[Opinion] Of The “Deportation” Of Igbos: To Femi Fani Kayode, Kalu And The Rest Of Us! By Nkannebe Raymond

Those who have lent their ears to the happenstances in the socio-political arena will agree with me that ever since the so called deportation of some persons (of common ancestral history) from one region of the country to another region, the centre has refused to hold again. The previous week was a hell of a week across the online and print media but obviously, it is the social media that has once again carried the matter on its “head” just as it has done in the past with the Child-Marriage saga, the Farouk-Otedola puzzle and a host of other topical issues too numerous to mention.
Ever since that avoidable event became news, I have studied from the background the reactions of the generality of those that have in one way or the other given ear to the matter either with the pen or viva-voce and to my dissatisfaction and utter dismay, I came to realize that in a manner quite characteristic of Nigerians, we have carefully and consciously overlooked the matter amiss, but have chosen to walk on its flanks wearing our regional aprons and regional lenses that in most cases prevent us from seeing issues the way we ought to perceive them. The consequence is: the problem has been allowed to remain where it is and instead of cleaning up the mess, we have continued to cry over the consequences. Instead of proffering lasting solutions, we have chosen rather to be aligned with our kinsmen to either justify or condemn the act of the one who fathered the whole ugly scenario– Babatubde Raji Fashola. Truly it is un-Nigerian of all of us.
I have also come to notice the punctuated silence of Mr. President and the members of our hallow chambers who have carefully and obviously warned not to be dragged into the matter through their media aides. On the contrary, they have allowed Nigerians to treat the matter in the way they know us too well to do while they go on their knees praying that another issue unfolds so that they will feed on the amnesia many of us suffer from. But for some reasons, this one has refused to just pass by, just like the Yerima outburst that preceded it, and continues to reverberate across the social media not without generating controversies and pitching up one group against the other. However, trust me they have their eyes fixated on the hands of time begging it to just turn a lit bit faster. That is Nigerian leaders for you and me. Or what better tool could they make do with? Anyway, that is not what led to the troubles of this article. Something else did.
Nigerians with this deportation saga have once again portrayed how separated they are along regional lines against the so-called unity except for a select few who have not allowed personal interests to come in the way of their reasoning. Men disciplined to a fault that they would rather set the truth free first before setting their fellow kinsman free. But how few they are in our numbers!
It got so worse that even men who commanded the respect and admiration of people like me also threaded such path of infamy. The Femi Fani Kayode’s and Orji Uzor Kalu’s but more of the former, with their recent articles have shown that despite their intellect, exposure and finesse still haven’t shred off the feathers of regionalism that most a time obscure common sense and give way to emotions to be the interlocutors of reasoning.
They did that so well that the social media has come to christen them the major actors in the ‘battle’ just the way we had Ojukwu and Gowon during the Biafra war. The average Yoruba man has supported everything Femi Fani Kayode has said in his two articles on the said issue and this can be gleaned from the comments coming from those articles which I took time to go through. The Igbo man on the other hand sitting in front of his stall at Ladipo Market and yonder, won’t find fault with whatever the Chairman of Njiko Igbo Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has said so far in his Leadership Series of 10th August 2013. But in all of it, if Kalu is worthy of our condemnation, I think it is Kayode who deserves more as he is the one who stirred the hornets’ nest by bringing the wrong connotation into the matter when he betrayed common logic and alleged that Lagos state was developed by the Southwest in his article, “Lagos, the Igbo and the servants of Truth”. Even though he alleged that the article was informed by a tip off he got to the effect that, “it is the Igbo’s who constitute a great number of the Lagos population who should take the credit for whatever the city may be today and thus shouldn’t have been subjected to such inhuman treatment by the Lagos state governor”.
I expected Femi Fani Kayode to display uncommon sagacity as a person who undoubtedly is well read and who understands Nigeria enough to know that such statement as to who helped in developing or under developing a place and so on and so forth cannot be coming from well nurtured minds and thus dismiss same. But to my quagmire, he showed that he lacks self-control (I hate to be taciturn) and made matters worse when he brought that inciting article to press which has today earned too many rejoinders from left, right and center. Whether Kayode was trying to appeal to the sympathy of the West or not, that is not what I am concerned about here but people like me thinks that he should have stayed within the scope of the issue by condemning or justifying Fashola’s act vis-à-vis the constitution of the country instead of steering that middle course which has the tenacity of smacking off regional strife between the Igbo’s of the hinterland and the Yoruba’s. If for any reason Fashola goofed, methinks his act is pardonable but Kayode,’s was a calculated attempt to turn one region of the country against another and thus must be condemned. That is obviously not the best way to act. If anything, it brings to the fore how separated we are along ethnic differences the level of civilization notwithstanding.
