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Lagos State deportation of Igbos and the questions arising By Uche Ihejirika The recent deportation by the Lagos state government of lawful Nigerian citizens of Igbo origin has suddenly become a major topic of discussion. Of good significance is the fact that this is the second forceful removal and dumping of this class of Nigerians at the Niger bridge head Onitsha. I am constrained to believe that this is not the end of the matter, but one in a long stretch of activities that will redefine Nigeria as presently constituted. The argument as to the rightness or otherwise of the action does not impress me. The fact of the clandestine nature of the action clearly fills in the gaps on how right or wrong it was. Of more importance to me should be the intentions of those who instigated the action and their intended message to the rest of us. I lived in Lagos for well over 15 years and know very well the ethnic and geographical stock that constitute more than 50% of the destitute population and occupants of the under bridges in Lagos and nobody has yet deported them to their native homes. As earlier noted, this action of deportation is an important message and to have been conveyed a second time underscores the importance and significance. We should do well to look beyond the legality of the actions and attempt at breaking the codes handed us through this action. Could we be overlooking pointers to what would become of Nigeria as forewarned by the United States? Could this be a test run of an impending rewriting of the Nigerian geopolitical contraption? Is it an accident that the objects and subjects of this dress rehearsal are of Igbo extraction? Would this be the first time that Igbos would be used to test the waters to gauge the temperature and direction of Nigeria’s long sought balkanization? The questions are many and unending but the answers are crisp, glaring and obvious. The Lagos state government is clearly and prophetically nudging us to an awakening of what is to be. We should pause to consider and digest the message rather than vilify the messenger. What Fashola has done is not new. We contend with the indicators on a daily basis but conveniently choose to scratch the surface. We should at least commend Fashola for the courage to act out in plain terms what folks in the north have been going in circles to convey. The folks so deported from Lagos were brought home alive and not in body bags as is constantly the case with igbo deportations from Kano, Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan. We should at least commend Fashola for not adopting the pattern of deportations in body bags. I honestly wouldn’t waste my time asking Fashola to explain his actions. I am Igbo and to the igbo, serious matters are conveyed in adages and parables. My conviction is that the two cases of deportation of Igbos from Lagos to Onitsha should awaken those who have long been vulnerable to orchestrated acts of dispossession in Nigeria to see Fashola’s action for what it is - A timely notice of what every other person knows has been predetermined to happen in the not too distant future. From: Uche Ihejirika – New York, USA
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