Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indigene, non-indigene in Igbo land? Tufiakwa!

By Pini Jason, Vanguard

LAST August the Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Ahamefula Orji issued an order sacking so-called non-indigenes from the public service of Abia State.

In a directive dated August 25, 2011 entitled: “Backloading on Transfer of non-indigene in Abia State Public service to their state of origin,” the Governor directed that all non-indigenes working in the public service of Abia State (including Local Government) be transferred to their states of origin effective from October 1, 2011. To be excluded from this purge are non-indigenes in the tertiary institutions in the state.

Question mark on Igbo politicians

This policy has expectedly drawn appropriate flaks from Igbo nation for those affected by this purge are mostly fellow Igbo. There have also been some sympathisers who have tried to rationalise Governor Orji’s action. The main plank of Orji’s defence rests on the need to pay the newly enacted minimum wage of N18,000.

My view is that the purge is unnecessary, inexcusable and puts a sharp knife through the thin ligature of Igbo unity. It puts a question mark on the penchant of Igbo politicians to cry about marginalization and injustice in the Nigerian nation. I have always suspected such cries as self-serving. Orji’s action proves me right.

For a gregarious people who have been at the forefront of the advocacy for Nigerians who have lived almost all their lives in any part of this country to be accorded citizenship rights, I think this purge is not a very thoughtful one. It has a tendency to backfire as I have read somewhere that Anambra State is retaliating Orji’s action! I hope to God that it is not true.

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