Sunday, December 7, 2008
IKEDI OHAKIM, WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU REALLY ON?
He was the biggest surprise of the 2007 Olusegun Obasanjo abracadabra of an "election" that took place in Nigeria, when from the blue sky he emerged victorious in the Imo State governorship race. Olusegun Obasanjo forswore Ararume of his own party the PDP, and instead threw up this man as the governor of Imo State, Nigeria. But who is Ikedi Ohakim? Icheoku really does not know much about this man except that he was the lucky beneficiary of the feud between Olusegun Obasanjo and Ifeanyi Ararume which catapulted him into the Imo State governor's house. Whether he is the new Dee Sam Mbakwe of the blessed memory, only time shall tell; but so far, his utterances has been rather very caustic and antagonistic of the Igbos, especially their industrious and enterprising youths. The Igbo breed who has been marginalised, killed, imprisoned, deprived and practically ostracised from Nigeria and the desperate attempts they make to survive is now being debased by this lucky bastard, Ikedi Ohakim. First, Ikedi Ohakim said that the Igbo have no reason to still be complaining in Nigeria as things are now ok for them to thrive and excel? According to Ikedi, the Igbos of Nigeria has become a nation of whiners as their continued agitation to be treated fairly has no merit or foundation any longer. As far as Ikedi is concerned, by Olusegun Obasanjo making him the governor of Imo State has magically solved all the agitations of the Igbo of Nigeria? Now again, his utterance is that the Igbos are stranded all over the world in the Diaspora, wandering about like sheep without a shepard. But Ikedi Ohakim, you failed to address the root-cause of the problems militating against the Igbos since the firearm hostilities of the civil war ended; which is that the rest of the Nigerian society does not want the Igbos, but are merely tolerating their presence in Nigeria. The Igbos are denied jobs and killed at any given time and for any trivial reason be it religion, politics, tribal or even for a cartoon in a newspaper in far away Denmark? That the governments of some host states in Nigeria where the Igbos operate their tradings randomnly shut down those markets for no just cause, also escaped your warped mind. In short the odds are so heavily stacked against the Igbos in the polity called Nigeria and unfortunately, they are always outnumbered. As a governor, Icheoku asks, what have you done so far to ameliorate the situation? Have you picked up the telephone to call such state governors to find out why they close those markets with that frequency? Have you picked up the phone to call those northern governors to demand the protection of the Igbos in their state at the pain of a reprisal attack in your own state? How many times did you visit with such unfortuante Igbo victims of unprovoked attacks to commiserate with them over their loss? How many times have you gone on record to condemn the treatment being meted to the Igbos in Nigeria even at the pain of falling out with your mentors in Nigeria? How many jobs have you even created so far as governor of Imo State to help absorb the "wandering" Igbo youths, who despite their high qualifications are still living with their parents several years after graduating first class, just because the Nigerian establishment does not hire their kind? What do you want these jobless men and women of Igbo origin to do, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim? Survival is the first law of nature so for the determined Igbo man and woman, anything therefore is a fair game that puts food on the table and clothes on the back. If it is drugs, 419, kidnapping, armed robbery, you just name that vice, oh well and dandy provided son of man does not die of starvation in such a country with bountiful resources! If the Nigerian government and their Hausa-Fulani oligarchs manipulators with the assistance of the Yoruba collaborators have decided to frustrate the Igbos out of jobs that pays livable wages in Nigeria and the Igbo youths are left with the only available option in the underground business, so be it! How can a people, so harshly discriminated against in a country supposedly theirs, be required otherwise? And while you are there silently bemoosed, slavishly dinning with the devils that have ganged up against the Igbo interest; you still have the impetus to question Igbo patriotism and Igbo ideals? It is not every Igbo abroad that is "stranded" or doing very well but at least they are better off than the over 69 million people in your Nigeria who lives below poverty line on less than $2 dollars a day. At least they are abroad, scrounging the streets and remitting some money to their families and friends for support and upkeep. Without the money being remmitted back to Nigeria by these "stranded" Igbos abroad, so many Igbo family would have gone belly-up, including in your Mbano clan. Or should Icheoku call names? What you should concern your petite self with is not the people abroad but how to improve the lives of those less unfortunate ones back home whose fortunes are not well endowed. But what is your history? Are you really a doer or just a plain talker? How did you get to cavort with Olusegun Obasanjo that he deemed you the fit and proper person to be rewarded with Imo State governorship? How did you make your money or were you a trust fund child? For all your bandied "patriotism", Icheoku has not seen or heard you demand forcefully that the River Niger bridge be constructed or that those mallams slaughtering the Igbos each time in the northern parts of Nigeria be prosecuted for their mayhem or that the Federal government of Nigeria go easy on the non-violent aggitating MASSOB? Mr. Ikedim Ohakim, which side of the