THE HANDSHAKE ACROSS THE NIGER A MOVEMENT LONG OVERDUE
Before the Nigeria independence, the Yorubas has been the greatest host of the Igbo tribes including their business empires and white collar hobs. Since I was born, I have never heard of any communal clash between this two great ethnic groups as their relationship keeps on soaring to greater height.
Many of us with short historical knowledge, never knew that the independence we enjoy together as a nation was struggled and attained on a platter of The handshake across the Niger. How do I mean?
The N.C.N.C that struggled and attained Nigeria’s independence in 1960 was founded in 1944 by Late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Olayinka Badmus Macaulay, Akintola and Michael Okpara and Nwafor Orizu of blessed memories,
It was a combination of both ethnic effort of Yorubas, Midwest of Chief Okotie Eboh, Micheal Okpara and Nnamdi Azikiwe that made our independence possible. As at 1957, Nigeria was due for independence and the West and East were fully prepared but what delayed the independence at that time was the North that protested that they were not prepared. Our independence was then postponed till 1st October 1960.
In my view, the delayed revival of the political alliance and collaboration between the Southwest and Southeast people is the reason Nigeria has suffered leadership problems in the recent years. That is why we must seize this opportunity to renew the political and economic relationship between the southeast and southwest people.
Igbos are known to be travelers and business minded tribe and have travelled across Nigeria and beyond for their business, however, it’s in the West that Igbos are mostly accommodated and accepted without danger to their lives and properties.
Most Igbo people still have their business empire located in the west; lots of them have erected mansions and castles in the west and have made there their home away from home. It is clear that most Igbo people spend their lives in the Western part of Nigeria more than they do in their Eastern settlement.
Take a look at Trade Fare Market complex, Alaba International Market, Ladipo Spare Parts market, Auto Spare Parts Market Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), then business empires like the IBETO GROUP, CAPITAL OIL AND GAS PLC, THE SUN NEWSPAPER COMPANY, SPG Oil and Gas LTD, UBA, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc etc, are majorly controlled by the Igbos who has their base in Lagos.
The handshake across the Niger is important for the economic enhancement of the Southwest, Southeast people and the entire Nation. In fact, when you get to many of those corporate bodies and the major markets, you need to see how the Yorubas, Igbos and other tribes rapport together in a fashion that it will further enhance unity in diversity if encouraged both at home and in Diaspora
Children of nowadays, with no knowledge of history have seen nothing but enmity in the relationship between the southeast and southwest, that is why any little issue in the media, sparks up arguments, insults and threats amongst these two closest and friendly ethnic groups, that the greatness of Nigeria lies in their hand. The Igbo people needs to understand that even though they have been killed, maimed, raped, and their properties looted in other regions within Nigeria, the West has remained their closest ally and most friendly host, and not forgetting, the west must also see clearly that the southeastern has been very detribalized in their developmental efforts in the southwest.
The Igbos habe an adage that says “Aka nli kwo aka ekpe, aka ekpe akwokwa aka nli”(when the right hand washes the left hand, the left returns the favor) Both tribes need to look beyond just playing host and visitor to each other but must sit down, draft out means and modalities, to collaborate politically, to arrest the urgent need for quality leadership in the country.
Apart from championing and marshaling ways to align politically, there is need for discussion on how to enhance the nation’s deteriorating economy, if leaders of thought and business class from this two regions work towards making the handshake across the Niger an avenue for greatness.
With the situation we face today as a nation, there is an urgent need for political and economic Messiah, and I believe the convocation of this movement and its success will grant us what we are praying for.
We need leaders with knowledge of how to turn our economy around, detribalized leaders, and patriotic leaders, those with the interest of the people at heart, people oriented and grassroot leaders to change the tide of our nation
I call on every Igbo at home, in the north, living in the West and those even in our remote rural areas to start crusading for the success of “the Handshake Across The Niger”. Why? Because the success and fruits of The Handshake Across the Niger will benefit us all. If you’re not living in the West or East your relatives, friends do. If you may not benefit from these, lots of your kindred’s will and when they do, it will affect you positively directly or indirectly.
We must join hands together to make sure these program received meets attention from the East and West alike for the emancipation, empowerment, unification of our people generally and growth of our nation. For these aforementioned reasons everyone from this two Ethnic group must key in to this great initiative “The Handshake Across the Niger” to make it a success. God willing Nigeria will rise again.
#God bless Nzuko Umunna(Ndigbo)
#God Awon Yoruba
#God bless Nigeria 🇳🇬