Your Excellency Sir,
The attention of Igbo Ekunie Initiative, a coalition of professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora has been drawn to an open letter written by so-called Arewa youths. As is typical of the “Sharia North” and their arrogance, bullying and internal colonialist (born to rule) attitude, the letter was filled with hate, lies, baseless claims, pedestrian propaganda, innuendoes and an unconscionable even criminal justification of genocide.
It is our intention, therefore, to respond to aspects of the letter which we consider deserving of a response if only to set the records straight and to state our stand in regards to the state of the nation.
Firstly, we must commend you for your statesmanly approach to resolving long-standing issues of nationhood and contradictions that have continued to plague the nation. You have in a few months demonstrated an exceptional capacity for leadership despite obvious inhibitions.
However, we must disagree with you in your declaration that Nigeria is an indivisible, indissoluble entity. If anything, the lessons of history have taught us that no nation is indivisible and indissoluble. In this, we agree with so called Arewa Youths that Nigeria remains subject to international laws particularly the United Nation’s Charter which recognize the inalienable rights of all groups and or indigenous groups to self-determination. While we appreciate the belated recognition of this fundamental right by the North, we are amused that Arewa youths only just discovered the existence of this right.
The right to self-determination is a fundamental; integral to the UN since its founding in 1945. In recognition of this fact, we hope Arewa youths will now have the humility to apologize for the Illegal war waged against Biafra which was ab-initio a repudiation of international laws on self-determination they now acknowledge. We also hope they would apologize for all the incarcerated and murdered members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose only crime was the peaceful expression or non-violent demonstrations for their right to self-determination as recognized by the UN and African Union charters.
We hope Arewa youths and the North will be willing to pay adequate compensation for lives and property lost in the course of these crises. In the same vein, it’s common knowledge that there is widespread discontent across Nigeria due to decades of Northern oppression/misrule and we urge Arewa youths to impress it on their members of parliament/president Muhammadu Buhari who incidentally is one of them to pass a motion that will allow all sections of the Nation campaign for and hold a referendum to freely determine if they want to remain in Nigeria or not.
In our view, this would be a final/peaceful and civilized settlement of the ever increasing contradictions and bloodletting that has long plagued the nation.
In regards to some of the laughable fallacies/distortions of history bandied by Arewa Youths. Courtesy of the Southern League of Professionals (SLP) who had earlier issued a statement on “facts of Nigeria’s history”, we restate as follows:
That hate crimes/mass killings/genocide and other expressions of intolerance, hate and war against other ethnic and religious groups by Hausa-Fulani’s started in the North in 1945, before independence and more than two decades before the January 1966 coup.
That likewise in 1953, thousands of Southerners living in Kano were massacred by Hausa Fulani’s simply because Chief Anthony Enahoro called for Nigeria’s independence in the Parliament in Lagos.
That the pogroms/genocide by Hausa-Fulani’s against Igbos/Easterners in 1966-67 was, therefore, a continuation of an institutionalised culture, system of hate crimes/mass killings/genocide against other ethnoreligious groups long established in the North and that continues till today with Boko Haram terrorism and Fulani herdsmen massacres across the Middle Belt and the South.
That the January 1966 coup was pretentiously given an ethnic name to justify genocide even though it was not in the composition of officers and men who carried out the coup homogenous by the tribe and when all over the world coup doesn’t bear ethnic names notwithstanding its composition.
That the coup though unfortunate was occasioned by the introduction of corruption such as election rigging in TIV land in 1960, rigging of national census in 1962, the incarceration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo on treason charges, the massive rigging of elections in the western region in 1964 leading to daily riots (wetie) and thousands of dead from 1964 until 1966 by the Northern led federal government in a bid to create a corrupt and undemocratic one-party state.
That these corrupt/unpatriotic acts, the decimation of democracy and other heinous vices by the Northern led federal government created the conditions that engendered the unfortunate intervention of the military.
That the principles of a coup as recognized all over the world is chiefly the struggle by a group of officers and men to capture power and where that fails to face the consequences.
That subsequent coup in Nigeria even though obviously ethnic in nature were not given ethnic names. i.e. the July 1966 genocidal counter-coup that has the notoriety of crossing the street and killing thousands ordinary Eastern civilians (first genocide on African soil and the first time a coup includes killing ordinary civilians) has never been called an Hausa-Fulani coup, nor was the Buhari, Babangida, and Abacha coups called Hausa-Fulani coups.
In the same vein the Dimka coup was not called a Middle Belt Coup, nor was the Gideon Orkar coup which attempted to excise the core Sharia North from Nigeria, being the 2nd major attempt to balkanize the nation called a TIV or Middle Belt coup.
That hence other coups have not been given ethnic names, it’s evident the proponents of the idea of an “Igbo coup” created the myth to justify the heinous criminality of genocide, which shamefully became the first genocide on African soil preceding that of Rwanda and opening the evil floodgates of mass killings elsewhere on the continent.
That genocide is the most heinous crime known to man for which there is no possible justification and that the Hausa Fulani are singularly responsible for pioneering such atrocious crimes on African soil and opening the floodgates for such evil elsewhere on the continent.
That the pogrom/genocide/mass killing of more than 100,000 Easterners by officers and men of the Nigerian army, police and civilians of Hausa-Fulani stock which included unspeakable barbarities such as the mass rape of women, disembowelling of pregnant women, wholesale slaughter of civilians including children at a scale and scope never before seen on the African continent, while a Northern head of state whose primary responsibility is the protection of lives and property did nothing or even colluded, led to the declaration of Biafra as a last bastion of self-defence from genocide.
