THE FOUNDATION OF IGBOPHOBIA AND THE ENSUING SYSTEMATIC MASSACRE OF A HARMLESS LAW-ABIDING PEOPLE
THE SIMMERING IGBOPHOBIA: A FILLIP FOR MASSACRE
World Igbo Congress wishes to bring to the attention of the world, the pathological Igbophobia in Nigeria that has led to the unrestrained cycles of massacre of the Igbo in Nigeria. The sheer deliberate, elaborate and systematic nature of the execution of Igbophobia is blood cuddling. It is true that the current face of this never-known magnitude of decimation of a people is the Boko Haram, the Muslim extremist sect based in the North and affiliated to the terrorist group ISIS, the perpetrators have always been the northern people and governments as well as the largely Northern controlled Federal Military Governments with sprinkling of sympathetic mob action from the rest of Nigeria especially during the civil war. By the silence of the authorities even prior to independence in 1960, the unspoken message is that Igbo life is not sacred. Consequently Igbo blood can be spilt with impunity without any consequences. With this mindset, the end to this pogrom is not in sight. What the Igbo is experiencing today is the execution of a grand plan at ethnic cleansing. We only wish to bring you an illustration of the fact that the hatred of the Igbo is deep-seated and the pogrom that goes with it is a deliberate agenda. IGBOVILLE has captured the foundations of this hatred with an excerpt of anti-Igbo proceedings from the Northern House of Assembly in 1964 in the era of the “wild, wild west” and 2 years ahead of the internecine war.
AT THE NORTHERN PEOPLES CONGRESS CONTROLLED HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
This is a collection of “debates” or was it contributions by “honorable” members most of who are still alive today. This was an issue of allocation of plots/stalls to the Igbo who were providing goods and services to people even in the remotest parts of the north to:
- “I would like to advise the minister that these people know how to make money and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots, I do not want them to be given plots.” Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Maude Gyar
- “I would like you, as the Minister of land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all certificates of occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region. [Applause from the assembly floor]. Mallam Bashari Umaru
- “I am very glad that we are in Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region, to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Ibos and even if we find some northern Christians who are interested in building hotels and have no money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with the hotels.” A. A. Agigede
- “I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a United Nigeria, but certainly if the present trend of affairs continues, then I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending the Northernization policy to the petty Ibo traders. [Applause]. Iya Abubakar (special Member: Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria)
- “I would like to say something very important that the Minister should take my appeal to the federal government about the Ibos in the Post Office. I wish the numbers of these Ibos be reduced. There are too many of them in the North. They were just like sardines and I think they were just too dangerous to this region. Mallam Mukhtar Bello
- “Mr. Chairman, Sir, well, first and foremost, what I have to say before this honorable House is that we should send a delegate to meet our honorable Premier to move a Motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors, or not, should be repatriated at once. Mallam Ibrahim Muse
- “There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors. [Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners.”] Again Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibos in their firms by some other people.” Mallam Bashari Umaru
- “It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner. [Applause]” The Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sarduana of Sokoto
- “What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about this matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, east for the easterners, West for the Westerners, and the Federation is for all. [Applause}.”Alhaji Usman Liman
- “Mr. Chairman, Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, all this should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. [Applause]”Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Cashash, Minister of Land and Survey
A CHRONOLOGY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING AGAINST THE IGBO
World Igbo Congress calls on the federal government of Nigeria to stop this blood-letting forthwith. It further calls on the United Nations to invoke its declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and save the Igbo from decimation. If the Igbo is no longer needed in Nigeria despite their selfless sacrifices and their sterling contributions to the independence of Nigeria, then there should be a process put in place for a peaceful disengagement. After all, no ethnic group in Nigeria, including the Igbo asked to be in Nigeria
Through 1945, 1953, 1966, 1967, 1980s to the present, the massacre of the Igbo is a routine and meticulously executed project Islamic sects and almajeri’s obviously motivated by hate, but never prosecuted by any governments. The target victims, the Igbo, are people who trusted the Nigerian government to protect them where ever they settled in “One Nigeria” to serve the government or to provide needed materials to sustain the local population. No Nigerian should forget the worse than brutal beheading and slaughtering of over 1000 youths, more than 500 of them Igbo, in 2011 by angry Northerners protesting President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory at the presidential election. Below is a chronological listing of the cucles of mayhem that has been visited on the Igbo in Nigeria.
A DIARY OF IGBO VICTIMS OF NORTHERN NIGERIA’s JIHADISTS:
- Jos, June 22, 1945 – Over 200 people were massacred in Jos, and their property looted. The colonial authorities failed to institute a probe, and no justice was obtained for the victims.
- Kano 1953 – over 150 killed following the political riots in protest of the so-called treatment of Northern political leaders in Ibadan.
