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Ike's Column Opinion

Él Rufai’s Igbo-phobic son

“Hating people because of their colour is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which colour does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”- Mohammad Ali.

Does Bello the enfant terrible son of Governor Nasir el rufai of Kaduna state, really merit a space in this column? Yes, he does because more often than not the village mad man exposes the secret of the village and gets all the attention even in his extremely foolish behaviour. Wise saying teaches us that the two times to keep your mouth shut are when swimming and when angry, but that is not for Bello who unfortunately has no good home to learn it from.

Undoubtedly, the people around President Muhammadu Buhari in the name of supporters are among the many reasons why his administration is not getting it right always. The continuous display of poor governance is due majorly to the existence of some dangerous set of established attitude of people around him. Incidentally, this mentality is drawn from a wrong premise that the only people not happy with President Buhari’s administration are Ndigbo and for that they can be freely ignored or abused after all they are no friend of the regime.

If the administration had realized that Igbos are the least affected by the regime’s failure maybe there would have been a rethink in their approach to Ndigbo. Why are the Igbos the least affected despite the obvious marginalization against them you may want to know? Because when you are not expecting you hardly will be disappointed. The Igbos are not expecting anything good to come to them via a regime that does not regard their existence.

Clearly unknown to this regime is the fact that the more angry and frustrated group about the situations arising from bad governance are those who put all their eggs in Buhari’s basket and suddenly are watching them perish.

You take federal loan to be repaid by all and you ignore the Igbo, you build rail lines that is intended to move the economy, you ignore those moving the economy, you distribute palliatives and you refuse to take notice of them or consider them, yet they are still there waxing on regardless of everything. Those who are committing suicide in frustration are those whose high hopes are being dashed.

Operatives sympathetic to this government like Bello need to take deep study of what is called Igbo spirit. It’s a diehard spirit, a dogged spirit that goes on even when the odds are many and appearing insurmountable. That notwithstanding, it would be wrong and myopic also to go on believing that the time of Ndigbo will not come in this country, certainly not when God the holder of knife and the yam is up there far away from unjust earth where humans play god.
Nothing sums up the Igbo man’s spirit more than this mild chat between a daughter and a Dad on the COVID -19 lockdown and its attendant socio economic corollaries. “Dad the daughter wrote jokingly, Nigerians are crying for food after just 2 weeks of staying at home forgetting that the Biafra genocide lasted for 3 years and Igbos were condemned to starvation for the THREE YEARS”
And the Dad replied ‘And UNLIKE what happened to the Igbos for 3 years, in these TWO weeks NOBODY is bombing Nigerian MARKETS, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, HOSPITALS and REFUGEE Camps. Also, NO ONE is imposing either land or sea or aerial BLOCKADE. NO ONE is laying siege and NO ONE is threatening to shoot anything that MOVES or DOESNT move. So for all those who found this two weeks under peaceable conditions difficult, just sit back and imagine what happened to the Igbos for three years between 1967 and 1970 and the United Nations and the rest of the World didn’t give a damn. If you are Igbo born after 1970, hug and kiss any Igbo person you know was born before 1970. They are LIVING HEROES! They literally passed through the valley of death. If you are NOT Igbo, don’t feel pity for Igbos. Just have an idea of what has happened to them from your experience of the last two weeks.”

So, a people with this history you think they would not be able to survive mild hardship from lockdown or eight years of motions and no movement in governance. The notion by Buhari supporters like Bello that only Ndigbo find fault in his style of governance and his poor response to issues is the biggest blur to his getting the right vision to issues.

Among the army of Igbo phobic persons parading as supporters of Buhari and making things difficult for him are the families of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El rufai who is currently battling the Coronavirus disease.

Last week El Rufai’s son, Bello in response to a follower’s reaction to his tweet attacking Donald Trump threatened to gang rape the person’s mother for his plain advisory that he should look home at the failure of Buhari before going external. Since he is fixated about Igbo he quickly assumed the person must be Igbo and he went further to abuse the tribe whom he claimed are unappreciative after Buhari is building second Niger bridge that Goodluck Jonathan their brother could not do. Parenthetically, in Bello’s poor knowledge of Nigeria which to him begins and ends with his Fulani enclave lording it over surrounding tribes, the person is not an Igbo.

Following calls for him to withdraw his needless outburst and apologize which he refused, the mother came out to defend him that they don’t take nonsense.
Need I say more on the kind of Dad boy Bello is who at a time Daddy is battling for life with Coronavirus is busy abusing people including a race? Need I say more the kind of family that bred Bello that their bread winner and head is quarantined having contracted a dangerous disease ravaging the globe instead of being in deep reflection are all busy incurring enemies for themselves.

We are what we do. We cannot possibly be held responsible for the thoughts that go through our minds both good and bad. Él rufai family certainly can’t be held liable for all the undeclared negative thoughts they have on Igbos domiciled in their minds, but we hold them responsible when they allow it become action as is the case with Bello and supported by the mother although she belatedly bowed to pressure and apologized for her own tweet.

A virtuous family in their shoes should be worried where history will place them that under their watch Kaduna state has witnessed more bloodletting of humans than ever. A daddy’s boy that does not take nonsense was there when a hogwash disease like Coronavirus infected his father and it did mean anything to him.
It’s a reality that El Rufai’s family are so concerned about Buhari/ Ndigbo relationship that their vexation on the perceived Buhari enemy the Igbos has to engulf their thoughts and reasoning. In the process instead of helping Buhari to fix the trouble in the land they are busy fixing the blame for him.

Bello in his holier than thou attitude had also in the tweet called out the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu on the believe that whatever Kanu is doing is wrong while whatever he and his family stands for are right. That is a clear feudal attitude that has no place in modern history.

If only this family are students of accommodation and reason they would have embraced American feminist writer Audre Lorde’s view that “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

It is really hard to understand how anybody would want the agitation for Biafra to die down or how somebody can sincerely stand up for One Nigeria with the types of Bello and his mother sharing the political space strategically.

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