By Ena Ofugara: This article will attempt to show why minorities, from the blacks in America to the minorities in Nigeria are poorer and will remain so. I will indeed include Igbos as minorities as indeed the system is also rigged against them.
From time immemorial, all societies have developed means to keep others not like them beneath them. It has been done in the form of slavery, caste systems, Sarakunas and Talakewas, Royalty, noblemen feudal lords and serfs, Ogboni, Illuminati etc. The reasons for some to come together and oppress others have ranged from skin colour, to tribe, to religion and even to the possession of penises. Yes, rules that ensure male dominance and different set of rules governing men and women is no different from when there are different set of rules for whites and black. We must now streamline this article as it could be stretched to become a whole book.
In streamlining this article, we must immediately look at the US and wonder why the blacks seem to be never-do-wells. Yours truly have questioned and criticized the blacks for being in jail so much and not wanting to go to school etc. That was before my eyes became open to systemic racism. For the blacks, think about the head start whites have had over them. They came to the US just 400 years ago and to conditions that were beneath human. It is only recently that segregation ended but then has racism ended? Lacigreen explains how and why the blacks remain forever poor. She reminds of the REDLINING law of 1962 where the Federal Government of the US made 120 billion dollars available for people to get homes. The only snag, only whites could access this loans. Thus with this money, whites were able to get beautiful homes in the best areas, while the blacks, without such help, had to be quartered in the projects and that is the beginning of ghetto life. The whites and their fancy loans could invest in their dreams and grow while the blacks stayed poor and had to do crimes to survive which then leads to arrests and many children have to grow up without their fathers to nurture them. Thus begins the circle of failure. Now add this to laws that make crimes or actions of blacks receive more punishment, eg selling crack receiving ten times more punishment than selling cocaine and blacks being more easily searched and so caught more often with marijuana and illegal guns, even when whites do it too, and you begin to understand. Then add the fact that in the US they have background checks before employment which means if ten white kids and ten black kids are smoking weed, nine of the white kids will walk right past police officers and not be arrested while 8 of the black kids will be searched and convicted and that is 8 black men who may never find work again as they are now “ex-convicts”.
Furthermore in the US, I hear it is changing, but you can only go to public schools in your district or neighbourhood. This means that blacks who cannot afford to live in these white neighbourhood built by thoDelta newsroom logose government loans, must attend schools in the ghetto or projects. Now public schools are financed by taxes. The whites with all their loans are able to pay higher taxes so get to have better schools while the schools in the projects that majority of the blacks must attend, can never compare to the schools in the white areas, and so the whites are armed with better schooling and ready to compete with a black boy for the same space in a top company. Add white privilege to this where the white is usually employed first, and you will know why the black kid may just see his absolution as rap music, gangs and selling drugs (Majority of blacks do well in school and succeed in life. This is not intended to be an insult to them black folks. But I bet you understand what I am saying)
In Nigeria, the whites are easily represented by the Yorubas and Hausa-Fulani. (Don’t shoot me yet). They are the most populous tribe in Africa and have been and remain in positions of power to make policies and benefit from them. Now in 1972, the Federal Military Government headed by Gowon made the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree which Obasanjo remade in 1977 as the INDIGENIZATION Decree. This law made it compulsory for all foreign companies to sell 51 percent at least of their shares to a Nigerian owner. That is, the almighty Royal Niger Company (later became UAC) that practically colonized us were forced to sell 51 percent of their company to Nigerians.
This sales were forced as said. But new Nigerian millionaires were about to be created. Mere civil servants became controlling share holders overnight as the federal government made it possible for banks to give loans to Nigerians to buy the white companies…at least controlling shares.
It is important to note that this was 1972, two years after the Biafran War and Igbos yet to be integrated fully in Nigeria. They were a conquered people and their “rights” if any was due to the magnanimity of the Middle-belt Gowon. Still they could not access same loans, neither could many of the minority tribes. The only Urhobo man I know that benefited from this was Gamaliel Onosode. All of the Ernest Shonekans and many unknown Yorubas and Hausas became millionaires thereby, to the exclusion of Igbos and he minorities who were not positioned nor knowledgeable enough to make use of this opportunity, or perhaps it was not just there for them. Thus Nigeria had her first set of millionaires.
The children of these people were thus able to attend the Cambridges and Oxfords and Ibadan. They were able to become the creme de la creme. They were given visas at will and that is why you see whole streets in London being Yoruba. The Hausa-Fulani and their Sarakuna and Talakewa class system only allowed for Fulanis to truly go to school while Hausas and Kanuris did not embrace education that much.
Thus is the headstart for Yorubas and Hausas and how Yorubas became the most brilliant and civilized tribe, building on the fact that even before then they had the capital and cocoa and a brilliant Awolowo that steered them toward education. But for millionaires, this is how the true first set of legal millionaires came about.
