To call Nigeria a nation is an aberration. It has never been a nation at anytime. Maybe the thoughts were for it to be, but it simply couldn’t take off. To for a nation out of so many nation states, with varied and often conflicting cultural, social, hierarchical and historical antecedents, some basic agreements must be in place. None exists amongst us, none is allowed to evolve. And no patchment of nationhis created by fiat.
On the way to making Nigeria a country, Britain destroyed the nation states from within and plunged a historical process down the drain of obsolescence. They created a country without a soul. Building up the carcass, they forgot the rhythm that makes all the difference. Torture, slavery, Exploitation and the destructive tendencies of brutality were applied to the making Nigeria. Birthed by deceit it has lived gloriously up to the dark thoughts, plans and DNA of its parents.
The system usurped the existing, even if primitive, ones and supplanted the lifestyle of the people with the damaging impositions of theirs. We got our “Independence”, but lost our freedom, lost our spaces and became an appendage of a soulless country. From the onset, the patchwork was doomed. For though we all bore the name “Nigerians”, we were never really happy with it. For our core allegiances were and still remains to our roots, our Nations and our Tribes. The Civil War (I keep wondering what was or is Civil about the war that took over 3 million souls), and he various ethnic conflicts, still rampant today across all parts of the country attests to that.
The system of government for such really disparate nations, with few or no semblance at all, was never so easy to agree. And 58 years after, We still are yet to agree on any yet. Reflecting, on the various pages we’ve written about our relationship with each other, it is worthy to note that we have never come close to any agreement on how best to coexist. The reason for this is simple. The competition amongst us is not to uplift the country, but to undo each other and grab some if not all of the equity of the nation for our tribes. This battle line once drawn pre independence has remained so and continued fiercely up till today.
Nigeria continues on this March towards implosion. The seeming confusion in these past few years has thrown up a few specifics. The fact that we can if we have the political and social will and prudence, be a country of independent nations. That we can grow past the traditional burdens of tribalism, nepotism, prebendalism and fanaticism. These specifics are not isolated from each other or are they the only ones that are available to us. They are highlights of the quest we each nurse.
The general track record of this nation is the committed and continuous attempt to eradicate the consciousness and identity of the indegienois populations of the country. The quasi democratic governments of Balewa, Shagari et ala, through the unitary military fascist governments that has held us hostage competed in outdoing each other. We are in shambles. The fabrics of the country which could have been has been abused and destroyed. The police state which emerged from the long systemic abuse has enveloped everything over the last few years. The corrupt has become the judge. The killers have become the guards. This is the state of affairs today.
The genocidal war the Britons declared on the nation’s of present day Nigerian country has been continued to this day by and through the fascist governments of Buhari. It is no mere coincidence that we live in an age of terror. A new wave of colonisation is upon us and it isn’t letting up anytime soon. If the wind of change dose seem redundant, it is only a matter of time before its animal fury is let loose on us. We may not be able to survive it with this present state of mind.
Where do we stand now with the nasty state of things?*
•1. We are not anywhere near being ready for the next wave of attacks, ideologically, politically or economically.
•2. The greed of the 1% Igbo political class would undo us if it continues unabated and unchecked.
•3. The masses are not prepared for the struggle. The laid back attitude of the Igbo population is sickening and compounds any plans to respond.
•4. Our communal fabrics are weak and loose and don’t seem to be rotating around any realistic orb. This informs the reasons why no authoritative organ of leadership exists. (For whatever it is worth, can anyone say for certain, who would speak for us, in the event that Nigeria implodes)
•5. Purpose is lost in the death of the dreams of our fathers. Ours has been the rudderless attempt at reinventing what we hardly know or understand.
•6. Ignorance of what we are stuck with and what faces us is deep. We must pause to reflect on these ASAP.
•7. We are backwards people, thinking slowly and never brave. Exhibiting a strange strain of naivety by believing that Nigeria as presently constituted would one day give us the space and recognition to function or become*.
It is believing lies like the few outlined above that have made us Nigeria’s great fools. With the aforementioned, it is evident that we must stop being more Nigerian than others. Our approach to politics has been to pander rather than lead. We must step boldly with a clear vision and knowledge of what we want. We’ve become easy and gullible targets for the marauding Northern Fulani Oligarchy.
•We still live under the shadows of Azikiwe and his vision of Igbos living within a larger pan Nigerian nation. This was a great idea, but it never took root in Nigeria and never worked for us. The echoes of his mishap within the Nigeria hegemonic space still haunts us. We must take a turn away from these Zikist and pan Nigerian vision which aren’t rooted in our communities and societal historical experiences. That foray into becoming Nigerians by becoming so very cosmopolitan to a point of trap tragedy, has kept us from assuming with all our inert and God given talents what rightly belongs to us. *”A na azota ana, tupu azoba Ute”*. *This upcoming seasons of electioneering is much more for us as Ndigbo, than a time of voting. It must be a time to reclaim a bit of our sanity. A sanity lost in fear and compounded by treacherous Representatives out there for themselves and not for us.* *We must reclaim Igbo land from community to Community. This is about the cleaning of the stable, long polutted by the present crop of politicians.*
•This is not an intellectual treatise. It is an attempt at understanding is. It is for me, also an attempt at getting to the truth about bits and pieces of us. Of our history and of the questions that have challenged and divided us for long. The recognition of the fact that Britain set up Nigeria to fail, would help us rethink our Cooprate relationship with it. This too is another Truth About us. We must override the sense of frustration that has caused us to think lower than our strengths and ability. The journey starts today. Many of us, hardly break a sweat for what we believe in. On election day we would be busy copying and pasting news, lies and propagandas here and there. They barely and Would hardly translate into a single vote. We must resolve to do more than talking and chatting. We must particularly participate if this anomaly called Nigeria and it’s merchants of death would not make of us and our culture into slaves and servants!
•FOR us this election is more of a Referendum on Nigeria. Our approach to politics in Nigeria should be reflected by what we allow to happen in the South-East.
The kind of men and women we elect across the States tells it very clear story. Are going to continue with the servants of our taskmasters? Or are we going to choose differently, thus laying a marker for the next step towards Igbo emancipation?
Ka anyị na echeki kwa!
©️ Ireke A. Kalu Onuma*