Former President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed worry over the reports of hate songs against the Igbo people of the South-east in some states of the north, saying that it must not be ignored.
Jonathan also expressed shock and disbelief over the Catholic Church shooting in Ozubulu, Anambra State that claimed the lives of many innocent worshipers on Sunday. Recall that a certain hate song has been circulating in the North against the Igbo lately.
Curiously, it is coming on the heels of a quit notice handed down to Ndigbo by a coalition of northern youth groups to vacate the region on or before October 1, this year.
The imbroglio generated by the ultimatum is yet to simmer down despite the litany of condemnations that trailed it.
Reacting to the ill developments on his Facebook page yesterday, the former president, largely known for his sermons of peace and unity reminded the purveyors of the hate message that a similar song in Rwanda prompted a genocide whose pangs were still being felt to date.
Like Rwanda, Nigeria had also passed through a 30 month civil war that saw over one million people dead and about the same figure languished in penury between 1967 and 1970. While suing for peace, Jonathan who notably reinforced love for willingly relinquishing power to President Muhammadu Buhari after 2015 presidential election urged the security apparatus of the country to halt the spread of the hate song.
He also condoled with the survivors and the families of the victims of the Anambra massacre and prayed for the soul of the departed.
He wrote: “I have taken my time before commenting on the killings at the St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, in Anambra State, in order that I could be accurately briefed on the truth of the matter.
“However, I condemn the killings and express my shock at such an event which is outside our culture of respect and reverence for religious places of worship and love for our fellow man.
“I condole with the survivors and the families of the victims and pray for the departed. In order to ensure that such occurrences never reoccur, we must rededicate ourselves to our principles of being our brother’s keeper and that without delay.
“I am also disturbed about the news of a song celebrating hatred against a particular Nigerian ethnic group. Given that a similar song is what ignited the Rwandan Genocide, as a nation, we must not take these reports lightly. I urge the security services to do their utmost to nip this wickedness in the bud.
“As I have said previously, we must understand and accept that all Nigerians are brothers and sisters born from the womb of one Nigeria. May this be uppermost in our minds as we pray that God may bless Nigeria. GEJ.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has urged the Igbo living in the North to start returning home following the anti-Igbo song now circulating in the region.
“I am aware of anti-Igbo song circulating now in the North. My reaction has been to warn our people in the North that the pogrom being hatched by our enemies will come. There is an impending doom for our people living in the North,” he said.
The hate song has already been generating condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians, including former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who warned that the song was capable of precipitating genocide.
But Kanu, who described the vexatious song as “evil, satanic and pre-genocidal,” warned Ndigbo against ignoring the danger signal as the handwriting on the wall has become very clear.
According to him, the “best bet” for Ndigbo was to leave the North to avoid history repeating itself with another pogrom against Ndigbo, adding that they should not hesitate to return to “our Biafra and build an economy capable of assimilating and absorbing all their potential and creative abilities.”
He said that Igbo treating the message contained in the anti-Igbo song with levity should realise that “this is not just hate speech but genocidal threat.
“They are inciting people to murder others which IPOB has never done and will never do. This is the type of people insisting we will be in the same country with them. It is terrible,” Kanu lamented.
The Biafra leader stated that the fact that “they will kill us is not news but the funniest thing is that the DSS manned by Fulani people will not investigate or summon those responsible.
“What they specialise in doing is going about and creating diversion and seeking ways to intimidate the likes of Chukwuma Soludo, Pat Utomi, etc because of Biafra.”
Alluding to the October 1 quit notice issued by a coalition of Arewa youths for Ndigbo living in the North, Kanu noted that the hate song was released as a prelude to the implementation of the quit order.