By Emeka Umeagbalasi.
Losses incurred by Igbos in Nigeria in the past 72 years have been put at 3.5 million lives and $50 billion in properties. This is according to the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), quoting extensive research by its Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, whose “conclusive research findings are being publicly expected in full in coming months.”
According to part of the research work, “Igbo Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria is researchably and unarguably the oldest Ethnic Nationality or Group in Nigeria having existed for 3,467yrs or since 1450BC and since 1187BC and 1087BC respectively when it crowned its pioneer kings in Nri and Eri-Aka (now Agulueri) all located in present day Anambra State.
“Igbo Nation State was originally founded by Eri, a possible migrant from Middle East (i.e. Israel through Egypt); who later settled at the confluence point of “Ezu and Omambala Rivers”, called “Agbanabo”. His first place of settlement is called “Eri-Aka” (now Agulueri) located in present Anambra East Local Government of Anambra State. The name “Anambra” or Anambra State is a corrupt spelling for “Omambala River”.
“The second oldest Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria can expressly be traced to the doorsteps of Agbon (now called Agbor) and Bini (Benin) dynasties in present Edo and Delta States. The Peoples of the two named dynasties may most likely have existed for 2,917yrs or since 900BC. It is important to inform further that the Agbon or Agbor People and their kingship dynasty were not originally Igbo People, but Ominije People, who later in 701BC established their “Ogele Kingship dynasties”, which reigned till 1260AD with Ogele XIV Okwakpor as its last Ogele. The Igbo-Agbor Kingship dynasty was established in 1270AD with Ebonka as its first Igbo Dein of Agbor. The Bini Kingdom was much later established in 1180AD.
“Hausa Ethnic Nationality is the third oldest tribe in Nigeria and has existed for 1,217yrs or since 800AD. Hausa Nation-State or Ethnic Nationality was founded by a Baghdadi (Iraq) Prince, named Bayajidda around 800AD; about two centuries before the ancient Kano was founded by one of his grandsons, named Bagauda who later became its first king or Sarkin Kano in 999AD.”
The research said that “the Yoruba Nation State or Ethnic Nationality is the fourth oldest Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria and has existed for 917yrs or since 1100AD having been founded by Oduduwa; a migrant who was said to have migrated from Middle East. He later sent his last son, Oranmiyan to Benin in about 1170AD as the first interim Oba of Benin and was later succeeded by Oba Eweka 1 in 1180AD as the first substantive Oba or King of Benin Empire.
“Fulani Ethnic Nationality is the newest and most violent Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria. It has only existed in Nigeria for 213yrs, having been founded by Usman dan Fodio; an Islamic scholar and urbanized Fulani Jihadist in 1804 during which it imposed till date Islamic Emperors in all its conquered communities including Ilorin and Bida Emirates with the exception of the Borno Emirate, ruled till date by descendants of the rulers of Bornu Empire (1380AD-1893AD).
“In all, there are 386 tribes in Nigeria and among them, Igbo Ethnic Nationality is the oldest, dating back to 1450BC when Eri was migrated and settled in Nigeria across the River Niger or 3,467yrs today.”
On the losses suffered by Igbos in Nigeria in a little over seven decades, the research said that they arose out of the following circumstances:
“By Direct or Physical Violence, it is act of armed hostile actions against unarmed or defenseless persons or group of persons of asymmetric background; perpetrated by public office holders including security commanders and civilians in authority or those non State actors sponsored or recruited by killer public office holders. It is direct or physical violence because it is targeted at citizens with its perpetrators clearly known. Direct violence often emerges from the depth of structural violence.
“By Structural Violence, it is a kind of violence that is built in societal structure or age long inequalities in societal structures. It also develops as a result of sustained policy of asymmetry or power imbalances including political exclusion and segregation; gross lopsidedness in allocation of national human and material resources as well as demographic injustice, ethno-religious cleansing and gross lopsided spread in public offices appointments, etc.
