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No matter how darkness pretends to reign and appears as a solution to a dissatisfying status quo, it will never triumph over good. It might seethe, boil and foam in expression of strength and power; it only gets darker and no single light of freedom and happiness will be gained. The recent increase of animosity, antipathy against the Igbos in Lagos by some few Yoruba miscreants is not something that should be left unaddressed. There is every cause to be worried as Rwandan Hutus’ pogrom of 1992, still cast its grim shadows upon our memories today. If the Yorubas suddenly believed that Igbos who have cohabited with them in numbers for more than seventy years are the cause of their unhappiness and sorrows, there is every reason to re-examine such stance. It is necessary because it will help trace this source of fear of the Igbos and finally call it a name.

The incineration of about six million Jews in Auschwitz, Germany by the Nazis regime some years back, came as a result of the perception of the Jews as the threat and obstacle to German greatness. Between 1992 and 1995, the ethnic tension made the Serbs to target Bosniak and Croatians in a quest for dominance which led to the death of about 100,000, the second deadliest killings in Europe after the Holocaust in recent times. The Hutus of Rwanda went about house to house to hunt down the Tutsi tribe in 1992 to rid themselves of a tribe they considered an infirmity and the cause of their woes. In 2019, some Yorubas are fomenting trouble and waiting to gain more support and popularity before hunting down Igbos residents in Lagos who they see as the reason for their discontent. If they succeed, it will go down in black book of history as the Igbo genocide in Lagos?

But before you take up arms to slaughter your Igbo neighbors, ask yourselves: to what end? How would killing the Igbos lift you out of poverty and misery or, are you not just looking for a means to steal their property and wealth? What has the Igbos done wrong and offensive that deserves death penalty? Did they steal your land, your women and property? Were you not the ones who sold the lands and shops to them, and allow them to get on with trade they are so good at? All of a sudden, a people incapable of conceiving evil towards you are the reason for your sorrows and wretchedness?

The stupidity of your intention is obvious in the light of an age-long natural bond between both tribes and its non-differentiable features. How do you justify the killing of the Igbos in the face of hundreds of thousands of intermarriages in place? How about the children of such marriages and what tribe do they belong? Is it not clear that in most cases in Lagos one can hardly differentiate an Igbo man from a Yoruba man physiologically? How can you tell the different when some Igbos rattle off Yoruba language and dialect in a dexterous fluency? You want to take up an arm against a people close to your heart for no other reason but ignorance?

But few people appear to be stoking this fire that will soon consume all of us if it is not put off on time. Few years back in 2015, Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos threatened to kill Igbos and cast them into lagoon if the failed to vote for his preferred political candidate in a democratic election. How rational is this? In 2019, Tinubu came up again with an indirect threat to coerce the Igbos into voting for his failed party APC. It is clear that his utterance is credited to the violent disenfranchisement prevalent amongst Igbo populated areas of Lagos state during the 2019 presidential election. From a corner of Britain, a young man referred to as a grandson of Adeyinka has been on the social media calling for the slaughter of Igbos in Lagos, for taking over their land and many other meaningless gibberish he vomits as label to justify the call. He claimed to be educated but when you listen to him, you will conclude that he actually graduated with a high honor in ignorance.

It might sound as if I am being whimsical about this young man in social media, let someone tell us how an educated man can claim that Igbos are thieves, kidnappers and bad people and the Yorubas are not? Where is a tribe where you can’t find a thieve and a kidnapper or someone with a horrible vice? It is clear that in this attempt to dehumanize the Igbo, as killers would always do before the slaughter, he failed woefully. It is obvious this young man doesn’t look back at history to understand factors that play decisive roles in xenophobia, ethnic cleansing and genocides. How will he understand that the reasons for ethnic cleansing and killings had always been phony, a pretext to justify the abomination and evil.

The truth is that socio-economic factors in a society had always constituted the soil that breeds anger and frustration. Nigeria currently is saddled with this ill which is evident in the nation’s economy. Everybody is hurting and the anger is rising and someone must pay for it. When a man is helpless in the face of these realities, he seeks out someone to blame, and this someone is always the stranger. It happened in South African in 2014 and 2015, when xenophobic rage swept across the country, and leaving hundreds of Nigerians burnt and wasted on the streets of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape town etc. What was their reason? Nigerians are taking over their Jobs. But research has it that it was the Whites South African who are taking over their Jobs and not Nigerians. The same thing happened to South African in Malawi 2015, Nigerians in India, Brazilians against the blacks etc. The litany is endless.

If the Yorubas decide to hurt down the Igbos and slaughter, Lagos will not contain both tribes. The Igbos will resist them and the outcome will not be pretty. There is an extend to which you can’t push someone any longer. You have demolished more than seven different markets where Igbos predominantly owned shops, destroy goods worth of billions of naira and render families broke. The Igbos didn’t wage war nor retaliated, rather they peacefully went home sorrowfully and picked up their broken lives and start to struggle again. Where is the area that Igbos are hostile toward you? What have they done that you are hatching plans to destroy them?

The insistence that Igbos must vote for a Yoruba-preferred candidate is undemocratic in a democracy. It is a wrongdoing and a total fraud. Igbos are not stupid to indulge in such sheer puerility you have chosen to daub civility and right. Voting in a democracy is a free choice not coercion or compulsion.
Lastly, You Igbos, who have chosen to erect empires in a foreign land don’t complain when your estates will go up in flames and your wealth vanishes with smokes. You are not stupid not to know that the tribes in Nigeria can never be a people. Even if you don’t know, Ikemba lauded it and Kanu is still crying in your ears today.

Let me put it this way: If anyone still believes in one Nigeria, you need to consult a Psychiatrist very quickly. Nonsense!

About Duru Ernest

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