By Ignatius Okorocha
Former governor of IMO state and Senator representing Imo west in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly and Owelle Rochas Okorocha has warned against the danger that Ethnic Profiling of young men across the north and south of Nigeria could pose to the unity of Nigeria.
This is coming as the lawmaker continues to interact with different groups of concerned Nigerians who have been engaging him on the ongoing dialogue on the Unity of Nigeria.
Speaking with a Diaspora group in Abuja on Wednesday under the aegis of Nigerians in diaspora Association in South Africa, Okorocha stressed that the tendency to wrongly profile Nigerians as either members of IPOB, Oduduwa or Boko Haram will send the wrong signal to groups who hitherto would have been ready to come to the negotiating table to put forward their grievances.
His words “When Jonathan came into power the issue of corruption became heightened and America took interest about the corruption in Nigeria and they needed somebody who had zero tolerance to corruption, the issue of Boko Haram became very high, (Chibok girls if you remember), people forget history very soon, it was on that basis also that Jonathan lost election and Buhari became President, for two reasons; (one) that Buhari was going to jail all the corrupt people in Nigeria, like what he did when he was military head of state; (secondly) that he will stop Boko Haram, that was the situation back then”. He said
“But today what is threatening the Unity of Nigeria, polarization of the country so Nigerians are looking for who can unite them, they want an Igbo; Hausa or Yoruba man who can bring the country back together”.
“If you say that the security situation has overwhelmed Buhari like it overwhelmed Jonathan, I will say true it has, the security situation has overwhelmed the government, so when you hear about Boko haram , Boko haram started sometimes ago, but people don’t ask what is the causative of the disease, you are treating the symptoms of the disease’’.
“When Boko haram started it killed more northerners than even the Igbo’s and Yoruba’s in Nigeria and they are still killing them up till date’ they kill Muslims; Hausa’s; the Chibok girls are not Igbo girls they are northerners so this is the situation we have found ourselves”.
“Now thirty or forty years ago we had about 5.5 million children out of school and no one cared about it, that number of out-of-school- children that we ignored is the Boko haram that we are suffering today, today the United Nation has said about 14.5 million Nigerian children are out of school, so if 5.5 million are giving us Boko haram after 30 years, you can imagine what 14.5 million will give us, it will give us ‘Supersonic Boko Haram’ in the next thirty years and when this happens it will result in ‘ethnic profiling”.
“Buhari went to Katsina when he arrived they kidnapped over One hundred children to welcome him to his village, Zamfara; Borno and Katsina are no-go-areas; Imo state is hot, in Ogun they kidnap whether you are poor or rich in broad daylight, insecurity is rife in our nation”.
“But when it comes to issues, we start with Ethnic Profiling, I will tell you that As Rochas Okorocha my style is different I will not end up like Aguyi Ironsi, I have a different style, I have a separate operational methodology to handle this issue of insecurity, we have not been able to separate the Fulani people from the Herdsmen.
“The Fulani as we knew them lived in Jos, I grew up in Barkin ladi in Jos and they use sticks, I have never seen any Fulani man using AK47, but we are now profiling all fulani’s just like we now profile all Igbo’s to be IPOB and all Yoruba’s as those seeking to secede from the country, we need to stop ethnic profiling because that is where some of our problems come from”