What really are we afraid of? The government of Nigeria should not be too quiet about the Igbo agitation for independence. The drumbeat is getting louder even if it’s being beaten by a tiny fraction from a vantage precinct. Protests are now shutting states down, from commercial city of Aba to Port-Harcourt and who knows where next. As students of history we need to revisit the Genesis of Boko Haram which started as a mere harmless and insignificant agitation.
Agitation is a part of our living, and people agitate usually when they’re left out or perceived to be. In our homes, work places and religious organisations, whenever agitations arises, the chief reason is really a sense or perceived sense of being left-out. It’s therefore a no-brainer that Nigerians of the Igbo extraction feel left out and are thus agitating, whether the course is founded or unfounded is a different argument.
I believe Igbos can secede without blood bath, but if anyone thinks otherwise kindly show them the gory pictures of the Nigerian Civil war of 1967-1970. In my example of bloodlessness, if they’re so desirous of the touted secession why can’t they start from the National Assembly? Yes, the National Assembly, let someone move the motion on the floor of the house. But you know what? The perks are too much for anyone on that floor to do that. In your wildest imagination you think the face-slapping House of Representatives members will do that, or the-‘juicy’-committee-fighting-senators?
So on the other hand, why is Nigeria afraid? As beautiful as the life of UK seemed, Scotland still wanted-out and a referendum was held in 2014 which of course failed. So, for the sake of fairness can’t Igbos be given the opportunity to test the acceptability of their agitation through a referendum which I know may not be very popular for obvious reasons? But before you crucify me, take time to hear me out and if possible posit a more logical argument.
First, if the Nigerian Government decides to give audience to the agitators, who is the face? Nwazuruike, Nnamdi Kanu, Ezeife or the Ohanaeze! Who? Sitting governors by their body languages are not in support of this agitation, the Igbo ‘leaders’/elites in the present Government are not known to be in support. Really, the agitation and the agitators are in splinters without a common front probably in it for pecuniary gains. Or how do you explain someone cooling in the (in)convenient cold of Europe carrying a green passport and soliciting for bullets and guns to fight Nigeria?
Having said, we need to be realistic, personally I believe Biafra agitation died when Ojukwu died. However, the Nigerian Government needs to make every part of Nigeria have a sense of belonging. Scotland decided to stay in the UK because there was something in there for them. What’s in Nigeria for Igbos to keep them in is the question we need to ask ourselves before casting the stone of condemnation, bile and vile. If massive development is spread around the nation it will quell agitation, if a part of the nation is no longer seen to be born to rule agitation will abate, if regions with natural resources are made to be first partakers of their wealth agitation will cease.
I think we really need to re-jig this marriage of ‘convenience’ called Nigeria. Confederation still remains the best bet. This implies a weaker center with withered down powers and stronger regions with level of involvement clearly defined where fewer things binds us like the Army and Sports. Guess what? That was what the forefathers left us. Isn’t it true that what the elders can see sitting the child can’t see standing? I believe in the Nigerian project, the bigger we are the better, the more united we are in our diversity, the best for us. THINK!