- Category: Press Release
- Published on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 03:28
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1946
1. Nigeria is an oil rich country and a regional power in West Africa. It is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country with a population of more than 160 million people. There are three major ethnic groups, the Igbo (also known as Ibo) and the Yoruba in the South, and the Hausas in the North. There are about 250 other smaller groups in the federation. The Hausa are predominantly Muslims, and live in the Northern part of Nigeria, the Yoruba are split almost evenly between Muslims and Traditionalists or Christians, and live in the South-Western part of Nigeria, and the Igbo, 99% Christians, live in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria.
THE IGBO NATION
3. The Igbos inhabit the South-Eastern (popularly referred to as the East) part of Nigeria with a population of over 50 million. They speak the Igbo language and are predominantly Christians. A land blessed with human and mineral resources including oil. The Igbos are very commercially inclined and extremely industrious. The Igbos as a people had an established democratic institution even before colonization by the British. They are very republican and egalitarian in nature, and coexisted peacefully with their neighbours prior to colonization.
4. Today the Igbos of Nigeria have demonstrated to the world their commitment to peaceful coexistence by refusing to take up arms for self-preservation in the face of a targeted, determined and unrelenting genocide in the Northern part of Nigeria, by appealing to the UN and the International Community for immediate response and protection of Igbos (Ndigbo) of Nigeria. Today we have decided to bring to the attention of the International community the enormity of the crime against humanity, the despicable carnage, the pogrom, the ethnic cleansing going on in Nigeria today.
5. As you are reading this, the massacre is on-going with outrageous ferocity and wicked intent aimed at wiping the Igbos off the face of the earth. We continue to bury our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in thousands every week, and every month. We have watched our daughters and wives publicly raped and butchered, pregnant women's stomach cut open and the foetus removed and killed, breast feeding mothers have had their breasts cut off and allowed to bleed to death. Hundreds have been burnt alive, and the world is silent.
6. Innocent and law abiding citizens whose only crimes have been their industriousness, mobility, and
Christianity continue to face the threat of extinction everyday. We have been persecuted and have even fought back against our powerful persecutors for more than half a century now. Rather than bring us peace and security, the silent support of some International bodies has increased the advantage of our oppressors over us.
7. Today our persecutors are a Muslim sect based in the Northern part of the country, known as ‘Boko Haram’, loosely translated as ‘Western Education is Sin’. In the past they have been the Northern people, the Hausas, or the Federal Military Government of Nigeria.
8. One common theme in Nigeria since 1945 is that Igbo life is not sacred; almost nobody is ever brought to book for the spilling of innocent Igbo life. Igbo murderers operate with impunity and even enjoy tacit support of the Nigerian government. In the market place, in the churches, on the streets, the blood of the Igbos are spilled every month. How long shall the world remain silent in the face of continued injustice?
9. We don’t usually think of history as being shaped by silence, but as the renowned English philosopher Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. We live in a world plagued by terrorism today. That evil terror has made its way to Nigeria and the Igbos are their primary victims. It is time for the international community to get up, say enough is enough, and crush this terror.
10. The Nigerian government is seemingly complicit with this terror group, because they have not shown the will to combat and destroy it. Rather they have made deals with the terror groups in the past, and actually offered amnesty to this terrorist organization. Must the world watch in silence? We plead for you to come to our aid now lest we perish. Igbos are on the verge of being extinct, and we have no support in Nigeria.
11. The Igbo story greatly parallels the Jewish experience; we are very industrious, religious, and live in migrant communities. As a result of our commercial success we are despised and mistreated by host communities. This hatred has led to taunts, discrimination, pogroms, ethnic cleansing and a civil war in which the rest of Nigeria ganged up to subjugate the Igbos. Politicians from other ethnic groups have used anti-Igbo sentiments to whip up support for themselves, and get their people to commit dastardly acts of violence against Igbos. Just like the Jews we have suffered enough today we say enough is enough.
12. To illustrate our point further, here is an excerpt of anti-Igbo proceedings from the Northern House of Assembly in 1964:
“On the allocations of plots to Ibos, or allocation of stalls I would like to advise the minister that these people know how to make money and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots, I do not want them to be given plots.”
---------------Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Maude Gyar
“I would like you, as the Minister of land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all certificates of occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region. [Applause from the assembly floor].
--------------Mallam Bashari Umaru
“I am very glad that we are in Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region, to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Ibos and even if we find some Christians who are interested in building hotels and have no money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with the hotels.”
--------------Mr. A. A. Agigede
“I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a United Nigeria, but certainly if the present trend of affairs continues, then I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending the Northernization policy to the petty Ibo traders. [Applause].
--------------Prof. Iya Abubakar (special Member: Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria)
“I would like to say something very important that the Minister should take my appeal to the federal government about the Ibos in the Post Office. I wish the members of these Ibos be reduced. There are too many of them in the North. They were just like sardines and I think they were just too dangerous to the region.
