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The Igbos and US Politics By Christopher Aniedobe

The US is home to about 1.5 million first generation Igbos and roughly 4 million second generation Igbos who will someday change the political landscape of America.

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The Igbos and US Politics By Christopher Aniedobe – June 17, 2020

The US is home to about 1.5 million first generation Igbos and roughly 4 million second generation Igbos who will someday change the political landscape of America.

The Igbos have been here before. From Olaudah Equiano to Paul Robeson, the Igbo hypersense of substantial justice never ceases to stir the pot of social injustice. Igbo slaves left an indelible history of resistance that slave owners are all too aware.

Joining the descendants of Igbo slaves are the recent wave of Igbos who have been economically and politically displaced from their homeland. Yet they reside in America with that innate sense of irrepressibility that in only 30 short years ahead, they stand to tower as a highly potent demographic that cannot be ignored in US politics.

Many Igbos in America pitch their tent with the Democratic party because they believe that the Democrats are more civil rights friendly than Republicans. Most immigrants so believe and the ranks of the Democratic party swell steadily with immigrants at a rate that is beginning to pose existential concerns for the Republican party.

But as far as contemporary Igbo issues and US politics, there is some history that cannot be ignored. Fifty two odd years ago, President Nixon and the Republican party maintained “neutrality” as Biafran genocide raged and millions of South Eastern Nigerians, mostly Igbos, were wiped out in a most gruesome display of tribal hatred.

Nixon wasn’t neutral. He was pursuing US interest to give aid and comfort to a key ally, namely Britain, whose primary interest was to protect her colonial dividends even if that meant wiping out an entire race of Africans.

Sadly the killing of mostly Christian Igbos abated but never really stopped. In recent years, it has taken frightening dimensions propelled again by Western interest to exclude the Igbos from the corridors of power in Nigeria. Rather than an all out civil war, the recent persecution of the Igbos of Nigeria comes in the form of organized terrorist groups and state backed ethnic militia.

The Igbo homeland is again under siege by deadly and determined foes who have not hidden their intentions to use every means at their disposal to permanently suppress them. The Igbos are again living in severe apprehension of another genocide.

Sadly, just like their Republican counterparts under Nixon, the Democratic party under President Obama worked assiduously to again promote the interest of the British government in seeing that the Igbos continue to be excluded from power in Nigeria.

But unlike Nixon’s diplomatic neutrality, under President Obama, his Secretary of State, John Kerry, took several trips to Nigeria overtly signaling Obama’s intent to foster a new and colonial power friendly regime in Nigeria.

John Kerry was unpretentious and openly contemptuous of Southern Nigerians. He would enter the country, conduct his business with Nothern Nigeria governors, and fly out without even a courtesy call on their Southern counterparts. Whatever was left unfinished, was finished in subsequent Northern Governors visit to Washington.

Meanwhile, David Axlerod, Obama’s campaign manager acted as go between between the incoming fascist regime in Nigeria and the Obama Administration.

In the end, aided by Obama and the Democratic establishment, the British Government under David Cameron, pressed into being, a new and deadly colonial power friendly fascist regime in Nigeria leaving the Igbos hemorraging again as they bear the full brunt of Western power economic interests in Nigeria.

Let’s be clear. US interests should come first as far as US Presidents are concerned. Both President Nixon and President Obama acted out the briefings from their State Department deputies. We understand that but the Igbos also have an abiding duty to prosecute their own interests under the most propitious platform as those interests warrant.

Today, the Igbo struggle for self determination has been made that much harder by Obama’s pursuit of perceived US interest in standing behind the economic interests of a colonial power which gives no crap about how many Africans lose their lives so long as their colonial dividends are paid.

The Igbos of America cannot be unmindful of their homeland interests while pursuing US politics. Just as the Democratic party cannot continue living rent free in African American communities, it cannot be invited to live rent free in Igbo American communities.

As far as Igbo homeland interests is concerned, Trump has performed creditably better than Nixon and Obama. He has sent a clear message to the fascist regime in Nigeria that the US Government will not tolerate the killing of Christians. That counts for something and could perhaps account for why a full blown genocidal onslaught of the Igbos has not happened yet and may not happen while the hawkish Trump is in power.

The Igbos cannot continue living under apprehension of Western powers backed genocide. In deciding whom to vote for, Joe Biden needs to explain if his democratic values are as upended as those of his boss that he would openly canvass for a proven despot to assume the reigns of power elsewhere in the world in pursuance of US interests.

Obama’s open contempt for the Igbos came in four forms. 1. He could have insisted that US backing of regime change in Nigeria would not extend to the enthronment of a categorical despot. 2. He could have pursued his interest without overt contempt and disdain for Southern Nigerians. 3. Hindsight should have caused him to express regret for his role in the killing fields that Nigeria has become under a regime he helped to midwife. 4. Hindsight should at least cause him to regret his extreme reluctance to declare Boko Haram an international Terrorist Organization.

Someone should tell Obama and his political progeny, Biden, that Igbo lives matter. If Biden doesn’t agree, Igbo Americans should withhold their vote while insisting that Trump must match his rhetoric with positive action. The persecution of Christians of Nigeria has become a strategic threat to US interests. Trump has got to step up and boldly do what Nixon and Obama couldn’t do.

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