Whether Igbo’s helped to develop Lagos or otherwise, how does it stop a sitting governor from doing that which he deems fit to do with the people’s mandate? As far as I am concerned, doing so will be akin to asking the governor not to prosecute an Igbo man who commits a simple offence because the Igbo’s has helped Lagos to where it is today. This obviously will be devoid of any logic and thus, should not command the reactions of a sane thinking individual. In like manner, I had expected Femi Kayode to disregard such insinuations and stay within the confines of the issues in controversy for to do otherwise, makes him no better than the peddlers of such jaundiced remarks who prima facie, means no good for this nation. If some 67, 72, 14, some even said 19 Igbo’s were deported from Lagos to Onitsha by Fashola, he should be questioned on the basis of how he violated the provisions of sections 34, 35 and 41of our constitution as I canvassed in my article on the protracted matter via this medium and not being crucified on the cross of regional sentiments. It doesn’t speak well of us.
Femi Fani Kayode’s journey into history to justify how Lagos state was built by the resources and intellect of the southwest to the best of my knowledge is the height of egocentrism. It wasn’t called for at any length. He said and I quote, “The Igbo had little to do with the extraordinary development of Lagos between 1880 right up until today. That is a fact. Other than Ajegunle, Computer village, Alaba and buying numerous market stalls in Isale Eko, where and what is their impact……”
His counterpart(s) from the south east has also travelled into time like Hiro Nakamura in the TV series- heroes, to show how Lagos wouldn’t have been what it is today but for the investments of the pioneering Igbo Business magnates like Sir. Louis Philippe Ojukwu who some said, owes a better part of Lagos even till today and so many other accounts of how the markets that attract humongous revenue to the Lagos state coffers were all built by the Igbo’s and such accounts may continue ad infinitum. In all of it, I don’t see such reasoning to come from persons who have suckled their mother’s breasts for some six months. It is only those driven by regional sentiments and who scarcely understands the spirit and character of our nationhood that will enlist their names in such ignominy.
To drive home further, the fact that we are bluntly divided along ethno religious lines to the injury, I also noticed how our northern and Muslim brothers clearly exempted themselves from the issue in controversy unlike how they did a fortnight ago when Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima was in the middle of the morass. As I write, I am yet to set my eyes on a Newspaper back page column where a columnist from the north commented on the issue. Conversely, they have somehow given it an “I don’t care” attitude. It doesn’t concern the north, it doesn’t affect the Hausa man as it were; so let the Yoruba’s and their Igbo counterparts take a swipe at each other, who gives a damn?
What I make out of the whole scenario is that we still don’t understand what is wrong with each and every one of us. While we blame our leaders every now and again, we have never for once been united even in the most trifle of issues that affect us as individuals and as citizens. It is unfortunate how our leaders pitch us against one another at the slightest opportunity but amidst that all, we have shown to be a people who are nothing more but ethnic chauvinists. The Igbo man still sees the Yoruba man as the cause of all his woes, the Yoruba man on the other hand see the Igbo man as a cheat and an opportunist. Abdul the Hausa business man still feels more comfortable when he does business with Chinedu than he is, with Kayode. Okpoga from Benue, state still sees himself as a maid even in his fatherland. Ebuka, the motor-park boy at Onitsha still sees an average Hausa passenger as a Boko Haram member and Abdullahi still sees Ifeanyi as an ‘unbeliever’ because he does not worship in the same place with him. He calls him at his back an ‘arna’ and so these divisions along ethno religious borders continue in torrents.
We are not ready to make advancement until we have decided to come together and define our unity and live as one indissoluble and indivisible sovereign nation under God as the preamble to our constitution will have us understand. Our YES should always be a YES when it ought to, and our NO should also be a resounding NO in condemning any evil, irrespective of how our kinsman may be affected. What we poo poo in Abiola’s cause, may we not condone in Ali’s case and what we frown at in ifeanyi’s cause, we should not justify in Osaheme’s cause with the beauty of language or for have been well read.

