Some are destined to rule, whereas some are created to cause confusion. The recent policy statement by Governor Thodore Orji to expel Imo State indigenes working in Abia State is provocative and counter productive. This governor has just exposed how he thinks about Igbo unity. He wants to use his platform as a governor to sow seeds of discord in order to instigate Igbos against Igbos, “tufiakwa!” May be his understanding of presidential system is to divide and instigate fights within people of the same ethnic background.
I want to use this medium of communication to address Governor Orji. To you, Mr. Governor: Are you sure you are a true son of Igbo land? Are you telling Ndi Igbo and Nigeria that you are a segregationist even to your own people? Do you want your legacy to resemble that of Governor Wallace of Alabama of famed evil segregation era in the South of the United States in the 1960s? Are you now trying to divide the Igbos because you have eight years in office to rubbish the integrity and Igbo unity?
I am sure that late premier of Eastern Region, the true son of Igbo land, Legendary Dr. Michael I. Okpara, is blinking repeatedly and turning uncontrollably in his grave because people like you are given to opportunity to govern the Igbos in Abia State. You have lost your credibility in Igbo land whether or not you withdraw your nonsensical policy statement. You are just a small fish to fry as far as true Igbo leaders are concerned. Can you imagine if governors of Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Ananmbra or even Delta States are to emulate your path of destruction and what the repercussion might be? Did you sit down to think that Abia State indigenes are found working in other states without facing any discriminatory treatment, intimidation and harassment?
Your political adviser needs to re-examine him/herself, or may be, you are advised but chose to ignore it. I will simply state that I am very much ashamed of you, Sir. Please do not parade yourself as an Igbo leader because you are not. Your proposal has exposed your hatred for Ndi Igbo. If need be, I will encourage the Abia State House of Assembly to pass a vote of no confidence in you. Your action is capable of invoking mutiny and instability in Igbo land. To even propose to sack your fellows Igbos clearly mark your demise politically in Nigeria, especially in Igbo land.
I encourage Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his other reasonable counterparts not to make any inflammatory comments that could torpedoes these sensitive issues into Igbo cataclysm. Let us not underestimate peoples’ emotions. A case of Hutu and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda should serve as a reminder on what human beings are capable of doing under incitement. Igbos can endure retrenchment from the North, and have their properties confiscated in Rivers State, but to drive fellow Igbos from Igbo land tantamount to abject hatred for fellow Igbos. Governor Orji may not understand the ramification of his policy statement, and if that should be the case, he has no business being a state governor. I encourage Governor Rochas Okorocha not to reciprocate. This is an ugly incident that if it is not handled properly is capable of causing irreparable damage to Igbo unity.
Mazi Henry Otulle Eke writes from Austin, Texas, United State! Mazi Eke is the author of Great Loss of Innocence, a story of a boy who lived through the deadly Nigerian – Biafran War, 1966- 1970. Mazi Eke is the editor and publisher of Town Crier Newsletter, a bi-monthly newsletter serving Austin, Texas, and its environs.