indivisible entity are the Fulanis, the only tribe that has no ancestral land in Nigeria.
This is where you missed the point when you mentioned those factors seeking to control Nigeria. The current despotic government in Nigeria is sponsoring ethnic cleansing in many parts of Nigeria. Thousands of indigenous people of Nigeria are being massacred every day. From Adamawa to Kastina states, Borno to Kaduna, indigenous people are being massacred, thousands are being displaced, villages sacked without hope of returning while the government brings in Fulani’s from West Africa to come and occupy the conquered villages.
The compromised news media make it look like ethnic clashes or religious conflicts, but it is genocide, its ethnic cleansing. The government is exporting these Fulani herdsmen terrorists to Igbo land. The government sponsored media call them gunmen or bandits, but we know who they are. They are Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram. They kill, brutalize, terrorize, seize forests, lands, and villages.
The fear of self-sustenance if separated shouldn’t arise because each region has sufficient mineral resources to survive. Igbo for instance can survive on human resource development than from oil. Don’t forget Nigeria was not always there. What you call ethnic groups in Nigeria today are nations in Europe. There are some countries that are not up to a million in population in Europe. Whiles there’s no state in Nigeria that’s not up to two million. Prior to 1914 when Lord Lugard amalgamated Nigeria, the west was operating as a nation, so was the north, the Tivs and Igbos. Each had developed it’s own political system. Capitalism in the East, Feudalism in the north. This was rude interrupted by the colonialists to create a country to administrative convince of the Queen. Till date that’s what Nigeria is, administrative convenience.
You asked what the solution is. My answer is simple. Organize a referendum in Nigeria. Let the people decide how they want to live. This is necessary because for the past 60 years Nigeria has failed to become a nation.
Apart from oil, there is no basis for the unity in Nigeria. The second is hatred for NdiIgbo in Nigeria. Other tribes unite for their hatred against NdiIgbo. Our fear of extinction if we continue to be in Nigeria is real. Every governor in Nigeria, every politician, military, police, you want favor from the federal government, then kill Igbos and you get what you want.
What happened in Rivers State is the most recent example. They tagged it “cleansing IPOB” out of the state. But that is a lie. The truth is that the Igbos of Rivers State, are being forced to change their ethnic identity. Under the guise of fighting IPOB, the governor of Rivers State, Nysom Wike, decided to depopulate the major Igbo ethnic LGA in rivers State. Obigbo, means the heart of Igbo, they speak Igbo, in every way they are Igbos. Wike chose to kill them to impress his political godfathers. How could such killings go on for days without federal intervention? How could mainstream media fail to report it? Conspiracy of silence, same that is going on in southern Kaduna.
Divide Nigeria. NdiIgbo have made too much sacrifice of blood for the unity of Nigeria and all we get is hate, death, more hate and more death. Ndigbo have survived one genocide too many, how many more genocide does the world want to see in Igbo land before they intervene?
Nigeria can be divided into 4 or more nations. We come in peace. The choice is ours to make. The choices are there. Go the way of USSR, or the way of Yugoslavia.
There’s too much hate, mutual distrust, deep animosity, among the federating nations in Nigeria. The division cannot be along religious lines because most of the indigenous ethnic minorities are neither Christians nor Muslims. They too are endangered in Nigeria. Division based on ethnic groups is best for Nigeria.
Igbo Nationalist Movement
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