Only thence shall we begin to live and interact as a people and also see things bounded by a common interest and not the usual parochial ones.
God bless Nigeria.
The writer is a Law student. He is on twiiter as @yung_silky
[email protected]



  1. The writer is really trying to impress&also cut his teeth.Kalu isn’t wrong according to him.The Yorubas are outgoing&Civilized people.The development of Lagos state cannot be ascribed to the ibos,yes they contribute to her internally generated revenue,but can’t take the glory to themselves that is pumposity in its entirety.if they had not gain very much from Lagos?why are they tropping in,in their thousands daily?Lagos pays them&they pay Lagos,that is the simple truth.

  2. No point, just a waste of time. You only try to impress your Igbo colleagues with this write up. You conderm Fani Kayode who simply tell the thru with fact and favour your Godfather (Orji Kalu) who started the whole mess. You fail to realize that what Lagos State government did happen everywhere in the country including SouthEast and FCT. Am not defending the state government but when Cross River State government depoted some people back from cross river u people keep quite, when Rivers state did thesame u did not say anything, when Abia State government sack non-indigene from state civil service you peple hail him and your God father sees nothing wrong in that. When lagos state deported destitute back to my state (Ogun), Osun, Kano etc you people keep quite. Thesame kalu now feels he can lay claim to Lagos State and expect Yorubas to keep quite. Fani-Kayode came out to tell you the truth so that what happen in 1966 wont repeat itself, all of you now feels he want to separate the country. Laying claim to what does not belong to you is an offence. To all those crying now, where are they before now? Opportunist. If peter Obi have behave like a good leader who care for his citizens, he would have receive his citizen like other state government and later complain. In conclusion, this is a national practise between all the state of federation, therefore stop criticizing Lagos State Government as if he has done something that no government has done before.

      • Identify yourself. It simply show you lack manner or maybe u cant read. Why are u guys making unnecessary noise. If you cannot abide by the rules why dont you go back to your state and stop making unnecessary noice just to catch peoples attention like your GODFATHERS (ORJI KALU & PETER OBI )

  3. Thank you all for the comments. They are received without any indignation. May God help us in our bid to build a better nation. Amen

    • @Raymond Nkannebe it seems you don’t have work. You just go & carry a dictionary, brighter grammar 1 & an encyclopedia to write this long essay. Nigerians are way beyond been influenced by other people’s opinion & myopic reasoning. How much do you truly know about history that you come here to just strain readers eyes with this long write up consisting of fragmented details.

  4. Uzor kalu said that lagos is no mans land,what is your stake on this?As far as I am concerned After reading Dr kayode write ups I would infer that yoruba gentility is
    being taken for stupidity by the ibos.Our
    problem is that we can never speak with one
    voice for the interest of the race and it’s high
    time we openly confront the ibos for rejecting
    the babaloja appointment in ladipo market,we
    need to restrict them from participating in lagos
    politics.The unchecked migrations of the akpu
    laden brained people from the east must be
    nipped in the bud lest we become foreigner in
    our own land.We do not share borders,so why
    claiming lagos?We had an encounter with the
    benins over eko land before the 20th century
    and they gave up due to yoruba population
    influence and till date,benin can’t deny lagos as
    Yorubaland.They have always been jealous of
    yoruba as a sophisticated race, after
    indepence.They founded yoruba federal union
    YFU to counter action group AG which was a
    product of egbe omo oduduwa led by baba
    Awolowo to the detriment of their coalition in
    those days.Dr kayode has described most of
    their itches and they won’t feel remorse because
    jealousy and ingratitude runs in their veins.They
    said yoruba are cowards but they don’t know
    that the sneaking of a tiger is not a show of
    cowardice but sophistication.Due to dominance
    issues,our fathers have faught many wars within
    and outside our territory before the existence of
    our dear nation and we know the effect of war in
    both sides.So,stop heating the polity by claiming
    lagos or declaring the place as no man land due
    to Fashola resettlement action,rather,you should
    bite your fingers over abia versus imo
    indigenous workers sackings that happened
    before 2011 electi

  5. We claim to be a nation when we don’t really understand the meaning of the word.Hatred for one another has really eaten deep into us and by candid opinion is Segregation. I am just so annoyed with all these ethnic and religion rubbish, we don’t love our selves then why do we think we can leave as one ‘nation’

  6. Let’s cut the writer a slack,it is apparent he isn’t really abreast wv the issue in its whole entirety,as lagos state isn’t d first to have threaded on ds path b4. That said I am very well bonded to his views abt d spirit of nation hood; its rather amazing how we as a people(elites and commons alike) can be VERY biased ova national issues especially when such issues are connected directly/indirectly to our tribe.

    • @Raymond nkannebe LOCAL CHAMPION !!!

