What Igbos must do now – A letter from Prof Obi Nwakanma.

Part of the reason why Igbo political action is defective is that we talk too much, and act miserably. The current situation with the current regime in Nigeria demands more action, than talk. With all due respect sir, all that you have written below is truth. But it is truth that is already well known. You are making emotional appeals to stones. You cannot squeeze water from stones. You would be more effective tonight, if you invited 10 of your closest friends, and acquaintances home to your house for dinner, and convince each to contribute just $100 to the IGBO DEFENCE FUND. Years ago, I called on the Igbo Diaspora to lunch this fund for the eventuality that the Igbo might seek funds to act in their own defence, including paying for sundry strategic services, legal and extra-legal.

Here is what every Igbo must do, whether you support IPOB or not: you must pull together to defend Igbo honor and the right of every Igbo man, woman, or child, born today or in the future, for survival and dignity. The current regime in Nigeria is not fighting IPOB. It is fighting with the Igbo. IPOB is just simply the badly organized, brave, but sometimes misdirected group that carries the can; it is between Buhari and Igbo subjection. If this regime is allowed to get away with the murders it has committed against Igbo youth; its suppression of the voice of Ndi Igbo, its daring of the Igbo to act if they could, then all Igbo, whether you are in support of IPOB or not, will live the next fifty years with heads bowed, wherever they exist anywhere in the world.

Your children will hide their identities; a whole generation will deny being Igbo, so many will hate themselves for being Igbo; many will detest their parents for standing aloof while others stood tall in the conquest of the Igbo. And make no mistakes about it, whether IPOB was formed or not; whether it was militant or pacifist; whether it protested or just simply wrote endless letters of disagreement, Buhari would have found other means to suppress the Igvbo. Buhari came to power with the Igbo in his mind. So, all those who are saying IPOB has brought this to the Igbo are talking hogwash. IPOB has merely raised the issues that have been waiting to be raised this past 50 years. These young men and women have been brutalized, killed, jailed, tortured, and some Igbo are busy living like quislings and blaming them!

It is unconscionable that the Igbo, whether the IPOB is wrong or right, should stand aside and make excuses for the killing of their children, and the brazen suppression of the rights of the Igbo to be properly governed. What happened this past week is not only a military invasion of the East, but a coup against the elected governments of the South-East, whose governors, because they have no means of self defence, have been clearly threatened, forced, and blackmailed into acts inimical to their own survival. These governors did not act with their conscience.

They acted with the guns directed at them. It was either they, or IPOB, period. The Igbo must never permit that kind of illegality. The senate of the republic has condemned the military action, an d declared it unconstitutional. And yes, before any president is authorized to send the Nigerian Army to any part of Nigeria, under any emergency, he must secure the mandate of the National Assembly, under the emergency power acts. Buhari never obtained this power. The Chief of Army overruled the powers of the elected governor of Abia state Independent reports reaching me says that the number of Igbo civilians killed in Umuahia alone stands at over 200 people. Many of the dead were killed and the corpses seized by the soldiers and disappeared!! This is very serious, and here is what the Igbo Diaspora Committee for the Dfence of the Igbo must do very urgently. Raise money, by every means, and

A) Recruit a good Public Relations Company and begin a very articulate and global campaign to bring attention to the crimes of the current Federal government.

Establish an on-line Wall of Memory for these young Igbo who have been killed, jailed or disappeared by the Buhari government since 2015. We need their pictures, their names, and very short, no more than 20 word bio of them to present before the International Criminal Court of Justice. We must make this wall of memory active, beautiful, and interactive, with a very short intro. circulate on every social media platform. Invilve the young generation of the Igbo, who are tech savvy, and make this their fight too.

C) We must support a very active defiance campaign against the suppression of Igbo rights. We must help plan and launch within the next 3 months, the “KILL-US-ALL” campaign. Bring millions of Igbo to the streets of their major cities on the same day to force this government to stand down, and listen, or make certain that the jails are filled with millions of Igbo. Nigeria does not have a prison capacity for up to 1.5 million people. We must change this narrative about IPOB. We must make this fight inclusive of all Nigerians who oppose what is currently going on, and who must certainly fear Buhari’s next move. Igbo organizations, known for their narrow, petty, small-minded, turf-hugging, self-indulgent, power-hungry games, must for this crucial time, close ranks, and seek a common and coherent response to this madness. Igbo in the East coast – men, women, and children, and the friends of the Igbo must go before the UN tomorrow and protest Buhari’s presence, and send a petition to the UNHRC – the UN Human Rights Commission with evidence of Buhari’s selective annihilation of the Igbo. Please do not use any evidence that brings to question Igbo integrity here. In other words, do not go rustling up pictures from Rwanda or Congo or Ogoni,;use verifiable, and current images that will stand to scrutiny, otherwise, the Igbo will ruin their own case. This is urgent. We must not oppose the Nigerian state. We must oppose what the Nigerian state does to its Igbo citizens, period!

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