OPINION

What the Igbos want in Nigeria

By Obasi Igwe

THE  second group is some Igbo politicians, social climbers, sundry careerists, former corrupt officials, and known or concealed agents of various anti-Igbo parties. These people have bought into the concept of restructuring, even though they initially seemed uncertain what it meant. What they claim the Igbos want is a reorganised polity, of which the Igbos would have to be in the “East,” the Yorubas in the West, the Southern minorities in the South-South, and the North with their own three zones.

Alternatively or simultaneously, they demand an additional state in the East to equal or nearly equal those in the other zones, complemented with a corresponding increase in Local Government Areas. They only slowly, timidly, reluctantly and lately acquired the courage to perfunctorily start calling for Nnamdi Kanu’s release, being originally unable or unwilling to know whether the peaceful protests of the IPOB, MASSOB and others, were lawful or unlawful.

They want change, and their change mantra is six geopolitical zones. Some of these, though, are good-natured, honest, even if a little naïve people, unaware that their six geopolitical solutions, far from being a solution to Igbo problems, is actually an endorsement of the condemned and rejected Gowon/Diete-Spiff Abandoned Property ethnic cleansing, and barracks solution to their “Igbo problem”.

Igbo  apologists A few among this strand are Igbo Gowonists, apologists and self-blamers. They blame the Igbos for leading a coup against innocent Ahmadu Bello and Balewa, are categorical that, that was why the revenge coup and other Igbo sufferings are justified, and that the roles and actions of Gowon in these regards were correct or, at least, better than Ojukwu’s.

They also seem to suggest that the mass murder of the Yorubas and genocide in the Tiv Middle Belt by these men didn’t after all take place or wasn’t a sufficient reason for anything; and are unable to prove that the killings of the Igbos between 1945 and 1960, and 1970 till today, are because the Igbos overthrew anybody. They suggest that there is no better alternative to Nigeria as it is, and that Igbos brought unto themselves their sufferings. They even aver that the destruction (which they label “partial implementation”) of the Aburi Accord was its implementation, and paper over Gowon’s pogrom after pogrom that went on between July 29, 1966 and the declaration of Biafra.

The Igbos are big enough for wide differences of opinion, and that is the beauty of a democratic culture. Other details of the advocates of six geopolitical zones show that they are largely visitant Igbos. They live most of the time outside Igboland, and have jobs, businesses, paradises, homes, political allies, and their hearts and minds in Lagos, Abuja, Europe, North America and the like.

Despite a patriotic number genuinely assisting the development of their communities, many of them also have alternate houses in Igboland, where they regularly visit for title-taking, other ceremonies, sharing looted monies, scheming new evils, and fomenting various locally related troubles. Some of them didn’t fight the civil war despite their age; weren’t even in Biafra at the time, have little or no knowledge of Igbo or Nigerian history or what led to the war and, if they have, clearly demonstrate that Igbo well-being is subsidiary to their financial/political interests.

They generally see whatever matters revolving around the war as of little consequence today. Some of them have been in government and, while there, made sure they cornered into their private pockets, and against the interests of the masses and the development of the Region, all the scanty contracts and allocations coming into their “East”.

You will never hear them seriously condemn the stealing of public money and, victimised by their past, these elements see Buhari’s lacklustre war on corruption as an implied threat to their lives, and the  six geopolitical zones mania, a necessary platform to maintain some aura of legitimacy. They hardly think through the implications of their advocacy and, assuming they do, since many are members of all sorts of “leaders of thought”, the faulty epistemological foundations of their ideas and the clearly tragic implications when implemented, constitute an adequate proof of the disorderly nature of the thoughts they are leading. Even without a Biafra, the Nnamdi Kanus, and several Igbo masses suffering everywhere in Nigeria and beyond, partly because of them, who genuinely desire to return home to reconstruct Igboland, can look beyond the smoke-screen to doubt which masters that these great men are serving.

Very unfortunately, because of their financial, political and other connections, the almost abysmal attitude paid by the Igbos to the national question, as well as the fact that some conscientious Nigerians have nothing against the Igbos committing another suicide, they listen to the six zonists with not an unfavourable interest, and watch while the monstrosity is imposed by them upon the Ohanaeze and various Igbo groups and individuals who have little or no time going through its implications. To be continued


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