Igbos are more comfortable to live with

Some weeks back, I made a rebuttal about the erroneous and
mischievous rants of some of my (our) misinformed NigerDelta
brothers. First and foremost let me tell you all a little story for the
avoidance of doubt, I’m from the Agbo ethnic group in Cross River
State, we are located in Abi Local Government Area which is a
coastal settlement and unarguably the smallest LGA in Cross River
State in terms of landmass and to a large extent population slightly
a few thousands ahead of Bakassi LGA. My fore bearers both on
my maternal and paternal side were given the opportunity to serve
in then Eastern Nigeria regional government, My grand uncle Dr. S
E Imoke of blessed memory was an all influential cabinet minister
in the regime of M I Okpara he held the Trade portfolio and was
also Finance minister at a time until the unfortunate incident of
January 1966 he was the longest serving Education minister his
son the urbane Liyel Imoke is the immediate past Governor of our
state “Cross River”,during the outbreak of the War he was the
Biafran Commissioner for Refugees and Humanitarian affairs.
Aside SE one of my maternal uncles also served as Permanent
Secretary in the ministry of health at Enugu, My maternal grand
father was also a frontline member of the Eastern Nigeria regional
house of Chiefs alongside other minority chiefs like Chief Offem of
Ugep,Ndoma-Egba of Ikom amongst others,the Chairman of the
very powerful and influential House of Chiefs was Chief Nyong
Essien, OBE an Ibibio High chief of a not so prominent chiefdom
“not the Obi of Onitsha nor the Igwe of any other powerful Igbo
city”.
Outside my family circles, another great Cross Riverian MT Mbu
was nominated a Federal Minister of Transport and Navy by the
Igbo controlled NCNC,it’s on record that Mbu was Nigeria’s first
Ambassador to the UK, UN, and US he is from Boki in Cross River
state, Boki is another minority ethnic group just like my native
Agboland, the Igbo’s gave him the opportunity to excel ahead of
their own worthy sons at that time, he is the father to Senator. MT
Mbu jr, another person who is noteworthy is the late Chief. Michael
Eta-Ogon who was the Administrator of the oil rich Port Harcourt
province in the first republic he is also from the same Boki with
Mbu, Thomas Weir Ikpeme an Efik man from Odukpani in my
native Cross River was the longest serving Permanent Secretary in
the Eastern Regional Ministry of Education, the key point is that the
Igbo’s were comfortable with us “the minorities” that was why they
entrusted education solely in our hands, not only education but
other critical areas like Public Works and Transport etc. NU Akpan
an Ibibio man from Akwa Ibom state was the technocrat behind
the eastern regional public service, he was the Secretary to the
regional government, Anwana Esin a man from Oron in Akwa Ibom
state, Oron is a distinct and small riverine ethnic group was the
Eastern Regional Minister of Local government, so also was
Ibanga Akpabio ,an Annang man from Ukana in present day Akwa
Ibom state was the regional minister of Internal Affairs, the former
Governor of Akwa Ibom state Godswill Akpabio is his nephew, they
were other high ranking cabinet ministers of minority origin like one
of our family good friends, HRH. Amanyanabo EP Okoya,Agada III
the Ibenanowei of Ekpetiama in Bayelsa State,Chief. Erekosinma of
Rivers and a whole lot of others who are too numerous to
mention.During the secessionist struggle, An Ogoni from Rivers
state, Chief Ignatius Kogbara was Biafra’s Ambassador to Britain.
My dad’s friend Chief. Lekam Okoi ,from Idomi in present day
Yakurr LGA of Cross River state was one of Ojukwu’s trusted
drivers, he is today a successful lawyer and a former
commissioner in the Federal Character Commission, Capt.Akpet a
minority from Cross River was also Ojukwu’s dependable aide on
intelligence. Secondly for the avoidance of doubt, aside these
political appointments, our people enjoyed immense goodwill from
the Igbo dominated region by way of social security, my dad’s
immediate elder brother received a scholarship from the regional
government that enabled him study for a PhD in soil science,he is
the first man “arguably” in Africa to obtain a doctorate in Soil
science, I have friends across the Niger Delta whose parents,
uncles, aunties and relatives also benefited from the benevolence
of the regional government. It is also a known fact that our Niger
Delta region received it’s last major facelift in terms of
infrastructure when we were under the Eastern region. Till the
abolition of the regional system of government the Eastern region
was the most united region, they was never a recorded case of
ethnic skirmish or BLOOD letting between the Igbo’s and other
minority groups,during the pogrom of 1966 we all carried the same
cross to “Golgotha”, both Igbo’s and eastern minorities where
maimed in their thousands across Northern Nigeria by the blood
thirsty HausaFulani/Northern folks without blinking an eye it
doesn’t really matter if you were Igbo, Ijaw, Efik or a miniature
Agbo person. I never really wanted to bore you with reading this
lengthy essay but it’s my moral responsibility to tell the truth at all
times, I was thought by my fore bearers never to distort history
and to always separate facts from fictions. If we were not
marginalized by the Igbo’s during the “analogue” age, how then
can the Igbo’s marginalized us in this digital age and time?, the
fear, misgivings and misconceptions of Igbo dominance by most
of my (our) NigerDelta people who are poor students of history are
unconscionable and unfounded, moreover there is no family in our
region without Igbo relatives and blood so the cry is a much ado
about nothing….“Man must know thyself” and “To thyself be true.

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