Why South East Is Quiet: Josef Onoh Replies Usman,  Giving 20 Reasons.

by Amos Kalu
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Former Spokesman of President Bola Tinubu in the South East, Dr. Josef Onoh has stated that the region has restrained itself from the isolated hardship protests across the country because Nigeria has refused to accord the South East its due status as an integral part of the country, but had rather imposed hardship on the region in the past 54 years.

Onoh, who is presently the Chairman of Forum of Former Members of Enugu State House of Assembly (FOF-MENHA) and a former Governorship Aspirant in the State, stated that the rest of the regions in the country should not expect the South East to be in the vanguard of the present discontent when those other regions feel that the South East is not good enough for Nigeria leadership or any other substantial inclusive infrastructure.

Josef Onoh and Yusuf

Onoh spoke against the background of the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who recently expressed surprise against the worsening economic hardship said,

“I honestly don’t know why the South East is quiet, uncharacteristically quiet, but the President needs to find out.“

Prof. Usman Yusuf

Onoh In his reply to Yusuf, said,

“The South East is uncharacteristically quiet because since after the Civil War, the South East has continued to be dealt with with extreme hardship and had suffered in the midst of plenty while other regions basked in the euphoria of riches and power with a section of the regions feeling very entitled.

The South East is quiet because after the Civil War our properties in the South-South were taken from us and claimed they were abandoned properties and I ask, abandoned by who? That is hardship!

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“The South East is quiet because they started life afresh with only £20 after the civil war, given by the Nigerian government. That is hardship.

The South East is quiet today because we have the least number of representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the least number of States.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the least Federal Government presence in almost all areas.

The South East is quiet because we have the least Federal Government projects in our region till date.

“The south east is quiet because we are the region with one of the largest markets in West Africa based on geographical size and volume of goods, yet has never benefited from the rail project the Federal Government embarked upon during the last administration and focused mainly in the north.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the highest number of security check points on the roads leading into our region. It’s easier to drive past Ukraine than South East.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with an International Airport, yet no International Airline departs from our region, except for Ethiopia airlines that save the day and that only International Airport is still under construction.

The South East is quiet because the only major mining activity which is coal has been abandoned for years after Eagle Mining Company left in the 90s and the Federal Government never showed any interest again.

The South East is quiet because even the railway properties in our region have all been sold hence the dream for a railway is totally forgotten.

“Some people ask why is the South East always bitter, but they forget that the past administration called it a “dot in a circle” and today there is not one single Foreign Embassy in the region, yet we are the largest importers in the country.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region always punished by every ruling party for exercising their democratic voting rights for their choice of candidate.

The South East is quiet because they are mainly the region that has its buildings demolished and their businesses closed down in other regions of Nigeria once they tried to exercise some certain levels of franchise.

“The South East is quiet because they are always the region that various forms of hostilities of extreme levels are leveled against once there is crisis in Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region that are threatened by withdrawal of sales, supplies and distribution of food, livestock and all agricultural produce by a certain region once they express divergent views in the same Nigeria.

“The South East is quiet because we are the least employed in the CBN, FAAN, NPA and all major Federal Government Agencies and Departments in Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region without anything to leverage upon except our resilient spirit to persevere even in the darkest scenarios.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region that is heavily discriminated against by other regions in Nigeria, while we are meant to be one Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because it is the only region that their Regional Ministerial appointment was withheld during the current Ministerial appointments.

The South East is quiet because they are the least beneficiaries of any government policies in Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because the current government which I worked tirelessly for has not shown them any sign of fellowship and has been the only government that has fully isolated them to the point they don’t feel like they are part of Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region in Nigeria that the cost of airfare from other regions in the same Nigeria is the most expensive and most exploited every festive season.

The South East is quiet because the extent of neglect the region has received from the Federal Government has made it more expensive for us to die and cheaper to be alive in continuous frustration.

“The south east is quiet because they have lived under extreme hardships, that even in the midst of abundance they have only known hardship and hardship has become an accepted way of life for them in Nigeria. They have lost the will to dream and their children have grown hoping for the hopeless.

They have lost the will to come together and build a nation because they are too frail to even have the luxury to dream dreams.

They have lost the ability to have a goodnight sleep because they only know suffering inflicted by certain government policies that affect their businesses and imports. Successive Politicians, presidential candidates, and ministers have lied to them during campaigns of what they will do for the region. It is now expected, and it is now accepted by the region.

“They are of course correct to invade the high moral ground, but in the real world, the South Easterners gave up long ago.

Dishonesty from the Nigerian Government no longer has political consequences because they expect no better from Nigeria.

Rather, they are now a region that simply sit and watch successive governments put more effort into crafting words to avoid telling the truth than there is invested into drafting a complex policy and working out what is good for the country.

“Finally, we need to transform the political narratives and perceptions of Nigeria from a nation saturated by looters instead of leaders hence I urge the President to strengthen the EFCC and unbundle every political shackles that has interfered with their duties from prosecuting the so called sacred cows, Nigeria isn’t India that has abundance of sacred cows. the South East is quiet because we do not have the political luxuries, influence, entitlement and benefits the same region asking why we are quiet has continuously basked in its glory.

The North has held and produced Presidents, the South-South and South West but not the South East hence we see it as a problem between a husband and his wives while we are the houseboy.

The same North asking why we are quiet today forgot that they told us we are a dot in a circle so why has the dot become important now.

“When we had tears to shed, no region whipped away our tears. When we had a voice to shout, they said we were mad. When we cared, they said we had other motives.

