When the deportation saga graced cyberspace, I expected Nigerians for the first time to rant in one voice, condemn the illegal act of the Lagos state government and all other states that have joined in the illegal and shameful act, demand apologies from the Lagos governor and if he refuses to apologise, sue him. But instead of addressing a
national problem, the ‘bigotry’ in us was unleashed and it was seen as a tribal/regional problem when it actually was a National Issue.
The Hausas were mostly silent because there were not affected so it was none of their business that a certain governor disrespected the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Igbos screamed injustice because those deported were mostly igbos and were dumped like toxic wastes in the wee hours of the morning. A certain Igbo brother wrote on facebook :”You have my kids, and they are behaving badly from your end and you want to return them… You called me up and tell me, without my response, you bring them to my house at 3am and find the house locked… You drop them by the gates without care and nobody looking after them, and you want to justify that… The morality is
The Yorubas were divided in their opinions. There are some who can neither see nor think beyond where they eat and believed ACN/Fashola can do no wrong. The second group acted like real humans:
The first group argued that the governor was right to deport them because they were neither Yoruba/Lagosians nor do they have a right to call Lagos “a no man’s land”. A certain attention seeking and confused former minister even went as far as telling a story of why Lagos should never be called a “no man’s land” and in his defence, the Osun state
government quickly issued a statement to the effect that 46 Osun indigenes were also deported from Lagos and it is not a tribal issue but the issue of an emerging mega city. Osun state couldn’t condemn the illegal act for reasons we all know but the state should have done its damage control by keeping mum instead of releasing a statement in an attempt
to defend the madness.
The second Yoruba group, though very few, argued that it is wrong on all fronts to deport anybody in Nigeria whether sick or dying and that as long as this country stays together, there should be freedom to reside where ever you want irrespective of your tribe or health status.
What I expected from Nigerians, especially the educated and enlightened ones, was to address the issue as a Nigerian problem, a slap on the face of every citizen of this great nation and a trampling on our constitution. But it was reduced to a tribal/regional issue thereby allowing an injustice as big as that to go unpunished.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly states that; “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom.”
The first, second and next governor of any state that has deported and who is still thinking of deporting any Nigerian has turned against the constitution they vowed to abide by when they were sworn-in which is an impeachable offense. But with the kind of politics we play in this part of the world, we all know that impeachment is the last thing that can happen. A public apology and a statement in all national tabloids should be issued not to the tribes deported but to Nigeria and her constitution for the insults she has suffered from the lawless law enforcers in the country.
As stated in the Federal constitution, nobody has the right or power to expel any Nigerian anywhere in Nigeria, irrespective of their physical, mental or financial states.
Nigeria has been insulted, an apology must be issued and occurrences like this must never happen again anywhere in the country as long as this country remains one.
God Bless Nigeria.