Search this Site and the Web

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why (not) Biafra?

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe.

I BELIEVE that a nation need not be a fixed, immutable entity, but a living organism, susceptible (in keeping with laid out procedures and according to the wish of its constituent elements) to growth or contraction. As a principle, then, I subscribe to the idea that any group of people may choose to terminate their membership in any particular political community called a nation.

It behooves one to underline this principle from the outset as one considers the implications of the current agitation for the rebirth of Biafra as a sovereign national entity apart from Nigeria. If the Igbo or any other ethno cultural aggregation for that mattertruly, deeply aspire to organize themselves as a separate nation, and if the majority of them establish the fact of this yearning in a credible referendum, I'd insist on their right to actualize their ambition. For, as my opening statement reveals, I don't think for a moment that there's anything sacred about the way Nigeria, or any nation, is currently mapped.
Having said that, I'd also argue that the quest for Bi- afra, emotionally invigorating as it is for its champions and supporters, represents a colossal mistake.

Why do I insist on this point?
Let's look at the case for Biafran self-determination as its most vociferous proponents have elaborated it. They declare, these fervent hankerers after Biafra, that it's the answer to the systematic subjugation of the Igbo within the Nigerian collectivity. They draw attention to the virtual absence of Federal investment in the Igbo states, extrapolating from that reality the implication that Nigeria is inhospitable to Igbo well being and interests. They remark on Nigeria's narrative of unrelenting failure, its record of unmet or low expectations, and its dim prospects and suggest that Igbo enterprise and ambition are hampered by a pathological Nigeria. They blame the current state of underdevelopment in Igboland on an irredeemably diseased Nigeria. They point to irreconcilable cultural differences between the Igbo and certain other sectors of Nigeria. In the specific context of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, they point to the exclusion of the Igbo from key political posts.

For Biafran agitators, the path from the foregoing diagnoses to Biafra is imperative. In fact, Biafra, it is claimed, is logical, natural and beyond any form of interrogation or serious disputation.

It is difficult to argue with the anthology of grievances that the pro-Biafra activists have compiled. I am willing to allow that the Igbo, before and after the Biafran War, have borne the brunt of Nigeria's desultory history. Let's take the arbitrary, but significant, example of the post-war indigenization policy. Designed to achieve that effect or not, the reality is that the policy resulted in significant economic disempowerment even devastation of the Igbo.
Yet, there's a parallel point that begs to be made. It is this: That, in the end, Nigeria as currently conceived and structured has not served any Nigerian group. This was the central stipulation of my essay last week. Nigerians inherited a shell of a "nation" from the British and then took it for granted that we had a coherent, vibrant national community. We never paused to pose questions about the kind of polity we wished to build, or what it meant to be called a Nigerian.

This abdication, I suggest, is at the heart of Nigerians' disillusionment with Nigeria. Nigeria is a woeful place because all segments of Nigeria the Igbo included have failed at the task of collaborating across ethnic, religious and class lines to build a better, nobler model of a country. It would be impossible to find a credible narrative of Nigeria's dysfunction economic, social, political and cultural in which the Igbo play no role.

The Igbo are just as deeply implicated as any other ethno-religious group in the cultural crisis that bedevils Nigeria. If this were not the case, then the Igbo-dominant areas of Nigeria would exemplify lofty leadership, accountability and development. This is hardly the case. Igbo political figures are just as prone to the depraved pursuit of materialism as their fellows from other ethnic groups.

On the positive side of the ledger, the Igbo have never been shy to test out the promissory note implicit in the idea of Nigeria. They have taken their entrepreneurial spirit and innovative acumen to the width and breadth of Nigeria, setting up businesses and taking up challenges in different parts of Nigeria. Despite the frustrations of life in Nigeria and this frustration affects every sector of the country's myriad ethnicities the Igbo thrive best when their industry is unleashed on a larger canvas. The attainment of Biafra would entail, almost certainly, the transfer of hundreds of billions of naira of Igbo financial wealth and assets currently held outside of Igboland. Should Biafra become a reality, millions of admirably adventuresome Igbo would be compelled to relocate to a relatively tight, near-claustrophobic homeland.

Beyond such considerations, there is little historical evidence that Biafra, as such, is a viable answer to the questions articulated by the most vociferous Biafranists. The idea of Igbo or southeast unity or the potential for it is a myth. There are long established hostilities between Igbo within and between different states. In America, I am aware of Igbo town associations that have split into three or more factions and they hail from the same natal community! If Biafra emerged today as a separate nation, enlightened Igbo would be burdened with the duty of mending rifts that run deep.

The example of South Sudan reminds us that achieving the dreams of self-determination is not always a guarantee of living happily ever after. Since voting overwhelmingly to approve a referendum to become an independent state, South Sudan has been embroiled in a plethora of civil wars that have claimed thousands of lives and displaced many. One isn't saying that Biafra would go the same way only that it is a grave error to assert that Biafra is the answer.

A lot of those pushing for Biafra were born after the war that bore the name of their fantasy. For them, then, Biafra was simply and purely an idyllic paradise, abort- ed by Nigeria with great help from an unlikely coalition of British, European and American firepower and diplomatic muscle. True, Biafra embodied the aspirations of a people who felt unjustly besieged. But any history of Biafra that neglects to explore some of the abuses perpetrated by some Biafran officials would be a whitewash.

Given the current pitch of the pro-Biafra lobby, it is tempting to view a dubious stance as nothing short of a scandal. But I'd suggest that when the broader interests of the Igbo are considered, the case for Igbo's continued commitment to the (admittedly flawed) Nigeria frame becomes even more salient. It was no wonder that the late Biafran leader, Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, stated in an interview years ago that he would only lead an- other war to keep Nigeria one. His statement, which to my knowledge he never repudiated, was a product of sober and strategic thinking.

I'd propose that the Igbo expend their breath and energy in pushing for a conversation about the essential terms of engagement in a vital Nigeria. Such a conversation would spell out the character of Nigeria's federalism, and begin the process of reshaping Nigeria, for the first time, into a true nation.

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


Biafra Videos: Explosive secret about Biafra...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Featured Post


Topics: Mindset of the enemy. Yoruba were in world's best universities when Usman dan fodio was still learning to ride a horse Th...