By Ogundana Rotimi
I do not share in Nnamdi Kanu`s ideology, I am not a supporter of Biafra, I never for once bought into Col. Ojukwu`s idea and I will never buy into the idea of Nnamdi Kanu. I am just an Igbo apologist that believes the Igbo community deserves a fair chance in 2023.
Secession is not the way forward for the south east. Secession is a watershed event not only for the new state that is created and the old state that is dissolved, but also for neighboring states, proximate ethno-political groups and major powers. Preaching violence and hate all in the name to discredit Nigeria and justify the need for the creation of Biafra is not the way to go. It will only end up fueling one purpose, just one purpose- war.
If for any reason Biafra must come alive, majority of the people in the south east will decide that with a referendum. In that case, those involved and all from the south east would have had their say as to what becomes their destiny. It will not be achieved by one man inciting violence with the intention to justify secession.
Absolutely, It is a noble idea and usually effective to ignore detestable attention seekers. However, once they show signs of lunacy, it becomes paramount to give them attention so as to keep the society safe and peaceful because when speech becomes filled with hate and incitement to violence by shameful attention seekers, turning deaf ears to it and keeping mute about it becomes careless and dangerous.
What those that are currently championing the Biafra course are selling to the people in the south east is not freedom. It is violence, war and destruction! These men capitalize on the perceived neglect some people from the region feel and use that to call for the Biafran State. We must not allow them to take advantage of this perception to incite violence in our society.
Any civil war again in the country will take us decades backwards and will destabilize the country. When the time has fully come for Biafra to come alive, it will neither be through hate filled speech nor through incitements to violence. It will come peacefully.
With an Igbo President in 2023, the perception would have been nullified. In that case the Biafra dream becomes a forgotten issue.
The south east has voted for others, they deserve to be voted for. 45 years after the end of the civil war led by C. Odumegwu Ojukwu, the south east has not grabbed the highest position of the land. You do not want them to discuss secession, you must want them for leadership after 45 of avoidance. It is either we give them a fair chance come 2023 or we let them go in peace.
In the spirit of federal character, the Igbos deserve the next presidency. It’s being 45 years since the civil war was over, they have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall they resort to entreaty and humble supplication?
They have petitioned; they have remonstrated; they have supplicated; and they have prostrated themselves before the throne. But their petitions have been slighted; their remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; their supplications have been disregarded; and their prostrations have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. All has been in vain!
We cannot continue to make them indulge in the fond of hope with no assurance. If we wish to make them stay, if we mean to preserve the country as one and not basely abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, then the Igbos deserve the presidency in 2023!
Before we criticize the idea of the Igbo presidency we must realize that every region deserves a fair chance in the highest position in our country at one time or the other. So calling out for an Igbo president after 45 years since the war was over isn’t out of point and shouldn’t be overlooked. The major political parties in the country can assist in making this happen when they feature presidential candidates from the south east come 2023.
It isn’t a hard call. It is part of integration and the love for a part of us.
Let`s give them a chance too!!!
God Bless Nigeria.
Ogundana Michael Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator, and Public Speaker.