When the Igbo people in the Federal Republic of Nigeria talk about having their own country_ which is Biafra, to be precise_ then we see that there is a serious problem with the existing social melieu, otherwise, they would never have been making that request.
Throughout the years that the country Nigeria has been in existence, it is to be noted that the people in the Igbo tribe of the country has been the ones that the other tribes decide to step on, to use as their foot match when they please. Take an incursion into the history of the country and the most glaring fact to come to mind would be the fact that the Igbos have always had the shorter end of the stick when it comes to racial treatment from the other tribes in the country. And please do not forget that they are supposed to be one of the three major ethnic groups in the country. So, how then can they be this dominant and yet so downtrodden?
Now, there is the concept under International Law called the Right to Protect Territorial Integrity, but there is also another concept called the Right to Self-Determination which gives the people within a particular geographical enclave under the governance of a government the right to say that they are no longer interested in being a part of the existing system and wish to break out on their own.
The above is the scenario that the people of Nigeria are facing; the Igbos want their right to self-determine_ to become a Republic on their own and do their own thing_ but the others; the conglomeration of the other tribes in the country, along with the ruling cadre of those in the government of the country_ most notably the Hausa-Fulani, have said no to this wish of the Igbo tribe and other surrounding tribes to have their own Republic so that they can govern themselves.
A plethora of questions crops up to the fore about this? Why is the political power brokers so dead against the issue of Biafra for the people that want this change? Why has their been serious efforts to sabotage the wish of the Igbos in their quest for their own autonomy? And why, if they do not want the Igbo people in the country to break away, have they refused to have the Igbos take over very sensitive positions in governance?
It is the proverbial scenario of refusing to settle the apprentice who has diligently served the master for a long period of time and now wishes to go away on his own. The Igbos has been hailed the world over as one of the most hardworking set of people that Nigeria has been able to produce. The Nigerian people as a whole has said it over and over again that the Igbos are the most innovative and forward thinkers of the Nigerian economy.
Given that the above is the case, why has nothing been done to promote the Igbos on an international scale? Why are they being sabotaged at all levels?
For those that have something to say about the precarious situation that the Igbos has found themselves in, they are being shut up by the government and then touted to be the enemies of the Nigerian state.
Use Nnamdi Kanu as an example: the Nigerian government wishes to have his head on a platter, and the only reason why they have as yet failed to do so is because of the fact that the man has a lot of International popularity. A research into the Search Engine Optimization algorithms of Google has indicated that the man’s name was one of the most googled names of 2015 in the whole world.
And this is all for the search for a better tomorrow by the Igbo people of Nigeria.
The Civil War that had lasted through the late sixties into the early seventies had been as a result of this same quest for the greater tomorrow and their freedom by the Biafran people who had wished to break away from the experiment known as Nigeria_ something that the White Man had done then because they had wanted to unify the regions then for easier governance for them when they were still available within the auspices of the African shores, looting and plundering the resources of the Blacks.
Now, another question comes to mind: is Biafra the real deal? Is it the solution to the problem that the educated analysts have been unable to accurately diagnose? Will creating the Republic of Biafra be the solution to the ethnic problem that has been brewing between the Igbos and the other tribes of Nigeria, notably the Hausas? And will the creation of the Republic foster peace and halt the back-biting between and amongst the Igbos themselves?
There is the issue that the movement for the Republic of Biafra is fast gaining ground. The Nigerian community is looking at the Igbos with a kind of wary reserve, as if waiting for the other shoe to drop. If not, why then did they have to make an arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the Radio Biafra broadcaster who became one of the most-searched Google hits of 2015? And by doing that, the government seems to be voicing their concern over the fact that there is the distinct possibility that there will be a Biafra for the Igbos to sing to?
There has been a whole lot of books written about the people of Igboland, and they have been touted as the Jews of the entire Black Nation because they seem to have the best brains in the field of Literature (think Chinua Achebe who is the only Black African listed on Wikipedia as one of the worldwide bestselling authors of all time, and then Chimamanda Adichie too, who is seen as the young poster child of the Nigerian literary scene; along with Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, who is internationally acclaimed for her debut novel I Do Not Come to You by Chance); they have been hailed as the most hardworking and resourceful people. Is there an Hausa or Yoruba person here? Eh, no.
If there is any doubt as to this assertion, then it would be suggested that the persons that doubt this pay a visit to Aba in Abia State and see what the suit makers and the leather shoe makers there are doing with their hands, showcasing amazing skill that have not been replicated anywhere else in the whole of Nigeria. They are the best thinkers and the best mathematical-cum-computer geniuses around, and if there is any doubt to that, then MTN will easily attest to the fact that all the cheats that have floated around the Internet pertaining to how to gyp the network providers out of data have been the handwork of the Igbos.
The Port Harcourt oil refineries will undoubtedly go to the Republic of Biafra if the country is ever created out, hence the wish by the government to make sure that it is not created out due to the fact that they stand to lose out on the oil which is the major source of foreign exchange for the country.
All in all: is it all really worth it? Should the country split up? And if the country were to split up, is this not worth having? After all, the name Nigeria had been coined out by the tricky British to aid in their colonization process since it was then easier for them to conglomerate different independent nations into one huge, crumbling monolith that bears an attestation to the fact that there is a whole lot of diversity amongst the peoples living within it and there is nothing to be done or that could be done to try and unite them into one wholesome mass.
There has never been peace in the country called Nigeria; the question here, is whether there ever will. And whether, if the Republic of Biafra is created, it would be the change needed to bring about social development.
What do you think?