■Author:  Utiung Mathias
■ Twitter: @Umuchiukwu_writ
■ 05, Oct 2018
I think the position of the Igbos in the entire Nigerian experiment is very straightforward; Either they are truly one Nigeria, or they are not. And if they are not, they should be allowed to go. That is it. For the Igbos being truly one Nigeria implies that ethnic chauvinism has to be improving from the Nigeria dictionary; It means that any Nigerian national child born in any part of Nigeria has the legitimacy of citizenship of his/her place of birth. It means that any citizen of Nigeria can live, work and help develop town or city in Nigeria where he/she feels comfortable to live in without being constantly reminded by those who claim to own the land that he or she is a foreigner in his/her country using of governor Fashola deporting some Igbos back to Onitsha a few years ago as a case study. But whether the Igbos are going or coming, there are fundamental issues to be addressed.

Firstly and perhaps more importantly, is the fact that although the Igbos are the ones now being hounded for the actualization of the Biafra nation; They are also the ones for whom the unity of Nigeria means so much to; They are the ones who have made the enormous sacrifices to keep Nigeria together; They are the ones who have invested their money and skills in development of Nigerian villages, towns, and cities other than their own. These facts are incontrovertible. Secondly, It's obvious that the creation or restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra can never be a solution to the problems of Ndigbo in Nigeria; At best, it will become their challenge. There is simply no reason for anyone to convince himself that once Biafra is restored, all the problems of Ndigbo will vanish. Not by any stretch of such imagination. Igbos still have a long way to go. The Igbos of today are by far different from the Igbos before the civil war; Before the war, an Igbo was his brother's keeper, since the war ended, an Igbo becomes his brother's betrayer. Before the civil war, the Igbos were united and speak in one voice. Even in the face of the current agitation for Biafra, the Igbos are not speaking with one voice, yet you expect United Nation and Nigeria government that doesn't understand a peaceful language to dash you your freedom. The leadership of Igbo in those days which consisted of Igbo elders were known and unanimously recognized and no arguments about their hierarchy. Today, leadership of sorts has sprung up from every nook and cranny of Igbo land; Everybody wants to be seen as an Igbo leader; The Igbos are still dancing the discordant tune of "Each man for himself, God for us all" The Igbo of today will be ready to betray each other because of money. Only a generation ago, it was unheard of, In fact, it was a taboo. Aru! It is also important to note that the Igbos were highly regarded by most of the other Nigerians before the Nigeria~Biafra war; Despite the negative impression of being domineering, which some northern leaders had about them, Most Nigerians trusted them. If an Igbo told another Nigerian "This is black or white" and that Nigerian turned it over and over, it couldn't be different. The fact that they were trusted by the other Nigerians made the Igbos be proud of themselves; It was that pride bestowed on them by their unflinching sense of unity. However, today, what binds Igbos together is the mutual suspicion of one another. However, somehow the Igbos fell short of the expectation during the war; The story was that An Igbo who pretended to be dead will jump to his feet at the sudden clatter of coins. To the other Nigerians, that meant that the Igbo loved money even more than their lives. Once it had become generally touted and people believed that Ndigbo is greedy and uncompromising with their love for money, Political Manipulators took advantage of their "weakness" to deal them a devastating and sustained blow from which they are yet to recover. Nigerian leaders tried to settle the Igbo by giving them the opportunity of becoming the Senate president; It was hoped that from that legislative angle, they would be able to effect the necessary changes that would keep Nigeria firmly united and bring the Igbos back on their feet. But they Bungled those opportunities. Soon after a democratically elected fourth republic was inaugurated, Evan Enwerem, an Igbo who hailed from Imo state became the first Senate president. He did not hold the post for long, A Senate committee investigated him for fraud, part of the allegation is that he falsified his name, and He was removed from office on 18 Nov 1999. The next Senate president was Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, another Igbo from Anambra state; Okadigbo was relieved from office in less than one year on Aug 2000, He was accused of fraud and misappropriation of funds. He was succeeded by Pius Anyim, yet another Igbo from Ebonyi state; Anyim presided over the Senate for close to three years, from 2000~2003. In 2003, Another Igbo from Abia state, Adolphus Wabara took over; Wabara was there for two years from 2003~2005 and gave way to Ken Nnamani, yet another Igbo from Enugu state. Nnamani presided for two years from 2005 to 2007 when the Senate presidency went outside Igbo land to the middle belt. David Mark was elected Senate president on 6 June 2007; He completed his tenure of four years and was re-elected in April 2011 for another four-year term. The Igbo had to make do with the second position as Deputy senate president and Deputy Speaker of House of Rep. because the Igbo could not hold their ground. All these shows that Ndigbo needs to look themselves inwardly; They need to address their own peculiar problems; They need to ask themselves pertinent questions. How on earth can an Igbo who was his brother's keeper now become his brother's betrayer at the sudden clatter of money? How can an Igbo love money to the extent that our oppressors and political manipulators now knows that it's their weak point? How can Igbos in this present agitation for Biafra not speak in one voice and you expect the zoo and united nations to dash you your freedom. I really think Ndigbo are the problem of themselves, they are delaying Biafra. Don't get it twisted, Biafra is not the solution to the problem of Ndigbo, rather its a challenge to them and their problems.

Writing For Umuchiukwu Writers

Published By Udeagha Obasi
Edited by Aguocha Chinwendum.
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