Open Letter To The Acting President In Response To The Position And Fallacies by Arewa Youths
Your Excellency Sir,
The attention of Igbo Ekunie Initiative, a coalition of professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora has been drawn to an open letter written by so-called Arewa youths.
As is typical of the “Sharia North” and their arrogance, bullying and internal colonialist (born to rule) attitude, the letter was filled with hate, lies, baseless claims, pedestrian propaganda, innuendoes and an unconscionable even criminal justification of genocide.
It is our intention, therefore, to respond to aspects of the letter which we consider deserving of a response if only to set the records straight and to state our stand in regards to the state of the nation.
Firstly, we must commend you for your states manly approach to resolving long-standing issues of nationhood and contradictions that have continued to plague the nation. You have in a few months demonstrated an exceptional capacity for leadership despite obvious inhibitions.
However, we must disagree with you in your declaration that Nigeria is an indivisible, indissoluble entity. If anything, the lessons of history have taught us that no nation is indivisible and indissoluble.
In this, we agree with so called Arewa Youths that Nigeria remains subject to international laws particularly the United Nation’s Charter which recognises the inalienable rights of all groups and or indigenous groups to self-determination.
While we appreciate the belated recognition of this fundamental right by the North, we are amused that Arewa youths only just discovered the existence of this right.
The right to self-determination is a fundamental; integral to the UN since its founding in 1945. In recognition of this fact, we hope Arewa youths will now have the humility to apologise for the Illegal war waged against Biafra which was ab initio a repudiation of international laws on self-determination they now acknowledge.
We also hope they would apologise for all the incarcerated and murdered members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose only crime was the peaceful expression or non-violent demonstrations for their right to self-determination as recognised by the UN and African Union charters.
We hope Arewa youths and the North will be willing to pay adequate compensation for lives and property lost in the course of these crises.
In the same vein, it’s common knowledge that there is widespread discontent across Nigeria due to decades of Northern oppression/misrule and we urge Arewa youths to impress it on their members of parliament/president Muhammadu Buhari who incidentally is one of them to pass a motion that will allow all sections of the Nation campaign for and hold a referendum to freely determine if they want to remain in Nigeria or not.
In our view, this would be a final/peaceful and civilised settlement of the ever increasing contradictions and bloodletting that has long plagued the nation.
In regards to some of the laughable fallacies/distortions of history bandied by Arewa Youths, courtesy of the Southern League of Professionals (SLP) which had earlier issued a statement on “facts of Nigeria’s history”, we restate as follows:
– That hate crimes/mass killings/genocide and other expressions of intolerance, hate and war against other ethnic and religious groups by Hausa-Fulani’s started in the North in 1945, before independence and more than two decades before the January 1966 coup.
– That likewise in 1953, thousands of Southerners living in Kano were massacred by Hausa Fulani’s simply because Chief Anthony Enahoro called for Nigeria’s independence in the Parliament in Lagos.
– That the pogroms/genocide by Hausa-Fulani’s against Igbos/Easterners in 1966-67 was, therefore, a continuation of an institutionalised culture, system of hate crimes/mass killings/genocide against other ethno-religious groups long established in the North and that continues till today with Boko Haram terrorism and Fulani herdsmen massacres across the Middle Belt and the South.
– That the January 1966 coup was pretentiously given an ethnic name to justify genocide even though it was not in the composition of officers and men who carried out the coup homogenous by the tribe and when all over the world coup doesn’t bear ethnic names notwithstanding its composition.
– That the coup though unfortunate was occasioned by the introduction of corruption such as election rigging in TIV land in 1960, rigging of national census in 1962, the incarceration of Chief Obafemi Awolowo on treason charges, the massive rigging of elections in the western region in 1964 leading to daily riots (wetie) and thousands of dead from 1964 until 1966 by the Northern led federal government in a bid to create a corrupt and undemocratic one-party state.
– That these corrupt/unpatriotic acts, the decimation of democracy and other heinous vices by the Northern led federal government created the conditions that engendered the unfortunate intervention of the military.
– That the principles of a coup as recognised all over the world is chiefly the struggle by a group of officers and men to capture power and where that fails to face the consequences.
– That subsequent coups in Nigeria even though obviously ethnic in nature were not given ethnic names. i.e. the July 1966 genocidal counter-coup that has the notoriety of crossing the street and killing thousands ordinary Eastern civilians (first genocide on African soil and the first time a coup includes killing ordinary civilians) has never been called an Hausa-Fulani coup, nor was the Buhari, Babangida and Abacha coups called Hausa-Fulani coups.
– In the same vein, the Dimka coup was not called a Middle Belt Coup, nor was the Gideon Orkar coup which attempted to excise the core Sharia North from Nigeria, being the 2nd major attempt to balkanize the nation called a TIV or Middle Belt coup.