They said gleefully on television the other day that Nigeria is out of recession. That is cheering news for the economists, the bankers, the politicians and the ruling party. For the ordinary citizen it means nothing. To the civil servants whose salary has been owed for months it means nothing other than the continuation of their ordeal. For the unemployed it means nothing. Hunger is one of the many tortures the ordinary citizen is going through. Others include poor electricity supply, kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and disease. Above all these there is the danger of strife and the possibility of genocide.
But Nigeria, since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914 and independence in 1960, has never sat easy. We even had a costly civil war fifty years ago during which millions were killed following genocide on Igbos. The victors, the Hausa/Fulani led Nigerian side, promised reconstruction and rehabilitation of the vanquished Biafra breakaway side. But they just abandoned the defeated Igbo territories including taking actions that completely impoverished the Igbo. But trust the Igbos. They picked themselves up. Despite all sorts of discrimination in anything to do with government they soon dominated. In the north they further developed the Sabon Garis, the new towns, and made themselves the cement that holds Nigeria together. In the Federal capital, Abuja, most of the hotels and estates belong to them despite hardly having direct land allocation. In Lagos the same is the case. Transportation business in Nigeria is dominated by them. As a direct opposite the other tribes in Nigeria hardly have any investment in the Igbo enclave.
Over the last few months the drums of war have been beating. Since 1999 when retired northern military officers conspired to deny an Igbo, Alex Ekwueme, the presidency, discontent among the Igbo has been simmering. MASSOB, a Biafra secessionist movement was born. Over the years it remained a minor irritation. Then the movement splintered and IPOB, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, was born. It was largely Diaspora inspired, more aggressive, raising dollars `to fight Nigeria’. People who live abroad, far from the lines of fire in case the war happens, have been haranguing the United Nations and foreign governments to come and hold referendum for the separation of the Igbo home land from Nigeria. This is in spite of the fact that the Nigerian government has been insisting that the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. But the same Nigerian government mishandled the arrest and detention of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and made him a folk hero, a martyr. It held him for months without trial and then released him under ridiculous bail conditions. Those arrested with him are still languishing in detention without trial. Now he has gone berserk, using foul language on all and sundry, including the Hausa/Fulani the `owners of the country’, the Ohanaeze, the umbrella body leading the Igbos, the governors of the Eastern States, you name them. He sees himself as the Emperor of Biafra. He says he has a `secret service’ and nuclear weapons and that anybody who arrests him will die. He has decreed no election in Anambra State. But he is simply a desperado, a loud mouth with a death wish. Kanu is an empty drum. But now we have a situation in which the governors of the Igbo States are afraid of him. They are afraid of losing elections. The federal government having made him a folk hero has been afraid to touch him. His activities have given rise to other separatist movements nationwide. Above all these, agitations have given rise to a deafening shout for the restructuring of the country and devolution of power to the States, something the federal government and the Hausa/Fulani who control it absolutely, do not want to hear about. They say they fear the disintegration of the country.
In desperation, retaliation and exasperation some Northern Hausa/Fulani youth some months ago gave Igbos living in the north up to 1st October, 2017, to leave the north accusing Igbos of the all the crimes committed in Nigeria and promising to seize all their property. Northern leaders and the government have been dithering over the threat, threatening to arrest the youth and not doing so. And 1stOctober, 2017, is fast approaching. The federal government seems confused. Despite the fact that the northern youth have withdrawn their quit notice, nobody is taking the threat likely. There is a hate song threatening genocide on Igbos circulating in the north. And the Igbos not wanting to be the victims of a 1966 type genocide are moving in large numbers away from the north. This is despite the fact that the Sultan of Sokoto, the leader of all Moslems, has volunteered to be killed rather than an Igbo, and that most northern governors have assured them of safety. The Igbos know that it would only take an `Allah Akbar’ shout for illiterate Moslem Hausa/Fulani youth and Jihadists to repeat what they had done before, another genocide.
So, are we weeks away from another genocide? Are we weeks away from another one-sided war? Surely, despite the ranting and boasting of Nnamdi Kanu, he has no arms, no secret service, nothing other than his loud mouth. The other day Nigerian soldiers visited his headquarters and his supporters released his nuclear weapons and his secret service which turned out to be stones and sticks. How sad! Are we weeks away from another nationwide massacre of Ndigbo? But I fear this might not be as simple as the Fulanis wiping away the Igbos who have been the thorn in their flesh once and for all. They may not have the full backing of the other tribes in Nigeria for it seems most of the other tribes have had enough of their antics. Even the Hausas seem to be distancing themselves from the Fulanis! They should be wary of taking actions that may pitch them against the rest of Nigeria, reminiscent of Dimka’s failed coup when Okar, a northerner, announced on national television the excision of the Fulani areas from Nigeria. Or will this particular storm blow over harmlessly? Will it be a storm in a tea cup? Or will somebody set Nigeria on fire?

On another front it seems everybody except the Hausa/Fulani, the self proclaimed owners of the country, want the country restructured, power devolved from the all-powerful federal government to the states, true federalism. It seems the unitary system of government foisted on Nigeria by the military which has suited the Hausa/Fulani in their quest to dominate Nigeria for ever is in danger. It seems that the total dependence on oil which sees state governors going cap in hand every month to Abuja for their share of the oil money is in danger as the whole world realises that oil is losing its pre-eminent position. Every country is looking for alternative sources of power and revenue. And Nigeria cannot be an exception. Is this the moment of truth for Nigeria and the supposed owners, the Hausa/Fulani? 

Now I hear that President Buhari is going to address the United Nations. Good. I hope he tells them the truth including the state of the Nigerian economy and how peace is reigning supreme and how our version of `democracy’ is alive and well. I hope he tells them how Boko Haram that they `degraded’ about a year ago is still blowing people up virtually on a daily basis. I hope he tells them why the fourth most dangerous terrorists in the world, the Fulani herdsmen, have been murdering citizens in the Middle Belt and southern Nigeria without a word from him or from his government or from his military who are instead deployed to Eastern Nigeria doing their operation Python Dance and terrorising citizens who can only throw stones at them. Despite Nnamdi Kanu’s offensive language not a single soul has been lost to his group in Eastern Nigeria. So he should tell the world what his Operation Python Dance is about. Is it to stop the 5% who did not vote for him from crying over his marginalisation of Igbo land? Is what is happening in Igbo land terrorism for which he is asking the world for more arms? I wish him the best of luck.

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