- Between May and October 1966 – over 50, 000 Igbo were killed in an organized pogrom following the Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna-led coup of Jan.15, 1966. In July a counter coup was staged in which the Igbo General Ironsi was killed in Ibadan with his host, Col. Francis A Fajuyi. Ironsi’s murder did not stem the massacres, but it was intensified from September 1966.
- “Federal troops… killed, or stood by while mobs killed, more than 5000 Ibos in Warri, Sapele, Agbor…”(New York Times, 10th January, 1968)
- From July 1967- January 1970 over 2 million Igbos were killed fighting for liberation in Biafra. The International press reported acts of genocide against the Igbo in places like Asaba in which more than 700 men and boys were lined up and killed, some as young as 12 years old. They were shot in cold blood by the troops of Ibrahim Haruna at the orders of Maj. Ibrahim Taiwo.
- Over 3 million Igbo civilians died mainly from starvation as a result of the federal blockade and mass starvation policy.
- December 18th-20th 1980_ Kano, Kano State_ Islamic Revivalists (Maitatsine group) attacked Christians and burnt churches; over 4,000 Christians, more than 75% of them Igbo, were killed and their properties worth millions of naira lost.
- October 25th-30th 1982_ Kaduna, Kaduna State_ another Maitatsine riot; estimated 50 Christians in an Igbo dominated church dead.
- Maiduguri 1982 – 1983 over 500 Igbos were killed
- October 30th 1982_Kano, Kano State (Sabon Gari Municipality): 2 Churches attended by the Igbo were burnt to ashes, 6 more destroyed.
- December 26th-29th 1982_Maiduguri, Borno State, Maitatsine riot: over 100 Igbo Christians lost their lives and properties destroyed.
- February 15th -2nd March 1984_ The Gongola State (Jimeta-Yola) _ The Maitatsine group attacked Christians; over 500 Igbo Christians were killed.
- April 23rd-28th 1985_Then Bauchi State (Gombe): Maitatsine uprising: more than 100 Christians lost their lives among them Igbo traders.
- March 6th-12th 1987_ Kaduna State (Kafanchan, Kaduna, Zaria) & Katsina in Katsina State_ Muslim students attacked Christian students at College of Education in Kafanchan that had 0ver 60% Igbo students. The Christians fought back. The fight later spread to other places. More than 150 churches were burnt and over 25 Igbo Christians killed.
- 1988, Kaduna State (ABU University Zaria), Benson Omenka, an Igbo final year student, killed by Muslim students during Students Union election. Christian students were also stoned, maimed and raped.
- 1988_Bauchi State, Gombe in Bauchi State Secondary Schools, Muslim students attacked Christian Teachers and students in GSS Gombe, GTC Gombe and GSS Bauchi and other Secondary Schools in Bauchi State. Some of the Christian students were Igbo and badly wounded.
- April 20th-23rd 1991_Bauchi, Bauchi state: Fighting between Muslims and Christians; more than 200 people lost their lives and 700 churches and mosques were burnt. The Igbo are usually part of church congregations that are attacked
- October 14th-16th 1991_Kano State, Kano: The Reinhard Bonnke riots fighting between Muslims and Christians as Muslim activists rampaged and protested against a planned revival meeting during which a German Evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, was expected to be the guest preacher. Igbo evangelists were the planners and the adherents were 90% Igbo.
- October 1991, Plateau State: A young man from Anaguta was beaten to death on a field opposite University of Jos during election primaries of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP).
- April 15th-16th 1992_Kaduna state, Zangon Kataf local Government Area. What was supposed to be a communal riot between Christians and Muslims spread throughout Kaduna State. Hundreds of people lost their lives and buildings were burnt among them over 200 Igbo.
- December 1996, a Christian Igbo trader, Mr. Gideon Akaluka was beheaded by muslim youths in the Northern Nigerian city of Kano. According to the report, Mr. Akaluka’s wife was alleged to have desecrated the Quran. Some muslim youths in the city went after the husband, who ran into a police station, killed and beheaded him and joyfully paraded with his severed head around the streets of Kano metropolis.
- February 4th -22nd 2000_Kaduna State. Riots began after a Christian march opposing the implementation of Sharia law. Travelers were killed as they tried to escape from their vehicles. More than 1,000 Igbo people died in various clashes.
- February and May 2000_Kaduna State, Kaduna Christian Igbo and other Christians in Kaduna were attacked on two different occasions as Muslim fanatics protested against the delay in introduction of sharia in the state.
- May 22nd 2000_Kaduna state_ Muslim youths torched the First Baptist Church and Christian homes, leading to retaliation by Christian youths. At least 11 Igbo people died and many others were injured in the incident.
- September 7th-9th, 2000, Gombe State. In Bambam, Igbo 25 people died as a result of clashes between Muslims and Christians due to possible implementation of Sharia. Property damage was estimated in millions of Naira.
