Orji Kalu: Igbos defending thieves just because they are Igbos? - Charles Ogbu

Sometimes, just reading commentaries on trending stories fills me with more disgust than those stories themselves.

How do you describe a situation where SOME people from a region crying of marginalization start churning out all manner of conspiracy theories in defense of a politician who stole 7 BILLION NAIRA FROM THESE SAME PEOPLE and was duly tried for over 12 years (starting from late president Yar'adua) and finally convicted?

Orji Uzor Kalu wasn't some Federal minister or head of some govt Parastatal. He was a governor of an Igbo state for 8 solid years. He didn't steal from the Fulani or the Yoruba or even the F.G. He stole from Ndigbo. Abia state. His prosecution started in 2007 under the late President Yar'Adua during which time, he (OUK) explored all legal options up to the Supreme Court just to frustrate the trial. So you can't logically claim he wasn't given fair hearing. If it takes even Uncle Lucifer to put such a man behind bars, shouldn't we roll out the drum for this Uncle Lucifer and even plead with him to focus on only Igbo politicians so as to help us sanitize AlaIgbo??  And if other ethnic groups shield their own thieves, so what? Are these other ethnic groups now our teachers? Are they our role models? Do we want AlaIgbo to be like the North where poverty, illiteracy and unemployment walk on all four?

Assuming, without conceding, that OUK's trial was started by Buhari with a view to stopping an Igbo APC presidential hopeful come 2023, as some would have us believe, isn't that to our own advantage? Shouldn't we be ashamed if a man who could steal more than 7 billion from us is the best we have to offer?

Let me say this, just for the record: Igbo marginalization is alive and well. Only a man who is willfully dishonest will attempt to deny this.

But the singularly biggest tragedy of Ndigbo is not the marginalization from the centre. It is the tragedy of leadership in the homefront. The sorry state of AlaIgbo today has more to do with the wickedness of our own people than the marginalization from the center. After all, just a couple of years ago, under both Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan, Ndigbo occupied strategic government positions from CBN governor to Coordinating Minister of the economy and straight to the heart of the presidency where we had the position of Secretary to the federal government, among other offices such as the chairmanship of both Senate and House committees on works, plus the deputy Senate President and deputy speaker house of Reps, etc.

Yet, with all those positions, we couldn't do such a basic thing as dredge the river Niger, build the 2nd Niger bridge or construct any of the federal roads in the East or even open up other Ports in the Old Eastern region, all of which would have been a matter of fairness, not even favouritism. Even ordinary to convert the Akanu Ibiam Airport to standard International Airport, some of our people went and shared the money and left us with that glorified bustop in the name of International Airport. Now, we had to go bury our head in the poo-poo hole of Buhari, a known hater and tormentor of brethren, to get the Airport up again.

Is this not the height of humiliation? All because of the wickedness by Igbos against Igbos. Do you need Charles Ogbu to spell that out for you?

Even as fundamentally unfair as Buhari has been to Ndigbo, has he ever withheld even one month allocation to any Igbo state?

See eh, we must learn to separate issues if we are to be taken seriously as a people. Know the problems caused by Buhari and the ones caused by our own political class. And stop mixing up the two.

Those of you ridiculing our quest for justice and equity with foolish solidarity for in-house enemies must cease and desist. Yes, the Nigerian state has a systemic and systematic design to contain and cripple Ndigbo and AlaIgbo. Yes, Buhari, being a dyed-in-the-wool ethno-religious irredentist, has taken this containment plan to a dangerously atrocious level both in politics, economic front and every other sector. These are facts which I'm willing to defend anytime.

We must learn to distinguish between our kind being UNFAIRLY targeted by the Nigerian state and one of our own who consciencelessly robbed us (not the FG) blind being gifted with the penalty for his ignoble deed. Was OUK innocent of what he was convicted of? Was he treated beneath the law? So what's the fuse about?

What I expect every Igbo person to be seriously questioning right about now is the rationale behind the court ordering the liquidation of OUK's company (as against the government taking over its management) and forfeiture of the assets to federal government instead of the government of Abia state. That is judicial robbery, one that should never be allowed to stand. The fact that our lawyers all kept quiet when this broad day robbery was done against Enugu state with Chimaroke Nnamani's case should be to our eternal shame.

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