Deportation of Nigerians by a Nigerian within Nigeria!!!
2015 seems a thousand years away. As such, a lot of water can still pass under the bridge. And President Jonathan could very well be the last president of united Nigeria, if the operators of government do not think through their actions before they take it.
It is now about seventy-two hours since I heard on a radio talk program (Nigeria Info fm) that Gov Fashola deported some Nigerians to their purported state of origin (Anambra), dumping them on the road just after crossing the Niger Bridge into Onitsha.
And the justifying ground for the Fashola led Lagos State administration according to their law chief, Mr Ipaye, is that these citizens were found on the streets of Lagos ' without jobs and homeless, and thus, suspected to be elements who would easily yield themselves to criminality'.
Notwithstanding that this seeming rash action of Lagos State is an infringement of the constitutional right of those citizens, Gov Peter Obi of Anambra state appeared to have been left in the dark about this nationally sensitive development.
What went wrong? Why does it look like Lagos State deliberately wants to stir up trouble? Has there been an underground tussle or political disagreement between Govs Fashola and Obi that has now given birth to this careless action? We say, here in Nigeria, that the toad does not run without cause at noon! This is political antagonism and vindictiveness taken too far. How so convenient that it is only citizens purportedly from Anambra State that were subjects of the deportation!
On Channels tv news last night, Gov Obi said he had written the President on the distasteful action of Lagos State. Reacting to this, Gov Fashola lamely stated that Gov Obi should have talked to him instead! It begs to be stated that Lagos is the one who slighted Anambra by not liaising with them in the first place, isn't it? This whole thing just makes one want to hate people who use public office to settle scores!
If I played the psychic, I would say that Mr Ipaye drove the action past his governor in their openly perceived paddy-paddy attitude. And now the governor is having to ratify an un-ratifiable mis-deed.
Whilst I am willing to grant him the benefit of doubt, I can't help seeing that Mr Ipaye's action betrays tribalism in him which should not be tolerated at that level of control in Nigeria today.
We must forgive ourselves, though! And for starters, I suggest Gov Fashola lets Mr Ipaye go; before he embarrasses him irreparably! He appears to have pushed too far his now visible agenda to turn Lagos into a police state. And with flagrant abuse like this; proponents of state police should reconsider their stance.
Further, Gov 'Fash' should go to his brother in Awka and apologise to him and to the Igbo speaking citizens of Nigeria. Yes, despite the letter written to Mr President. It is obvious that bad blood is brewing. Let them cool it down, we are already angry enough for both of them not to add their super diplomatic one into it. Let their reconciliation overtake the president's intervention ( if any at all would be made). It never hurts to say sorry, especially in your family. It helps you keep your friends.
I am an Igbo man born in the East, but grew up in Lagos. Schooled, worked and paid all my taxes in Lagos. Everybody to whose life I have added value and who have added value to mine are mainly Western Nigerians (the Yorubas). All my children were born here and have been numbered as indigenes of Lagos! It does not give me a good feeling knowing that all this may not make any difference, if one day, somebody wakes up and decides to discountenance all that.
This ill-conceived action has the makings of the infraction for which bombs are being thrown all over Northern Nigeria today. Let us tell the truth! We should not take it for granted that Nigeria will continue in peace and oneness. We need to work at it, and be mindful of ourselves. We need to help it. We need to encourage it. May we not use our own hands to turn us into refugees in this world!
Who is willing to make the effort with me? Raise your hands. Get to work!