By Sunday Ani
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe has raised the alarm over the worsening security situation in the South East, warning that dark cloud hovers over the entire Igbo land.
He lamented that 50 years after the Biafra war, which claimed over two million Igbo lives, the Igbo are at the verge of another way, when they should be dealing with the effect of the civil war and mitigating it by placing their feet on the throttle.
He stated this at the official unveiling of a book he authored titled, “Igbo, 50 years after Biafra war,” in Lagos on Thursday.
According to Igbokwe, the 286-page book is a historical overview of what has happened to the Igbo since after the war. He said the book was an opportunity for him to speak out, even as he hopes that his people, the Igbo, would listen to him. “Through this book, I have spoken out. My voice has been raised and I hope my people will hear me.
He expressed concern that 50 years after the Biafra war, all the vestiges of 1966/67 pre-war era are all evident everywhere, while those who are supposed to speak out have all chosen to be silent. “Mayhem has been unleashed in Igbo land and there is palpable fear in the land. In the face of engulfing mayhem, voices of elders have ceased to speak. The religious, the traditional rulers, the intellectuals, and leaders of thought, the type that gathered in Enugu in 1967, are all silent. The political and socio-cultural groups have embraced unhealthy silence in the face of all these; nobody wants to talk. The unknown gunmen and their cohorts are running rampage, visiting destruction, bloodletting and fear all over Igbo land. It is at this dangerous crossroad that those who should speak have suddenly lost their voices,” he lamented.
He called on all Igbo leaders, religious leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, and wise men, not to behave like the proverbial negligent elder that watched a goat delivered in tethers. He warned that the consequences of the present conspiratorial silence in Igbo land would be disastrous in the end.
Igbokwe asked those who are brooding over the tempest and the whirlwind that is blowing in Igbo land today to be ready to bear the permanent burden that would haunt them even after death.
The Governor’s aide also warned those that are mischievously encouraging bloodbath currently being perpetrated in Igbo land to desist from such evil act because war knows no friend or enemy. “Whoever rushes to war does not know that war brings death. Let those who are overtly and covertly prodding Igbo land to another war because of their political mistakes and lack of vision know that they will be consumed in their deadly perfidy. History is my witness,” he said.
Igbokwe commended the Igbo ingenuity and industry, saying, “The Igbo control the biggest market in Africa. The Igbo apprenticeship system is a case study in Harvard. Anywhere they go, they excel. In every state of the federation, the Igbo are second to the locals in terms of everything. They have the most skilled manpower and most developed villages in Nigeria. The Igbo own commerce in Africa; it is a fact.”