On 30th May 1967, (50 years ago), Biafra was declared in response to the pogrom, killings and genocide against Igbos in Northern and Western Nigeria. Biafran Republic was declared to provide Igbos, with security and safety of their lives and properties. Nigerian government then, in collaboration with imperialistic British government and other foreign powers, declared war on Igbos. At the end of which, over 2 million of us (Igbos) paid the supreme sacrifice.
On, 30th May 2017, Igbo people all over the world, will be remembering their fallen heroes and heroines. Their sacrifices shall not be in vain. May their souls and other faithfully departed rest in peace. As a mark or respect, my social media profile pictures shall be changed to the symbol of Biafran struggle. I urge all those that wishes to pay their respect to these fallen heroes and heroines to do same. I dedicate Judges 6 vs 12 to them that paid the supreme sacrifice, it says, “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour”.
Sadly but true, the Nigerian government since the end of the civil war in 1970 till date, has pursued a systemic and state sponsored marginalisation of the Igbos, for example South East zone has the least number of states (five states only) in the federation. Other zones have six and seven states. Federal allocations, appointments and employments are based on the number of states you have. Till date, indigenes of South East are required to obtain highest scores/marks in order to gain admission to any federal government owned schools and universities. Whereas indigenes of North East, North West, North Central etc are not required to do same. They only need low scores/marks before gaining admission. Thus same country different rules. Recall that they same Igbos being punished didn’t go to school during the war.
Notwithstanding the federal government policies against Igbos, they are the only tribe in Nigeria truly practicing one Nigeria, despite losing the war. Igbos embraced one Nigeria more than all the tribes in Nigeria. Igbos are the second largest tribe in each state of the federation. They have invested more than any tribe in all parts of Nigeria.
28th May 2017.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta is the author of 18,366 Kilometres By Road. (An Account of His Adventure Trip From London to Lagos and Back to London by Land). A Thrilling and Fascinating Book. Both soft and hard copies are available on amazon.