Pro-Biafran protesters at a recent protest on the Niger bridge at Onitsha
I am of the opinion that IGBO people should immediately begin to relocate from the North. If an Igbo person must stay there, he/she better make sure he/she is armed to the teeth, and/or that the Igbo over there go about in well-armed groups because their safety is no longer guaranteed. Let it be a lesson to all these Igbo people who have simply refused to situate their wealth in their homeland but have rather chosen to go to the North in search of greener pastures.
The Igbo people are spread all over Nigeria – far more in number, outside their traditional states, as a proportion of their numerical size, than any other ethnic group in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the only way to get the idea that Nigeria is one country lies in the fact that there are overwhelming numbers of Igbos living and productively thriving in other parts of the country. You would expect that sort of thing actually, if you really believed in the idea of One Nigeria. One Nigeria should mean, like in other developed countries, that regardless of your ethnic group, you can freely relocate to and live within any region of the country, and conduct your business or own property, without any harassment or fear. If this were not the case, then there would be no sense in considering the country united in any practical way – and people would never make sizable investments in parts of the country outside their traditional or ancestral states. I hope you are still in agreement with me thus far.
However, now that the North want the Igbo out, there is a possibility also that people in other regions of the country may also want to reclaim lands and property (factories, houses, companies, infrastructure) owned by the Igbo in their respective regions or states. They would, in essence, also want the Igbo out of their affairs. Lagos state comes to mind. There is an alarming overwhelming presence of the Igbo in Lagos and many other parts of the Southwest – living together, speaking the language of their hosts and thriving economically. It is reasonable to expect that many people in these regions may also want the Igbo gone. There is no denying the entrepreneurial and mercantile inclination of the Igbo, and while that attribute helps to develop the local economies of the places they find themselves, it can also breed resentment in the host populations to discover much of their areas being OWNED and dominated by these “foreigners” (Igbos).
So here’s the issue: Can you explain to me again, why Nigeria/Nigerians are completely opposed to the idea of Igbos breaking off from Nigeria to form their own country as they have been demanding for 50 years, but at the same time do not want to fully integrate with them or continue to nurse resentment for them because of the way they set about to economically dominate the regions they find themselves in? Explain to me why Nigerians should continue to live under this false mirage that the unity or sanctity of this forced union is to be considered inviolable. What is so taboo about the Igbo aspiration for self-determination if other parts of the country are also equally tired of the union and also want out? How can we safely kill two birds with one stone here – i.e., grant the North their wishes by expelling the Igbo, and grant the Igbo their wish by organizing a credible globally-watched referendum on whether they want to remain part of the union or not? How long must the people dwell in forced hostile proximity? Is a referendum on Biafra now just a matter of time before it happens?
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