When you ask majority of Nigerians if they are happy with the quota system, federal character, “cabalism”, tribalism, cronyism, incompetence, and Hausa-Fulani domination of everyone to the detriment of the whole country; the answer you get is a resounding “no”. You ask them if Nigeria would be greater if meritocracy and equality would make for a virile nation, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Then you wonder why the majority of Nigerians won’t work together and say “enough” to the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy and their cronies that has kept the country down for ages.
Also, when you talk to Igbo people and minorities if they are happy with playing second class citizen in a house that they co-own, you would hear litany of woes about what they went through in the Unity Schools and universities admission process, federal employment, military, contracts, appointments etc. You ask our people from the South East if they are glad that other regions have 6 states each (with 7 states for North West) while the South East has 5 states, they would tell you “no”.
You ask our people again if they are happy that the seaports at the former Eastern Region in PH, Calabar and Onitsha are comatose and roughly operational, they would say that they are not. How about international airports? Are they happy that they have to travel to Lagos to catch their international flights? Of course not. Be reminded that the people of the South East have many business men that could use the seaports and airports to make it easier to transact their businesses. Federal roads in the east nko? How about the Enugu Coal industry that is comatose? Weapon technology and the airstrips developed during the war? The list goes on.
All these things mentioned above are real and not imagined. Then you ask them the way out of these, many would scratch their heads for answers. Some would speak long grammar signifying absolutely nothing.
It gets really interesting when someone is speaking up about it and is ready to do anything about it which includes legitimately asking for self-determination. The same people who gave you litany of woes suffered by Igbo people and minorities would start their usual turenchi. “Well, we don’t want any war.” “These people are going about it the wrong way.” “They are so abusive in their Radio Biafra.” “They sound angry and violent.” “I don’t like the dude, he sounds cocky and full of himself.” Bla bla bla. Some would throw out proverbs like “Charity begins at home.” They would tell you that we have to start with South East governors, senators and representatives. Who said that you could not hold them accountable while you fry the bigger fish? Can’t a man take a walk and chew gum at the same time? Haba! They would come with all kinds of excuses and diversionary tactics well crafted by the divide and rule cabals.
I marvel at our people! If the litany of these woes that I outlined does not make a man angry, frustrated and abusive, what else would? I think that our problem is that we have conditioned ourselves towards accepting anything thrown our way. We can’t tell what is normal and abnormal anymore. Some of us rejoice with the fact that Igbo people can survive anywhere. Why should it not be about thriving? Why should it be about survival and condoning all manner of abuse just because we are Igbo.
Some would start telling you about the ills of civil war and how Igbo people used to dominate almost every sphere of human endeavours in Nigeria before the war and that the war put Igbo people back. They would start to lecture you about how you were not born during the war and how they suffered during the war. They would come with the worn out and stupid argument that Igbo people don’t love each other and that Igbo land and in fact the whole of former Eastern Region is landlocked. A friend of mine that is married to a yoruba man asked me what would become of people like her that married from other tribes as if an Independent Biafra would automatically nullify her marriage!
Who is talking about war??? When does quest for self-determination become a call for war? We have lots of educated illiterates in Nigeria! Did the new republics that made up former USSR go to war to break up from Russian domination? How about those in the former Yugoslovia? Czechoslovakia nko? How about the Pakistanis that broke off from India and the Bangladesh people that broke up from Pakistan? How about Southern Sudanese people that recently broke off away Sudan? What of Eritrea that broke away from Ethiopia? A lot of our people need to get their head screwed right. Walahi! I wonder the kind of education that some of our so-called elites received.
Coming back to Radio Biafra and their Director Nnamdi Kanu, he must be a genius for putting together a silent revolution that everyone is talking about. I have not heard that a single car windshield was smashed by the demonstrators or that any shop was looted or that motorists were molested or manhandled. You have to give the man some credits. The demonstrators were peaceful, persistent, mature and never possessed even a stone let alone a weapon. You must doff your hats for them no matter what bias or misconceptions you have about the word “Biafra” or his modus.
I don’t care if Nnamdi Kanu is a charlatan or attention seeker. I don’t care if he had an affair with multiple women whom he later abandoned before he got married. I don’t care if he dated Chioma Amaryllis and broke up with her. All these do not matter to me. If my house is on fire, I do not give a rat-ass what kind of water I used to quench the fire. If my precious dog gets missing or lost, why should I give a shit about who recovered it and brought it back to me?
If you as a person who is being marginalised and persecuted in Nigeria cannot do anything about it, why not maintain your spot at the sidelines or your armchair and zip your mouth? How many northerners have you heard criticising Boko Haram; that have actually killed over 15,000 and destroyed billions of naira worth of properties, rendering tens of thousands of people homeless or displaced? How many time have they advocated a shutdown of “Radio Chanji” or “BBC Hausa Service”? Those mediums are used to spread northern agenda and spew hate.
I cannot understand why we are so afraid to stand firm and against injustices meted to us and demand self government? Why would you continue to advocate for a country that does not accept that you belong with it? How much longer? 100 more years? Taata bu kwa gboo.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.