By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Yesterday, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was physically attacked by Ipob members in Nuremberg. I am still scratching my head trying to understand their thoughts as Ipob had no beef with Ekweremadu owning about 20 properties worldwide. We did not hear one word of protest from Ipob either when all those corruption charges were filed against Ekweremadu
(2) When Ekweremadu was in EFCC custody being grilled over his houses, Ipob did not organise any demonstrations asking that the houses be seized, auctioned off and the money used to develop the southeast geo-political zone. However, Ipob has a problem with Ekweremadu not supporting secession. Is there any logic to that manner of thinking?
(3) Yesterday’s attack on Ekweremadu just highlights what happens when a country is in economic crisis. The first thing that happens is that reason goes out of the window and people revert to their base instincts. Secession is a default position which misguided Igbos result to just as hungry Fulanis resort to jihad and Boko Haram followers seek a purist Sharia caliphate
(4) As we have seen in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Somalia, ethnicity takes centre stage when a country is in crisis. Many of those Ipob supporters who attacked Ekweremadu would have been lifting him shoulder high if he supported secession even if he stole $10bn of public money. Hungry people simply cannot think rationally
(5) I have no problem with those who have mismanaged our economy being made to face the wrath of the masses but is this what happened yesterday in Germany?
(6) Until Nigeria’s 36 states start generating enough revenue to run their affairs and produce a surplus, our economic crisis will continue. In the midst of hopelessness, more poor people will flock to organisations like Macban, Boko Haram and Ipob seeing them as their only salvation
(7) When a country of 180m people only has a GDP of $375bn and an annual budget of $24bn, poverty is always going to reign in the land. No matter how many places you divide Nigeria into, this problem is not going to go away until we become more productive
(8) It is unfortunate that the Buhari administration has divided Nigerians more than any other government since independence. Its nepotism, ethnic insensitivity and disregard for the sensitivities of the 250 or so communities that make up Nigeria are a recipe for continued division. Policies like Ruga for instance are a natural recruiting tool for organisations like Ipob
(9) Today, very few people are discussing economic growth. Ipob for instance has no plans to get the Uburu Salt factories in Ebonyi State working again, quadruple output at Innoson Motors or convert the old Enugu coal mine into a huge manufacturing plant. They naively think that seceding will solve all their problems
(10) We have seen from Eritrea and South Sudan that secession solves nothing. You cannot build an economy on ethnic rhetoric. It is easy to whip up ethnic sentiments with jingoistic language as we are now seeing across Nigeria but such politics is always shallow, lacking in depth, devoid of content and based on fear. It does not create one job or increase GDP by 1%. How do we shift the debate to economic matters?