By CHARLES ADINGUPU.
The continuing perceived marginalisation of the Igbos should be blamed on the people. The National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shittima declared that Professor Achebe’s recent publication, ‘There was a Country,’ at this time, is a further threat to a country like Nigeria that is bogged down with imminent disintegration.
It was not only Chief Obafemi Awolowo who initiated policies that led to the victory of federal army. It was a collective effort. However, Awolowo did what he had to do to ensure victory for Nigeria’s troop. Besides, Chief Awolowo was more interested in the unity of the country. In a war situation, truly, anything goes. Nobody should blame Chief Awolowo for the action he took.
I’m surprise that such a reaction is coming from an intellectual like Professor Chinua Achebe, particularly at this time when the nation is facing imminent disintegration signs. Such issue would have been raised long time ago, but not now. We should rather concentrate on how to build a united nation.
Although, it is true that the Igbos have not been properly integrated into the Nigerian state but the problem lies with the Igbos themselves. They should be united with themselves just like you have the people of the Niger Delta region. Their long years of agitations have started yielding fruits.
I personally don’t believe that any group should be treated as second class citizens in a country that belongs to all of us. Hence, the Igbos should take their destiny in their own hands and stop trading blame over who is responsible for their political stagnation.
Also, there might be some element of truth that the effect of the civil was has not made the Igbos to take a shot at the presidency. I do know that some ethnic groups still nurse the fear that if the Igbos are allow to rule Nigeria that may hasten their secession agenda. This fear is held by people from my area.
This not withstanding, the Igbos must learn to work with other ethnic groups to realise their presidential aspiration rather than building enemies across the Niger. Afterall, Nigeria belongs to everybody and the presidency is not the exclusive reserve of any ethnic group.