The wide gulf between the Igbo masses and the political class is about to be widened dangerously.
The mindless strategy of using the blood, tears and sorrows of frustrated Igbo youths who have lost faith in Nigeria, to curry jobs and favour from President Buhari could create a huge chasm between the leaders and the led in Igbo land.
The meeting of a section of Igbo leaders in Lagos, Friday, who claimed that the pro-Biafra Agitators were angry at the obvious exclusion of Ndigbo by General Buhari’s Government is purely designed to use the blood and pains of these youths to merely achieve access to Buhari (Which has been denied them) and also curry attention, patronages and relevance.
They know they were lying. They are dangerously treading on a path that could turn the youth against them.
The truth is that the humiliation Ndigbo are made to endure for 45 years, the unjust political structure, the number of states, L.Gs and political representatives coupled with the refusal to implement the 2005 political reform conference decision that approved additional state for the SE are at the root of the agitation by millions of Igbo youths for a separate nation.
The political structure that makes it impossible for Igbo land to grow economically, the structure that makes it difficult for marooned and frustrated youths to be accommodated fairly in their father’s land, the structure that encourages external forces to impose leaders on Ndigbo, Leaders who in turn owe allegiance to those forces than to their own people. Carpet-Beggary, that has been lifted up to the level of a religion.
All these are at the root of the frustrations of Ndigbo and these leaders know that.
Appointment into Buhari’s government is not the reason for the agitation for Biafra. Those trying to use these unfortunate bloodletting to get themselves accommodated into Buhari’s dinner table while remaining silent on the real issues of structural imbalance are only giving the public the impression that they entered a deal with the FG to try and stop the protests for personal rewards to their cabal.
The world knows that while they were drinking champagne with Jonathan, these boys stormed Enugu Radio Station to declare Biafra Republic in June 2014. While these Igbo Leaders were having a good time with the last administration, these same boys stormed Enugu Government House and hung the Biafra flag. Buhari was not President then.
The hopelessness of a future in this political prison as represented by this unitary structure frightens them so much that they can only see a bleak future before them. These leaders, who are asking Buhari to decorate the prison, replaced the mat in the Prison with a mattress and allow them tomatoes stew on Sundays in the prison, should know that these boys want the prison wall to come down flat through restructuring and not making the prison more comfortable.
Elders should not engage in acts that would seal the fate of their progeny just for pecuniary gains that would only be postponing the day of reckoning.
Everybody knows that for 16 years they have been growing in their number crying for restructuring and level playing field in Nigeria.
Their agitation has nothing to do with appointment of more Ndigbo into Buhari’s Government. Granting Ndigbo 20 ministerial slots will not stop the agitation, the youths want a level playing field for all Nigerians, those packaging this falsehood of appointing more Ndigbo into Buhari’s Government will only incur the wrath of the youths. The truth is that the structure of Nigeria is clearly unacceptable to them.
Elliot Uko is an Christian clergy, an evangelist. He is founder of the Igbo Youth Movement and leader of South East Democratic Coalition.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.