NewsReel August 22, 2013 - Igbo Plan To Leave Nigeria - Part 2

  [ Masterweb Reports: Osita Ebiem reports ] –  Igbo Plan To Leave Nigeria Because Igbo Economy Exceeds Igbo Geography: This is the second part of this essay. It is divided into two parts and derives its title from the argument that Ojo Maduekwe presented in response to Vin Otuonye who wanted Maduekwe to clear the concern of Igbo masses that some Igbo elite seem unfazed by the plight of this and coming generations of their people in Nigeria. The current generation of Igbo believes that there is no prospect for them and their children by remaining part of the Nigerian union. They are convinced that their interests and those of their subsequent generations will be better served only in a state that is separate and independent of the Nigerian state. For this reason the masses of the people are progressively feeling betrayed by their leaders who they think should be at the forefront of the struggle to liberate them from one Nigeria. They think that some of their leaders of thought like Ojo Maduekwe, Obi Nwakanma who is an intellectual genius and others like them, for the sake of some temporary personal considerations, have sold out and mortgaged their people’s future to a hopeless project that is one Nigeria by insisting on the continued existence of Igbo people as part of it. Vin Otuonye called out particularly to Maduekwe to respond to this accusation by Igbo people. Maduekwe in his characteristic articulate haute sense of responsibility was courageous and humble enough to respond. We salute his boldness. We encourage readers to read in full Ojo Maduekwe’s intelligent presentation in order to get a better perspective of the points made in this article. Maduekwe’s piece will be reproduced below this. We consistently and deliberately avoid using titles to address individuals when discussing Igbo matters because we are conscious of the very negative effect those have had on the general psyche of our people. Thank you for reading.



Every functional and succeeding society is usually the one that has succeeded in making law and order their cornerstone. There is flagrant and impudent disregard for the “manufactured”, unrealistic and incongruent rules and customs (Constitution) of one Nigeria because there is no common ground on which all the peoples meet. No society can succeed where there is such level of state of anomie because of total disregard for the rule of law as there is in today’s one Nigeria. In one Nigeria there is a complete absence of law and order not because the people are incapable of living by the rules but because the rules do not have roots in the peoples’ original norms and customs. There is no uniformity of interests and collective pursuits so what makes sense to the Igbo does not make the same sense to the Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani.


In another sense, advocating that because “Igbo economy exceeds Igbo geography” then they must remain in one Nigeria can be likened to encouraging Igbo people to practice the type of closed economy that the old Soviet Union tried at the peak of its experiment – doing business mostly with the states they had sovereign influence and control over. As most students of Soviet history agree; that practice contributed significantly to its eventual fall. If there is any lesson at all in it to go by, we can safely conclude that Igbo people do not need to be part of Nigeria in order to conduct successful businesses in Nigeria. To further support this point we need to remind readers that Igbo people are currently living and doing successful businesses in other countries such as Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ghana and several other places. And there is no need for them to convert these host countries into one Igbo country in order to do businesses in them. In the same manner, Igbo do not need to belong to Nigeria in order do business in Nigeria and with Nigerians.


In another instance, some Igbo individuals would prefer that the precarious and hopeless situation of Igbo nation’s continued existence in a united Nigeria be less emphasized or not mentioned at all. These individuals believe that talking about the oppressive and humiliating conditions that Igbo nation experiences in one Nigeria is a show of weakness and exhibition of the victim mentality. Such people talk of and point at the resilience and humble meager accomplishments of some Igbo people in various areas of life as proof that after all Igbo have not been the losers as it is generally assumed. The scope of this article will not permit us to enumerate several instances of discrimination, disdain, injustice, disregard, dishonor, hatred, spite and deliberately contrived obstacles thrown in the way to stunt Igbo growth in Nigeria. From the direct result of Igbo’s forced membership in one Nigeria the Igbo collectively and individually have suffered several missed opportunities, impudent mistreatment and humiliations. The victimization of Igbo in the failed Nigerian project as evidenced everywhere and in all aspects, is real and it will amount to the display of an equal level of dishonest braggadocio as one Nigeria apologists do, for anyone to acknowledge and say otherwise. Stating honestly what is obvious and true does not weaken the position of anyone in any context. Accepting facts of situations is always the first step in finding solution to the problem. Living in denial of one’s true condition and “confessing positively”, would not make the problem to just go away. To humbly and sincerely accept what is true and impacting negatively on one does not mean one has to live with the adverse condition without making effort to extricate themselves from it.


Some advocates for separation have cited the Biafran genocide when trying to further persuade those who it is assumed that it is for some selfish reasons that they still think that Igbo people should have no right to self-determination, freedom and sovereign independence outside Nigeria. 3.1 million Igbo and other Biafrans were murdered by the Nigerian state and its citizens during the genocidal years of 1966 to 1970. The Biafran genocide is regarded by many experts as the foundational genocide in the post-colonial Africa. Since that horrible pogrom, genocide and ethnic/religious cleansing in Biafra took place forty something years ago no one has been held accountable for the inhuman atrocities in Biafra. There is a general consensus among most analysts that it is this deliberate neglect to punish the perpetrators of the heinous crime against Biafrans that has led to similar but of less magnitude others in Rwanda, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone and several others. It is believed that subsequent perpetrators of similar crimes in Africa were particularly emboldened because they had no deterrent reference sanctions against the Biafran war criminals. After forty years, Nigeria and its citizens remain unrepentant and unremorseful about the genocide and that especially strengthens the ground of separation advocates.


Still using genocidal reason as basis for separation, advocates for Igbo/Biafra’s independence give copious examples of deliberate crimes of genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing against Igbo people and other Biafrans in Nigeria starting from 1945 to the present day. The last reported (it is said that government agents suppress most from getting reported in the media) is as recent as one week ago in Kano Northern Nigeria. The attack, since claimed by the al Qaeda affiliate of Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram targeted Igbo people (the leader of the group said so in his speech justifying the attack). In the attack which was multiple bomb blasts, scores of Igbo people were killed, maimed and their properties destroyed in the Sabon Gari area of Kano. Armed with this and many other reasons separation advocates fight on by claiming that Igbo can only be safe and prosper in a separate sovereign state that is independent of Nigeria.

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