Posted by News Express | 7 April 2016 | 2,540 times
Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), a socio-cultural group whose members cut across Nigeria and the Diaspora, has expressed shock over the indiscriminate killings and unprecedented destruction of life and property of various Igbo communities by rampaging Fulani herdsmen, with the tacit collaboration of the armed forces.
In a statement signed by its president Tochukwu Ezeoke, the group recalled: “When Igbo people are chased out of Northern Nigeria, their wares and shops looted with impunity. The rest are brutally burnt down with reckless rascality. Some survivors of these bloody onslaughts are now pursued to Igbo land and finished off again with impunity by the Fulani herdsmen. Farmlands are destroyed by their herds of cattle. Houses are razed. Mothers and daughters are raped while their husbands and fathers are axed to death. While the silence of the Buhari administration over the nefarious antecedents of his Fulani kinsmen convinces us of his tactical approval of their rampages.”
The group described as criminally embarrassing, the silence of Igbo leaders. It opined: “Our governors – Willie Obiano of Anambra, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia – why the silence? Why are you neglecting the solemn oath you respectively took to serve your people?”
Besides, IEI queried: “Senators Ike Ekweremadu, Andy Uba, Stella Odua, Theodore Orji, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peter Nwaoboshi, Sunday Ogbuoji, Joseph Ogba, Utazi Chukwuka, Gilbert Nnaji, Samuel Anyawu, Hope Uzodimma, and all other senators, members of the House of Representatives and members of the respective State of assemblies: why are you using your deafening silence to quench the dreams of Igbo emancipation and progress? All of you are not only in government, but also enjoying the perks of office. The very least that is expected of you is to speak out against the evil unfolding before our very eyes. Since when has cowardice become a trait of Igbo leadership?”
The above acts of terrorism and intimidation are not happening in Kaduna; not in Borno, nor any part of the North. Rather it is happening in Igboland, and with impunity. “Communities who tried to defend their places are routinely disarmed and arrested. We saw this happen in Awgu, where over 76 members of a community were arrested by soldiers and shipped to prison.
While the silence of the Buhari administration over the nefarious antecedents of his Fulani kinsmen convinces us of his tactical approval of their rampages, what we find criminally embarrassing is the silence of our leaders.
Igbo Ekunie frowned disgustingly on these Igbo leaders who for selfish reasons have chosen to abandon the very people they are meant to serve at this decisive moment, asking: “Of what use is it to Igbo people that they have leaders when the mantle of governance is crassly abdicated? Do they really deserve to serve as Igbo leaders when they are easily cowered from doing the needful when it matters most? Does it mean that they cannot feel the pulse of our people, the misery and the plight of our people? Dear governors and senators, what are you afraid of?”
The group went down memory lane: “Ndigbo are renowned for our egalitarianism and republicanism. Our forebears fought the British to a standstill and played a leading part in the emergence of our country as an independent entity. Our women challenged the colonial rule in 1929 during the Aba Women’s Riot and showcased to the whole world that we, indeed, have fiery blood flowing in our veins.”
Igbo Ekunie warned that, the era of passivity is gone. “All Igbo leaders should pay close attention to the fact that our people are taking note of their abdication of duty. Now our people are weeping, but during the next general elections we shall be doing the whipping as we flog the current incompetent Igbo leaders out of office. If the current Igbo leaders do not change their ways as a matter of urgency, we shall, without further delay, commence immediate consultation on how best to recall them so that a new crop of competent Igbo political leaders can emerge. The least we can do for our people is to speak out when injustice is done to them. Speak out now, or forever remain silent.”
•Photo shows Igbo Ekunie President, Tochukwu Ezeoke.
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