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Opinion: Igbos Will Lose A Whole Lot If They Insist On Leaving Nigeria

Chinachrisikenna 06/25/2020

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The increasing wave of Biafran agitations sweeping across Nigeria of recent, leaves much to be desired due to the fact the Igbo who are at the forefront of the struggle don't want to sit down and do their homework thoroughly.

There is this Igbo proverb that says that a well travelled man is wiser than a grey-haired man, which accentuates the importance of exposure and travelling. An average Igbo man by nature is itinerant, well educated, exposed and business-oriented. There's hardly any country you would travel to in the world without seeing an Igbo man.

Igbo Men have been to both the Farthest and Southernmost part of the Earth. It is on record that the Amazu family of Otolo, Nnewi And Arthur Nwabufo, a Nigerian Navigator in Russia, all from Anambra State were the first Nigerians to travel to the North Pole and Antarctica respectively.

Statistics has revealed that a greater percentage of Igbos are living outside their historical and political enclave, South East. Also, a huge number of Igbo investments and properties are situated in various parts of the country especially in Lagos state and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

 Mallam Nasir El Rufai, the present Governor of Kaduna state during his tenure as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, in 2007 divulged that Igbos had acquired 73% of the landed property in Abuja.

This was contained in a news report by Chuks Okocha of Thisday Nesapaper on May 21, 2007, titled 'Igbos own 73% of Abuja land, says El-Rufai.'

According to The report, El-Rufai reportedly stated, '68 percent of the land allocations in the FCT belong to the 19 Northern states but in actual land ownership, 73 percent belong to the Igbo with the most aggressive in land ownership belonging to the indigenes of Anambra state while Ebonyi lags behind. 

In the same vein, while addressing the Igbo community that paid him courtesy visit sometime in July 2017, the incumbent Governor of Plateau state, Simon Baka Lalong revealed that over 70 percent of the certificates of occupancyhe had signed since he assumed office, belong to the Igbo in the state.

This was part of the news stories that headlined Daily Trust's issue of July 10, 2017 with the title '70% of Plateau's new certificates of occupancy for Igbo.'

According to Dailytrust, Governor Lalong reportedly stated: ' I had to call the Commissioner for Lands to ask him why it was so and to find out if the Indigenous population had quit the state for the Igbo.'

Just last week, a group of Yoruba traders in Lapido International Market, Lagos, was captured in a viral video, bemoaning their fate as Igbos have practically dominated the whole workshops in the zone. Out of the thirteen workshops within Lapido International Market zone, Igbos are occupying twelve, leaving only one for them.

What infuriated them the most is that Igbos are still threatening that they would use their millions to buy off the remaining one workshop, thus chasing them out from the land of their forefathers. What then do you think will happen if Igbos finally succeed in actualising their Biafra dream?

Personally, I have a predilection for travelling and Geography generally. I do spend ample time looking up maps, toying with Google Earth and reading a lot about people and cultures of of the world. I can easily mention your tribe if you tell me your state. I'm so good at History and Government.

Interestingly, I have been privileged to visit Kano in the North and the sheer number of exotic mansions built by my Igbo brethren there especially around Sabon gari axis is astonishing. Or is it in in the South West? The Igbos should be grateful to the Yorubas for their unparalleled accommodating spirit. All of the above indicate that Igbo people are potty about landed property. No other ethinc nationality comes close in the quest for the agressive acquisition of landed property in Nigeria than the Igbos.

Thus, in line with the incessant clamour for Biafra and the spread of Investments all over Nigeria, the begging question here becomes: what will becomd of Igbo investments in Nigeria if Biafra finally seccedes? 

I think we Igbos are  becoming impulsive again. We do not want to learn from the events surrounding the aftermath of the Nigerian gory civil war. Nnamdi Kanu, the Biafran separatists hero is just using propaganda to pitch Igbos against the rest of the country.Has he ever considered the fate of millions of Igbos that will be ejected from Nigeria? Has he considered what will become of the socio-economic status of the Igbo when packed into Biafra as our South southern brothers brothers have continued to vehemently to repudiate the Biafran ideology? This is completely asinine.

During my undergraduate years, I normally spend my holidays in Port Harcourt. Around Lagos Bustop in Port Harcourt, you wil notice some grim old storey buildings within that axis. My aunt reliably told me that those buildings were owned by Igbos who could not reclaim them after after the Nigerian civil war. Our Ikwerre and Ijaw brothers did that to us. They consficated our landed property and declared them 'abandoned.' Till today, only the vagrants and dregs of society live in those buildings.

This exactly will play out in Nigeria if Biafra finally secedes. How? In Nigeria, by the virtue of the 1978 Land use act, all land in the country belong to the Federal Government. Individuals and corporate bodies who buy land are just mere tenants. The government owns the land. That's why we have the issuance of Certificate of occupancy, consent, ratifications and others.

The law only recognises some form of compensation should the government have need for your land. When the Biafran exodus finally takes place, the property will revert to the the real owners that is the government via the legal principle of legal principle principle referred to to as Bona Vacantia. 

Similarly, there is this legal principle called 'quic quid plantatur solo solo cedit' ( He who owns the land owns what is in it). All the developments on the land become that of the real owners which in this case is the Federal Government of Nigeria.

What does this imply? It implies that if Biafra materialises tomorrow, all Biafran properties and Investments will be taken over by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is simply the sad reality. Look at what played out in Bakassi Peninsula. The Cameroonian Government chased away the Indigenous people of Bakassi and took away their land since they opted to be in Nigeria. That should serve as a big lesson to us.

My fellow Igbo statesmen, please, wake up from this fantasy. Let us not wash our hands and crack kernels for the fowl. We can still make Nigeria better and live in unity with our fellow countrymen. Udo, peace!

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Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
LeonardOrjiOffor · 06/25/2020
Mr man I don't really understand what point you are selling here however have gone to Europe and see for 4the kind of magnificent buildings that the Jews lose in Europe during the holocaust? its said that the jews are the most richest people in Europe at the time and that is true I have travelled throughout Europe and see many of the Jews abandoned properties that they left during the 1st and 2nd world wars however in the midst of all those abandoned they simply have build a better society in Israel today and everything they lost they have gained it back in hundreds folds. So mr poster where you are missing out is that you don't talk about haven abilities to create wealth that is what matters most not about losing a wealth. Israel lost so much when they don't have a nation but today they are about the very most richest country in the middle east so losing wealth is nothing to compare to having the knowledge to create wealth
GUEST_RMeMenjda · 06/25/2020
how many times will you people post this nonsense, what have Igbo benefited in Nigeria, the property you talking about is their own individual struggle, not by govt, if Igbo man can survive with the govt policy of 20 pounds no matter how many millions you have in your account, after the war how do you think they can not survive when they have their own country, most of you Nigerians have more properties abroad and you are not from there but those properties belongs to you, but here you are believing that Igbo will loose their own in Nigeria if they leave Nigeria, the same international law that guards your property overseas , will equally be used to guards Igbo properties if they leave Nigeria today.
RexSamuel_02 · 06/25/2020
properties without security....vanity upon vanities. conduct referendum first and see whether we care about properties.
ObaniUkaegbu · 06/25/2020
Igbo's should document their properties wherever they are. Igbo's has nothing to loose if they restor their land BIAFRA. Nigerians should stop intimidations and discouraging us the Biafrans.

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