      LAGOS IS A YORUBA DYNASTY, IF YOU WANT TO CLAIM ANYWHERE IT SHOULD BE Arochukwu, Ohafia, Aninri, Ogbaru OR Nwangele Dynasty. After all nobody begged you to come & invest in Lagos

  7. @nasir,u r too tribalistic! See,u can’t do anything to d igbos rather u will mess urself up soon & ur kinsmen will deny u.igbos r ysrael chai!!!

    • @Olugbenga thank you my guy.

      @Gail I am truly not asking anyone to reason with my opinion & I am not forcing it on anyone just as much as Reymond cannot force his opinion on me or anyone.

      For me to honestly agree with anyone’s opinion, that person must bring a very solid, reasonable & superior argument to support & not all this sentimental, bias & emotional arguments

  8. All of u displayed ethnic sentiments and immaturity. There is really no need for all these tribalised comments from you guys. This shows that we’re not one people and that there is no unity amongst us as Nigerians. Honestly, with this kind of hatred running in our minds, then Nigeria is still far from achieving cohesion and making progress. We cannot continue like this. Every Nigerian should be free and safe in any part of Nigeria he or she chooses to call home. A Yoruba man should be free in Igbo land and elsewhere in Nigeria. This goes for every citizen of this country no matter your status. Let’s live together as one people and make our country a better place.

    • @Emmylons nobody is desperate to remain together it is God wish & left alone for me every ethnic group every society every single individual is an asset.

      The interesting part is that, just as America has discovered oil, many part of Nigeria is discovering oil as well, Lagos has oil, Ondo has oil, Borno has oil, Niger has oil etc.

      You guys keep thinking its because of the oil that people are clamoring to remain together when it is those useless leaders that are benefiting. If you like go & buy a portion on the Atlantic and plant your flag there.

      One thing is only certain, we are here together & so long as we are together under one flag we must all learn one thing “RESPECT” We must learn to respect & treat each other fairly & without bias. We must learn to accept the truth about our weaknesses, our negative part, our wrong doing and most importantly accept our actions & appraise that of the government. We should be ready to make sacrifice especially where we are wrong & without prejudice I will say we are a long way from our dreams if we keep up with this shallow way of thinking.

  9. Is there unity in Nigeria as being preached by everyone? The Yorubas must at this time stand to protect their territory from the visionless Easterners who wanted Nigeria split now claiming Lagos is their own. The writer of this article is a coward no wonder he refused to publish his name.
    Mind you, no one Nigeria. If the Igbos are not deficient of vision, they should start thinking of building their own. The truth is bitter though!!

  10. Unity Preachers!!!
    Is there unity in Nigeria as being preached by everyone? The Yorubas must at this time stand to protect their territory from the visionless Easterners who wanted Nigeria split now claiming Lagos is their own. The writer of this article is a coward no wonder he refused to publish his name.
    Mind you, no one Nigeria. If the Igbos are not deficient of vision, they should start thinking of building their own. The truth is bitter though!!

  11. There are too much unapologetic Igbo haters here. I wonder why Ray bothered sef. Whether you admit it or not, Fani is a tribalist and Fashola was wrong. What about the Agberos and that Almajiris? Are they not greater menaces to the Lagos society? Well, forget about insulting Me, I have run out of middle fingers to give.

  12. Igbos and their twisted logic.
    It is not wrong to kill and eat igbo people,only it is done by an igboman.
    it is not wrong to sack igbos from the civil service,only if it is done by an igboman.
    it is not wrong to deport,only if its done by an igbo governor(peter obi).
    it is not wrong to deport destitutes from lagos,only if they r not igbos.
    How can one take these cannibals serious?
    my plea to my pple is to ignore them as thy r toothless bulldogs that can only bark and let our governors gradually rid our land of these animals.

  13. Thanking u for saying the truth Mr Nkannebe,Now i know that we are not one Nigeria from the comments some people have made, the truth is always better .Remain blessed mr Nkannebe

  14. ‘Lagos’ which is now the bone of contention was never developed by a particular tribe. It ws a collective effort of all Nigerians that made Lagos what it is today. I will rather advice evry1 to go n study the history of Nigeria under the british colony and independence. When you do that u will tell better on Lagos; when it was the capital of Nigeria and Y. Of all the commandments of God, ‘Love of your neighbour was the greatest. whether christain or atheist we must love one another so that we can live in peace and harmony. The moment we understand what LOVE is, we will begin to live without factions n appreciate one another.
    By Adaku


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