---------------Mallam Mukhtar Bello
“Mr. Chairman, Sir, well, first and foremost, what I have to say before this honorable House is that we should send a delegate to meet our honorable Premier to move a Motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors, or not, should be repatriated at once.
--------------Mallam Ibrahim Muse
“There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors. [Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners.”] Again Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibos in their firms by some other people.”
--------------Mallam Bashari Umaru
“It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner. [Applause]”
-------------The Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sarduana of Sokoto
“What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about this matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, east for the easterners, West for the Westerners, and the Federation is for all. [Applause}.”
--------------Alhaji Usman Liman
“Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, all this should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. [Applause]”
-------------Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Cashash, Minister of Land and Survey
The quotes above are the mildest form of discrimination Igbos have faced since 1945, and are just a tip of the iceberg.
13. We, the members of IGBOVILLE, a network of Igbos at home and abroad representing the larger Igbo community wish through this medium to bring to your attention the horror, and state of fear we have borne and still bear for more than fifty years. The federal government of Nigeria always and consistently turns a blind eye to the injustice and continuous violence meted out against us. The government controlled print and electronic media refuses to publish or at best under reports the horrific orgy of blood-letting going on in Nigeria as carried out by the Northern Muslims against primarily Igbos. The government at varied times under reports it as a religious conflict, and sometimes a diversionary measure is taken to deceive the world or confuse the people from seeing what is going on in the country.
14. Today as these horrendous massacres persist, the federal government is busy with the issue of oil subsidy while a section of the country perishes. The world press focuses on oil while human blood, the blood of the Igbos wet the streets of the Northern states of Nigeria. Below is a brief narrative of the suffering of Igbos in Nigeria:
15. HISTORY OF MASSACRE (City/Town and Year)
v Jos 1945
v Kano genocide 1953
v 1966 pogroms- over 50, 000 killed
v 1967-70 - over 2,000,0000 killed during the bloody civil war
v Kano 1980
v Maiduguri 1982
v Jimeta 1984
v Gombe 1985
v. Zaria 1987
v Kaduna & Kafanchan 1991
v Bauchi & Katsina 1991
v Kano 1991
v Zangon-Kataf 1992
v Funtua 1993
v Kano 1994
v Kaduna 2000
v Kaduna 2001
v Maiduguri 2001
v Kaduna 2002
v Beheading of Gideon Akaluka in December of 1996 in Kano
v Saint Moritz killed December 2001
v Post April 2011 Presidential Election: 10 youth-corps men & women and numerous citizens murdered because a Christian Southerner was elected.
v Jos Christmas Eve 2010
v Madalla Christmas day 2011
v Mubi January 6 2012
16. And the list goes on. By the time you read this more would have died. The situation is getting out of hand and the Nigerian government has shown that it lacks the will and the capability to protect the life and property of Igbos in Nigeria.
17. They federal government has tried relentlessly to undermine the premeditated, consistent, calculated ethnic cleansing as a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. This has been the attitude of the government who through its unjust structural policies has continued in her agenda to punish the Igbos. The Igbos are now both politically and ethnically endangered species in Nigeria. Once a vibrant powerful ethnic group in Nigeria the Igbo is now a minority in the new geopolitical structure of Nigeria.
18. We cannot continue to watch as the security situation in Nigeria continues to deteriorate. Nigeria is a strategic ally of the West. The world must act now to avoid another civil war in the style of Rwanda and Sudan. Now is the time to act before the anger of the youths, as vindictive as it is take matters into their hands.
19. In the past two months alone, more than 1000 Igbos have been massacred in the North; one of the the most gruesome being the attack on the Igbos on Christmas day, 25 Dec 2011, in which defenseless innocent worshippers at a Christmas service were bombed and more than 42 Igbos lost their lives.
20. After these bombings the evil Boko Haram sect gave all Southerners (i.e. Igbos) resident in the North a three-day ultimatum to leave the North or face their wrath. As the three-day ultimatum given to Southerners (Igbos) in the North to leave expired more than 100 Igbos have been killed, both in churches, on the streets, and churches as of January 8 2012. The death-toll will more than likely rise.
21. Today by coming to you, we have demonstrated our resolve to pursue a peaceful resolution of this carnage. The Igbos are asking for the international community and the UN to intervene. We want a referendum, supervised by UN for the people to choose for themselves if they want to be part of Nigeria. We demand for self-rule where we can protect our citizenry from further slaughter since our lives and property are not guaranteed in Nigeria.
Kindly consider this email as an invitation to the rally as well as a request to use your medium to inform the world of the genocide going on in Nigeria.
FOR: Igboville members and Ndigbo
Iyk JP IgweChin Akano
J Duke AnagoChinenye
Amechi Benson Ugwu
Some online media references:
Jos 1945: http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/3224/1/Jos-Riot-And-The-Dead-Mans-footsteps/Page1.html
Kano 1953: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kano_riot_of_1953
North East: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16456381
NB: We have also attached some images.
Cc: British Prime Minister, US President, President of France, UN Secretary General, Israeli Prime Minister, OAU Secretary General, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, European Union, World Media