Today we are the least represented region in the current administration, we feel we are not wanted, we feel we are hated, we feel isolated, we feel distant, we feel the current administration doesn’t care about us hence we have continuously lived under a state of hardship and hopelessness that we don’t have any more tears to shed nor voice to shout.

“We have been so traumatized to the extent that we now laugh rather than cry but our laughter is actually the highest level of wailing.

Unfortunately, we feel your pain, your cry and we hear your message loud and clear but unfortunately we are helpless to offer any support or assistance.

Our only message is “welcome to the club.” Nigerians are suffering but we the South Easterners have never known anything other than hardship and suffering. We are constantly treated like outcasts in our country.

“Irrespective of the above, I still believe in President Bola Tinubu, he might not have all the solutions but if we come together as a nation irrespective of whether we like each region or not, I believe a variegated group must agree they want to be a people, preserving our tolerant permissive society and to achieve that we must have the will power to do so.

My advice to the President is simple, “the problem with Nigeria is political, the supposed technocrats and 90 percent of your current appointees have failed you with exception of Nyesom Wike, his response and actions in taming the politically orchestrated kidnappings in the FCT to cripple your administration is a testament to my position that your technocrats have failed you because they know nothing about the political problems affecting Nigeria nor have the structure to support you in moving the country forward.

They only wait for the master to show the Jagaban magic and have left you to be a lone sailor, sailing against turbulent waters.

It’s time to reshuffle your cabinet because you can’t fight politicians using technocrats who are best suited to work as lecturers in a university environment. Same politicians and their political structure made you the revered Jagaban of today, a magician can never perform his magic without his wand, hence it’s time to pick up your wand.

“Until the current government changes its political position on the South East and show inclusiveness, and be fully integrated into the government and treated as equals,the APC led government isn’t accepted in the South East because the faith of the entire region is decided by only two APC stakeholders and the administration accepts their position and recommendations as what’s best for the region without looking deeper to see the extreme disconnect between their choices and the true choices of the region.

Until these reservations are holistically and politically given attention, be assured that the South East will remain deaf and dumb without the will power to see our nation or the current administration from a different light outside the hardship and suffering they have always known and dealt with in Nigeria.

WHY SOUTH EAST IS QUIET – JOSEF ONOH REPLIES USMAN YUSUF

Former Spokesman of President Bola Tinubu in the South East, Dr. Josef Onoh has stated that the region has restrained itself from the isolated hardship protests across the country because Nigeria has refused to accord the South East its due status as an integral part of the country, but had rather imposed hardship on the region in the past 54 years.

, who is presently the Chairman of Forum of Former Members of Enugu State House of Assembly (FOF-MENHA) and a former Governorship Aspirant in the State, stated that the rest of the regions in the country should not expect the South East to be in the vanguard of the present discontent when those other regions feel that the South East is not good enough for Nigeria leadership or any other substantial inclusive infrastructure.

Ono spoke against the background of the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf, who recently expressed surprise against the worsening economic hardship said,

“I honestly don’t know why the South East is quiet, uncharacteristically quiet, but the President needs to find out.“

Onoh In his reply to Yusuf, said,

“The South East is uncharacteristically quiet because since after the Civil War, the South East has continued to be dealt with with extreme hardship and had suffered in the midst of plenty while other regions basked in the euphoria of riches and power with a section of the regions feeling very entitled.

The South East is quiet because after the Civil War our properties in the South-South were taken from us and claimed they were abandoned properties and I ask, abandoned by who? That is hardship!

“The South East is quiet because they started life afresh with only £20 after the civil war, given by the Nigerian government. That is hardship.

The South East is quiet today because we have the least number of representatives in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the least number of States.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the least Federal Government presence in almost all areas.

The South East is quiet because we have the least Federal Government projects in our region till date.

“The south east is quiet because we are the region with one of the largest markets in West Africa based on geographical size and volume of goods, yet has never benefited from the rail project the Federal Government embarked upon during the last administration and focused mainly in the north.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with the highest number of security check points on the roads leading into our region. It’s easier to drive past Ukraine than South East.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region with an International Airport, yet no International Airline departs from our region, except for Ethiopia airlines that save the day and that only International Airport is still under construction.

The South East is quiet because the only major mining activity which is coal has been abandoned for years after Eagle Mining Company left in the 90s and the Federal Government never showed any interest again.

The South East is quiet because even the railway properties in our region have all been sold hence the dream for a railway is totally forgotten.

“Some people ask why is the South East always bitter, but they forget that the past administration called it a “dot in a circle” and today there is not one single Foreign Embassy in the region, yet we are the largest importers in the country.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region always punished by every ruling party for exercising their democratic voting rights for their choice of candidate.

The South East is quiet because they are mainly the region that has its buildings demolished and their businesses closed down in other regions of Nigeria once they tried to exercise some certain levels of franchise.

“The South East is quiet because they are always the region that various forms of hostilities of extreme levels are leveled against once there is crisis in Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region that are threatened by withdrawal of sales, supplies and distribution of food, livestock and all agricultural produce by a certain region once they express divergent views in the same Monospace.

“The South East is quiet because we are the least employed in the CBN, FAAN, NPA and all major Federal Government Agencies and Departments in Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because we are the only region without anything to leverage upon except our resilient spirit to persevere even in the darkest scenarios.

The South East is quiet because they are the only region that is heavily discriminated against by other regions in Nigeria, while we are meant to be one Nigeria.

The South East is quiet because it is the only region that their Regional Ministerial appointment was withheld during the current Ministerial appointments.

The South East is quiet because they are the least beneficiaries of any government policies in Nigeria.

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