IPOB Stock – Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings II (IPOB) Stock price
One is always amused when people insinuate that President Muhammadu Buhari is not in charge of the government he heads or that he does not know much about what is happening in the government and the country. That belief is the greatest fallacy of the century. It is not true. The President is absolutely in charge of the affairs of Nigeria. He knows what is happening in his government. He knows what is happening in the country. It is just that, most times, he chooses to keep quiet, in what one would term “see no evil, say not evil.”
If anybody had any doubt that President Buhari knows what is happening in the country, his recent interview with Arise Television clarified the matter. In the interview, the President was articulate in matters he wanted to be and played politics in others he chose to. What he said about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), nay Igbo, in that interview was certainly not incoherent or unambiguous. It was the articulation of a man with a sound mind, who knows what he is saying and what he is doing. The “dot in a circle” is certainly not a grammatical construction or a phrase/statement of a man with doubtful sanity. It is a quotable quote, as the late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo would have put it, if he were alive.
President Buhari had said, while talking about the predicament of the Igbo: “So, that IPOB is just like a dot in a circle. Even if they want to exit, they’ll have no access to anywhere. And the way they are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB knows what they are talking about…In any case, we say we’ll talk to them in the language that they understand. We’ll organise the police and the military to pursue them.”
It was obvious who President Buhari was talking about. He used IPOB as the subject matter, but he was actually referring to the Igbo in general. For the avoidance of doubt, he said, “even if they (Igbo, not IPOB) exit, they have no access to anywhere. And the way they (Igbo, not IPOB) are spread all over the country, having businesses and properties, I don’t think IPOB (Igbo, not IPOB) knows what they are talking about.”
From the foregoing, it is obvious that the President, in his declaration, was talking about the Igbo generally. It is not that he does not know that all Igbo are not IPOB members or support the route the group has taken. It is the generalisation fad, which is used when politics is brought to classification. In this type of logic, they would say: “IPOB is an organisation led by an Igbo. Since an Igbo leads IPOB, it, therefore, means that all Igbo are members of IPOB.” It is simply argumentum ad hominem.
Describing the Igbo as a “dot in a circle” is not really an insult. Certainly not! It could be argued that it is not a compliment either. However, it is not what anybody should be angry about or split hair over. This is the same thing one said in 2015 when the Oba of Lagos declared that, if the Igbo refused to support the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), they would be drowned in the lagoon. Such comments do not annoy me, as they underline the force the Igbo have become. If a dot could be talked about with awe, when some people think it is in isolation, this means there is something about this dot that cannot be ignored.
Being a “dot in a circle” does not make the Igbo less Nigerian or less human. The Igbo may be a dot in Nigeria, but the dots are spread all over the country, all over the world. With the wide spread and entrenchment, what the Igbo need really is to connect the dots. Connecting the dots would make the Igbo a force that cannot be ignored. As Buhari said, the Igbo are everywhere. And they have property everywhere in Nigeria. That is true. The Igbo are the single Nigerian ethnic stock that understands nationalism. They believe in one Nigeria, more than any other ethnic group. They live and invest in any part of the country without fear or inhibition. If other components of Nigeria were as open-minded as the Igbo, Nigeria would be more united than it is at present.
I understand the frustration of the Igbo that, despite their nationalistic disposition, there is still a feeling of dislike and disgust about them. The lot of an Igbo man is indeed pathetic. The Yoruba would describe them as “Omo Igbo oshi.” The Hausa would call them “Inyamiri.” Some South-South Igbo would vehemently say they are not Igbo, in order not to be associated with them, despite the fact that they are indeed Igbo, with the same language and culture, but simply divided by accident of geography. Some others would call them “spare parts dealers.” In some cities, other tribes would not give an Igbo man accommodation in their property. It is a war against the Igbo, which defies all logic.
Pray, why do people fear the Igbo? The only answer one could get is this: It is simply politics. The tactic is to make the Igbo embattled, to ensure that they are not monolithic, to ensure that they are constantly fighting for their rights, to ensure that they are kept busy fighting for their survival and existence. Those employing this strategy believe that a man who has been unsettled by so many unnecessary wars would be more interested in survival than in any other thing. It is working for them.
There is no point in the Igbo weeping. A time will come in Nigeria when we all will realize the importance of the Igbo and all segments of the country and accord them their due. A tribe that is enterprising and contributing its quota to the socio-economic and political development of the country should not be treated as a pariah. The Igbo lost a war, which set them back in the scheme of things in the country.Apple-converted-space”> However, by sheer enterprise, ingenuity and hard work, they have risen from the ashes of civil war defeat and devastation to become a force. What they need is consolidation. This is why the happenings in the South East at present, where “unknown gunmen” and military expedition organised by President Buhari, in his “talk to them in the language that they understand” programme, should not be allowed to continue. Insecurity in the South East, real or contrived, will set the Igbo backward, as businesses and free enterprise will be impeded.
The task before the Igbo is to understand their God-given talent and remain focused in what they are doing. Soon, I see a Nigeria where the Igbo will no longer be ignored, no matter how those who want to suppress them try. With a huge population spread across the country and investments, they are primed to be part of the decision-making caucus in Nigeria in the nearest future. The story of the Jews in the United States should serve as motivation for the Igbo. Few in number but large in resources and connection, the Jews cannot be ignored in the U.S. As J.J. Goldberg once wrote in The Washington Post, in an article titled Jewish Power: Inside American Jewish Establishment, “by the end of the 20th century, American Jewry has come to be viewed around the globe as a serious player in the great game of politics, able to influence events, to define and achieve important goals, to reward its friends and punish its enemies.” That is what we should expect of the Igbo.
President Buhari has given the Igbo an idea on how to connect the “dots in a circle,” going forward. Since investing everywhere and owning property everywhere in Nigeria has become a big sin for the Igbo and a tool of blackmail, the President, although mockingly, is indirectly challenging the Igbo to think home and to stop investing in other parts of the country. It is a fact that, if the Igbo have the majority of their enterprises in the South East, even with the market outside the region, unemployment would be low and the per capita income would be high. Dubai transformed from a desert to a city sought after by all within a space of less than 50 years because of a goal to make things happen. There is nothing stopping the Igbo from rapidly developing the South East and turning it to the business hub of Nigeria. What is needed is a renaissance of the post-Independence Igbo spirit, which made the South East the fastest growing economy in the world, before the civil war.