The Igbo were fiercely independent. No town lorded it over the other. Even tiny villages were independent and paid no tribute to another. There was no Igbo empire.

Then the British arrived.

The Igbo fought the British in every village, some for weeks, some for years, and some for minutes. British firepower subdued the Igbo, but the Igbo did not relent. The Igbo were highly imitative and copied the British, until the resistance morphed into the independence movement.

The Igbo never competed against other Nigerians. They copied and competed against the British. While the Igbo were the last to have direct contact with the British, and the last to have a secondary school in their area (1927), they were the best prepared to take over the senior positions in the security services and the Nigerian civil service by 1960.

Then the Biafran War!

Those who did not die from the bombs, died from lack of health care, and those who had no health problems, died from the use of hunger as weapon of war. But the Igbo spirit was not subdued.

By the time the war ended, the Igbo had to start afresh, confined to the main homeland of East Central State, with massive propaganda that those Igbo outside East Central State are not Igbo. Boundary adjustments were even made based on hydrocarbon, with some communities split between two states.

But the Igbo spirit remained indomitable. We rebuilt. We prospered. We remained in the mainstream of the economy and politics.

Until today.

Now we have weaklings for leaders, crooks as guides, and promise breakers as keepers of our treasury.

How art the mighty fallen? How come, some of our ancestors, who ended up as slaves in the United States, controlled their masters, while we, as freemen and women, lack the courage to say NO to the Fulani?

Who defines state powers? Who is enforcing the Alcohol law in Kano and Zamfara States? The Nigerian Police? The Nigerian Army?

If Kano and Zamfara can regulate importation and sale of alcohol into their states, what stops any state from regulating and enforcing the movement of cattle in their state? Does the Governor of Kano call the army or the police before they seize and destroy alcohol?

Written by Emeka M


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