Thursday, 28 July 2016

Letter to My Fellow Nigerians

       For the past one year I've noticed a growing anticipation in the south east of Nigeria (the Igbo tribe). This anxiety in the Igbo tribe has lead to strong sentiments for self determination, a yearning to break away from Nigeria and become an independent state. Yes this movement has always been there but since the arrest of the self proclaimed director of the movement, it has become widespread. It's very hard not to see the similarity between this movement and Fidel Castro's movement for the liberation of Cuba from the evil tyrant Batista. Although I admire the zeal and dedication of some of the members of this movement but I have to say am not on board with this movement.
         Nigeria has as I have written in previous articles a lot of problems and so I won't delve into this in this article. I also don't want to delve into the history and origins of Biafra as this will come in later articles. The reason am writing this open letter to my fellow Nigerians who call themselves Biafra is to ask them to check intrinsically "will the formation of Biafra solve the problems in south east Nigeria". I personally do not think so because the problems in south east Nigeria is not just political but cultural. If we solve the political problems in south east Nigeria will it solve the cultural problems in the area? Will this movement for independence of Biafrans actually solve the problems facing south east Nigeria? Is this the right way to fight for independence in the 21st century?
         Let's start with the political aspirations of Biafra, yes Nigeria's political system is very far from ideal but is Biafra offering a better solution to the problem? Have the agitators of Biafra made plans for an independent state? what system of government will be used, will it have central federal government or a unity government? What is the primary source of revenue, what is the estimated GDP? How do we negotiate the split from Nigeria what is the value of the Biafran currency? These and many more are important questions that need to be asked by these agitators are we safer in Nigeria or are we safer with Biafra?
       Let's delve into the security questions, What are the defence capabilities of Biafra? How will they buy weapons for defence? which countries are their allies? If they forcefully split from Nigeria how would they be able be to defend themselves from Nigeria? Have you learnt no lesson from Israel-Palestine conflict or China-Taiwan conflict? It's bad for neighbours to be at odds, it's even worse if you are on the losing team. Is this an internal revolution to make Nigeria better? will it be as bloody as the French revolution (please tell me on time so I can run away)?
       Now let's assume that this issues have been thought through and you still want to become an independent nation the question becomes. "Is this the way to work towards independence?" Even if there is a valid case for independence, there is a way to go about it. This movement has made absolutely no political moves to push their aspirations. It counts on the anger of disgruntled youths who have been neglected by the government (as if it's the Feds job to take care of you). It has also has gotten a lot of supporter who are disgruntled in the way the current government is functioning. There have been somewhat justifiable claims by the people that this government with its actions has show tribalism bias. Although this might be true but let's get something clear, there are representatives of each state on the lower and upper house so why have they been silent on this issue? why have the state representatives who are the officially elected mouth-piece of the people not talking about Biafra. Could it be that Biafra is not a movement for liberation of the Igbo tribe but an opportunity for people disgruntled few to release some frustration in the guise of a political movement.
       With the growing national aspirations of different entities, it is easy to be carried away by the sway of nationalization be it from the Scots the Palestinians the Catalans or even the Brits but we should make sure we don't make an irreversible mistake that we would forever regret. Yes this government might be far from an ideal government but their tenure is limited. If you are disgruntled by the way things are going in the country make personal changes on yourself first, become involved in project Nigeria, vote your conscience in the next election and most importantly don't quit on project Nigeria 

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