So recent Biafran protests have got me thinking, but I have been skeptical about airing my views because of perceived reactions.
DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE PERSONAL VIEWS, AND I, IN NO WAY CLAIM SUPREMACY OF KNOWLEDGE. FOR THE “GREYS” WHO THINK I AM TOO YOUNG TO SPEAK OF THIS SUBJECT, PLEASE PERMIT THIS CHILD TO SPEAK, THEN CORRECT HIM IF HE IS WRONG. FOR IGNORANCE CAN ONLY BE KNOWN IF IT IS AIRED, AND CAN ONLY BE CORRECTED IF IT IS KNOWN.
My points are as follows:
1. According to worldometers the median age of Nigeria is 17.8, hence an “average ” did not experience the civil war.
2.This is the age statistics of Nigeria as at 2014 is as follows:
0-14 years: 43.2%
15-24 years: 19.3%
25-54 years: 30.5%
55-64 years: 3.9%
65 years and over: 3.1% (indexmundi.com)
In simpler statistics 93% of Nigerians were 5 and below in 1967.
3. According to Wikipedia, youth age range is between 18-35. Hence no present day Nigerian youth saw the civil war.
My first question: since over 90% percent of us neither saw the civil war nor participated actively, and our youth were born 10 years after the war, where is all the hate and agitation from?
4. The major driving force of Biafra is the igboland, but the Biafran map includes states like Cross river, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom state. This makes Biafra a culturally diverse state. I am igbo and i currently live in Akwa Ibom state, and we share no similarity in custom or language. How then can we live together as “one Biafra” when we can’t tolerate the cultural diversity of Nigeria.
5. The Igbo tribe would become the majority tribe in Biafra, while the others who constitute the oil producing states hence the ‘rich boys’ would become minority. “How can the wealth most especially that from oil, be distributed, when the majority is in power and the minority have the resource?”
So therefore, a time may come when the “minority” may decide to be free, because no man wants to live in another man’s shadow.
6. Igbos are generally regarded as traders, and the lifeblood of their markets like Onitsha Main market and Ariaria international market is found in Lagos seaport where most of the goods come from. In Biafra, Lagos becomes another country hence tax and import/ export levies would increase drastically and logistics would become more difficult.
The other option is to trade via the Calabar Port, Delta Port or Rivers Port at Port Harcourt, and Onne. These ports are only found in the non-igbo states, hence another potential challenge.
7. What happens to Biafrans that have their livelihood rooted deeply in non Biafran states? What happens to the igbos that constitute the majority of Alaba international market?
Would naturalization take place or would they liquidate assets and return to Biafra and start afresh?
8. Finally, the question of ruler-ship. Who rules Biafra?
Currently, most Igbo people especially those in Abia and Imo state are dissatisfied with the condition of their states. They complain of bad government, massive looting, poor infrastructures etc, and they are currently ruled by Igbo governors.
If Biafra is formed who would rule then?
I believe it would be the same people that they complain of, and as you can see the cycle of pain and complaints would continue.
Problems are fixed by inward reflections not outward projections and blame shifting.
PLEASE BEAR WITH ME, FOR A CHILD WHO DID NOT SEE THE WAR HAS SPOKEN.
Written by Don Franklyn