Since after the civil war in Nigeria, the broken, defeated and viciously hated Ndigbo have borne all manner of humiliation, experienced an unprecedented level of denial of rights, been subjected to a frightening spread of the seizure of their legally acquired wealth and materials they use to source their livelihood.
Living in the realisation that they were defeated in the war and all these were foisted on them to effectively rub that reality into them, Ndigbo bore their ugly and unfortunate situation with stoic equanimity.
For succour, they soon wholly resorted to praying and hoping in the assistance of God Almighty.
In the course of keeping this hope in the fairness of the Almighty, Ndigbo were again subjected to some more devious experiences.
They were serially murdered and no justice meted out to the perpetrators of such heinous crimes.
The issue of Gideon Akaluka being beheaded and his head paraded along the streets of Kano on a spike remains in limbo waiting for justice to be done to him by the arrest and prosecution of the criminals.
Recently, Mrs Agbahime was equally beheaded and her murderers have been released from detention. And that innocent life is lost forever.
Severally, Igbo properties have been suddenly barged into and looted in the Northern parts of the country under some most outlandish and untenable reasons.
Resistance by people whose properties are being looted often result in demeaning murders and brutality.
So, most times, when such unprovoked upheaval erupts, Ndigbo simply run for their lives putting their properties at the mercy of the scheming looters.
Recently too, churches were reportedly closed in Lagos state.
To consolidate the intimidation, the churches, where our people aggregate to pray to God whom they believe can give them help and peace, have in recent decades become primary targets for arson particularly still, in the North.
The progressive successes of the burning of churches in the North are be-numbing.
The people, in trying to deduce the reason behind all this, arrived at the conclusion that the North is brazenly working by all manner of intimidation and subterfuge to forcefully convert them, particularly Ndigbo, to Islam.
The truth of this deduction has been demonstrated again and again with unrestrained impunity.
Within the last three years, no less than six girls of Igbo extraction have been forcefully taken, forcefully or dubiously converted to Islam and forcefully married out to their abductors without any consideration of the dictates of their culture regarding marriage.
Some of the girls are reported to be in the harem of high-end individuals like emirs.
Yet, the most current of such debasement of the Igbo psyche and brutalisation of our sensibilities is contained in the story of one Rose Peter Chukwu published on 8 February 2017 by the Authority newspaper.
The said Rose was 17 years old when one Alhaji Olatunji Sulyman, a politician in Kwara State who is now the APC spokesman, forcefully abducted her, forcefully administered some concoction to her claiming to have converted her to Islam and irresponsibly put her in a family way.
All this against the protestations of her poor parents!
He had sired a second child through her, when the now 24 year old saw an opportunity to escape the irresponsible and unacceptable abduction, and took it.
She escaped to her parents who quickly, took her as they thought, to the safety of their home place in Ebonyi state. And the bizarre phenomenon occurred!
Mustering a team of well-armed police-men from Kwara State, this Alhaji Sulyman went, sought out the hiding place of Rose and re-abducted her back to Kwara State.
This whole humiliating high-handed display was carried out in the very presence of the despondent, poor and incapacitated parents of the abducted lady.
It makes for the recount of the horrendous pain of a mother -hen crying in desperation as the rogue hawk flies off with her chick for an obvious death.
This is an unacceptable escalation of the derogation these individuals are pouring on Ndigbo.
The ADF in very strong terms condemn this denial of the young lady’s human rights, her right to freedom of worship, her rights to choice of association.
And her right to association in accordance with the cultural dictates of her people as pertains to marriage and acceptability of the partners.
In that wise, this said Alhaji Sulyman is asked to immediately return the lady to her parents along with her children, one of which was reported to have been stolen from the police station where the police held her for Sulyman to pick her up.
The Igbo culture and tradition clearly dictate that nobody will claim to have been married to any individual of Igbo stock unless there is an agreement between the two people directly involved, an agreement between their two families and the payment of dowries and fulfilling of some other traditional rituals.
Else any child resulting from such an association without fulfillment of all rituals will belong to the girl’s father.
Alhaji Sulyman is thus being put on notice by this explanation because Ndigbo represented by ADF, are going to take this matter quite seriously and that will include doing anything to assert and obtain the lady’s freedom.
People like Alhaji Sulyman are beginning to provoke Ndigbo to a level that soon will experience Igbo reaction to these unwholesome abductions of our daughters. He is hence warned to do the needful.
Col Justino Ezeoke rtd
Publicity Secretary ADF