divide are you really on? In your keynote address at the South East Economic Summit in Owerri, Imo State, titled "How Igbo economy died" you claimed, unsubstantiated though, that over 3000 Igbo youths are in prisons abroad, that 18 of them are on death row in Asia alone, that 15 Igbo youth are serving time in Jakarta, Indonesia, that 300 Igbo youths were arrested in different parts of Nigeria for cyber crimes in the last few months, etc. The question you should rather be addressing is why have the Igbo youths been put in such a straight-jacket in Nigeria that they are forced to go to the ends of the earth just to survive? How many decades does an Igbo graduate have to wait in Nigeria just to be given a meaningful job? This blogger knows of three highly educated and qualified Igbo youths who could not secure an entry position in the Nigeria Customs because according to the mallam heading the department, they are not allowed to employ the Igbos! Is it the Immigration or Foreign Affairs or even the oil companies that the Igbos are accommodated? Icheoku knows of an army captain of Igbo extraction who had to change his name to a Tiv name in order to get into the army and another who claimed Okene origin to get into the police and this is in a country where the Igbo has become an anathema. Someone else known to Icheoku, who works for one of the oil companies in Nigeria has to change his name to reflect the "employable areas" of Nigeria just to get a job? And you question the desperation of the Igbo youth? It was also an insult for you to open your mouth to accuse the Igbo youths back home in Nigeria, of "taking to anything that means less sweat and more money". This fallacy of your statement calls for your mouth to be soap-washed because it is very obvious who the most hardworking, hustling and enterprising group in Nigeria is? The Igbo youths are found in every nook and crany of Nigeria, from the remotest village in Birnin-Kebbi to all the major cities and towns in Nigeria hustling for survival as no one will employ them because of a standing tacit order of the powers that be in Nigeria. You should apologise for this guffaw, Mr. Ohakim! Did you even ask yourself, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, why opportunities for Igbo youths' self-actualization are fast dwindling or as Icheoku would rather put it, non-existent in Nigeria? It was very arrogant of you to state categorically that many of the Igbo youths who ventured abroad in search of opportunities have come to peril, when statistics shows that these group of people are the life-blood sustaining the Igbo nation since the end of the civil war with their remittances. Just in case you do not know, there is dignity in labour as riding Okadas is not a dishonorable business but an edifying work that pays the bills. Drugs and 419 are vices which a group of people that are not wanted in Nigeria have been pushed into, just for their survival. Learning a trade or skill has a limited market and the market is almost full. Mr. Ikedi Ohakim, for you to say that thousands of Igbo youths are stranded abroad but cannot come home because they have nothing to show for it and so continue to endure the nightmare of living in a foreign land where they are neither happy nor prospering is rather uncalled for? Or is this your reaction to the American Embassy denying you visa so soon after you were sworn in; possibly for a trip to go and show off your new found status as a token governor of Imo State courtesy of Olusegun Obasanjo? Those of you in Nigeria, what do you have to show for except your ill-gotten and mostly stolen from the public coffers, wealth? If Nigerians heed your advise and start stoning corrupt politicians who steal money, there will be no one left as you all have stolen public money in one form or another and have fallen short of the glory! It is a abnd of thieves that is running Nigeria, at least you all stole the election or who voted you people in? According to your assessment, almost 90 per cent of able-bodied and enterprising Igbo men and women live outside the South East and you wondered why? They have to survive elsewhere since the situation back south east is not encouraging and as to the natural disasters like gully erosion, flooding and oil and gas pollution that daily wreck havoc in the Igbo region, what measures have you taken to petition the federal government, or shout yourself hoarse on top of the mountain to draw attentionto the plight or use your allocation to tackle some of the problems as far as they can go? Ikedi Ohakim mentioned that the South East cannot boast of one leader whose presence can make things happen at the Aso Villa because what most of the supposed leaders in the region go and do at the center of government is to beg for contracts and groveling for money. Icheoku asks, how much grovelling did you do before Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo agreed to allow you the governorship of Imo State? Also since you became the governor how much have you paid in secret bank accounts as gratificiation for those who put you in charge of Imo State? As a governor, you are more than qualified as a leader from the south east, so when you go to Aso Rock, what do you say to Umaru Yar'Adua? Do you bring up the urgent need to re-construct the River Niger bridge, the horrible roads, non-existent infrastructures, industries, the dormant Oji-River power station, etc that are militating against the South East? What do you discuss with Umaru Yar'Adua, Mr Ikedi Ohakim? As for your assertion that it will no longer be business as usual, Icheoku says talk is cheap and everyone is waiting to see how you transforms into the present day Dee Sam Onunaka Mbakwe of the blessed memory! Until then, please walk the walk as you talk the talk, Mr. Ikedi Ohakim!