NewsReel 15/7/14 - Can There Be Nigeria Without Ndigbo?

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. James C. Agazie reports ] -  Are Ndigbo chosen?  When I wrote the essay entitled Igbos Are Nigeria’s Chosen People in 2012, it created not a small consternation. Some Igbos smiled, while Yorubas, alarmed,  rushed to downgrade the argument, as Yorubas always do and always will. The purpose of that essay was to make Nigerians in general and Yorubas in particular even more appreciative and willing to accept the prospect that perhaps  there could never be a Nigeria without Ndigbo. Ndigbo chose to do the jobs Nigeria had left undone owing to inadequate wits and lethargy. Who could deny the contributions of Ndigbo and who can dispute the fact that Nigeria would  have been as undeveloped and barren as Borno State had Igbos not answered the divine call? There was a time in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and up till the 90’s in villages scattered around Nigeria when and where Igbo men, including my late Dad,  jumped into  pits to mix mud, sand, and water using bare feet as pestles. They molded sun-baked bricks with which they built churches and schools. Where would Nigeria be today without these illustrious Ndigbo pioneers? To fail to appreciate the sacrifices of these pioneers is to show ingratitude of the most daring proportion. Though Nigeria and Nigerians would prefer we keep quiet and tell Igbos to “stop complaining,” we shall continue to cry from housetops and on decrepit platforms: “Ndigbo were, are, and shall be the backbone of Nigeria.”
Are Ndigbo dispensable? Would Nigeria be anything other than a nonentity if Ndiigbo decide to leave enmasse? Nonentity is an empty set consisting of nary  a member. It is defined as something that does not exist or exists only in the imagination, such as a person or thing of no consequence, little importance, or minimal significance.  The Igbos  of Nigeria are a beleaguered people living within a beleaguered nation. A nation is beleaguered if its citizens feel stressed, under pressure, harassed, fraught, care worn , struggling, besieged, or under attack. These are experiences Ndigbo are too well familiar with during the muslim-orchestrated pogroms and Awolowo-sponsored war of genocide. The Igbos are an enviable commodity, an indispensable product that Nigeria  cannot do without. Indispensability is the quality of something that you can’t possibly do without. For example, air is indispensable in that you’ll be dead if you happen to be without it for a moment. Like the air, Ndiigbo is critical, vital, essential, necessary, requisite, obligatory, central, or very crucial to the health of Nigeria.
Are Ndigbo desirable?  It is reasonable to expect Nigerians to weigh the importance of Ndigbo  impartially sans jealousy to determine the significant contributions Ndiigbo have made to the development of their country. It also is reasonable to expect Nigeria to be careful of its actions toward Ndigbo to ensure the nation desists from treating its Igbo citizenry with disdain and in ways that are surreptitious, secretive, stealthy, or sly. We believe that Nigeria can survive without oil. Will the country continue being Nigeria when Igbos become extinct or simply decide to leave? Nigeria was one fine country when there was no oil and coal was the mainstay of development. Nigerians cannot equate Igbos with crude oil as Governor Fashola probably thinks. Fashola of Lagos State brags that Lagos is the only state that can survive if crude oil supply- the mainstay of Nigeria economy-is shut down.  The governor said:
A life without tax is a lie. If they shut down on oil, this is the only state that can survive. Everything that we have done in the past six years was funded by our taxes, Since I became governor, I have not made any tax law, only implementing the existinglaws ontaxation. Read more:   
Can Ndigho break Nigeria? This is not to burst Governor Fashola’s bubble or to belittle his achievements, nor is it an attempt to riddle Lagos State with proverbial bullets. But who pays the taxes with which Fashola governs Lagos? It is very reasonable to assume that the bulk of Governor Fashola’s tax burden falls heavily on the shoulders of Ndiigbo millionaires, merchants, and importers who are responsible for a significant portion of Lagos State’s do-this-and-that. Igbos pay heavy fees and penalties for use of Tin Can seaports. Forbid the flow of Ndigbo talents to Lagos State and see Governor Fashola’s tax base dwindle and perhaps grind to a screeching halt when his NdIgbo tax payers decide to wash their hands off like spurned lovers. Take Igbos out of Lagos and watch Fashola’s structure fall like a pack of cards and eventually disintegrate as sandy mansions at the approach of a wave dashing on the shore. Let’s say arguendo (for the sake of argument) that Fashola can successfully take the Igbos out of Lagos as boko harans are attempting to run Ndigbo out of Northern Nigeria. Can Fashola, boko harans or any jealous group take Lagos and Northern Nigeria out of Ndigbo? I ask this question with a  tongue in cheek.
Can Lagos be Lagos without Ndigbo? Why are Fashola and the Yorubas incensed when someone described Lagos as “no-man’s land”? What was Lagos before the advent of adventuresome Ndigbo?  If Governor Fashola’s Lagos could do without Ndigbo and crude oil from Igbo-occupied Nigeria’s oil wells, what will be the size of Nigeria’s GNP disbursed to Lagos State if no oil is sold to Lagosians? Can Fashola raise enough taxes to feed the children of Lagos for a single day? You can see how silly Governor Fashola’s boast  sounds when you treat a piece of Nigeria as your father’s bona-fide property. “I have not made any tax law,” Big Man Fashola brags, indicating he is the executive and legislative bodies all rolled up in one. Such are the antics of megalomaniacs who enjoy wielding naked power over other people and always want more of it.   
Are Ndigbo a landmark?  Ndiigbo is a Nigerian landmark.  A thing is a landmark if it is a marker, familiar sight, point of attraction, signpost, pointer, or milestone. Igbos have been all these and more.  Ask Governor Fashola and he’ll tell you his experiences moving the landmark surreptitiously, clandestinely, stealthily, underhandedly in the middle of the night. Who would be the conscience of a nation long steeped in all that spells doomsday?  A doomsday is time in the future when some people believe that the world will end. Who would give their bodies as easy targets for Muslim snipers? The Igbos of Nigeria have been targets for Governor Fashola’s mid-night deportation schemes and boko haram incendiary.  In ancient Israel, an animal characterized as sacrificial lamb was let go off (nay,chased out of) the camp as an object that bore the sins of the nation and on whom the blame for the people’s real and imagined transgression/corruption was laid. Who have served Nigeria as its “sin offering?” The Igbos, of course.   The British and Americans have already predicted that  Nigerian would cease to exist by 2015. The disintegration of Nigeria, we say, will be a reality if the Igbos are chased out by envious neighbors. Nigeria would continue to thrive so long as Ndigbo are given unfettered opportunities to do what they are good at, and, that is, keep the engine of development running.
In his essay  Nigeria Doom For Without Ndi Igbo,
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