Dear Biafran brothers,
As much as I respect your self-determination and struggle for the actualization of your beloved Biafran republic, I must sound a note of caution. Any ethnic group or geo-political zone can easily lay claim to being marginalised. We all know equality is a myth. You should be careful what you wish for.
Although, it is pertinent to commend the recent approach by the IPOB leaders who have deviated from the aggressive tactics erstwhile deployed to a more diplomatic tactics by writing to the United Nations to demand for a Referendum. I think that will reveal the true picture of what is felt by the average Igbos, rather than the seemingly politicking and propaganda circulated by IPOB and MASSOB leaders.
In my own opinion, the Biafran struggle is a case of misplaced priority. At this crucial junction of our existence as a state, a junction characterised by a stunted and receding economy, political unrest, unemployment, corruption, terrorism, kidnapping and so many other ills. The least we need is this jejune movement in the guise of self-determination. This is a time where we should come together in spite of our differences and take the ailing country to a height we all aspire. Secession shouldn’t be our priority, even after secession, what is the assurance that a certain group of elites among the Igbos would not dominate the socio-political arena in the proposed Biafran republic. Consequently, leaving certain groups feeling marginalised.
The only marginalisation that exists in Nigeria is that between the Rich and the poor Nigerians, that between ruling elite and the rules. Only the masses and the poor are marginalised. The likes of Rochas Okorocha, the Ubah brothers, Chris Ngige and so many Igbos who benefit massively from the Nigerian system won’t wail about Marginalisation. Likewise, the likes Obasanjo, Nasir El-Rufai, Osibanjo, Dangote, Mike Adenuga who feast on the rot won’t wail. It is Chibuzor the okrika seller, Yakubu the sugarcane hawker, Iya-kemi the pepper seller etc. who feel the brunt from the Ruling elite.
Personally, I don’t think the fact that the North has produced more presidents in the history of Nigeria has actually translated into any socio-economic growth or development in their region. Since it doesn’t improve the standard of living of the common man on the street, what is the fuss about? What is the assurance that having an Igbo president (which seems to be the stance behind the struggle) will have a positive influence in the lives of the Igbos? Obasanjo was there for 8years and even a minor road leading to his hometown was left untarred to. I can boldly say that his presidency didn’t improve the Yorubas socio-economically.
Instead of wasting precious energy and time protesting over a futile and utopian cause that led to the death of millions ‘between 1967 to 1970’, we should rather endeavour to unite as one to clamour for more responsive and accountable governance in Nigeria.
The youths especially need to be on their toes and assiduously demand for better employment opportunities, economic growth and development, better funding of education sector, constant power supply and a just judicial system amongst others. Let’s direct this energy to fight ideologically, intellectually, radically, diplomatically and if all else fails militarily against these gluttonous ruling class who brought us to this moribund state of backwardness. We need to take a Revolutionary stance together to rebuild the crumble that is left of our ailing country.
On a personal note, I think division will do more harms than good to this country, both collectively and individually.
Yours in Solidarity,
Jagunmade Rilycks Damilare
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