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    OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA November 25, 20…

    OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

    November 25, 2019

    His Excellency,
    President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
    Federal Republic of Nigeria,

    Sir,
    Usurping the Secularity of Nigeria: The Treasonable Acts Against the Igbos

    With due respect to your office, but at the same time, in my capacity as a citizen, I think it is necessary to draw your attention to obvious injustice capable of disintegrating Nigeria. Constitutionally, Nigeria became a State owing to the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates under Lord Fredrick Lugard – a history you are even expected to know more than everyone considering your military profile, and many other unsuccessful attempts to take power as civilian prior to 2015 general election. Recent activities and pronouncements from your revered office are inducing concentric ripples that vibrates the core foundation of the nation, Nigeria, to the point one can easily ask “if Mr Buhari is actually the president of Nigeria, or President of northern Nigeria?” It is easy to say you are incapacitated, as a cabal runs the country in your stead.

    Mr President, you must agree with me that any individual or group action to undermine the secularity and sovereignty of Nigeria is treasonable. You know there can never be an office of the President of Nigeria without the conduct of General Election, across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, which include, North East, North West, North Central, South East, South West and South-South. Zero election at any of these zones will imply a longer wait for a president of the Federal Republic to emerge, hence every sane mind will attest to the fact that every zone is equally important as the other. Therefore, it has become imperative to let you know that everyone is observing the potential carnage on South East under the directive and supervision of your government and all your associated foot-soldiers.

    His Excellency, “sectional border” closure since August 20, 2019 will never receive any applause from the public considering that it was a clear misguided approach to governance. It even demonstrated the inability of this government to identify a problem and accord it a suitable response at minimal cost. As a commander-in-chief, you identified that smuggling is ripping off the nation, yet you have not bothered to hold the Nigeria Customs responsible as they are charged with the security of the trans-border movement of goods in and out of Nigeria. Have you asked your economic team to evaluate the billions of Naira (millions of US dollars) Nigeria lose on daily basis due to “sectional border” closure? Your government just targeted the Igbo race who are the major merchants in Africa in general, and Nigeria in particular. It is sectional border closure because movement of goods between Nigeria and Niger, Nigeria and Chad (all in the Northern Nigeria) are very much ongoing without any hitch; I advise you categorically pronounce that it is a Southern border closure with Igbos are prime target. If Nigeria disintegrates today, you will never cease to blame yourself. The calm nature of the elites of Northern extraction is not a surprise because they have chosen to prioritize ethnicity over unity and economic success of the nation. However, their silence or backroom support to you could be your undoing in the annals of Nigeria existence.

    Mr President, I see the sectional border closure as economic sabotage primarily designed to stifle the financial growth of South East, but it appears your team did not bring it to your knowledge that it technically affects the common good of every other Nigerian, including your brothers in the North. But my major pain and concern is that your government is gradually waging an economic war against Igbos in Nigeria. You seem to have thrown caution to the wind as we feel the re-emergence of similar economic sabotage meted against Igbos consequent upon the end of Nigeria-Biafra civil war. Recall that Late Obafemi Awolowo, the former Minister of Finance, was the arrow head used by the Gowon regime to clamp the potential economic growth of Igbos by giving out N20 (twenty naira) only to all Igbos regardless of how much old cash still in one’s possession. Fortunately, Igbos survived without government assistance till date.

    As a leader in the modern age, information and developmental update of the nation should be at the tip of your finger. Do you know the food production capacity of Nigeria per annum? Can you relate our production level to the actual human population in Nigeria? Though your government claimed the border closure will benefit Nigeria in the wake of African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) agenda, but am surprised that the availability of rice which is the common and staple food in Nigeria is being compromised. Your foot soldiers in national uniforms, namely the Police Force, Customs, Army and some other plain-cloth taskforces, escort imported bags of rice into Nigeria via our borders with Niger and chad, whereas such is prohibited elsewhere in the South. Furthermore, on the script designed to cleanse Nigeria of Igbos, the same men of the force harass imported rice sellers in South East, even confiscate rice that were imported prior to border closure, and above all, if anyone dares to buy the imported rice from any northern part of Nigeria, they will impound it once you are on your way to South East. At this moment, Igbos are technically banned from eating imported rice despite the fact that local production is not enough. At this moment, a bag of imported rice sells at N37,000 (thirty-seven thousand naira) in the South East, while N12,000 (twelve thousand) only can get you the same bag of rice in the northern states of Nigeria. Could this be termed intra-border closure within Nigeria? Is this actually reintroduction of “operation starve Igbo to death” as Nigeria did during the Civil war? Are you not usurping the secularity of Nigeria? Are you not gradually and indiscriminately fanning the embers of war? Are the Igbos not an integral part of Nigeria?

    Sir, it seems your government is acting with impunity considering the total neglect and obstruction of any form of development in South East since you came to power. Your government has clandestinely closed the only international airport in South East, the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, under the excuse of dilapidated runway. Is it not a surprise that the Federal Government of Nigeria via its Ministry of Aviation has stated that there is no fund for the runway rehabilitation, and in a bid to add salt to injury, your Ministry said that none is even sure when fund will be available, hence the airport remains closed until further notice. I don’t want to mention about the inaccessible federal roads in the South East which are now “valley of death”.
    At this point, it is certain that you have looked Igbos in the face and told us that we are not part of Nigeria. You appear to say “we (Igbos) can’t do anything”. Operated Inferno which can be termed “fire terrorism” is now prevalent in South East. This is orchestrated to burn Igbo in their homeland. It is similar to occurrences that gave birth to the Nigeria-Biafra war in 1967. As the chief security officer of the nation, South East is under your jurisdiction to secure, but your government operatives continue to look elsewhere to the point one can easily conclude that the presidency is not just aware of who is perpetrating the fire terrorism, but could be partner to the perpetrators. Compromising the security of Igbos in a secular state like Nigeria is a treasonable act because the trend is capable of inducing irreconcilable hostilities among various ethnic groups in Nigeria, Igbos included. Sabotaging the fabrics of the secular Nigeria can easily fragment Nigeria. Allow Igbos to exercise their rights as every other ethnic group in the country.

    Signed
    Onukwube Igbo
    For Igbo




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