Biafra and the Igbo people of Nigeria: the consequences of the silence of our elders (part 1)

I am a very proud Igbo woman and cannot imagine not being Igbo again if there is anything like reincarnation. We are beautiful, industrious, illustrious, dynamic and above all the greatest entrepreneurs on the face of planet earth. These are natural attributes that no one can take away from us and we cannot apologise for our uniqueness.

Indeed we are one of the greatest assets Nigeria can boast of and ought to be celebrated, loved and respected alongside our many other siblings of different tribes who also have their unique attributes that makes them the beautiful people they are too. No one must loathe Igbos for simply being who they are and Igbos must also not loathe others for being who they are.

That said I still find it quite hard to accept that despite our outstanding attributes and exemplary contributions to nation building, many people still blatantly hate us, Ndi Igbos. Some Igbos will argue that this is because others are envious of our natural traits and ability to sell and turn nothing into something and be the best anyone can imagine. Others argue that we have not been forgiven for daring to take on Nigeria in the war that ended in the slaughter of many innocent Nigerians and mainly Igbos. Additionally, many Igbos have not forgotten that after the unjust Biafra war many of our parents who left millions in their bank accounts in other parts of Nigeria were handed only £20.00 and their properties confiscated under the bizarre and totally insensitive abandoned property prejudice. Many Igbos old and young see this as an attempt to emasculate and silence the Igbo man forever plus deter him from ever thinking of challenging the status quo and have therefore become very sensitive to any arrangement which looks like it is about marginalisation or exclusion of Ndi Igbo.

It will soon be 50 ears since the end of Nigeria Biafra civil war. To date Igbos of Nigeria are still grieving the loss of their loved ones. There is no known memorial or remembrance stone for the innocent victims of that war and Nigeria does not seem to want to speak about the war and seek exculpation, reconciliation and healing by all. I believe that this may help everyone to understand where they got it wrong and be sure to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Igbos consider the no victor no vanquish mantra of the key players as insulting and many would rather have an express apology for what they consider a grave wrong to them. I must quickly say that whether this is totally wrong is a matter for the key players to explain to us. Sadly we may never know the truth. Ojukwu, Eze Igbo Gburugburu died without a full written account of events as he understood them. I do not think that the Igbos will ever believe anything Gowon may have to say. It is so sad that such a significant piece of our history will be lost and no one bothered to tell us the truth.

Having had the privilege of living in the West, I have come to understand that until we deal with the root causes of our good or bad of our aches and pains, healing cannot be achieved and if healing does not take place, we are like people with sore thumbs constantly watching others to avoid them stepping on our wounds and inflaming it again or further. So no matter what we may all feel about that war, there is need for communication and healing by all. The pains of Ndi Igbo are as bad as cancer and must be treated with love and understanding.

“Nigeria cannot afford to continue to ignore the pains and sufferings of victims’ families looking for answers and compassion. It is only natural to be seen as listening and showing empathy. Anyone can lose a loved one in any way. whenever that happens we usually rally round each other with words of comfort, condolence and support.
Why these are not necessary for the families of the Igbo people that died and why Igbo leaders and Nigerian government silent remains a matter formany Ndi Igbo to understand? This is fuelling the ignorance of a few who if their greed and ignorance are not arrested are likely to plunge Ndi Igbo and Nigeria into serious troubles.

We ignored Boko Haram and look what they have turned into. A stitch in time saves nine. The talking and reconciliation must start now or posterity will not judge many of us well if we allow business people like radio Biafra operators to exploit the genuine pains of many Ndi Igbos and by so doing endanger the status of the ordinary peace loving and hardworking Igbo person”. One more Igbo person dying because of their poor behaviour or any form of conflict will not only be failure of all of us but a grave insult to the souls of the innocent victims of that war and many loving Nigerians who helped to prevent the war but no one cared to listen.(TO CONTINUE)

4 comments for “Biafra and the Igbo people of Nigeria: the consequences of the silence of our elders (part 1)

  1. Eze Ihenacho
    July 23, 2015 at 19:22

    As always, Jenny Chika Okafor calls it the way it is. I can only add by reminding everyone of the saying that, ‘those who fail to learn the lessons of history, repeat history.’ Even independence in this day and age has a civilised process by which it can be achieved. However, irrespective of one’s independence, just like the human fingers, one would still need others to function at one’s best.

    • Ify Adenuga
      July 27, 2015 at 18:40

      “……Even independence in this day and age has a civilised process by which it can be achieved….” Thanks for this evidently of this are the 2 sudanese nations!

      This is what my brethren are cursing me for because I suggested they firstly straighten the neck of Nigeria as a country and then launch the interest to separate – either way you still have to follow a due process I cried out to them – but no, ojukwu done it and enriched himself albeit went on exile that is by far no match for the loss of lives in that unnecessary and unwinnable war that included 5 of my siblings – and then my community man – uwazurike – enriched himself albeit was imprisoned and released upon the death of his mother and now is kenneth kanu’s turn – worst still is the sublime seething feud between the imo and anambra people – where uwazurike was sent out of the scene post ojukwu’s wakekeeping to bring the incumbent who is anambra in! THE ROAD IS LONG FOR BERTHING BIAFRAN NATION, I’ll tell you uncle m.

  2. Editor
    July 27, 2015 at 19:58

    Ify Adeuga, you could not have captured the dilemma of the Igbo man in any better way than this.

    I lived through the Biafra war and from the mind of a traumatised child who was not sure about the next minuet, I can tell our young people what it means to live through wars and the reason why any sane person must never dream of it ever again for Ndi Igbo or indeed anyone.

    The pity is that those who we trust to lead us are in it for themselves not us. As a result the little ones who have no idea what is what are taking advantage of their lack of focus or interest in our affairs and scavenging for lost souls who will acquiesce to anything in order to be relevant as tools of their hate tricks.

    The danger is that if care is not taken the idiocy of the greedy little ones who are driven by greed and desire to be seen as relevant will expose many innocent igbos to danger. By the time we know it it will be too late because our properties are gone and our people are dead.

    In my mind, if they have any respect for the Igbo people who died in the Biafra carnage, they must seek peace and never advocate any form of violence.

    Let us see how long it will be before the long arms of the law rests on their shoulders.

  3. Editor
    July 27, 2015 at 20:02

    Eze Ihenacho How i wish that our people will listen to you, Ify and like minds.

    In my part two of this write up I have expressed my views about us, Igbos as a race or tribe. I might be wrong but unless we get our house in order and go about things the right way, 100 years coming our children will be complaining about the same thing and we would have filed them by leaving them no legacy to live with. Time shall tell. We won’t give up. We will keep talking.

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