​Ethnic Rivalries, Hostilities and Quit Notices: The Perilous Road We Once Travelled Needs to be Abandoned

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“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron”, Dwight D. Eisenhower averred.

Though many of us were not born during the Biafran war which lasted for about 30 months led by Col. Odimegu Ojukwu, the Ikemba of Nnewi, against the Federal Government under  General Yakubu Gowon, history on both sides recorded the pathetic situation of the civil war.

Nothing could be more perilous than the records of about two millions of children who died of hunger, starvation and malnutrition. The millions of people who died and the properties destroyed could not be restored 50 years after the war.

The recent and resounding quit notices issued against the Igbo people living in the Northern part of Nigeria by the coalition’s of the Arewa youths, which asked them to leave the North by October 1st, amidst the fragile nature of the country at this particular point in time, where disorder is a political instrument under the APC led Government and President Buhari, is totally devilish, barbaric, opprobrious and highly reprehensible.

Divide and rule approach to governance  is nothing but an attempt to take us as a nation back to the parlous road that we once travelled which had set us back as a nation and left an indelible scar that will remain forever.

Now that the ongoing agitations on both sides seems to be reaching a point of crescendo, we must collectively rise as a people to avoid another civil war. It will be too costly for us as a nation knowing fully well that war has never solved any problem nor answer any question.  The neglected, disabled veterans of the civil war is a case in point.

The dystopian state of the Nigerian nation needs the collective efforts of all to rebuild our dear Nation which needs urgent attention, be it from North to the East, West or South. The emerging humanitarian crisis in the North have left over three million people in need of most urgent assistance to save humanity from extinction.

The Bakassi people are not living a better life and needs urgent attention several years after.

I urge the youths to unite and take up political power through democratic process so that we can build a better Nigeria that we can be proud of rather than being a willing tool for chaos and disorder.

I commend all the peace makers who have been putting efforts to douse the tension most particularly the Emir of Kastina, Alhaji Abdul Mumini Kabir for his determination to protect the lives and properties of the Igbo people living in his domain. I have no doubt of his good intention. He earns my respect for life for the fact that he didn’t know me, yet he honoured my letter to him when I was seeking admission to Obafemi Awolowo University.

The current hate songs targeted at the Igbo race is totally unacceptable and those involved should be prosecuted without further delay. Those determined to set the country on fire for either political, social and economic reasons should have a rethink for the sake of children and women who are mostly victims of war.

The global economy is slow and every country of the world are facing one crisis or the other hence we must put our own house in order so that the death of our heroes past will not be in vain.

May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

– Sheyi Babaeko is a social commentator, policy analyst and counter-terrorists strategist. He writes in from Leeds, U.K.

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