We the Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, comprising of individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora; are gravely shocked by the indiscriminate killings and unprecedented destruction unleased by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen on various Igbo communities in Igboland. Never before have the predicaments of the Igbos reached an alarming crescendo as currently experienced under the Buhari administration.
Igbo people are routinely chased out of Northern Nigeria and their wares and shops looted with impunity. The rest are brutally burnt down with reckless rascality. Survivors of these bloody onslaughts are pursued to Igboland 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.
The above scenario is not happening in Kaduna. Not in Borno. 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 Igbo leaders. Our governors: Willie Obiano of Anambra, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Ezenwo 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?
Ike Ekweremadu, Andy Uba, Stella Odua, Theodore Orji, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peter Nwaboshi, Sunday Ogbuoji, Joseph Ogba, Utazi Chukwuka, Gilbert Nnaji, Samuel Anyawu, Hope Uzodimma and all other senators, members of 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 and 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?
Igbo Ekunie frowns heavily on these Igbo leaders who for no reason whatsoever have chosen to abandon the very people they are meant to serve at this decisive moment. Of what use is it to Igbo people that they have leaders when the mantle of governance is crassly abdicated. What has Igbos done to deserve this unprecedented level of woeful and dismal performance? 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? Igbo Ekunie is asking: Please our governors and senators, what are you afraid of?
Igbos 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 riot and showcased to the whole world that we indeed have fiery blood flowing in our veins.
Igbo Ekunie hereby warns 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. We must also warn that if the current Igbo leaders do not change their ways as a matter of urgency, Igbo Ekunie shall without further delay commence immediate consultation on how best to recall them so that a new crop of competent Igbo leaders can emerge. The least we can do for our people is to speak up when injustice is done to them. Speak up now or forever remain silent.
Finally Igbo Ekunie signs off with the immortal words of Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”