- June 2001_Jigawa State_15 churches and 14 Pastors’ residences were burned down in Gawaram. A similar attack on 11 churches occurred earlier in that year in Hadejia. Most of these ere Igbo churches
- 5th August 2001, Bauchi State: according to the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Muslim mercenaries had attacked Christians in the Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro areas on two occasions. The attacks left more than 100 dead and 3,000 refugees, most of them Igbo
- September 7th-17th 2001, Kano State, seven churches were demolished; six churches set ablaze by a mob. Fifty four churches given demolition notices and seventeen churches demolished by the Kano state government. The Governor stated that all churches in Shagari quarters of Kano city were “illegal structures”, probably due to the religious conflict in Jos and these were Igbo dominated churches.
- October 7th 2001Kaduna State. Muslim youths attacked three churches and 10 Christian-owned shops with gas bombs, setting fire to the buildings.
- October 14th-18th 2001, Kano State: As a result of Anti-American protests, 600 Christians were missing and another 350 were killed; at least five churches were burned during the resulting riots.
- At the beginning of 2001, the Islamic Sharia law was implemented in Kaduna State and a particular incident in 2002 saw at least 1,000 Southerners killed in a particular riot and most of those killed were the Igbo. Among those murdered were parents of Victor Moses (Austin and Josephine Moses), member of Nigeria’s national soccer team that won the continental trophy in 2013.
- Between February 16 and December 26, 2002 thousands of Igbo were killed in northern Nigeria and the root cause of the killing and riot was the implementation of Sharia law in the northern states of Nigeria. Among those killed were three Igbo Christian pastors including George Orji who was killed by beheading.
- In November 2002, hundreds of Igbo were massacred again following controversy around the hosting of Miss World beauty contest in Nigeria.
- The APO-SIX killings occurred in June, 2005 in which the Nigeria Police Force extra-judicially killed six young Igbo (Ekene Isaac Mgbe, Ifeanyi Ozor, Chinedu Meniru, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony and Augustina Arebu) in Apo-Abuja. Till this day none of the police officers accused of this shockingly evil crime has been brought to justice.
- On 18th of February 2006 in Maiduguri and in almost all the northern states of Nigeria, the Muslims protesting over the publication of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper killed more than 100 Igbo. The Muslims attacked Christians and burned churches in the deadliest confrontation yet in the whirlwind of Muslim anger over the cartoon.
- From March 2006 to July 2007, hundreds of Southerners were killed in almost all the northern states of Nigeria especially in Jos. The crisis was between Muslims and Christians.
- On October 8, 2007, another religious violence again broke out in Northern Nigeria in a row over the publication of the cartoon of Prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper and over 100 of people were massacred, majority of them Igbos.
- Between March 11, 2010 and September 1, 2011 over 500 Christians were massacred outside Plateau state capital, Jos. This time the killings took place in a mainly Christian village of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau state.
- On 24th April 2011, more than 1,000 were killed in post-election violence in Nigeria and among those killed were Obinna Okpokiri, who returned from London to serve his fatherland and was posted to Bauchi State, and Eucharia Remmy a graduate from the University of Nigeria in 2010, serving in Damaturu, Yobe State. Muslim youths, the almajeri, launched protests in northern towns and cities after President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from Biafra, was declared the winner of the 16 April election, defeating northern Muslim Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler.
- On June 16, 2011, a Boko haram suicide bomber drove a car bomb onto the premises of the Louis Edet House in Abuja, the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force with a possible intention to kill Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim whose convoy he followed into the compound. He was however limited by the concentration of security personnel within the entrance. The bomber and one Igbo traffic policeman were killed, though authorities said up to six people may have been killed.
- On 26 August 2011, the Islamist group, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for an attack on the United Nations building in Abuja which left over 40 people dead most of them Igbo.
- On September 25, 2011, five Igbo traders were shot dead at Madala Market, outskirts of Abuja on Thursday Night between 7 and 8pm. According to the report, the gunmen stormed the Madala market and made straight to a shop believed to be that of some Igbo traders and ordered them to recite the Holy Quran which they could not do. The gunmen who were not satisfied with the development opened fire on the five people at close range leaving them dead immediately. The five casualties were later identified as John Kalu, Oliver Ezemah, Uche Nguweze, Sunday Emmanuel. The fifth casualty was never identified.
- On December 25, 2011 Boko Haram claimed responsibility for Christmas Day Bomb attacks at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madala – near the capital Abuja – which left more than 50 Igbo people dead. Mr Dike and his children were roasted alive.
- On January 5, 2012 more than 43 Igbos and other southerners were killed in Adamawa State north-eastern Nigeria. The first victims, 16 in all, were murdered on Friday night during a service at the Christ Apostolic Church, Yola, the state capital. Twenty-seven others described as mourners had been killed earlier on that day at Mubi by gunmen while they were meeting at the residence of another Igbo man who had been shot dead by Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group a day earlier to plan for his burial.
