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OPINION: IPOB/AREWA YOUTHS: NEED TO STOP HATE SPEECHES, EXPLETIVES, EMBRACE PEACE AND SUPPORT OSINBAJO’S PEACE INITIATIVE

OPINION: IPOB/AREWA YOUTHS: NEED TO STOP HATE SPEECHES, EXPLETIVES, EMBRACE PEACE AND SUPPORT OSINBAJO’S PEACE INITIATIVE

Recently the country was almost engulfed in flames over the marching  orders to Igbos to vacate northern parts of Nigeria having overstayed  their welcome in the North resulting from the agitation back home in the  South East by their kith and kin to secede from Nigeria.  A coalition of  misguided Arewa Youths northern Nigeria reportedly gave Nigerians of  Igbo extraction an eviction notice which heated up the polity amid  outstanding clamour and agitation for secession by the latter via  well-organized secessionist movements particularly the Indigenous People  of Biafra (IPOB) and it’s sister group, the Movement for the  Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB)    While the writer condemns in the strongest terms the quit order having  violated their constitutionally guaranteed rights to live in any part of  Nigeria the writer also condemns in its entirety the use of hate  speeches, expletives that have set the nation on fire.

There is no denying the fact today that hate speeches abound, to hold a  contrary opinion alone is often greeted with yells of hate and damning  expletives. Evidence of these abounds on the social media, particularly  on Facebook groups and pages.

Nigeria, you will all agree with me, has never been this divided.

President Buhari has been consistently driving everyone nuts by his  seeming intransigence on thorny and burning issues that make us differ  which are capable of triggering a huge conflagration if not now but  certainly later. Adopting a cosmetic approach under the existing  circumstances instead of heeding the voices of reason by tackling these  problems head on would only lead Nigeria to a disastrous end.

For starters, let us examine these issues in turn. What exactly gave  birth to the ongoing separatist feelings, aspirations and consequent  agitations, if one may ask? It is none other than the emergence of a  particular region and tribe which have resolved to keep the rest of the  country and regions under a permanent subjugation. This, you will agree  with me, has invariably sparked discontent by the various ethnic  nationalities that make up the federation of Nigeria.

Although the problems have always been there unaddressed, they were  hardly noticeable until Nigeria was caught in an agonising web, diabolic  whims and caprices of an ethnic jingoist, Hausa/Fulani-only paranoiac  and a self-appointed overlord whose words and actions reek of nothing  but bear the trademarks of intrinsic hypocrisy.

In the year 2014 AD, Nigeria under the leadership of Dr Jonathan called  a National Conference to deal with thorny issues that divide us as a  people and as a nation via discourse and every section of the country  was aptly represented but the report of that Confab was thrown into the  trash can by his successor who told a bewildered nation that the report  belongs to none other than the archives and the problems which the  resolutions and report of the Confab were meant to solve keep rearing  its ugly head on the ascending order of magnitude while the government  he lead keeps failing at every turn.

President Buhari instead of allowing the sleeping dogs to lie went  ahead, damned all consequences and bearded the lion in its den via  lopsided appointments, nepotism, favouritism, and suppression of dissent  voices under his tsarist regime.

Today, the only corrupt people in Nigeria, according to him, are all in  the former ruling party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party hence the  clampdown on its members via moles and the like to drive that party into  extinction while the governing party, the All Progressives Congress  remains at the centre ad infinitum.

There are so many aggrieved and knowledgeable Nigerians who fault the  present arrangement, many have genuinely proffered solutions and  shortcuts to bail Nigeria out of its current woes but sad to say such  calls and solution have fallen on deaf ears, the refusal to implement  the 2014 Confab reports because it emerge from none other than Jonathan  is a case in point.

These problems keep on resurfacing like a recurring decimal that is  increasingly dividing the country as a nation and as a people. Nigeria  has never recorded so much bloodshed as it is today via crimes of  varying degree, particularly violent ones.

Life has become so worthless in Nigeria that herders take it at the drop  of a hat. In this connection, many villages and villagers have been  overrun and razed by a band of invading devil-may-care herders who seem  to be enjoying the support and protection of an overlord who acts behind  the scene.

Only last week some Fulani herders raped and killed women in the  northern parts of Edo State and one of the young men among the peaceful  protesters against the crying injustice was shot at in the leg by an  armed soldier whose leg was later amputated at Federal Medical Centre at  Irrua, Edo State.

