[Image: The author]
The continuing silence of Igbo leadership, intelligentsia and the generality of Nigerian populace at the injustices being meted out to their brethren especially in Lagos is
course for alarm and serious reflection. When law abiding citizens who continue to enrich the coffers of any state they live in are treated with disdain and as common criminals even as they are targeted for abject discrimination while their properties are destroyed and/or confiscated at the behest of the government, shows how low the Igbo ethnic nationalities, NO, all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria have sunk.
That they even bend backward to work with the Lagos government is not in doubt!
“To ensure a more healthy and clean environment, Ladipo Auto Spare parts traders have set aside one Friday every month to do special cleaning of the market in addition to the usual mandatory Thursday environmental sanitation day declared for traders by the Lagos State Government.
The President, Ladipo Auto Spare dealers, Kingsley Ikechukwu Ogbonna, said the traders on their own have decided that one Friday in a month, in addition to the statutory Thursday environment exercise, to carry out general cleaning of the entire market.”
Nigeria: Ladipo Market Traders Choose Extra Sanitation Day
This brings to mind the now famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller.
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out-
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out –
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me –
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
“First They Came for the Jews”
(By Martin Niemoller
In 2013 Ladipo Market made news as the law abiding traders bent backwards to accommodate the demands made on them by the state government even as they appealed to the government to make changes that would help resolve the nagging issues raised. That all parties kept their part of the agreement is debatable but working together both parties came to a solution.
“We are also calling on the state government to help create a central dump-site for the marketers to dump their refuse easily. The lack of central dumping site in the market also contributed to the sanitation challenge facing the market.
“We are appealing to Governor Babatunde Fashola to direct the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, boss, Dr. Ola Oresanya to construct a central dump site for the market that has more than 20, 000 members.”
Ladipo Market: Lagos demolishes illegal structures
We are now presented with the deliberate attempt below to disenfranchise law abiding citizens to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.
“Some armed men and officials suspected to be working for Mushin Local Government and supported by a team of policemen on Tuesday morning invaded Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market and demolished shops in the market.
During the demolition exercise, the traders were barred from entering the market in Mushin, Lagos State, western Nigeria, to remove their goods from the shops.
The armed men were battle ready to forestall any resistance from the traders as the demolition was going on.
Traders were also not allowed to get near the entrance into the market as tipper lorries were seen taking sand and gravel into the market to commence work after the demolition.”
Ladipo Market Demolished
This deliberate attempt to destroy the properties of law abiding citizens even as they are prevented from seeking ways to remove these properties from harm’s way is mind-boggling. There is no other way to interpret the continuing attempt to seek ways to pauperize a section of its citizenry than pure and total hatred.
The ownership of Lagos is not in doubt just as the owners of the hamlets, towns and cities in the core-North is not in doubt, at least not to this writer. If the Lagos leadership decides to treat those that continue to increase its ability to pay for its legal and illegal expenditures it should turn its eyes to the core-North to observe what the hostile stance of the indigenes have wrought on them even as those rejected flee to more friendly environs.
It is time that those who are not wanted dust the dust off their feet and move themselves and their investments to areas that are more welcoming and conducive to co-existence.
“Our finding is that leadership has been a major problem for Ndiigbo since the end of the war. Igbo society rose to its modern glory before and during the war largely because of extremely efficient, dedicated, visional, selfless, and inspiring leadership at all levels of Igbo Society. From the Umunna through Village Assemblies, Town Unions, to Cultural Organizations like the Igbo State Union, Divisional Associations and Improvement Unions, Igbo leadership was stellar. Leaders were “chosen” elected by their own people. They did the business of the people. They raised funds, built roads, bridges, hospitals, health centers, schools and colleges. They awarded scholarships to brilliant students and sent them out to distant lands to be educated. They organized cooperative ventures and provided capital for young traders and businessmen to start new enterprises and businesses. Most importantly, they accounted regularly to the people who elected them and if their stewardship was found wanting at any time, they were removed and replaced with more efficient and effective leaders. That was how Ndiigbo took off on a high note of success.”
It is time that Igbo governors are shamed into providing infrastructures that will make it possible for their indigenes to stay home and invest in their states. It is time that Igbo intelligentsia and Igbo organizations begin to demand that the governors, legislators (both state and federal) begin to work for Oha (the people) and hold them responsible for performing below par compared to Akwa Ibom or Cross river and other states in the upper quartile. It is time that enablers of these non-performing governors are confronted and shamed into doing right by Oha.
“It has never been this bad in Igboland. If you refuse to be deceived by the sprinkle of wealthy people in Igbo society today and seriously look at the big picture, the masses of our people, you won’t help but experience panic about the plight of Ndiigbo in Nigeria today and the future of this ethnic group of people called Ndiigbo. IT SHOCKS US WHEN ANY INTELLIGENT IGBO MAN OR WOMAN MAKES A STATEMENT LIKE: “Oh things are alright.” “We are in charge in XXX political party and things are going well for Ndiigbo.” IT IS EVEN MORE SHOCKING WHEN THE PERSON MAKING SUCH A STATEMENT IS ONE OF THOSE WHO BRAND THEMSELVES “IGBO LEADER”. In 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s Igbo leaders did a lot to improve the quality of life of every Igbo person. During this period, Igbo leaders like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. M. I. Okpara, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Dr. Dennis Osadebe, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, Maazi Z. C. Obi to name a few did concrete things that propelled Ndiigbo above every other ethnic group in Nigeria. Azikiwe, Orizu, Osadebe and others saw the value of good education as the ladder to economic progress and pursued the provision of educational opportunities for Ndiigbo with such vigor that in a few decades, Ndiigbo leapfrogged over every ethnic group in Nigeria in educational attainment thereby positioning themselves to take over much of the administrative machinery of the state at independence.
Okpara, Ibiam and some others saw the need for food sufficiency and industrialization and pursued agriculture and food production with such zeal that by 1965, the government of Eastern Nigeria undertook publicity campaign to urge people to eat more meat, chicken and eggs and drink milk. Farm settlements and agricultural extension programs were so successful that Malaysia came to Eastern Nigeria to learn the secret. At the same time major industries were being established at Port Harcourt/Calabar, Enugu/Emene/Nkalagu, Umuahia and Onitsha. These industries were superbly successful and formed the backbone of the industrialization of Eastern Nigeria.”
If Dr. M. I. Okpara, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Dr. Dennis Osadebe, etc., could do that much with resources less than any of the Igbo states, why are the Igbo governors non-performing? Why are Ndi Igbo forced into exile all over the world in search of opportunities? Why the continued silence of Ohanaeze and Igbo intelligentsia at this continuing abomination?
May Chi Ukwu Abia Ama make life impossible for those that refuse to do right by Oha… Iseeee.
Nnaemeka Onumonu-Uzoaru, Oha ka (The People are Supreme)