Sunday, 11 August 2013

Is Conjestion In Lagos Leading To The Deportation Of The Igbos?

 Look what its like to be in a 'former capital territory of nigeria, but still the commercial capital though.

With views of the recent conception of the lagos state government in deportation of the igbos, the igbos have since claimed that 'lagos is no man's place'..

Looking at the formation of History- in the period of the then governor general of nigeria, the retraction and merging of the colony of lagos and the protectorate of southern nigeria, to form the Colony and Protectorate of Southern nigeria in 1906.
It is agreeable that southern nigeria were mostly the capacity of igbos, before it was merged with lagos to become a region on its own.

Lagos as a state and commercial capital of nigeria, is a jungle city where all being “joiners”, the predatory instinct must rule. By this pernicious thesis, Lagos is a place in which regardless of one’s roots – or the lack of it – one can seize the trophy. It is an el-Dorado where anything goes and in which everything, including political authority, is up for grabs since the place does not belong to anyone anyway!
These are erroneous claims, now being given new life in the current debate on Igbo participation and representation in the politics and governance of Lagos. Relating to the past history of governance, like Nnamdi Azikwe. etc. 

Before the state creation exercise of 1967. Lagos was also not the only city on which federal money was spent. (Calabar was once the capital and so should also qualify as a recipient of “federal money”

As for Lagos being a hunting ground, the self-defeating logic of this argument is clearly brought home to all of us – aborigine and settler alike – by the frightening crime statistics in the state.

Pan Nigerianism
Advocates of the Igbo claim to Lagos often refer to the putatively halcyon era of pan-Nigerianism spanning the 1930s to the 1950s. It was a time, we are told, when all Nigerians lived as one and when it did appear that all ascriptive barriers had dissolved in the ferment of nationalist politics. This period has become a favourite reference point for people with all kinds of agenda. But was the reality not indeed less glamorous? There was, no doubt, a fortuitous convergence in those times. An emergent commercial and educated elite needed to come together in the nationalist struggle to send the British away and so the city of Lagos, which was the hub of that struggle, seemed to have become a melting pot overnight.

Yet, the hometown unions remained strong and affectations to unity were soon exposed as only skin-deep as the struggle to ensure the departure of the British transitioned into the struggle over who would succeed the departing oligarchy. This is the reality that we continue to live with to date. And it would be asking a lot to expect that Lagos should offer itself as the guinea-pig for experimenting with the possibility of a new pan-Nigerian vision. Especially since there is as yet nothing on ground to suggest or guarantee that such a gesture would be reciprocated.

As things now stand, the Igbo in Lagos must decide what they really want from the state: participation, or representation, or control. Currently, their spokespersons seem to be using the three terms interchangeably, raising the spectre of a hostile take-over. This approach is bound to be resisted by a people barely recovering from the debacle of the June 12 annulment and the devastations of the Abacha persecution in which they saw the Igbo – with some admirable exceptions – as having played a less than salutary role.

The attitude and outlook of a majority of Igbo political elite and indeed common people to the June 12 crisis was mercenary if not malevolent. Many Igbo seemed to have approached the crisis with a revanchist agenda borne of deep-seated animosity and ill-will. How so?

Civil war
It is a well-known fact that some Igbo still blame the Yoruba for having “pushed” the Eastern Region into the civil war only to back out at the last minute. This line of argument further raised and reinforced the unfounded stereotype of Yoruba people as unreliable. It has been peddled for so long that many have come to believe it. As Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda once famously said, tell a lie persistently over a long time and people start to believe it to be the truth. Anyway, hostile interests within and outside Nigeria that have reason to fear the rise of a southern solidarity of the type that was emerging with the UPGA party of the 1960s have also invested strenuously in promoting and perpetuating this lie.

Yet, without seeking to diminish the harrowing and often heroic sacrifice that the war entailed on the Biafran side, the truth is that the Nigerian Civil War was largely the consequence of a North and East alliance of brinkmanship whose cardinal objective and principle was the isolation of the West. It is said that the falling out of friends is often the most vicious. So, Igbo political elite are in no position to seek to build a cult of victimhood around themselves or to sermonize about the politics of bad faith that led to the war.

Beginning with the NCNC-NPC coalition, through the Action Group crisis, to the declaration of a state of emergency in Western Nigeria, the creation of the Mid-West Region, all through to the treasonable felony trial, many Igbo political leaders of the time seemed to have deliberately lent a hand or at least acquiesced in stoking the northern brazenness that eventually resulted in the pogroms and the war. Nor should it be forgotten the games that were played with the status of Lagos, with the establishment of a Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs under northern headship but with copious NCNC concurrence.

The Igbo are such a leading and (hopefully) enduring part of the commercial landscape of Lagos. At this point in time, what they should be doing is lending their voice and energy to advocating for a reversal of what appears like a deliberate federal abandonment of the former capital, which has made doing business in Lagos all the more difficult.
Recognition Of Inter-Ethnic Presence In Lagos- Lagos is a place with different various ethnic group, with oness of ideas even without the much identification of the yorubas. perhaps the weight and capacity of different ethnic groups have sub-dued to population of true indegene.
Lagos indeed is a home for All


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