“By Cultural Violence, this is act of promoting and sustaining violent campaigns and heightened intolerance by the State and its coercive agents and hired others against ideological, religious and linguistic beliefs and their symbols; of asymmetric or minority ethnic and religious groups. It also involves use of genocidal and murderous jargons and other derogatory languages against minority or asymmetric populations by government and its agents or hired others. The description of Tutsis in Rwanda by Hutu extremists as “cockroaches” during the Rwandan genocide; the labeling of Igbo People as “Nyamiri” and Christians in Nigeria as “Infidels” by Hausa-Fulani Muslims; leading to countless hate killing of Igbo People and other Christian populations in Nigeria are all clear cases in point.”
Continuing, Intersociety said in a statement issued on Monday in Onitsha and quoting Umeagbalasi’s research findings: “The Igbo Ethnic Nationality had further been made to undergo countless butcheries and ethnic cleansings in Nigeria since 1945. While it is researchable to conduct research on Igbo killings or anti Igbo pogroms in Nigeria, it is highly un-researchable to conduct same research in the opposite direction or killing of other Nigerians by Igbo People.
“In other words, Igbo People are inherently tolerant, peaceful and loving Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria or any part thereof, despite decades of sustained violent campaigns to wipe them out. Igbo People and their Ethnic Group have remained peaceful and refrained from reprisal radicalism or militancy till date not minding the fact the 3.5 million lives and properties valued at $50 billion belonging to them have been lost, destroyed or forcefully possessed since 1945.
“Statistically, in the first Igbo pogrom in Nigeria which took place on June 22nd 1945 in Jos, perpetrated by Hausa-Fulani Muslims, as much as 200 Igbo citizens were massacred; with the then British colonial authorities doing nothing. The second Igbo massacre took place in Kano in 1953, in which hundreds of Igbo lives were lost. Between May and October 1966, intensive and extensive anti Igbo pogroms were carried out in various parts of the North, leading to death of over 30,000 Igbo citizens. From October 1966 to May 1967, the butcheries intensified; with more thousands of deaths recorded; forcing then Col Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to militarily opt for secession from Nigeria, which resulted to Biafra-Nigeria bloody civil war of 1967-70.
“There was also Asaba Igbo massacre of early October 1967, perpetrated by Hausa-Fulani Muslim led Nigerian troops in which more than 700 men and boys were killed, some as young as 12 years old, in addition to many more killed in the preceding days. Other Igbo killings or pogroms that had taken place in Nigeria or any part thereof are those of Kano 1980, Maiduguri 1982, Jimeta 1984, Gombe 1985, Zaria 1987, Kaduna and Kafanchan 1991, Bauchi and Katsina 1991, Kano 1991, Zango-Kataf 1992, Funtua 1993, Kano 1994, Kaduna 2000, Kaduna 2001, Maiduguri 2001.
“The rest are those of Jos September 2001, Kaduna 2002, Kaduna’s Miss World Riot of November 2002 and Prophet Mohammed Cartoons Riot of February 2006 (Maiduguri), the Apo-Abuja Six killing by the Nigeria Police Force of (six young Igbo traders: Ekene Isaac Mgbe, Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Paulinus Ogbonna and Anthony and Augustina Arebu) of June 2005, the November 2008 Jos LGA Poll Riot/killings, the Jos 2010 Christmas Eve bombings, the Madalla Igbo Catholic Church bombings of 2011, the 2011 post general elections’ riots/killings that led to killing of 10 Igbo NYSC members and several other Igbo People in the North, the Mubi Igbo killings of 2012 and Nyanya Bombing of April 2014. Over 4000 other defenseless Igbo people residing in the North were also butchered by northern Muslims’ backed Islamic Boko Haram terrorists between 2009 and 2014.
