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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Igbos: The Second Class Citizens Of Nigeria












By Nelson Ofokar Yagazie | For Biafra Writers

December 19, 2018

I did not watch the so-called Vice Presidential Debate. But a couple of days ago, I went online to find a reasonable number of Igbo people expressing how Peter Obi is by far the most brilliant. And I said, tag Peter Obi against Atiku Abubakar – the man he is supposed to be deputizing – and Obi will beat him hands down. Such is the brilliance of the Igbo. But why can't they rise to the fore? Why always playing a second fiddle?

If you are indisputably the best yet not allowed to take the lead, then you are obviously a second class citizen. Most of these Igbo brothers praising Obi to the moon have failed to ask themselves the critical question, “why can't the best be the first?” And these are people who would readily define selves as intellectuals. Remind them that they still remain slaves in Nigeria and they will take umbrage at you, telling you how they have succeeded in building a four-bedroom flat in the village, how they have married and are bearing children, how they own a good car (in most cases, a second-hand car), how they have gone to school and acquired certificates, how they can speak good English, how their kinsmen own four storey buildings in different cities, and so on. To these little minded individuals, a people with such achievements of course cannot be slaves. What do they know? Who makes polices and how do they affect you? Are you equal with the rest and you are kept on the fringes?

Regrettably, while the Obi-praising party are smart enough to observe that the Igbo is outstandingly the best brain in the unfortunate enclave referred to as Nigeria, they are irritatingly too dumb to reflect on why, despite being the best, the Igbo is limited to second fiddle role. Like Obi, Dr. Alex Ekwueme of blessed memory, was vastly superior intellectually to the man he deputized, Alhaji Shehu Shagari. The same illusion driving the present day Igbo believers of a workable one Nigeria – the hope of the vice taking over after the boss might have served out his term – fuelled emotions at the Shagari/Ekwueme era. But late President Muhammadu Buhari, acting out the script ‘Never Allow Igbos Rule Again’ whose acronym became adopted as Nigeria’s currency, saw to it that the Igbo dream died a stillbirth by toppling the Shagari government at the beginning of his second term. Of course, Buhari knew if he waited till Shagari’s last year, the plot would be so obvious, hence the need to act early. Sadly, the Igbo one-Nigeria hopefuls are bad students of history.

Apart from the paltry six months of Aguiyi Ironsi orchestrated by a failed coup d’état which in earnest was intended to usher in a Yoruba man – Obafemi Awolowo, the Igbo with all his proficiency has never assumed the leadership of the country he mistakes as his own.

Some are so mentally eclipsed that they imagine having an erudite and economic-proficient Obi as a Vice President would somehow resuscitate the deteriorating Nigerian economy. Professor Yemi Osinbajo, even if not mentally on par with Obi, is a man of high academic attainment. What has his deputizing role achieved under the Buhari and now Jubril-led administration? A thriving economy? A secured society? An improved medical system? A healthy academic atmosphere? A truly independent Judiciary? A free press? A corruption-free electioneering process? Employment? What please? Under this administration, the religious killing of Christians has quadrupled. Professor Yemi Osibanjo, the vice president in this loathsome regime, is not just a Christian, he is a pastor. What has he influenced? Even when a woman of Redeemed Christian Church of God – a church Osinbajo pastored before joining politics – was beheaded in Abuja for preaching Christ, what punitive measures did Osinbajo initiate? A clear case-study for our supposed intellectuals who build castle in the air.

There are those who believe that an Atiku-led government will offer them a restructured Nigeria. These folks are naïve.

Atiku made restructuring a cardinal campaign point to lure gullible Biafrans of Igbo extraction. Having seen the gusto with which the Biafrans demand freedom, Atiku tried to play smart by tugging the restructuring rope. The fickle-minded Igbo one-Nigerianists threw in without asking what happened to Aburi Accord, 1970 3Rs (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration), 2005 constitutional conference recommendations, and 2014 confab recommendations. Has Nigeria ever kept an agreement?

Buhari made several campaign promises such as making one naira equal to dollar, bring fuel pump price down to 40 naira, pay unemployed youths, create employment, feed our kids in school, end the menace of Boko Haram within six months, and so on. But how many did he fulfill? Not even one. It must be noted however that this shameless act of offering lofty promises never intended to be fulfilled is not peculiar to Buhari, it’s a well-known trend in Nigerian politics. What makes anyone think Atiku will be different from Buhari and the rest of them? Anyone banking on campaign promises of Nigerian politicians, Hausa/Fulani especially, is, to say the least, naïve.

The belief that Atiku will bring about restructuring is fueled by the feeling that Obi, being an Igbo, will pressure Atiku on the subject. But then, if as a Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in all his academic glories could not influence anything, why does somebody believe Obi will? The bosses are the same – Fulani-Muslim-North.

Before typing this, Justice Chidi – a dear friend and academic gem we fondly call Prof – wrote on his Facebook timeline, “Like Dino, I can bet my liver that Nigerians are not yet ready to get this country to start working. In my country, the best brains are only qualified for the positions of Vice-president. And the worst hands the country can offer are projected for the positions of president on the merits of ethno-political hypocrisy. We should be recolonized!”

