Scene from the Civil War: we don't want another
I am not going to bore you with details of the quit notice issued to Igbos in the North by the Northerners because you must have known all about it by now. I say Northerners instead of just Northern youths, because of the obvious backing of those youths who issued the threat by their elders, despite their attempts to appear otherwise. I will not also talk about the orders for the arrest of the culprits by the Kaduna State governor and the inspector general of police, because you may also have heard all about it, as well as the hypocrisy and hollowness of those orders. Rather, I will talk about one thing. That thing is this: NDIGBO IN THE NORTH, PLEASE RETURN HOME!
Yes, our people out there must come back. To stay till the ultimatum arrives is to die! It needs no telling that the sack threat is a well-orchestrated plot to actualize a certain agenda by the North in the wake of President Buhari's illness. After what happened to them following the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, in which they ''lost'' the presidency to the ''bloody infidels'', or unbelievers, as they call us, they have learnt their lessons.
That is why now that a similar scenario is about to play out again with the illness of Buhari, they are intent to thwart the chances of a non-Northerner and a non-Muslim taking over. The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is seen by them as a joke; albeit one that could be very expensive if allowed to linger. To stop him, they plan to simulate an anarchic situation to justify whatever they want to do.
Some people say it is a coup; the army hierarchy has debunked it. But the fears of an impending coup still persist. Those who nurse those fears say that in the event of such a planned anarchy which will take a heavy toll on life and property, even the international community will welcome a coup to stabilize things.
Now, after that event, so they say, the army will contrive to hand over power to a favoured Northerner who will be sure of an untruncated eight years.
So one can begin to see where those asking Igbos to leave the North are going to. But those who think it is only going to affect only the Igbos may be making the greatest mistake of their lives. After all, is Igbo written on anyone's forehead? Without tribal marks, who can easily differentiate between a Yoruba and an Ijaw?
However, being that Ndigbo are in the majority in the North, they have been chosen as the guinea pigs for this experiment.
One might wonder why they did not just begin to kill Igbos and other Southerners, rather than give them quit notice. Well, that may be part of the grand plot. It may have been done to generate enough publicity as it is generating now. Thus when they finally strike, it will reverberate across the world to the extent that a possible coup will be seen as a welcome development.
But my concern here is that it should not come at the expense of Igbo life or indeed any other. Our people say that only the tree hears about its impending felling and still stands. If Igbos could be slaughtered in their thousands from 1966 to date without announcements, is it now that thy have been warned that it will be any different?
So the wisest thing any Igbo living in the North will do now is to flee, flee and flee for dear life. Leave those property behind because only the living can own property. It will be difficult to leave behind, all that one has laboured for all these years, but NDUBISI.
The North needs the rest of the country to survive. So it is not that they want the country to really break up. They just need power; power to continue milking the productive sections of the country dry.
It may be a fact that we depend on the North for most food items. But they need us too to earn a living. How many Hausa people consume beef the way we do? Without the South, do you think the North can sustain the cattle business? NO! That is the major thing we rely on them for. We can grow onions here; we already have Ebonyi giving us rice and yam; we can grow tomatoes, etc. we also have poultry farms across the Southeast Zone, so chicken and the like won't be in shortage.
I don't really believe in the idea of a total separation (at least not immediately), but I believe in a confederation. I've often wondered how we can have our own army should we separate. How many of our people are in the armed forces? Where are the weapons? We are even worse off now than we were before the Civil War in terms of anything that looks like armed forces.
So, let us begin now to toy with the idea of parting ways from Nigeria in a realistic manner. It should no more be left to those clamouring for Biafra whose capacity to lead in the event of such an actualization is non-existent.
I have always advocated for an economically viable Southeast. We need to take advantage of our God-given talents to make our zone work. An economically viable Southeast will not need to cry out against marginalization by Nigeria. Rather, it will be Nigeria that will be needing us. If the Southeast is viable, who will need to go to the North to do business?
I tell you, they are always targeting us because we are the only group of Nigerians that invest heavily in other places. Thus when they attack us, they do so with the aim of looting and seizing our property. Had we been like other tribes in Nigeria who go to foreign lands with only their mats, I tell you that no one would have been targeting us.
I once visited a sojourner in our land where he lived in Onitsha. I was surprised to discover the only furniture in his room was a mat! Yet this was somebody that had been selling his wares in our land. If such person is required to leave in a hurry, he would gladly abandon his mat for us and leave as quietly as he came in.
But because Ndigbo develop other lands and invest heavily in those places, they are being envied, hated and killed. Their property are always being targeted. But we can't help being industrious; it is in our DNA. The only thing I ask of our leaders is to create an enabling environment for us to thrive here. Such enablement isn't something to be done as mere propaganda.
Thus when we ask our people in the North to return, we should be able to help them to settle; help to make things easy for them; admit their children in the schools here; give them land without subjecting them to the rigours of the long wait for the acquisition of ''C of Os''. We must help in rehabilitating them in the spirit of being our brother's keeper.
Now that our people outside have been giving the marching orders, the Southeast governors, in conjunction with the Ohaneze and other stakeholders, must swing into action to arrest the situation. The blood of anyone killed in the North because they could not get help must surely be on the heads of our leaders for failing to act.
This is not time for politics but a time to act and prove to our haters that we can indeed do without them. We can't be clamouring for Biafra without a contingency plan.
By some fluke, what some of us had been clamouring for is almost in sight, but we must be ready for it. Being ready for it will ensure that we do not repeat the mistake of the Old Biafra which was declared without contingency plan. But we can forgive those behind it because we were pushed to the wall and had to fight back. There was no luxury of time then. But we have had enough time now to plan but haven't planned.
Our governors should help to ensure that our children going for youth service in the North are posted elsewhere in order to be far from the conflagration when it sets off. Those there now must be helped to be relocated. The life of a single Igbo is worth a hundred times more than those of our haters.
As we say, ''Taa bu gboo''. While the government and leaders will be doing their own, those still in the North should take the first plunge by coming home in time with all parts of their body intact. They have been warned several times in the past in the guises of the pogrom, the religious and political killings, Boko Haram and now the killer herdsmen.
Many of them had earlier sent down their families but many also have remained adamant. The time to return home is now. The North can never be the same for Ndigbo again. Waiting till D-day to run is the height of foolishness because on that day, nothing stops them from ambushing the fleeing Igbos on the way and slaughtering them.
So, I say once more, ''TO YOUR TENTS OH, NDIGBO!''