Then the next set of millionaires arose. Oil had been found in Oloibiri in Bayelsa state. The Hausa Fulani shard these lands to themselves in the name of Oil Blocks and OML and OPLs. The Yorubas ran these companies. So between them all of the moneys in Nigeria were/are lodged. The Igbos were allowed top but not ownership levels. The Niger Deltans as minorities can be cleaners and rig workers. This is still in effect till date as in Chevron, no Deltan is in management staff till today. Between the Fulanis and some Northern minority tribes who joined the army and took coups like the the Theophilus Danjumas, they own the oil blocks and with it IMMENSE WEALTH. Again, Yorubas MERELY run these companies.
Now even when opportunities to become billionaires are thrown open to all as done by Obasanjo with telecoms, it is the Northerners in some kind of background arrangement with Yorubas that can own Globacom (rumours persist that it is owned by Babangida and Mike Adenuga is a veritable front. I cannot confirm)
Also when the racket of SUBSIDY began under babangida (or Abacha?) where a man sells to government and his profit is guaranteed, only one Igbo man (Uba) can make the list and it is by the grace of Obasanjo. Again, Northerners and Westerners own it all.
And when Goodluck Jonathan sells NEPA/PHCN most fairly, it is Northerners and the Yorubas that have the type of funds to bring foreign companies and partner them to own NEPA.
And yes, Igbos on the average may look like they have moneys, they do. But when we talk Dangote and Alhaji Alhaji (richest investor in South Africa) and Abacha and Babangida and Rilwan Lukman and Obasanjo and Mike Adenuga and Harry Akande money, those who really understand wealth will know what I am talking about. The Yoruba Family that brought Julius Berger, can never be poor. Yes there are a few rich Igbo men and Niger Deltans, but I am talking deep deep pockets, what Onos Ohwevwo calls GENERATIONAL WEALTH.
In Goodluck Jonathan, a great opportunity presented itself. By celestial providence and goodluck, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan broke the glass ceiling placed on the Niger Deltan and Igbo man. He however forgot the first rule…BOW TO THE MASTERS OR LOSE OUT. .First he tried to remove a huge source of constant wealth for them…SUBSIDY PAYMENTS. The unsuspecting, nigh doltish Nigerian public fought him and kept it. The powers that be would never forgive him as they were to strike him back a few months to re-election when they ensured his repaired refineries could not work and that fuel was scarce for the voting public.
We saw giants from our sordid past and hitherto enemies….Babangida, Obasanjo, Atiku, Theophilus Danjuma, Buhari Dangote, etc all UNITE against a common enemy, the emerging minority. YES. 2016, Jonathan would have removed subsidy, issued OML and OPL and oil blocks to new set of people including Igbos and Niger Deltans etc etc. There was no way the majority was going to allow themselves be equalled by the minorities and Igbos. So a man who successfully sold NEPA when OBJ could not even sell Nitel without hitches nor sell the NEPA well, instead doing something something and changing it to PHCN which is ineffectual. They used wealth and press power and old structures they have built to make a man who have made trains run from Port Harcourt to Enugu, Port Harcourt to Markurdi, now Port Harcourt to Kano, Lagos to Kano etc to look a failure. They forget that all countries that grew grew because of the train network. Their deep-rooted institutions of power made a man who built the biggest dams in Africa for electricity be called clueless. Today with him gone, in a week power is almost constant in many areas. They made a man who made Nigeria begin to feed herself with dry season rice production and a man who even at christmas food prices never increase to be called OLODO. Their media might made it possible for a leader whose SEC boss was so good she is now World Bank Vice President or so, and whose ministers like Shehu Aganga, and Minister of economy and finance Ngozi Okonjo Iwealla made Nigeria to an investment paradise and number one destination of FDI and whose policy moved Nigeria from being classified as poor to middle-earning to be hated by many. They made a man whose corruption index from all international agencies showed he improved Nigeria and stopped systemic corruption enough to move us loads of notches above where ALL other presidents put Nigeria….that is, under Goodluck, Nigeria was considered so much less corrupt, yet the structure to this day is ensuring his administration is the most corrupt even when to wikileaks, they say something different and that he is by and large honest. Yes, a man whose policy led to the first black man owning a car company is called CLUELESS when the oneelected over him and his military allies destroyed even foreign car companies. A man brings back the car companies and even bigger ones like Nissan and A NIGERIAN owns a car company…FIRST BLACK MAN ON THE PLANET and a president who ensures this is called CLUELESS
That is the power of the majority. That is the power of those who lead. THAT IS THE SYSTEM. That is what Lauren Hill rages about in songs like “I GET OUT” which the system ensures she Lauren Hill fails. That is the system that imprisons the Wole Soyinkas till they learn to eat along and be quiet. That is the system that ensures NOTHING CHANGES. That is the system where for the Igbos and Niger Delta we must find a route to Europe through Morocco. That is the system that must bring forth Fred Ajuduas if he must feed, or turn people to “baby factory” just to survive. That is why CNN will show Osaro marching across the dessert to Europe. That is the system that YES to survive, you must KILL A LION EVERYDAY academically or in business to survive. And that is the system that if not well managed by this “new” leader Buhari who has not learnt how to hide bias and hate and oppression of the minorites and Igbos, he may …he may…. he may destroy the country and with it the SYSTEM…GLASNOST AND PERESTROIKA….only perhaps more violent.

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