In fact, a lot of other heinous crimes being committed by the state  against its own people have been going on unchecked, more so scores have  been killed by the invading band of Fulani marauders.

Any attempt to criticise the infamous policies of the Abuja regime is  always greeted with hostility by the Hausa-Fulani via hate speeches on  the social media and these were the same people that vomited all manner  of expletives when Jonathan was in power. Thus this creates a feeling as  to whether Southerners are indeed a conquered people according to the  late Saudauna.

Be that as it may, it is high time the Federal Government rebuilt  confidence in the minds of the citizenry and took urgent steps to  address the thorny issues threatening to tear the nation apart under the  existing circumstances.

Only this morning, I read in a national daily the letter written by  Arewa Youths to the Acting President on the need to allow Igbos have  Biafra in spite of the peace meetings and initiatives by the Acting  President to find a lasting solution to the ongoing tension that the  quit order to Igbos has created in the country.

It is a thousand pities Nigeria’s sovereignty is being sacrificed on the  altar of individual whims and caprices as individuals and groups emerge  at will to foist their will on not only their supporters but on the  whole country and hate speeches and expletives are employed in this  regard which portends nothing but a serious danger to the people.

What is certain here is that the central authority is becoming paralysed  by intrigues, maladministration, social upheavals and the gross  incompetence of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives  Congress.

To the Biafra separatist movements, we must now turn. Although the  agitation for Biafra did not start with the Buhari’s administration but  the policies being implemented renewed the agitation this time with  undiminished intensity.

The reason for this is not far-fetched. Southeasterners have complained  of marginalisation which President Buhari has consistently paid deaf  ears to and these ought not to be after all. The calls for a  restructuring of the country which would have allowed every region to  develop at its own pace has equally fallen on deaf ears. Recently, the  National Leader of the ruling All Progressives’ Congress, Bola Ahmed  Tinubu, lent his voice to the barrage of voices to urgently restructure  the country as the only way to end all agitations and save the country  from imminent disintegration, Goodness knows if his call will make any  impact on the Abuja regime.

No one tribe is greater than the other and no region must be allowed to  assume the exalted position of an ‘OVERLORD’. Fortunately or  unfortunately, this has been going on for quite sometime now which has  given rise to ill-feelings and discontent nationwide.

While the writer joins forces and sympathises with Igbos and other  minority tribes to denounce this obviously sad situation, I would enjoin  my Igbo folks to remain calm in the face of every agonizing provocation  via the use of diplomacy as obtains in civilised societies to fight this  grave injustice on them and other minority tribes who have been caught  in a similar web.

In doing this, there is, therefore, a compelling need to shun the use of  expletives and hate speeches in order not to create room for another  avoidable crisis rearing its ugly head on the ascending order of  magnitude and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra who commands  nearly 75% loyalty of Igbo youths has so much to do in this regard.

I have often had to speak in person to a few IPOB leaders that I know on  the need to discourage their followers on the use of hate speeches and  expletives on the social media in the course of the ongoing agitation  that has put the Nigeria on the line.

Hate speeches, for all I know, can trigger off a huge conflagration  which will consume a whole country, the Rwanda genocide is a sad case in  point.

The bomb does not detonate itself nor gun goes off its self but  propelled by an external force and the external force is the aggrieved  person who detonates or shoots it with malice aforethought.

What is, therefore, the need of fighting to restore Biafra via hate  speeches and expletives capable of triggering off another war with  devastating effects?  Who are the Biafrans that will form the new nation  if another war is fought that would annihilate and turn the region into  a never-again-to be-inhabited heap of ruins?    The present trend can not continue without sparking off another civil  war. I repeat with all the emphasis at my regal command that the need to  discourage the use of hate speeches is deemed absolutely necessary  before we all find ourselves in dishonourable graves.

Written by Iyoha John Darlington, a social activist, political analyst and public  commentator on national and global issues from Turin, Italy.



This post first appeared on News In Nigeria, please read the originial post: here

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OPINION: IPOB/AREWA YOUTHS: NEED TO STOP HATE SPEECHES, EXPLETIVES, EMBRACE PEACE AND SUPPORT OSINBAJO’S PEACE INITIATIVE

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