By Rev Fr. Offor Evaristus (Ph.D)
Doubtlessly, the region named South-East so hallowed by heaven has been in pains in a country Nigeria. The Igbos of the South East have been so reviled and badly treated like the Jews by other regions, in spite of their being industriously astute, adroitly inventive and indefatigably nimble-fingered. Characteristically, the Igbo person is all-conquering, heroic, shrewd and intrepid, hospitably friendly. He or she is most rambled in all human intellectual capacity. In the midst of varied racial clusters in Nigeria, Ndigbo are doubtlessly, one of the most extraordinarily meticulous, spiritual, and gregarious; very enchanting and sporty. It appears they are descendants of the people of covenant. Some schools of thought argue that they have a far-flung descendancy of Jacob, the Jewish patriarch. Gad, Jacob’s seventh son, is alleged to have had three sons who advanced in South East of the country.
However, the most astringent antagonists of the Igbo are the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba, who cannot but understand their inimitability. Undeniably, the Igbo are despised because of their countless gifts of intelligence and preciseness which have attracted routinely cruelty and revulsion by other regions. In candor, the Igbo are the intellectual and commercial drivers of Nigeria’s economy, and albeit, the Igbo race remains indubitably the condensation compass of Nigeria’s locally industrialized souk, especially the Abia, Nnewi and Enugu links. The Igbo have an awesome shoe industry in Aba, car built-up corporation in Enugu Sate and motor spare parts in Nnewi, etc. Hence, if their inventiveness and perfectionism are engrossed in our modern democracy, Nigeria will be better off. The production of the watershed “Ogbunigwe” (mass killer) and petrol remains a spectacle and glee, which became martial thwarts that destroyed the enemies. The exclusivity of the famous Igbo qualities in the main stream of our polity will always be an encumbrance to national development. The sneakiness of the Igbo must be employed in Nigeria for both political and economic progress. Without the Igbo, the actualization of our common future is a prodigious task, considering their outright positive qualities. The Igbo have been a huge acclaim to what Nigeria is today, and take them away and Nigeria becomes narration. They have certainly offered the country a more than enough integer of outstanding nationalists such as, globally renowned champions in all human endeavors.
Recently, some Igbo nobles were given different offices in Europe and America for their originality. Consequently, Nigeria, most probably will become a true nation if an Igbo person is uplifted to head it. The Igbo person is Nigeria personified and forget about him, Nigeria will turn into an archetype of despondency. If both the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba oligarchs make gaffe of disregarding the Igbo in 2023 presidential contests, they will see the darkest side of life. It’s only justice and equity that can save Nigeria. For example, can Nigeria survive in soccer and movie industries without the Igbo? When you talk about sports, technology, travels, industry and smartness, it’s the Igbo. Who in his senses would neglect a race that excels in everything positive globally? Both the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba who misruled us for over 50 years should only be wise to ‘’beg’’ the Igbo to come and fix Nigeria. Anyone opposition to the Igbo presidential ambition in 2023 is anathema. Besides, the false declaration of 3Rs and a “no victor, no vanquished.” After the war are still in limbo. It’s only a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 that may start the process of genuine healing. For Igbo politicians you must wear the arrays of temperance and altruism which are self-destructive. In fact, Nigerians must apologize to the Igbo for the genocide against them. Nigeria’s success begins with compensation of the Igbo at least with the presidency. Every reasonable Nigerian must confess for the pounding of the Igbo during the most horrifying genocide of the 1960s, where two million Igbo were clawed to their untimely graves, chiefly through starvation and abrasion, by the federal government.
The Igbo became insolvent when Nigeria decimated their reserves, but their guts have continued to soar elevated, upholding high sprit of fortitude and resilience. Nigerians who do not feel sorry about crimes against the Igbo must hide their faces in shame and infamy. Nigerians must show remorse now or never. Instead of being apologetic for their sins against the Igbo, some discontented cabal works for the status-quo. God is watching. Nigerians need to apologize to the Igbo for killing their beloved ones and stealing their possessions and should be wary of God’s commandment, ‘’thou shall not kill, or steal”. God on the side of the oppressed Igbo and with their resolve to join forces together and reach out to willing political parties, victory is already solid. The South East has to form alliances with other regions of Nigeria, in order to make it. That will happen when they put on the garb of honesty and selflessness and humbly convince other politicians from other tribes and religion to synergize with them. It is even to the advantage of Nigeria, that the Igbo person is selected and voted into power in 2023. Currently, the world is recognizing their qualities by giving them offices in their countries. For example, Obinna Ukwuani, Chiefs Polly Ubah, Charles Uzoh Eko, Francis Owoh and Dr. Iwuozor Obilor, have all been employed officially by the governments of Canada, Rwanda and America. But here in Nigeria, cattle rearers and ex-insurgents have filled up federal offices without qualifications and expertise. With the slip of the Igbo in the national governance, Nigeria lacks decipherable persona that will take us to El Dorado. For the generic progress of the country, there must be a synergy of all regions in spite of religion, political or philosophical cleavages, to sketch a plan before and during 2023 presidential race, to ensure justice and equity. Nigerian president of Igbo extraction may be the answer to our generic problems in Nigeria. Nigerians must change their political attitudes towards recreating this country for better. Let there be justice and equity, equality and respect to every regional interests and general good. If other regions refuse Igbo ascendancy to the Aso Rock in 2023, then what Nigeria becomes afterwards, only God knows.
Nigerians are playing God so much, and we are sitting on the keg of gun powder, and only time shall tell. James Ingram, the great American musician in his super lyrics, ‘’JUST ONCE’’, he advises, ‘’I know we could break through, if we could just do it right’’. He continues, ‘’what are we doing wrong, just once can we find a way to finally make it right’’. To make Nigeria right and hook her off from collapsing, we must ensure restructuring and the realization of the 3Rs: reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Biafrans.
To make Nigeria inhale well, we must revisit the philosophy of ‘’no victor, no vanquished’’. The South East has all that it takes to move this country forward, judging from the race’s industrial sharpness, academic and economic distinction and global classification.