By Kelechi Deca
Junaid Mohammed’s layered Ignorance and Paranoia
I had the unfortunate misfortune of stumbling on an interview which appeared in The Saturday Punch of 9th March, 2013 by one Junaid Mohammed who likes to be introduced as a Medical doctor while in the real sense he is just one among several products of the Soviet era who were taken to the Eastern bloc where they were taught mere sloganeering. At the end of their sojourns, most of them were given pieces of paper on which various degrees where written. Some were called engineers, some social scientists and some others were sent home with “medical certificates.”
Anyone who has come across Junaid’s often thoughtless public interventions cannot but wonder where he always leaves his brain; why there seems to be a permanent disconnect between history, facts and his foul mouth. Each time he talks, Junaid appears to habour a pathological hatred of Igbos. This was evidently demonstrated in the said interview. According to him, “with the exception of the South East and a few people in the Niger Delta close to the Igbos”, others are suffering. This claim is irresponsible as it has no bearing to the facts on ground. Indeed, the South East is the most marginalized section of the country under President Jonathan. If Junaid were to be properly educated, a little research would have demonstrated to him that the South East received the least allocation from the Federal Government’s budget since Jonathan became president.
Okonjo-Iweala is not from the South East, rather she is from the South South and is running a South South agenda with President Jonathan against the people of the South East. If Igbos were to be as coordinated as either the northern or South West groups, some of their leaders and elders would have marched to President Jonathan or Okonjo-Iweala to demand why she should be sitting on a South East slot but carrying out South South agenda. It is only the Junaids of this world who are so blinded by their Igbophobia that fail to see the criminal neglect of the Igboman in the affairs of this country. The reader or Junaid himself should put a call across to the chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts to find out the basis of their protests against the President Jonathan and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala budgets.
In fact, the Northern Caucus of the House of Representatives have had cause in the recent past to publish a breakdown of regional allocations which showed the South South getting an overwhelming lion’s share followed by the South West, then North West, North Central and North East in that order. The South East was in the distant rear. The worst roads in this country today are not in the North neither are they in the West but in the South South East. The Enugu-Port Harcourt highway is in a state of total disrepair. The best federal highways in Nigeria today are still in the North. Since Jonathan came to power, how many Igbos got oil blocs? Yet Junaid is saying Igbos are better off under Jonathan. Junaid Mohammed needs to travel a little more across the country to cure himself of this destructive ignorance.
He has taken his sense of Igbophobia to another level by singling our Princess Stella Odua for castigation just because she is Igbo. He claims she receives money to work because she is Igbo, yet every other ministry receives their own allocation but the only Minister who has hit the ground running, refurbishing all airports across the country cannot be commended by the likes of Junaid because of her ethnic background. Yet Junaid is silent on the huge billions and trillions allocated to MDAs under Northerners which they are systematically looting. Over 80% of all the looting going on in Nigeria is by Northerners. Think of one Lawal Hassan, a former Minister of Works from Nasarrawa State who got over N500 billion to repair roads and yet throughout his tenure he could not account for half a kilometre of tarred road but had over N17 billion sitting idly in his private accounts.
Junaid Mohammed should take a little inventory of all the financial scandals recorded in the country from the Pension Fund to that of the oil subsidy; 80% are perpetrated by northerners, yet only few people see it as northern malaise. Rather most Nigerians are united that the issue of corruption is a national challenge that must be tackled nationally. This is why today people across the country are still yearning for a Buhari presidency that can hopefully clean the Augean stable without segregation.
Junaid is so enamoured in his ignorant claim that Igboland can never, never accommodate the Igbos because he does not seem to have heard about New York, Mexico City, Japan or Hong Kong and their population densities. The truth, indeed, is that Igboland is empty. It needs its productive people to come back to develop it. Another of his fallacies is the notion that Igboland is landlocked, as if the Atlantic Ocean extends to the Northern part of the country. However, when the come, comes to become (apologies K.O. Mbadiwe), the Junaids of this country would realize that indeed Igboland extends to the Atlantic Ocean.
Junaid and his ilk are some of the few lazy Nigerians who cannot survive on any productive effort without engaging in ethnic blackmail. And the usual weeping boy for the low characters is the Igbo. He knows he can’t speak about the Yorubas the way he abuses the Igbos, that was why he described Awolowo’s conduct in the Western House of Assembly during the first republic as “maneuvering”. Cowards come in many shapes and sizes! The primary motivation for the world view of Junaid Mohammed and people like him, given his threats, is that history repeats itself exactly in the previous form. The truth however, is that events, like life, are dynamic.
Igbos fought the Biafra War without arms, with very little or no global leverage. God forbid, if there should be another war, Junaid will find that there are new Igbos on the bloc. Junaid should be a little enterprising and ask the Niger Delta militants who supplied them with arms with which they started and sustained their agitation. Today, one of the largest mechanized farmers in the United States is a 76 years old Igboman. The biggest cable manufacturer in Sweden is another Igboman. Igbos are fully participating in the new oil fields in Angola, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and more. The Junaids of this world should not be bothered whether Igbos in Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger will come back. Since Igbos left Maiduguri, how has the economy of that place fared? He should remember there are well-healed Igbos in other 140 countries of the world who will be willing to say ‘Never Again.’ So Junaid Mohammed should stop distracting the country with his Igbophobia and seek ways of joining the on-going national coalition to save Nigeria on the one hand and on the other hand make the country a more habitable place.
Even a casual look at Nigeria, with all her avoidable challenges, still suggest that we are citizens of a potentially great country. But it is the antics of serial ethnic haters that continue to constitute a drag on our slow but steady march towards nationhood. Anyone who has plans of traveling across Nigeria soon, should enter any nearby secondary school to notice that the average Nigerian teenager speaks with the same accent, whether it is a Fulani child in Sokoto, Hausa boy in Kano, a Yoruba girl in Osogbo or Igbo teenager in Owerri. These new Nigerians do not need the shallow and negative thought of the Junaids of this world. The on-going misrule by the Jonathan/Sambo/Okonjo Iweala/David Mark axis is enough odious national burden.
I rest my case!