I am still bothered on so many grounds, so I may speak a little bit more. I want to address a little bit squarely the agitations from certain quarters in Igbo land for the sovereign state of Biafra. No one who have followed the history of Nigeria will fail to shake its head at the tribal tendencies and propaganda that has marked this Nation from its independence. The Hausas against the Yorubas, the Hausas against Igbos, the Igbos against the Hausas, and so on.
I decided to scan through, briefly, some of the historical books that I have read before like Martin Meredith’s THE STATE OF AFRICA and Alexander Madiebo’s THE NIGERIAN REVOLUTION AND THE BIAFRAN WAR. I had to shake my head again at what have been a sorry history of tribal and ethnic sentiments without end.
I have so many things to say with my little mind, but I will start somewhere. The decisions being taken today will affect my generation the most, hence I must speak so posterity will preserve my records for the coming days.
The Igbos had been given quit notice by some unscrupulous elements in the North, and many in the South-East are asking them to return. A question still burns in my heart- WHY? WHY ARE THE IGBOS NOT COMING BACK? WHY ARE THEY FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO RELOCATE TO THEIR HOMELAND? With all the terrorism and other issues in the North, the average Igbo feels it better to stay there than come home. Why?
I once talked with my friend in Gombe, and he told me that many Igbos who ran away from Gombe because of Boko Haram had to come back after all. Why? They could not settle in their homeland. For them life is easier in the North than in South-East. Why is this so? If you decide to establish a shop in the East, the amount of taxes and rates you keep paying is quite mind boggling. I was discussing with a shop owner in my abode in Enugu, and she told me that she spends almost #30,000 yearly paying all kinds of rates and taxes. This is not including her shop rent, house rent and other realities of life. This kind of Government-induced taxation is rarely found in the North.
A recent rain-storm that fell in Enugu town removed a lot of roofs on top of houses. Somewhere in Enugu town, a whole flat’s roof was lifted and rain beat the inhabitants of the flat and their belongings mercilessly. Now, for the Landlord to repair the roof, some people who said they are Youths of the Town or whatever union name they call themselves said the Landlady must pay them money before work will commence on the roof. They are demanding almost about #150,000 payment to be made to them before people who were rendered roofless in this rainy season can be taken care of. What wickedness is this.
Let me not talk about the high cost of living in South-East as opposed to most of the other parts of Nigeria. So, my challenge is that our problem is not Buhari, neither is it the North. Our problem is with us- with the greed in our hearts. We kept saying that during the era of GEJ, he awarded contracts for the construction of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, but the money was eaten. Who ate it? A Northerner? Maybe.
Each time I walk about in my little capacity as a resident of South-East Nigeria, and I see the challenges we all face, I keep asking, WHO DID THIS TO US? A Northerner? Buhari? Or a Yoruba Man? Let me not talk of the spate of corruption, Exam malpractice, cultism and many other issues we face. If we get Biafra, will we suddenly change? Will we suddenly begin to be concerned for our brother’s well-being? Will we suddenly begin to consider the collective good of others above our personal advantage? Will the concept of an Nsukka man entering office and stuffing the parastatals with “people from his village” stop?
I have no challenge with our struggle for a Sovereign state, but I do not see the possibility of a change in our situation if we do not change our individual attitudes. Even in the confines of One Nigeria, the Igbos can be stronger and have a better place if we will correct the things wrong with us personally. But if we refuse to make our zone conducive for us all, and keep stalking the progress of our brethren, we may get our Sovereign state, but continue to struggle with failing, unachievable hopes of a better Nation.
This is why I insist that Jesus is the answer for this world.
GOD BLESS US ALL.