Why Igbo, like other Nigerians, need unity, peace
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) must be told that it shows lack of sound knowledge of many countries in the world for one to believe that the only way to have unity or progress or development is to have a country with people that speak the same language and practice the same religion.
South Sudan, the newest independent country in the world, is still struggling for peace from 2011. I want to believe that majority of the Igbo are not with IPOB. Therefore, since IPOB is unable to convince all the Igbo to relocate their businesses back home it will be difficult for them to achieve Biafra.
Majority of the Igbo do not want Biafra Republic now even if they believe in it. They still want a united Nigeria for obvious reasons. Arguably, there are many Igbo in other parts of Nigeria. Arguably also, the Igbo have more investment in other parts of Nigeria than the total number of investment in the South East.
The Igbo in the South East who have never gone out of the region need to be reminded that majority of their kinsmen prefer to stay in other parts of Nigeria and do their businesses than in the East. For instance, the thousands of Igbo that left the North in answering the call for secession by the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu in 1967 came back to the North immediately after the civil war and met most of their property intact.
It is a fact that every village in the North that has up to 50 people has an Igbo man with either a provision store or medical store. Furthermore, Igbo traders in Monday Market, Maiduguri in Borno State have remained there despite repeated attacks by Boko Haram. Igbo traders in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have remained despite the insurgency.
Therefore, Igbo youths must say no to the instigation by the IPOB leader who stays abroad for a greater part of his life without clear knowledge of the peace the Igbo have enjoyed in all parts of Nigeria over the years. They also need a united Nigeria more than other Nigerians because of their investment.
The renewed agitation for Biafra is triggered by some selfish political elite who might have participated in the unprecedented looting that took place during the previous government of which investigation is still ongoing. These people fear that if the present government gets stable, the ongoing probe by the EFCC might catch up with them and as such they resorted to instigating youths to cause unrest which might consume all of us if caution is not applied.
Sabon Gari Market, Kano; Monday Market, Maiduguri; Terminus Market, Jos; Sheik Abubakar Gumi Market, Kaduna and all major markets in the North are populated by Igbo doing their business without any harassment.
In the same way, most of the people from the North staying in the southern part of the country or in Igbo land are artisans or those
Therefore, Igbo youths must say no to the instigation by the IPOB leader who stays abroad for a greater part of his life without clear knowledge of the peace the Igbo have enjoyed in all parts of Nigeria over the years since the end of the unfortunate civil war
who are doing menial jobs such as manicure, pedicure, vending water, butchery cobbling, among others, including federal civil servants.
Some people believe that because of our ethnic and religious diversity we cannot co-exist peacefully. But India has over 1,000 ethnic groups and India is the most multi-religious nation in the world and is progressing rapidly.
Prof. Farooq Kperogi once said, “Many Nigerians think our country is unworkable because it was “forced” into being by the British colonialists. This view frankly amazes me.” He added with a question, “Is there any nation in history whose formation was the consequence of a democratic consensus?
“Historically, most nations were formed through conquest, expansionist wars and forceful cooperation, not by consensus.”
On this note therefore, all the regions of the federation have their socio-economic problems and developmental challenges. Let’s demand for social justice within the context of Nigeria. Let all Nigerians continue to demand for good governance.
On this note I call on well-meaning and peace-loving Igbo elders to caution the IPOB leader and his followers. May God Bless Nigeria.