That no people would face such a genocidal assault and opt not to defend themselves. That on the 6th of July 1967, having reneged on the Aburi accord and refused the offer by Colonel Ojukwu to conduct a referendum in line with international law, Nigeria commenced an illegal war against the same people/Biafrans it had failed to protect from genocide in repudiation of international law/UN charter that recognises the right of all peoples to self-determination.
It’s instructive to note that following the counter-coup, the North was the first to declare an intent to secede (Araba) from Nigeria. It took the intervention of British diplomats and the lure of crude oil resources for the north to make a volte-face from secession to one Nigeria predicated not on love of country but on crude oil resources and designs of ethnic domination.
That since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war, instead of learning from the war and investing in nation building; manifest designs of ethnic domination, oppression, marginalisation, misrule and continuing hate crimes/mass killings of other ethnoreligious groups by the Hausa-Fulani has been all too evident.
That In 1993, Moshood Abiola won the freest and fairest election in Nigeria but the election was cancelled and he was murdered in cold blood because the North didn’t want a Yoruba to come to power.
That In 1999, Dr Alex Ekwueme who with other colleagues had risked his life to form the PDP (the only party with national spread) was on the verge of becoming the presidential candidate of the PDP, when the Hausa-Fulani military oligarchy interfered with the normal democratic process by imposing Obasanjo who had just come out of prison through a rigged process because they didn’t want an Igbo man to become president thereby creating another injustice.
That the North has continued for decades to taunt, insult, exclude, humiliate and oppress other ethnic groups with their claimed “born to rule arrogance” and internal colonialist machinations.
That hate crimes/mass killings/genocide against other ethnic groups by Hausa-Fulani has continued to date with the killers never prosecuted. It’s instructive to note that the killers of Mrs Bridget Agbahime were recently set free by the Kano state government despite all evidence against them. Likewise, not a single Fulani herdsman who carried out mass killings of thousands of people in Enugu state and other Southern and Middle Belt states has been arrested.
That Northern Nigeria is the only place in Africa where fellow citizens are routinely killed on ethnoreligious grounds. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the North now harbours Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen both of which have been classified the 1st and 4th deadliest terrorist groups in the world by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
That instructively; the so-called Arewa youths who are ranting about peaceful protests by IPOB have never condemned the mass killing rampage of Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and South nor the ongoing murderous war against the nation by Boko Haram.
Nor did the so-called Arewa youths say anything when twelve core Northern states treasonably declared Sharia in repudiation of the Nigerian constitution thereby effectively seceding from Nigeria and causing riots that took more than 20,000 lives.
That the so-called mischievous quit notice by Arewa youths whose leaders ironically live in Lagos, again demonstrates the barbarism, absolute ignorance and consequent failure to realize that residency rights like property rights as governed by international law transcend citizenship. Thus Nigerians live in Ghana, America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere even without being citizens. Likewise, British citizens living in other parts of the EU have not left because of “Brexit.”
The likes of Arewa youths have once again odiously shown the world why Nigeria remains the dreg of humanity/a failed state where basic indices of civilization and rule of law remain absent.
Yet it’s instructive to state that the core North will be the ultimate losers to be mired in devastation and desolation if and when all settlers leave same way the Northeast has remained desolate and devastated since Boko Haram terrorists drove everyone away. Ironically those who are suffering and more than 2 million who have become internally displaced refugees because they have nowhere to go are Northerners. Predictably, the same fate awaits the rest of the core North.
Overall, the Hausa-Fulani has only brought hate crimes/genocide, oppression, internal colonialism, tribalism, corruption, marginalization, injustice, and misrule to Nigeria. It’s instructive that all Nigeria’s institutions, Refineries, Nigeria Airways, Railway lines, steel plants, Universities, hospitals, NEPA, NIPOST etc. collapsed under successive Hausa-Fulani rule due to massive corruption. The nation also assumed the notoriety of being named the most corrupt country in the world under the leadership of Generals Babangida, Abacha, and Abdulsalam Abubakar.
Furthermore; the Hausa-Fulani and their Sharia cohorts remain the only group opposed to every progressive attempt to restructure and move the country forward, preferring instead to maintain the parasitic, unworkable, murderous, unjust and corrupt status quo.
There is, therefore, no doubt that the Hausa Fulani has been and remains Nigeria’s greatest fault line. Indeed this was given practical expression by the Major Gideon Orkar coup which instructively attempted to forcefully expel the Hausa-Fulani States from Nigeria.
The fact that the core North/Hausa-Fulani states were the only states targeted for such excision lends credence to the Hausa-Fulani problem in Nigeria.
We submit that insofar as the Hausa-Fulani remains unwilling to depart from its arrogance/bullying and remains unwilling to change from its colonialist mindset and murderous culture in view of having a restructured nation governed by justice, equality, the rule of law and true federalism, it will forever be impossible to co-habit with such people in the same country.
In closing; we take cognisance of the fact that 12 Northern states already technically seceded from Nigeria by declaring Sharia in repudiation of the constitution. We, therefore, urge the federal government to organize a referendum where all component units will choose if they want to remain in a Nigeria so unjust, so oppressive, so un-progressive, so dehumanized and bastardized by decades of Northern misrule.
Chief Tochukwu Ezeoke
President Igbo Ekunie Initiative
Tel. +44 7748612933
Mr. Lawrence Nwobu
Secretary Igbo Ekunie Initiative