By Uchendu Precious
IGBOS, WOULD THEY EVER FIND THEIR PLACE IN NIGERIA?
Unless we know our history and background, we will not know the root cause of our problems. The amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates of what is called today Nigeria by Lord Lugard, was purely for the British economic interest and was not for the interest of the people. The interest of the Europeans in Africa and Nigeria was economic and it still remains economic.
First came Colonization by the British, then Amalgamation of the Nothern and Southern protectorates, an unwholesome marriage of two incompatible partners, followed by Independent, then a bloody civil war. Since then, Nigeria has not fared better, Igbos have been searching for a place they can call their own. Would they ever find their place in Nigeria? Read what the Paramount King of Kano, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi 11 said.
“The Igbo people of Nigeria have made a mark in the history of this nation. They led the first successful military coup which eliminated the Military and Political leaders of other regions while letting off Igbo leaders. Nwafor Orizu, then Senate President, in consultation with President Azikiwe, subverted the constitution and handed over power to Aguiyi-Ironsi.
Subsequent developments, including attempts at humiliating other peoples, led to the counter-coup and later the civil war. The Igbos themselves must acknowledge that they have a large part of the blame for shattering the unity of this country.
Having said that, this nation must realize that Igbos have more than paid for their foolishness. They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments and deprived of public services. The rest of the country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity.
The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. In the recent transition when the Igbo solidly supported the PDP in the hope of an Ekwueme presidency, the North and South-West treated this as a Biafra agenda. Every rule set for the primaries, every gentleman´s agreement was set aside to ensure that Obasanjo, not Ekwueme
emerged as the candidate.
Things went as far as getting the Federal Government to hurriedly gazette a pardon. Now, with this government, the marginalization of the Igbo is more complete than ever before. The Igbos have taken all these quietly because, they reason, they brought it upon themselves. But the nation is sitting on a time-bomb.
After the First World War, the victors treated Germany with the same contempt Nigeria is treating Igbos. Two decades later, there was a Second World War, far costlier than the first. Germany was again defeated, but this time, they won a more honourable peace. Our present political leaders have no sense of History.
There is a new Igbo man, who was not born in 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the street who were never Biafrans. They were born Nigerians, are Nigerians, but suffer because of actions of earlier generations. They will soon decide that it is better to fight their own war, and may be find an honourable peace, than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity.
The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbos. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered. If this issue is not addressed immediately, no conference will solve Nigeria´s problems.”
The Paramount King of Kano, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi