Igbo lives & properties have become gravely unsafe, endangered and threatened on daily basis under Gov Dave Umahi’s chairmanship of the Southeast Governors Forum and other key political office holders representing the Home Land Igbo Nation. In the list of Gov Dave Umahi’s woefully failed SE Govs Forum are those who have been serving as Govs of Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi States since 2015. Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, a key outpost Igbo figure, has also joined them as one of those endangering or conspiring to endanger the lives and properties of the Igbo citizens born and resident in Rivers State in particular and across Igbo Nation in general.
The Homeland Igbo Nation and her sedentary citizens have never been unsecured, threatened and endangered like this in the history of democratic Igbo Nation. The last time the Homeland Igbo Nation was under state conquest and brutal siege was during the Civil War. Granted that tens of thousands of citizens of Igbo Nation have been massacred since 1937 (Katsina Railway Anti Igbo Riots); including “between 45,000 and 50, 000” massacred before the Civil War in 1966 and 1967 mostly in Northern Nigeria; which also generated over 1.6m Igbo dominated IDPs, but the butcheries had mostly taken place outside Igbo Land and affected mostly Igbo citizens resident in Northern Nigeria.
Our research and investigative findings have clearly shown that not less than 600 unarmed and defenseless Igbo citizens have been shot and killed hatefully and outside the law by the country’s heavily Muslim controlled security forces since August 2015 and not less than 650 others shot and deadly injured; with scores crippled for life. Dozens have also been permanently disappeared. For the first time since the end of the Civil War, not less than 400 Igbo Christians have been butchered in Igbo territories by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. The butchery was first perpetrated in 2016. By Igbo Land or Nation, it includes Igbo parts of Benue, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River States and skeletal others in Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States. It is also our research finding that not less than 600 bushes, forests and farmlands in Igbo territories are presently occupied or under the occupation or threat of same by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.
Killing Igbos at will and levying ‘war-grade’ violence on their properties have become so dangerous that the said key Igbo political figures now dance on the graves and soak their hands in the bloods of their massacred and maimed brothers and sisters; massacred or shot and deadly injured by murderous state actors not only outside the law but also on account of them belonging to Igbo Ethnic Nationality and Christian Faith. The renewed physical, structural and cultural violence against Igbos by the Nigerian State had taken an apogee dimension since August 2015 and have been perpetrated using ‘IPOB’ as a death code.
The named Igbo political leaders not only actively participated or conspired in the named butcheries but also used and are still using same to further their selfish political ambitions. For instance, aspiring to be picked as a national vice presidential candidate or a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction by a mainstream political party now involves conspiring with murderous state actors to massacre and gravely maim their fellow Igbo citizens; or have them hatefully labeled or massively criminalized (i.e. as “IPOB members” or “IPOB terrorists”) in preparation for massacring them or after being massacred and gravely maimed for purpose of justifying their massacre and maiming. In the Obigbo Army Massacre, for instance, Gov Nyesom Wike, under suspected political undertone, not only manufactured “IPOB terror”, but also transmitted same as ‘a license to massacre Igbos’ to the murderous soldiers of the Nigerian Army who swiftly cashed in on same and levied atrocious ‘war’ on the entire Obigbo Community, massacring over 60 and gravely injuring not less than 100. In Ebonyi State, those who refused to follow the defected State Gov to his new political party are now labeled “IPOB members” or “IPOB terrorists”.
The Obigbo massacre, had instead of saddening and maddening the Gov Dave Umahi chaired SE Govs Forum Igbo become an avenue for ‘political consultations at the Rivers State Government House’ ahead of 2023. The named Igbo political figures have never visited the scene of the massacre at Obigbo, not to talk of strongly condemning same. These are in spite of pieces of overwhelming evidence chronicled in the Intersociety, Premium Times and Sahara Reporters’ investigative findings.
SE Govs Forum Has Failed Woefully: It must therefore be strongly warned that the lukewarm, conformist and conspiratorial roles and attitudes of the Gov Dave Umahi chaired Southeast Govs Forum and others are saddening and maddening the mainstream and middle class Igbo population and if continued, may most likely lead them being pushed to the wall and resorting to self help. Gov Dave Umahi, as a matter of fact, has overstayed his welcome as Chairman of the Southeast Govs Forum and must be prevailed upon to step aside so as to give Igbo Nation fresh and purposeful Governorship Forum leadership. Igbo Lives and Properties matter!
Factually speaking, the Gov Dave Umahi chaired Southeast Govs Forum is a disaster and worst in the history of democratic Igbo Nation. Since he took over from former Gov Theodore Orji as Chairman of the Forum following his election in 2015 as Ebonyi State Gov, lives and properties of the citizens of the Homeland Igbo Nation and her territories as well as traveler others particularly those resident in Northern Nigeria have become gravely endangered, threatened and unsafe. These are better explained using the trio of physical, structural and cultural violence, a hate policy maintained by the present Nigerian Government targeted at Igbos since mid 2015.
In physical violence, at least ten state actor massacres have taken place in the Homeland Igbo since August 2015, with Gov Dave Umahi chaired Southeast Govs Forum maintaining silence of the graveyard, rabid incompetence and feudalistic and oligarchic conspiracy. Calls for them to set up fact finding and compensation panels to identify who were killed, who killed them and why, where, when and how they were killed and have their legal families adequately compensated have remained unheeded till date. Hundreds of Igbo Christian travelers including married and unmarried young women have since 2015 been abducted or raped to death or forced into marriage or killed in captivity or forcefully converted to violent faith or forced to be freed after payment of huge ransoms. Through cultural violence, too, Igbos have been massively criminalized and killed or deadly maimed at will using “IPOB” as a death code.
In structural violence, the present Southeast Govs with Gov Dave Umahi as their chair have been incompetently unfit to checkmate or put a stop to it. Structural violence is a policy of political exclusion and segregation and under the watch of these Govs and other key Igbo political figures, the Igbo Nation particularly the Southeast is systematically being deleted from the country’s key security promotions and appointments. Apart from controversies surrounding the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast as they concern the safety of military and policing officers of Igbo extraction, the Region is steadily facing systematic diminishing in the senior officers cadre of the country’s Armed Forces, the Police and Service Agencies. The Region has almost become a history in the NPF senior officers cadre particularly CPs and AIGs and these are done in gross breach of Sections 14 (3) and 217 (3) or regional and religious balancing provided in the existing Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.