- On January 11, 2012 Boko Haram terrorists shot dead four Igbo men who were believed to be fleeing violence-torn Maiduguri, residents said.” Their car had just pulled up at a filling station outside the town to refuel when suspected Boko Haram gunmen in another car also pulled up and opened fire on the Igbos, killing them on the spot.”
- On Monday Jan 16, 2012 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group again shot dead five Southerners in their homes in Maiduguri. Three people among those shot dead were confirmed as Igbos.
- On 21st January 2012 at 2:55 GMT, more than 250 Southerners were killed in a series of bombings and attacks by Islamist zealots in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. The terrorist group, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
- On 16 March 2012, Mr. John Nubrim was visibly traumatized after fleeing the north-eastern town of Maiduguri following attacks by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. According to him, “Only God knows how I escaped from that Maiduguri. They bomb over there.” “They burned my shed. All my property, all my things, are there,” said the young electronics trader, before letting out a short scream. “My parents, my brother and one of my sons died there.”
- On February 3, 2012, men of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, struck early in the morning in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, killing four southerners. A police station and a first generation bank were burnt by the group. In another incident, at least six Igbo were killed in Maiduguri by the same Boko Haram.
- On August 8, 2012, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a church in Okene, Kogi State with guns killing so many Igbos. On the same day, an improved explosive device (IED) was discovered in another church in Lokoja, Kogi state which exploded and killed more than 20 Igbo.
- On Monday 19th March 2013, the whole world woke up to the sad news about the explosion of five luxury buses by Boko Haram at Sabo-Ngari area in Kano State Nigeria, killing over 250 southerners and maiming numerous others, mostly the Igbo. The Igbo are big in transportation in Nigeria and actually dominate luxry bus and other inter-city transport services. The bombed park was a popular Igbo transport center.
- On Friday May 24, 2013 at about 7:30pm. Kano Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Magaji Majiya confirmed to 247ureports.com that unknown gunmen believed to be Boko Haram terrorist group struck the Kurna Asabe area of Kano and shot dead two Igbo business men- a Vulcanizer and an Electronics dealer. Both victims hailed from Nsukka, Enugu State and were identified as Ibe Ugwuanyi, 30 (Vulcanizer) and Eke Osita Joseph, an Electronics dealer, 35.
- A dark cloud of mourning enveloped the Ezihe-Umueze kindred in Uga community, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, as the people awaited the return of their kinsman, Mr. Nnamdi Ezebuala whose three children were killed in the latest Boko Haram bombing incident that occurred on July 29, 2013 in Sabongari, Kano. This very man eventually died from wounds he sustained from the bombs which killed his three children. They were all buried the same day; four of them.
- On September 2, 2013 gunmen on the rampage swept through three states of Borno, Kaduna and Plateau in Northern Nigeria killing more than 50 Igbo people.
- On September 3, 2013 more than five Christians were forced from their vehicle in Jos and executed in a ditch in the latest attack by Boko Haram terrorist group. It was reported that these five individuals were executed by the terrorist group after declaring themselves followers of Jesus Christ. They were Igbo
- ABUJA: Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:32pm EDT (Reuters) – At least seven southerners were killed by the terrorist group Boko Haram in the capital Abuja.
- On 28th September 2013, Boko Haram terrorists bombed three banks and killed 4 in Kaduna. Heavily armed Boko Haram terrorist members bombed three commercial banks in Saminaka, headquarters of Lere local government area of Kaduna State and four lives were lost in the attack, three of them Igbo.
- Early in 2013, hundreds of people of Igbo extraction were physically deported from Lagos by the Lagos State Governor and dumped at the Niger Bridge-head in Onitsha for no justifiable reason. Which country in the history of the world has ever deported its citizens from one part of the country to another? The only instance that comes to mind is the transportation of Jews by the German SSS to death chambers during the Second World War.
The list goes on. By the time you read this more would have died. The situation is getting out of hand and the Nigerian government has shown that it lacks the will and the capability to protect the life and property of the Igbo in Nigeria. The federal government has tried relentlessly to characterize the premeditated, consistent, calculated ethnic cleansing as a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. This has been the attitude of the government who through its unjust structural policies has continued in her agenda to punish the Igbo. Igbo people are now both politically and ethnically endangered species in Nigeria. Once a vibrant powerful ethnic group in Nigeria the Igbo is now a minority in the new geopolitical structure of Nigeria. We cannot continue to watch as the security situation in Nigeria continues to deteriorate. Nigeria is a strategic ally of the West. The world must act now to avoid another civil war in the style of Rwanda and Sudan. Now is the time to act before the anger of the youths, as vindictive as it is take matters into their hands.
A publication of the Media Directorate of the World Igbo Congress