*Wake up call to Igbo professionals and intelligentsia in Nigeria
Mr. Ikedi Ntiochi was born and bred in Lagos. The mother is Anambra state whilst his father hails from Imo State.
Ikedi did his nursery and primary schools in Corona School Apapa; secondary in Federal Government College Sokoto before graduating on top of his class from University of Ibadan.
Apart from being a pastor in Redeemed Christian Church of God, he is also a banker.
Ikedi speaks passable Igbo and is also well versed in Yoruba language not because he married Olatubosun, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs Olaniyi but because he grew up in Lagos.
Ikedi doesn’t like to be defined as Igbo. He prefers being seen as a Nigerian.
To drive home his tribeless orientation, he has refused to join his town union meeting in Lagos just as he rarely visits his home town in Umuokwudo in Imo state.
As a personal policy, Ikedi would not speak Igbo to his Igbo brothers in office or in the church. He would rather speak Yoruba to colleagues in the office than to be seen speaking Igbo. He wouldn’t want to be seen as clannish.
Ikedi ensured that his personal staff in the office, especially his secretary and personal assistant, are from any other tribe than Igbo.
There is no wonder why Ikedi’s friends are mainly Yoruba except Miss Nkiru who he claims is his prayer partner.
Nkiru, an unmarried manager in the same bank with Ikedi, is endowed with big breasts and firm backyard. From the way she giggles whenever she is with Ikedi, I could swear that her prayers would never cross the ceiling of a roof not to talk of going to the sky or heaven.
Ikedi has just been promoted to a general manager position but with a redeployment to replace the underperforming Area Manager in charge of the Northern business of his commercial bank.
He is to resume on October 5, 2017 once he finishes the current delicate bank assignment in Lagos. In addition to heading a marketing team for Lagos Island, he also in charge of the team implementing the bank’s new credit software.
Ikedi is worried stiff.
Who did this to him?
Who wants chase him away from southern Nigeria to the dangerous North?
Does his bank want to use him to test whether the Arewa Youths are serious with their October 1 Quit Notice to persons of Igbo origin or not?
Ikedi has now realized that he is an Igbo man.
The fact that he had limited association with his root is not the matter now.
He is so intelligent to know that he could be caught up in the midst of the “kill the Igbo” exercise as has been the practice since 1950s in the North.
It could happen while he is on the road, in his office, in a hotel room, customer’s office or at home.
When his managing director called him last week into his office to reiterate the confidence the whole board of directors of the bank reposed in him and the hope that he would reproduce his sterling performance in area of his new assignment, Ikedi realized that all his prayers and that of the other prayer warriors to make Management reverse the posting have failed.
Ikedi has made up his mind.
He is looking for another job and he plans to resign before the date of resumption at his new post.
He would not resume in Kaduna. Not him!
Ikedi doesn’t want to die like many of his uncles who were killed in 1966. They were killed because they didn’t leave on time.
They trusted in the safety assurances from the Northern leaders who have since lost control of the youths.
He has also watched Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of A Yellow Sun at Silverbird Cinema in Victoria Island and saw how innocent Igbos were summarily executed on the streets of Kano by organized mobs in 1966.
Ikedi is really smarter than other many professionals and intellectuals who are Igbo in looks and nomenclature but dream or think that they would be spared during a mob action geared towards dealing with Igbos.
In truth, it has become very dangerous or suicidal for Igbo intelligentsia and professionals to play ostrich to the activities of their kinsmen like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB ) because the reactions of other ethnic groups to their actions could affect all Igbos of all shades.
It is in the self-enlightened interest of the best of the best of Igbo extraction to infiltrate IPOB and other groups and steer their secession course or bids to safe limits.
The knowledgeable should take over the struggle or relentlessly educate the agitators on how best the struggle could be conducted without putting their interests, investments, kinsmen and their families at risk.
If you are Igbo and are a professional, intellectual or smart, you are better off getting involved in the discussions and debate on the Biafra matter.
Start attending your town meetings and help refine their decision making process.
The painful truth is that Igboness is like the body odour of a mature African he-goat that would always betray anyone that has a quarter of Igbo gene in him or her.
Once it starts, all Igbos would be affected.
Now you know, do something preemptive.
Another option is to adopt politician’s tactics. Relocate your family abroad and zoom off once you suspect or smell any crisis.
But, you might be consumed before you get to the airport or the border.
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