The Igbo want to do something for themselves – create a country for and by their selves
Igbo as an ethnic nation has a population of 50 million. Though the people are dispersed across the globe but they all have their root in a definitive physical geographical space which is often referred to as Igbo Land. All Igbo everywhere call this piece of real estate to which they are indigenous: Homeland. Present Igbo people inherited this piece of ground from their forebears who had inhabited it for almost as long as human beings have existed on the planet Earth. However, between 1967 and 1970 the Fulani, Hausa, Yoruba, among other ethnic nationalities under the institution of the Nigerian state unsuccessfully attempted to dispossess the Igbo of this their ancestral heritage and to completely exterminate Igbo people from the land.
In this 21st century, it is expected that Igbo people have come of age and should know what is good for them and their children. It is only children that grownups decide for what should be good for them. Matured people make their choices for themselves and they live with the outcome of their choices. Taking it even further, it is not circumstances and events that should determine for a people how they should choose. Igbo should deliberately choose and create the kind of country they want and not that which is chosen for them by events and circumstances or by European colonialists: (Old Eastern Region.) Adults take full responsibilities for the consequences of their actions. Therefore, at this point in their existence, the Igbo do not need to seek for approval from their neighbours or from any other, in order to be who they want to be. In the same vein the Igbo cannot decide for their neighbours when and how they want to free themselves from Nigeria.
The colonial Europeans created the former Eastern Region. Let the Igbo therefore create for and by themselves, based on their prevailing experiences; a radically different and rational country that will work. The logic is that if the Igbo were leaving Nigeria mostly because the same Europeans created the unjust Nigerian union then the same Igbo should be ready to make all things new by creating a new country which is void of all input from the colonial foreigners who did not understand the cultural topography of the local people and could care less about the devastating implications of yoking these diverse peoples together in an incompatible national union.
Madu ka and ndu ka
Before the encroachment of the British colonialists, Igbo people existed independently, always relying on their innate abilities in meeting and dealing with their environmental, social and political challenges. The methods and standards the Igbo applied to their situations were based on their original native cultural values and established customs and traditions. And it worked for them. This uncompromising self-reliance throughout Igbo history until the interference of colonialism helped to shape Igbo values and worldviews; cultural gamut, politics and social practices.
As a result of their well-established way of life, the Igbo do not limit their values and the extent of their achievements to the finite extent of their physical geography and material resources. The greatest and most valuable of Igbo investments and values are vested in human beings. For this reason they work to preserve and maintain a high quality of human life. Hence madu ka and ndu ka are two important ideas in Igbo cosmology. What those mean is that human beings (madu) and life (ndu) are supreme (ka.) That is to say that as long as human beings can live their lives free then they can overcome all limitations and achieve any goals they set for themselves. In this sense, the Igbo do not have to depend on any physical geography to reach their potentials. All they need and crave for is freedom (life or ndu) to be and to dream. (The Igbo equates life ndu with freedom.)
Izu ka nma na nneji (siblings are the best confidants)
As a people the Igbo have all the prerequisites to exist and thrive as a self-governing independent modern state. The Igbo do not need to append themselves to any other ethnic national groups in order to prove anything. To exist and demonstrate relevance as positive creative contributors to humanity’s commonwealth; the Igbo can do that without assuming the impractical image of the “perfect cosmopolitan.” The Igbo by themselves alone can still participate effectively in civilised humanity’s commitment to continually push against the limits of progressive enlightenment and human civilisation. The Igbo can exist independently and still be accepted as an important part of the common humanity while they contribute their shares, working and dreaming as a free people.
The Igbo national group is just as entitled to its uniqueness and Igbo identity as any other inhabitants of this Earth. There is nothing to be ashamed of as Igbo. Or to think that the Igbo will be complete only when they have appended themselves to other neighbouring nationalities. Existing as a monochromic Igbo state does not in any way diminish the well-established cosmopolitan Igbo image. Nor does it make such Igbo state closeted, parochial, or any less modern than any other civilized and progressive society anywhere else. Instead, by founding an Igbo-centric state, the Igbo would have finally accepted themselves for who they are and at last become comfortable in their own skin. A new and more confident Igbo will then be born.
For a group of people who are violated, looted, persecuted and killed by fellow citizens and the government agents of their country as Igbo people are in Nigeria, the best thing they can do to their selves is to stick together and effectively control all instruments that enhance their security while ensuring their unrestricted access to liberty and independence.
On behalf of Biafra Government in Exile lead by Prof Emmanuel Enekwechi
For Biafra24 Radio.