It’s often said that a lie told so many times, if unchallenged, may – in course of time – begin to pass for the truth. One of such is the terrible lie, institutionally purveyed since the end of the Civil War, to the effect that Igboland is landlocked or that it has no access to the sea. The purpose of this essay, therefore, is to debunk that lie with some simple historical and topographical evidence that are even in plain view, if you care to dig or do some physical exploration of your own.
Suffice it to say that it is a profound tragedy that entire generations of the immediate post-War Igbos never bordered to check but seemingly accepted this brazen institutional falsehood, largely intended to taunt the Igbo and put them down. A few that knew it to be false just didn’t care anymore. That History was banned since the end of the Civil War made it worse, plus the fact that most people don’t take physical Geography that serious anymore, otherwise they would have known that Abia, Imo and Anambra States have varying short-distance paths to the Atlantic Ocean through Imo, Azumiri and Niger Rivers. It’s not really rocket science, as you can easily confirm this if you know how to read Google Earth; or conquer your fear of swamp snakes and walk through these areas on foot.
There are also many other hardly explored waterways and slithering tributaries, including the remote reaches of Oguta Lake and Oseakwa River in Ihiala (Imo State) that meandered through Igbo-delta wetlands to the Southeastern ends of the Atlantic waterfront. These rivers have varying lengths of short navigational paths to the Atlantic, and in some cases, are far shorter nautically (and even on footpath) than the Portharcourt, Calabar and Ibaka seaports are to their side of the Atlantic.
Many of these pathways, including particularly the ones from the outer reaches of Imo and Azumiri Rivers terminate at the Atlantic at no more than 15 to 30 Nautical miles to the beachhead. To put it in lay language, one nautical mile equals 1.8 kilometers. Thus, the contiguity of Southeast (not even the greater Igboland) to the Atlantic is less nautical miles than the Atlantic is to the seaports in Calabar, Onne, Ibaka, Lagos and Portharcourt. If you discount the territories excised from Igboland during State creations and the damnable boundary adjustments, it will be far less.