Johnson Suleman: What have Igbos done to Nigeria?


Jimmy Abia

I feel obligated to address Pastor Suleman’s unfortunate diatribe if only for posterity sake.

I wouldn’t have felt much need to debunk these lies had they not also been spread from the most unlikely quarters – the educated, and even by mainstream media.

A very dangerous new trend is that it is now also being spread in pulpits and Oba’s palaces, thereby drawing religious and ethnic hate and bigotry further into it.

If it was just being propagated by illiterates and certified idiots as usual, I wouldn’t care at all. But, alas it has gained some prominency among those we would otherwise have considered enlightened.

I mean, how do you blame a zone with 15 out of 109 Senators for the high turnover of Senate Presidents during the Obasanjo era. Does that even make sense to you? Indeed, out of the 15 only 14 were regular voting senators because 1 was the Senate President. The people who spread these pedestrian tales by moonlight cannot tell you any important role that South East people played in these persons removal. Yet, they keep peddling the falsehood.

How would you allege that it was the disunity of South East that got the 5 Senate Presidents out, except you are determined to do violence to facts and rape common sense?

First, the zone has the least number of senators in Nigeria and so can hardly ever influence the selection or, removal of anyone, or indeed decide any direction for the House.

Secondly, out of the 5 Senate Presidents of that era, only 2 were impeached. Anyim and Nnamani served out their terms. Wabara resigned after the early morning broadcast by Obasanjo in which he alleged Wabara’s involvement in “cash for budget”. So the only 2 impeached were Okadigbo and Enwerem.

If you ever bothered to read Obasanjos book MY WATCH you will know that the removal of those Senate Presidents was a product of the war between Atiku and Obasanjo. Obasanjo wrote it in no uncertain terms that his battle for political space led to the manipulations, scheming, and shenanigans that consumed the political fortunes of those men. Money was regularly shared and the 109 house did their bit, upon the helplessness of the south east.

What those who spread these tales are doing is similar to where an adult farts and turns around to blame an innocent child seated nearby. So, even where the south east hasn’t been disunited, some people still find a way of smuggling in the word “disunity” just because they must give a dog a bad name in order to seem justified in hanging it.

You would note of course that in the same era the position of PDP Chairmanship also witnessed a similar high turnover of occupants of that office – 6 Chairmen in 8 years !!! The Speakership of the House of Representatives zoned to North West also witnessed a similar turnover – 3 Speakers in those years. From Salisu Buhari (who was exposed by his own step mother and forced to resign by the northern majority in the House of Representatives) to Ghali Umar Naaba (who wasn’t allowed to return to the House) to Aminu Bello Masari

It was all due to the fight between two gladiators, obasanjo and Atiku. That position wasn’t being occupied by the south east. Yet, no one talks about this as disunity of the people that occupied it.

If you look back at our recent political history you will see where members of other zones fought each other to a standstill whether politically or otherwise. Yet no one makes a topic of them vs them, because its just seen as politics. I can cite several examples but I’ll hold my brakes for now.

I am therefore at a loss why some people keep peddling these lies and why they are still believed by some persons.

How can we build a nation when lies gain more prominency than truths? How can we build a nation when you must find a reason to blame and castigate a part for what is not any of their fault? Why are some people bent on pushing this false stereotype of disunity, if not that they stand to gain from such disunity?

You say Igbo are not united because some apprentices steal from their oga, yet You forgot that the Igbo apprenticeship system has been the most successful job creation and entrepreneurship building platform. Would it have been that successful if what you mentioned was so rampant?

How do you accuse the same people that have helped one another grow from the ashes of the war to a vastly successful people of disunity when even those who didn’t experience war couldn’t unify to achieve same?

What have Igbos done to Nigeria to generate such hate and invectives even from supposed holy pulpits (which should have been used to spread love) and from reverred palaces of Oba’s ?