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Re: The Arewa Challenge By Joseph Nnamulu

Nafata: I beg to disagree. Reaction does not necessarily have to match an action. That is why one is often advised to think through before engaging in an action. Igbos calling for Biafra have not undergone such thought process and that has the potential to cause big problems for all Igbos. It is like a marriage, a spouse who wants to leave for whatever reasons, has to be prepared to receive an action from the other whose reaction may include locking the doors and refusing him or her to enter. What then follows is not pretty: fight, yelling, court actions, etc. It is hard to “eat your cake and have it back”. Igbos need to decide within themselves if they truly want to be on their own. That decision should not be made by IPOB, MASSOD in isolation. That decision should not be forced on all Igbos. 

We must understand that the situation in 1966 was totally different and references to it is flawed. The Igbos of today are different in so many ways including, how they feel about Igbo situation in Nigeria, how they feel about themselves as Igbos living in Igboland, etc. The Igbos today are more knowledgeable about Nigeria, Igboland, adjacent towns, the world at large, etc. 

In the sixties,adjacent towns all joined Igbos to fight either due to true allegiance, fun of it, being deceived, sympathy, etc. Such is not the case today. Most of these adjacent towns have already stated that they will not join in any such break out again. In fact, many already stated that even with a negotiated and “cordial” break up, they will not be part of Igboland. The idea that they can be compelled is foolish. The idea that “never mind, once we got it, they will join” is vain and foolish. 

Have those calling for this break up talked to Igbos living outside of Igboland to find out what they may do if such break out comes to be? Of course not. They just assume that every Igbo person will support. Really? Well, they better ask because my unofficial survey showed that over 80% of Igbos who live in Lagos or Abuja do not support any break up and that if such were to happen, they will stay put where they currently live and look for visa to visit Igboland. Is that what Igbos want? 

Igbos in Nigeria must be careful with the support they get from a few but vocal Igbos in diaspora. Most of these diaspora Igbos would only go to visit Igboland. They do not plan to live in Igboland. Their children will not live in Nigeria or Igboland. Their anger and bitterness towards Nigeria is based on their selfish and unrealistic belief that Nigeria “owes” them: Nigeria should have called them back with job guarantee, etc. Since such did not happen, and realizing that they are getting old, they resort to supporting any situation that will irritate the nation. 

Look, I am one of those who have stated that Nigeria needs some kind of restructuring but the premise under which those calling for secession or whatever they call it is flawed and will not do Igbos much good if pursued. That of course is my view. 

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