" ITREALMS: Ndigbo lived in north 200 years before caliphate - Chekwas Okorie


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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ndigbo lived in north 200 years before caliphate - Chekwas Okorie

Igbo people were entrenched and fully established in the North, more than 200 years before the arrival of the caliphate, Presidential candidate of the United Progressives Party (UPP), in the 2015 election, Chief Chekwas Okorie, has revealed.

Okorie, whose revelation came against the backdrop of the order by Northern youths for Ndigbo to leave the zone by October 1, 2017, and the acceptance of the order by secessionist groups demanding for the state of Biafra, said. 

Urging those on both sides of the divide to take time to study the structure of the country, Okorie, who is also the National Chairman of the UPP, explained that many of those being asked to leave the North, might not even remember their families in Igboland.

Hear him: “I have been to Gusau. In the year, 2000, when I was invited as a special guest of honour to the Igbo Day celebration, it was such a colourful event. Forty-two town unions resident in Zamfara State, brought out their cultural groups of their various towns, developed there, not those invited from home. In the stadium, you could imagine where 42 cultural groups of different colourations performed. It was one of the most colourful events I ever attended.

“I became curious and then found out that there was a place called Northern Gusau, where there was an Igbo settlement for over 400 years. And that was the year 2000, the very year the Fulanis celebrated their bi-centenary of the establishment of the caliphate, which means from the time Uthman Dan Fodio came with his Fulani forces into Sokoto to the year 2000, was 200 years, two centuries. But Igbo people have been there 200 years earlier.

“I have had the privilege in the course of trying to see where my people are located, I have gone round Nigeria a minimum of 15 times in the 41 years I have been in this struggle and I have seen Igbo people, where they are located and the length of times they have spent in those places, generations after generations.

“So, I said to myself – really, the people who own this land, will include the Igbo, the Hausa, the Kanuris, the Tivs, Ijaws, Yoruba, the Binis – name them. The latest entrants to the Nigerian geographical space are the Fulanis. All the other ethnic groups are more than 200 years old in Nigeria. And as for Igbo, God created them here. We didn’t migrate from anywhere to anywhere. Nigeria is only 117 years old as a country. That means the Igbo people have lived in those places centuries before the amalgamation.
“So, when young impressionable begin to advocate our return from the North, I don’t blame them because what you don’t know, you don’t know. It is a tall order to ask people who cannot even locate their ancestral homes to return. Another take of it is that we have three or four times the number of Igbo people living outside Igboland than those living inside. I have also calculated that because of our people’s enterprise and adventurism, 80 to 90 per cent of Igbo billionaires, if not 99 per cent, are based outside Igboland. Only few have come back to establish their businesses in Igboland and you can name them on your fingertips.

“So, what we should be doing is to encourage these billionaires to think home in terms of investments, so that Igbo areas can experience rapid industrial growth. That can be achieved and not to ask people to relocate. Even if Nigeria is divided, you do not move properties and human beings. You only redraw the map. Where you are a citizen you now become a foreigner, and adhere to the laws of the new country. It has happened in many places and our own will not be any different. But nobody is going in that direction.”

He said that the solution to the ethnic questions in Nigeria, including the plight of the Igbo man, must be resolved through political means and urged those agitating to take advantage of the process to canvass the ideals.

His words: “I have always advocated it and I can say boldly that I was instrumental to Igbo people producing two members of the House of Reps in Lagos State currently; because I went there to hold a townhall meeting at Sheraton Hotel in December 2014. I invited 86 extant Igbo associations, markets and other groups, excluding town unions.

“It was a very successful townhall meeting. It was on non-partisan basis, but highly political. Nobody ever had such a townhall meeting in Lagos before me or after me. In fact, they have been asking me to come for a repeat, which will hold, but this time it will be based on UPP. With that awareness, we now have at least two seats in the state assembly in Lagos and two in Abuja representing constituencies in Lagos. This is what I like to see in Kano, in Plateau State, and all the places where we have heavy presence in certain constituencies.

“I will like to see us contribute to the election of a governor, who may not be Igbo, but may rely on Igbo votes to be able to form government. Such governments will definitely be more broad-based even in that state than what we have today. It is UPP that has a plan to unify Nigeria politically than any other political party.”

Insisting that the party was totally opposed to dismemberment of Nigeria, he said, in structure and ideals, it had mapped out strategies to address all the fears being expressed in the country, particularly from those who felt oppressed.

He added: “No. UPP is not for secession. UPP is for a restructured country that gives every ethnic nationality a sense of liberty, a sense of freedom, a sense of enjoying its own effort in human development and substantial part of its natural endowment. And Nigeria is such a country that there is hardly any section that does not have one natural endowment or the other.

“But there is an attitude of both selfishness and wickedness on the part of those who have held Nigeria to the jugular, by emphasising only resources from oil and behaving in a manner that suggest that they couldn’t wait for this oil to be depleted and exhausted. So that they could now begin to explore their own. Nobody comes with such intrigues and grows a nation.

“All our resources should be developed at the same time and people will see why they cannot constitute an island onto themselves. There is no way UPP will advocate for secession. Because we believe that if we set out to achieve what we want to achieve, there will be no need to secede. What are you seceding from? From where to where? Look, let me tell you, Igbo people own this country more than any other ethnic group. And I say it with all sense of responsibility and sense of history.”

Source Whirlwindnews.com

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