I guess it’s about time I break my silence on this matter. From 1967 to 1970 my youth was scandalized with the horrors of the Nigerian civil war. I was never on the front line as a fighting soldier, but I was in the boys’ brigade transmitting from the naval headquarters then in Oguta. With the daily air raids and the smell of death all around us, we were thankful every day we managed to stay alive. I remember a sight that has never left me till today at the tail end of the civil war. I was walking down the street on my way to the stream to fetch water, lo and behold was the sound of death (air raids). As we all ran in different directions looking for a safe place to take cover, I turned around to figure the direction my friends were running in, all of a sudden I saw the head of one of them yanked off the body, as a result of the fighter jets that killed innocent civilians for fun. What a horrible sight for a 17yr old. The words of plato “only the dead see the end of war” were forever engrained in my thoughts.
I am a proud Igbo man, a homeboy, and a native fowl. No demo. My friends call me Igbotic not because I’m a nerd, or a jewman. But because I represent and symbolize all the characteristics of a typical Igbo man pre-civil war. The Igbos may have short-circuited their political growth, but it doesn’t take away the fact that we are great Nigerians. I have learnt to be more Igbotic than I ever expected. As an Igbo man, I have learnt to be more profitable in the things that I do. I have perfected the art of being tenacious in any dream I chase; to be industrious, consistent and powerfully focused. All the lessons I learnt from my brothers in the tribe have made me dogged, hard-working and exhibiting the ability and capacity to survive in any kind of weather. I am an original Nwa Biafra.
Needless to say, the Igbo man is known to be one of the most entrepreneurial minds in the country. So it is particularly pathetic and unfortunate when some ignorant youths talk about this illusion called Biafra. History should teach us that Nationhood is Bloody, Hard and almost impossible when fantasy is the currency of demand. Even as Nigerians, see how our docility is killing our humanity. Didn’t the fall of Biafra after the genocide and the suffering of my people teach us anything? Haven’t we been marginalized enough? I believe the failure of the Igbo nation is the fault of the elites and decision makers. Why have we not poured our energy, capacity, and ability into making the South East the Dubai of the nation as well as the engine room of the Nigerian economy? Who would be our leaders when the South East is infested with political power grabbers, 419ers, mindless criminals and looters of our commonwealth and resources? Need I mention names?
See how we have migrated to different parts of Nigeria and the world, made it home and developed our immediate environment – which is good, anyway. But why are we neglecting our home base, why are we running away from developing the South East?
Our problem may not, after all, be the man in Aso Rock from Daura or the ordinary Hausa or Yoruba man on the Streets of Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Warri or Ogbomosho. The problem is the lack of men of integrity and a progressive mindset. We lack the right kind of leadership that will fight for the interest of the people. Let it be clear to all that the suffering of the people from the South East is also the suffering of the people from the other geopolitical zones in Nigeria. It is therefore retrospectively insane to begin to think that a people with a problem would suddenly be relieved when they are attached with a tag #BIAFRA; What nonsense and insanity!