Dear Lord! My good friend, Chidi, doesn’t seem to realize Africa is still being colonized, albeit subtly. Chidi, I know, is a believer of the Biafra restoration project, but sometimes he appears beclouded by electioneering promises. He is not alone. Responding to him I wrote, “Reason you should submit yourself totally to the restoration of Mother Biafra. It's not enough to lament.”

A one-Nigerianist – the clever by half type – plying the trade typical Igbo slaves are known for, replied me thus, “Nelson Okafor we all love Biafra but we've to be realistci to see that it's not realisable at the moment. Our best bargain now is to queue behind a candidate that's pro-restructuring and begin from there. Please enough of blood-letting in the South-East. Biafra is a long-range plan but for now the agenda is restructuring. Mind you, those who are saying no election in Igbo land are handing Nigeria, including Igbo land back to Buhari on a platter becsause the South-East is a strong-hold for Atiku/Obi. Please let wisdom prevail. First Atiku/Obi and then the struggle continues.” Note, I did not edit anything, and for the sake of honour, I withheld his name.

Looking at his weak argument and the lofty thought he could pull a smart one on me, I sighed in disgust.

I am not named “Okafor,” I am named “Ofokar.” A man who mistakes one for the other even when the latter is there to be copied is mentally lazy. Thinking about it all, I asked myself, would such a lazy-minded fellow cope with the tapestry of topics such as he tried to provoke? As I didn’t think it likely, I responded, “If you can't spell the name ‘Ofokar’ which you are seeing and could have but copied and pasted, of what use will it be going into a more mental-demanding themes as raised above with you? Find another opponent please. Ofokar nwa Nsukka is not for all breeds.”

Feeling despised, the fellow in a rejoinder wrote, “Nelson I'm so sorry about your name. But I insist that at the moment Biafra is a wild goose chase, and that young people should not be exposed to death and maiming. And if you could argue so well you'd not so ready to resort to insult.”

I don’t know where the impression that asking for self-determination exposes our youths to death and maiming is coming from. Could this fellow be reading from the script prepared by John Nnia Nwodo who, doing the bidding of his Hausa/Fulani paymasters, spins the narrative that Biafra is all about war? Whatsoever, he alone knows. But his surname is common amongst Nsukka indigenes, so I supposed him an Nsukka man – I could be wrong anyway. Leaning back in my sofa, I pulled a face, entertaining another sigh of disgust. Nsukka people have suffered a great deal of massacre in the hands of Fulani herders, the most notable being the 2016 onslaught that saw 250 people butchered to death at Nimbo community. This and all its kind in Nsukka were not orchestrated by the quest for Biafra.

In Nkanu land, similar ugly events have been recorded, with two seminarians on vacation being among victims. In Delta state, a whole village was ransacked, razed and sent on exile by Fulani marauders. Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, and Ebonyi states have all sucked and are still sucking the gall of Fulani Jihadists masquerading as cattle herders. I therefore wonder why those who spin the obnoxious yarn about Biafran quest for freedom exposing our youths to death when the entirety of our people, not just youths, are at the mercy of Fulani herders who believe that the whole enclave referred to as Nigeria is an inheritance of their father, Othman Danfodio.

I bade the cognition-denied argument-thirsty fellow goodbye with the response, “I have nothing to prove to you, I waste no time on folks like you – folks who treat history with disdain, folks who do not know that restructuring was agreed on in Aburi and trampled upon thereafter, folks who are quick to forget that Confab recommendations under Obasanjo in 2005 and even the one held under Jonathan only served as tissue papers, folks who have eyes but do not see that the difference between Buhari and Atiku is only but facial, folks who learnt nothing from Ekiti and Osun state elections, folks who judge selves sane but would continue doing same thing while expecting a different result, folks who cry over blood-let in Igbo land but subscribe to it by holding on to the structures that allow Fulani herders unlimited access into our land to rape and kill our people, folks who accuse people of insults only because they are placed where they belong, folks who thirst and hunger for fruitless arguments rather than submitting selves to revolutionary projects. I refrain from wasting time on such elements. Good day.”

He ranted some more, telling me that I am still a kid, that my information is limited and superficial, and stuffs like that, but I didn’t do him the honour of responding again. He wanted argument; I wasn’t going to grant him that.

The trouble with one-Nigerianists is that they love verbosity more than reasonability. The argument-thirsty fellow said that my information is limited and superficial but did not bother to provide the version he considered deep and complete. Such is the life of every one-Nigerianist. Nail them with facts and figures, and they will yap, yap, and yap without making any sense. Quite risible! And that’s exactly why instead of confronting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu with superior argument, one-Nigeria apologists running the affair of Nigeria sent their murderous military to silence him.

Returning to our original topic, I ask again, why can’t the best be the first? And if the best can’t be the first, why remain in such entity? Why can’t the Igbo – the very best brain in Nigeria – take the lead? The Igbo can’t lead Nigeria because the Igbo is a second class citizen in a country he thinks is his. But why remain in such a country? Why not become independent? Why not return to mother Biafra? Rise up oh you all who are second class citizens in your supposed country Nigeria. Rise up and join the fight for self-determination. Biafra is our best bet.

The Biafra Times
Edited By Chukwuemeka Chimerue
Publisher: Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
Contact us: [email protected]

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