OPINION: Anarchy In Owerri, What Southeast Should Learn From Northeast
Prof. Ibrahim Abdu
Let me start by acknowledging the facts that the Ibos are one of the smartest, intelligent, and hardworking sets of people not just in Nigeria, but globally. This could be attested to, by the presence of the Ibos in any part of the globe trying to erk a living. They are so ingenious, that anything they set out to accomplish, in just a matter of time, will be fait accomplice. The Ibos also have a special place in my heart, in that my umbilical cord is buried in Afikpo in present day Ebonyi State. Yes, that’s where I was born after the civil war when my late father (Rahimahullah) served with the Nigerian Army. I am always very proud to tell anyone that aspect of my history.
Now, to the present situation. Yesterday, while watching the National News, a greater proportion of that programme was dedicated to the mayhem that was unleashed on Owerri, the Imo State capital. The Nigerian Police Headquarters was razed down, and the Correctional facility was broken and over 1,800 inmates were set free in a ‘Gestapo Style’. In the Police Headquarters, attempts were also made to break into the Armoury before the hoodlums were overwhelmed. Prior to that, several police divisional headquarters and stations were attacked by the ‘yet to be identified gunmen’. People from other parts of the country running their legitimate businesses were killed in ‘cold blood’. With all these happening, nobody dares call the perpetrators of these heinous acts who they really are, because of the fear of the consequences. That is the ‘signature tune’ of any terrorist organisation at its infancy.
It vividly reminds me of how the terrorist organisation, ‘Boko Haram’, started in Maiduguri, until it snowballed into what we are having in the country today. About 12 years of unending insurrection, over 30, 000 innocent lives lost (based on conservative estimates), billions of dollars worth of resources destroyed, close to 3 million people displaced from their natural homes, destruction of critical infrastructure, disruption of social and economic lifes, just to mention but a few, are some of the likely consequences that you will face.
Today, I think earnestly, the Southeast is the most flourishing geopolitical zone in the country after the Southwest, such an unnecessary crisis that is about to erupt will retard your progress for almost half a century even after it is subsequently settled. Your own very businesses will cripple and substantial number will be in the IDP camps. God forbid! Please, just come to the Northeast and see how pathetic the situation could be. No matter how bad, it is better you mobilize your energetic youths and wear your thinking caps before these misguided youths ‘let the hell loose’ in your beautiful and potentially prosperous sub-region.
MAY THE GOOD LORD SAVE OUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY.