It is very obvious that the Ibo race has not weaned itself off the hangover of the genocidal civil war, waged against it by a gang up of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria in a hate filled rage.
These hardworking and enterprising race of people, are still getting a raw deal from the Nigerian Nation, fourty years after the war has officially ended. The anti-Ibo policies of successives government in Nigeria since 1970 has stagnated the development of the Ibo community. Policies like; the abandoned property edict of 1970, confiscating legitimately acquired properties of the Ibos in other parts of the country. Cash deposits and documents left behind in the banks were also seized by the government then. Not done yet, they came up with the indigenisation degree, nationalising all foreign companies in Nigeria. The Ibos were clearly disadvantaged, this policy coming almost immediately after the war at which point the Ibos could not take advantage.
The originators of the policy the Yorubas, knew that since the Ibos, their major threat are out of the way, the road was very clear for them to take over all the nationalized companies. The northerners then were totally ignorant of the economic benefits of the indigenization policy. This was the climax of the betrayal of the Ibo by the double faced Yorubas. Also during the unfortunate war, there was delibrate destruction of public infrastructures in the Ibo area by the federal forces, if this was not the case, why was the library at the University of Nigeria Nsukka ransacked? Research works and other books were all burnt. Those destroyed infrastructures are roughly in that “destroyed state” even today. The government also insisted that the schools in the Ibo areas revert back to their pre-civil war status as regard to student’s old classes.
The unending marginalization continues today with the near absence of federal industries on the whole of the south East region. The only power station built by the government of the former eastern region was destroyed during the war, and is still in a state of disrepair. Census was conducted not long ago, and the South East region was delibrately depopulated, it is only in Nigeria that the Savanna region is more populated than the rain forest region. Government in order to share revenues started creating states uncontrolably and the South East region was allocated the least number of states plus the accompanying smallest revenue allocation.
Now power is up for grabs 2011 and these same oppressors of the Ibo are trying to woo the Ibos to their side by promising them the presidency 2015 for their support. I hope our self serving spineless and unpatriotic Ibo leaders will not fall for this current deceptive bait. Ibo leaders cannot afford to have short memory. Remember what transpired at the last political conference during Obasanjo era. A northern delegate stood up and ferociously denouced the Ibos, saying that they will never rule Nigeria. Let us throw this Greek gift back to their face. Our thinking cap must be on; these northern elements have been in power 35 out of 50 years of Nigeria nationhood. So they are infact the major marginalizers of the Ibos. What has the Ibo gained for sheepishly supporting their oppressors these past years? Nothing but deceit upon deceit- All the vices in Ibo land today is as a result of long years of marginalisation by these heartless feudal northerners. The continued criminal neglect of the South-East region has today given birth to a separatist group called Movement for the Soverign State of Biafra (MASSOB). The Ibo youths must be careful not to give their oppressors the impression that their plan to dehumanize them is working by turning against our selves.
There is an urgent need for the Ibo to forgive their brothers and neigbours, the South-South people for their treachery during the civil war, maybe out of envy, ignorance or mistrust of the Ibo idea; they aided our common oppressors during the war. We cannot continue to dwell in the past, let us close ranks and give the oppressors a bloody nose this time around. We can only achieve this in a state of unity, if we are not united, it gives our enemies loop holes to infiltrate us and create confusion. We must always remember that our common foe is only interested in controling our oil resources. These oppressive characters from the west and north are not interested in the development of the areas that produce this oil. For long, most of our leaders act as servants instead of the masters they are, always running to Abuja to gather crumps from the oppressor’s table and coming back to behave like local oppressors. We must also be weary of the legendary treachery of the south western people; they cannot be trusted, for their interest is only in our oil wealth. Our brothers from the South-South must understand now that the Ibo is not their enemy as the oppressors will want them to believe, but their brothers suffering the same marginalization and environmental problems as them. Ganging up with the oppressors against the Ibo will not help us.
The election of 2011 is about, whether the people of the former Eastern region are slaves or equal partners in the Nigeria project that they contribute more to. We must stand firm behind Jonathan and speak with one voice. Let us not lose this opportunity to negotiate a better arragement to suit us if we must continue with the Nigerian project. Seeing that our oppressors are crazy about being president, they have to accommodate our need for resource control and fiscal federalism. I assure you if we can get these, the presidency is as good as useless.