Northern House Of Assembly Proceedings, February-March 1964
Below is an extract from the proceedings of the Northern Region House of Assembly between February and March 1964, less than four years after Nigeria’s independence from the British. I have nothing to add. Read and judge for yourself:
Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Mande Gyan:
On the allocation of plots to Ibos or allocation of stalls, I would like to advise the Minister that these people know how to make money, and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots. I do not want them to be given plots...
Mallam Bashari Umaru:
I would like (you), as a Minister of Land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all Certificates of Occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region... (Applause)
Mr. A. A. Agogede:
I’m very glad that we are in a Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Igbos, and even if we find some Christians who are interested in building hotels and do not have money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with their hotels.
Dr. Iya Abubakar (Special Member, Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria):
I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a united Nigeria, but certainly if the present state of affairs continues, I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending Northernisation policy to the petty traders. (Applause)
Mallam Mukhtar Bello:
I would like to say something very important, that the Minister should take my appeal to the Federal Government about the Igbos in the post office. I wish the numbers of these Igbos be reduced…. There are too many of them in the North. They are like sardines and 1 think they are just too dangerous to the Region.
Mallam Ibrahim Musa:
Mr. Chairman, Sir. Well first and foremost, what I have to say before this Hon. House is that we should send a delegation to meet our Hon. Premier to move a motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors or not, should be repatriated at once...
Mallam Bashari Umaru:
There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors (Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners”). Again, Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibo in their firms by some other people.
The Premier (Alhaji the Hon. Sir Ahmadu Bello, K.B.E., Sardauna of Sokoto):
It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner (Applause)
Alhaji Usman Liman:
What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule, the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about the matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, East for Easterners, West for Westerners, and the Federation is for us all. (Applause)
The Minister of Land and Survey (Alhaji the Hon. Ibrahim Musa Cashash, O.B.E.):
Mr. Chairman. Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, al1 these should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. (Applause)
Culled from M. O. Onyenakeya, Igbos in Nigerian Politics, pp.30-32