A cursory foray into the Nigerian history will show that no ethnic group has contributed and sacrificed so much to the development of “one Nigeria” that our Northern brothers are now singing today than the Igbo people.
Even when Zik’s emergence in the Western Assembly was foiled by chief Awolowo through the infamous cross-carpeting he orchestrated, Prince Umoro Altine of Sokoto successfully emerged as the mayor of Enugu.
Zik scarified the post of prime-minister because of “one Nigeria.” Igbo people do not just live in all the nooks and crannies of this country but are also developing them as their homes because of the one Nigeria philosophy ––so where have they wrong their other Nigerian brothers?
Any objective analysis of the post-civil war public policies of Nigerian State must come to the views that Balarabe Musa expressed above.
This is so because we are still at war. From the 20 pounds bank and indigenization policies of Gowon’s administration to the present day removal of South-East from the proposed rail project of the federal government, Ndigbo are shortchanged.
The problem with Nigeria and the Biafran question can be seen in the Igbo adage that says: Oji onye n’ani ji onwe ya–– ‘He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.’
Nothing will work in Nigeria so long as the notion that Ndigbo are ‘defeated people’ still holds water in the process of authoritative allocation of resource. To wake up the sleeping giant that Nigeria is, we must look to the direction of restructuring and fiscal federalism.
That said, the governors of states that made up the defunct Eastern Region should bury their faces in shame for not recognizing the sacrifices made by all that were either killed or died in the war especially those that fought on the Biafran side.
My greatest epitaph for them is to be found in the words of Robert Laurence Binyon who in his poem –For the Fallen– wrote:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
*Mr. Jonathan, a public affair analyst, wrote from Enugu-Ukwu, Anambra state.
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