…and he still remains a man who never truly associated with the idea of a ‘united course’. There would always be this feel, that he wanted something similar to the vicious stand of Odumegu Ojukwu; The Biafran warlord. You could somewhat get the feeling that Achebe partially subscribes to the thinking of Toni Morrison, who infamously cancelled an entire memoir, saying, “There is a point at which your life is no longer interesting, at least to me”.
It appears that Achebe’s life is only interesting within the context of the Nigerian Civil War (also termed the Nigerian-Biafran War) of 1967-1970, which claimed the lives of of over 3.2 million individuals, and a very massive chunk of this number were natives from the eastern part of the country, who also resided in the eastern part of this contraption; a society Achebe also believed in, a society He stood for and represented.
Achebe did not ignore the fact that those 3 years created a weight on his chest that seemed not to go away. He knew the pains would never go away …and this was always felt in his words but you could still see He tried not to step on toes of the upper class elites of the northern part of the country. As they had all powers at almost all angles of a the country
But seeing the state of things now and the reoccurring events within this contraption called a country and comparing with stories we heard and read, it’s still obvious we the Ibo people have being continually segregated and left to care for ourselves. I guess you already figured out why the idea of ‘One Nigeria’ seem not to go down well. I have personally regarded the phrase as a theory and not a fact would never reach fruition, even if given donkey years.
Apparently, it is always expected that annoying sentiments would always override wanting to still be part of a country that hasn’t lived up to the simple and minimal expectations of the average Igbo man.
The Nigerian civil war began after the mass slaughter of Igbos in northern Nigeria, this inspired the flamboyant Oxford educated Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu to declare an independent state in the Igbo dominated region (southeast), and inspired many to humanitarian actions, even as it became a proxy battleground for selfish co-operatives and cold war interests.
Over 40 years on after that war no one wants to remember in a hurry, it is impossible not to see the impact of that civil war. For many Igbos, the impact is still very personal, reason why one certain Nnamdi Kanu, who’s also from the eastern region of this country, with little or no political background and backing; feeling agitated and heavily subdued, established a Radio station, with the aim of educating and empowering his people to ask questions, ask for and ultimately take what’s theirs; not with stones and guns but with passionate words that shows we can actually occupy our lands without pulling a single trigger nor laying a single finger on anyone properties. (even though we can, as proven by past events).
Now they arrest and detain him for a very long time. Taking his words away from his people. This has now become a deliberate ploy by the federal government to bend the law and suspend the 1999 constitution. We ask, does the president of this given contraption have any legal capacity to declare anyone a criminal because he speaks out for a deprived set of people in a given state?
The complete negligence of the fact that every one man has the right to speak is an act of rascality in a country that should be the host of sane leaders.
The truism of freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration is not contestable, particularly as it is guaranteed by the constitution. instructively, the constitutional guarantee does not allow for abuse of other person’s freedom and safety in a land a man feels he should be completely part of.
Nnamdi Kanu!! This young and very intelligent activist, feels the Igbo race have being deprived way too long and it’s time to raise up and protect the cultures and legacies that is fast evaporating into thin air; leaving the shores of the southeastern part of Nigeria almost dry and desolated. Why would you take a passionate leader away from his people, while you have no idea on how to take care of the ones you call your people?
World leaders must not allow freedom of speech to be trampled upon, defenseless people killed and incarcerated. Biafrans still call for immediate release of their leader as this is a continuation of the genocidal acts against them. Pushing a people to the wall will only force an atominc reaction and no time will the death of justice help the conscience of a man positively.
The immediate release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu will show commitments at preservation of justice. Safety, supremacy of law and also is the only way to avoid the second genocide of Biafrans as we will gladly embrace death and mayhem for this cause.
For the children and grandchildren of the Igbos who lived through the war, the stories of trauma have left indelible impression that underlines a certain mistrust. Equally devastating is the war’s impact on our national political system, which has proven to have no base and structure.
Achebe writes that after the war;
“the Igbo were not and continue not to be reintergarted into Nigeria, one of the main reason for the countries continued backwardness in my estimation”. His very words.
It’s very clear that the Igbo tribe which has always being “very” crucial and vital to the little growth this contraption called a country would boast of, has being sidelined when it comes to leading and handling affairs of this country at the highest level. but why?
As I have traveled through the Igbo dominated southeast, all that meets the eyes, compared to the north and western part of this country, are: abysmal roads, bridges at the verge of collapse and a power grid that is all but entirely useless, you could almost practically read the heart of many Ibos; who believes the travail they go through is a deliberate policy of neglect. Punishment for the sin of secession and rebellion. The country has suffered as a result of what Chinua Achebe calls the evil of tribalism. It is clear that Achebe watched as things fell apart in Nigeria and has largely given what he saw, more than what he feels.
It is also clear that Achebe understood the national mood, the continual fear of the radical islamist political sect ‘From the Shiites to the Boko Harams’ and its affiliates; which includes the recent immoral and sick activities of the Fulani herdsmen; even though their acts aren’t getting all the momentum and media exposure they are looking for.
Achebe had all the right to be frustrated (even in the grave) with this given contraption we still have on our hands, one we still call
home till this very day.
…to be continued
WRITTEN AND EDITED BY CHARLES OKPERE