Understanding Why Ndigbo Want Nigeria Restructured Or Separated
There is an Igbo tradition, I suspect, is responsible for the undying Igbo agitations in Nigeria and could be the root of their struggles for a restructured country or to secede from Nigeria.
The Igbos must have been alarmed at the very way the resources of their supposed polygamous father or Nigeria are being shared.
Ndigbo are very focused on how the resources or inheritance of their parents are shared. They also have a time tested custom of sharing a commonly owned assets in their families, communities and towns’ levels.
From the Igbo man’s perspective, Nigeria is liken to as a father whose wives are the constituent tribes of Nigeria.
Igbos view any Nigerian tribe as a wife or mother that has many children who constitute an ethnic grouping in Nigeria.
Igbo man sees the children or the citizens from all Nigerian tribes as members of a federation or Umunna (children of same father) whilst those from same mother or same tribe are regarded as Umunne (children of same mother) or a region.
Revenues or assets belonging to Umunna or the Federation are traditionally shared into the number of the constituent Umunne or tribes.
The political head of umunna or federation takes the first portion which is used to run his office of Obi or federal government.
The Obi is usually the oldest son as at the time the patriarch died and could be equated to the elected government at the centre.
In sharing of any shareables at Umunna level, each of the first sons of the patriarch from each mother or tribe would step forward (according to seniority or age when their father died) to take a portion each.
The first sons from each mother or tribe will then go home to share the takings with his siblings according to their rank in age.
It is unheard of in Igbo land that population or the number of children a mother has effect on the size of what her children would get from her husband’s estate.
The share received by a tribe of a fewer population could be of same size with that collected by the tribe of greater population.
Children of a wife or tribe with a huge population are expected to use their numerical strength in creating personal wealth and could be at an advantage when taxes are levied or during inter family wars.
Taxes are levied in Igbo land just as resources are shared.
But that’s not what Igbos see in Nigeria.
What I hear the agitating Igbos say is that the resources of Nigeria should be shared equally and equitably as they are generated or as taxes are levied.
Igbos wonder why the tribes who have numerical advantage or special talents would not be allowed to harness those advantages to their own benefits.
There are laws designed to hamstring those tribes that want to soar very higher than others.
The use of landmass, population and any other indices instead of productivity or contribution in sharing or distributing Nigeria’s resources which include appointments, political offices, revenues, etc are very antithetical to what Igbos believe.
Igbos, I think, would not worry if those who receive the lion share of the federation’s resources contribute as much in the percentage of what they take as a share.
The lion share taker of the federation’s resources is also seen by Igbos not to value human life.
They kill their Igbos tenants upon slightest provocation or over something as natural as changed colour of the evening sun from orange to yellowish red.
In Igbo land, willful shedding of blood is a sacrilege punishable by banishment for seven years.
Igbos love living life and wouldn’t want to co-habit with habitual life extinguishers within a country they call their own.
If you understand the above Igbo worldview, then you have understood the root causes of the Igbo agitations for either a restructured Nigeria or a separate functional country.