The story of Igbo people in Rivers State continues to be a sad one. Every generation in that enclave invariably raises its own Isaac Adaka Boro, Elechi Amadi and Ken Saro Wiwa, men who earned infamy and are forever remembered for their seething hatred for the Igbo. But, apart from Elechi Amadi, whose life ended quite peacefully, Saro-Wiwa and Adaka Boro died violently in the hands of the Northern oligarchs, the very same people they had sought to impress by displaying an unabashed animosity against the Igbo.
Today, there is a governor Nyesom Wike in Rivers who believes that the overbearing requirement for him to rise in national politics is to declare as publicly as possible his disdain for everything Igbo, and to lead a battle for the annihilation of Igbo people in Rivers State. The recent wave of protests across the country, coupled with the unguarded and unstrategic utterances of Nnamdi Kanu, the rabble-rouser-in-chief of the neo-Biafran cause, only provided the opportunity for Emperor Wike to bare his fangs.
What are the issues? A council area in Rivers State, Oyigbo, has a history of violent crimes perpetrated by people suspected to be armed Fulani herdsmen. There is no record anywhere that Wike has come to the rescue of these vulnerable citizens whose women are raped and whose lives are taken in the most brutal way almost every other week. In the wake of the violent turn of the End SARS Protests, there was an outcry that the Hausa settlers and Fulani herdsmen were sacking homes and raping women in Oyigbo. Nnamdi Kanu had ordered his followers to protect that area, and, in self defence, to kill anyone, including security officials, who would attack them in the process. That operation was reportedly led by Stanley Mgbere from Onne in Eleme.
What everyone will readily agree to is that there were nationwide attacks on police facilities, and their personnel too. In almost all the states of the South East, South West and South South, police stations were set ablaze. In Edo there was further a jailbreak that set almost two thousand inmates free. Till date, nobody has determined who did what. But Wike has already singled the IPOB out in Rivers State as the mastermind of all the destructions and killings! It did not take him two hours to do so. The Oyigbo police state was still on fire when one the closest handlers of Wike went to the social media to scream, “Gbagam!! IPOB”. Wike, more than anyone else, has questions to answer about the arson in Oyigbo.
But beyond that, what Wike has seen in this whole debacle is an opportunity to advance his 2023 political ambition. He wants to take advantage of the fears of the North over the activities of the IPOB to demonstrate that he is the only Southerner with the capacity to silence the group or at any rate fight them. Most importantly, he wishes to put out a message that he is not an Igbo person, not sympathetic to the Igbo, and in fact, he is an enemy to them.
In the last one week Wike has addressed the press five times on this matter, showing the overriding importance it holds in his heart. He believes that this strategy will stand him out in the eyes of the North for presidential consideration, or at least a vice. Unknown to him, the overlords he worships are only out to weaken and demystify him by pitting him against the IPOB, so that in the next one year or so he would have been torn into pieces and stained beyond recognition and made roundly unfit to speak in a gathering of the sane, let alone aspiring to lead any group of humans.
A more dangerous dimension which this obsessive quest for power by Wike has taken is that no Igbo person in Rivers State is safe any longer. He has ordered security operatives to deal ruthlessly with IPOB members and to treat them as pure terrorists. Yet, it is difficult to determine who an IPOB member is. Does IPOB have a comprehensive register? So many Igbo groups are pro-Biafra. You have the Lower Niger Congress (LNC), the Biafra Zionist Movement (BZM), the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM), the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Biafra Liberation in Exile (BILIE).
How can security operatives, mostly Northerners, distinguish among them? There are so many other Igbo people in Rivers who strongly believe in Biafra and have often professed it publicly without belonging to any group. Are they still safe in Rivers State? What about an innocent hardworking Igbo boy who may have a dispute with someone from another tribe. Is the easiest way to eliminate him not to report him as an IPOB member? Indeed, Wike has declared war on Igbo people everywhere, and Ndigbo must stand up to him.
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