“As if these not enough, the government security forces including the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force under the present Buhari’s central government in Nigeria shot and killed over 270 defenseless and unarmed Igbo People who nonviolently agitate for regional autonomy and assertion of their regionally and internationally recognized rights to self determination. The killings took place between July/August 2015 and January 2017 in Southeast and South-south of Nigeria. Since June 2015, the terrorist Fulani herdsmen have slaughtered over 70 rural Igbo citizens.
“Over 370 young Igbo citizens agitating or supporting the nonviolent Pro Biafra campaigns were also shot and terminally wounded; with several of them crippled for life. There have also been several cases of secret arrests, torture, disappearances or secret killings carried out by Nigeria Police SARS, soldiers and SSS targeted at key figures in the nonviolent pro Biafra campaigns.
“Above all, out of 3.5 million Igbo lives lost in Nigeria since 1945 or in the past 72yrs, 3million citizens were killed during the Biafra-Nigeria Civil War, with over half of them killed by famine, hunger and starvation deliberately imposed as a war policy by Hausa-Fulani led Nigerian troops. Not less than 200,000 other Igbo lives were in decades’ long Igbo butcheries which started in 1945 while 300,000 others died untimely as a result of successive and present central governments’ hash policies against the Igbo People including massacre of their bread winners and legal guardians.
“It saddens our heart that till date, the Federal Government of Nigeria, on behalf of successive federal governments in Nigeria, particularly those controlled by top Hausa-Fulani military officers and their civilian counterparts; have remained defiant and unapologetic to age long injustices against the Igbo Race. Professor Yemi Osibanjo (Vice President) has also joined them in remaining defiant and unapologetic. The hard and unapologetic stance of the present Buhari Administration, which has worsened the age long Igbo hatred and hardened anti Nigeria territorial oneness activism and activists; is only making Nigerian balkanization project and its protagonists inevitable and unyielding.”
Intersociety paid tribute to Ndigbo for the success of Monday’s sit-at-home-protest which paralysed the five South-East states and parts of the South-South. It, however, berated Governor Wiilie Obiano of Anambra State for allegedly going the extra mile to sabotage Igbo interests.
The group said: “The massive heeding and participation by the Igbo People in yesterday’s voluntary appeal by the leaderships of IPOB and reformed MASSOB for sit-at-home in honour of fallen Biafra heroes and heroines is a clear case in point. Despite battalions of soldiers, police personnel and other security operatives with truck-loads of arms and ammunition moved to the Southeast and parts of South-south; the Igbo People defied them and exercised their inalienable right to freedom of assemble and expression in a grand style.
“Through apt wisdom, tactics and strategies applied by the organisers of the voluntary sit-at-home protest, the blood suckers in uniforms who sucked over 140 innocent bloods during the 2016 anniversary of the epochal event; and their guns were forced into silence and irreparable humiliation. Despite Governor Wiilie Obiano’s stern order that government offices and parastatals must be opened and markets and streets vigilantes to forcefully open all markets and streets’ security gates; traders and other people of the state mocked him, defied his counterproductive orders and stayed away. Banks, street markets, teachers, pupils, parents and guardians, motor park managers and commercial vehicular operators also courageously joined in observing the voluntary sit-at-home protest in honour of their slain heroes and heroines.
“While we boldly commend and congratulate the People of Igbo Nation for massively heeding the sit-at-home voluntary appeal, it is saddening and shocking that Governor Willie Madubuchi Obiano, whose Eri-Aka (Agulueri) Community is the first ancestral birth place of the Igbo People with himself as a descendant of Agulu-Nwa-Eri, now called Agulueri; could descend so low and barbarously too by joining forces with Hausa-Fulani led Nigerian Army and other security forces to massacre not less than 140 innocent, defenseless and unarmed pro Biafra campaigners of Igbo stock on 29th and 30th May 2016 who gathered to honour the Igbo or Biafra fallen heroes and heroines; during which as many as 110 Igbo citizens were massacred at Nkpor and Onitsha and over 30 massacred or killed in Asaba. More than 130 others were terminally maimed, with some, if not many of them crippled for life.”
The article was first published on News Express
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