In 1978, after Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime lifted the ban on independent political activity, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an elite umbrella organization which speaks on behalf of the Igbo nation was formed . Their main concerns were and still remain the marginalization of the Igbo people in Nigerian politics and the neglect of indigenous Igbo territory in allocation of basic social amenities and development of infrastructure which was an outcome of the Civil War.
The Society for Promoting Igbo Language and Culture (SPILC) was founded in 1949 by Frederick Chidozie Ogbalu, and has since created a standard dialect for Igbo.
There also exist other groups which protest the perceived marginalization of the Igbo people. One of such groups is the Igbo Peoples Congress (IPC). Even before the 20th century there were numerous Igbo unions and organizations existing around the world, such as the Igbo union in Bathurst, Gambia in 1842, founded by a prominent Igbo trader and ex-soldier named Thomas Refell. Another was the union founded by the Igbo community in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1860, of which Africanus Horton, a surgeon, scientist and soldier, was an active member.
Decades after the Nigerian-Biafran war, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), a secessionist group, was founded in September 1999 by Ralph Uwazurike for the goal of an independent Igbo state. Since its creation, there have been several conflicts between its members and the Nigerian government, resulting in the unnecessary death of members.
After the 2015 Nigerian general elections a group known as the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) became the most prominent vocal group for the agitation of the creation of an independent state of Biafra through a radio station named Radio Biafra, for the promotion of the Igbo language and culture.
Over the years, these groups and organisations have not been able to actualize the dreams of the Igbo nation. What is more important than human capacity building? Promising young talented men get killed by trigger happy soldiers.
Have they invested heavily in humans, this generation would have been able to stand out in Arts, science and technology!
The decline in community service in Igboland is an indication that all is not well. Before now, young smart intelligent students were sent to study abroad on community efforts or scholarships. This has totally disappeared from all the nook and crannies of Igboland.
It is time to think outside the box. Governors of Igbo states should create a trust fund for the systematic development of Igboland. Science and technology cum Agriculture is the new crude oil! Covid 19 should be an eye opener!
It’s time to go back to those days that integrity, honesty and selflessness was attractive .
Enough of this get rich quick syndrome that has created unhealthy competition amongst kindreds, towns, local governments and states! We ought to streamline what we take as religion, however we now pray more than we work.
Yes, Ndi Igbo are hard-working, but tell me, how has this wealth impacted on the nation?
It’s time for Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo to live up to expectation and do the needful. Seek funds, organise an educational competition across the Igbo nation, in a bid to discovering deserving students and send them to the best schools in the world. Those ones will in the future bring back knowledge that will be useful to this generation and the ones yet to come
Onitsha and Obosi are cities in clusters, in dire need of Town Planning! Decongest it, move the markets away from the sea shores, identify and advertise the tourist attractions e.g Nike Lake, Ogbunike caves and it’s likes etc.
Investment in railways should be considered top priority seeing that oil is not indispensable as we thought. Sooner or later, people will live in Asaba and work in Enugu or Benin and work in Lagos! Only then will we see that road transport is not the ultimate. What happened to the homemade technology’s of the civil war era?? Pysical trading, buying and selling is good, but online shops will take over.
Real estate is another cash cow for the future, if only we can see . The banking industry is left out because it did not yield quick cash back in the days, however the story is different today.
The Print Media was also abandoned on this notion that it is not a cash cow, today we have lost the industry, (both print and digital) to the Yoruba nation.
Bureau de change was seen as an Hausa /Fulani business, today our businessman depends on them for exchange. What about cattle ranching? The list is endless!
It’s time to diversify. I am not advising the Nigerian government because that’s like asking Ukpo, to reason with Abba. This is for my Igbo brothers. Building hotels is good, but if you don’t upgrade and remodel as time changes, new hotels will run you out of business.
Aba could be the next Italy and America in fashion, Nnewi, the Japan of Africa. Owerri, the ICT headquarters of a new Nigeria. Abakiliki, Anioma part of delta and the whole of Anambra north can feed the south east via Agriculture, Enugu and Port Harcourt, the cooperate headquarters of Igboland.
It was a young comrade ( Izuchukwu Adichie) who drew my attention to the fact that majority of the companies in south East are closed and out of business, simply because the owners are dead!
The above will persist, untill we begin to provide long term remedies in our business ideas. The Anambra man can not stand his Imo counter part, same for the Enugu man who despises his brother from Abakiliki. The Abia man hates his kins from Ogwashi Uku, Ikwerre and Anioma, wheras the Rumuokoro man denies affiliation with Igbos , even when his culture, tradition and name says otherwise. How then can we be united?
Chief Mark Uriel Igboneme of blessed memory once said that, it is counter productive to go hunting with your brother and tell him while still in the bush that his legs looks like that of an antelope while walking behind him with a gun!
BIAFRA is here! Yes, in Covid 19 i see what Biafra could become. What is Lagos and Abuja without the Igbo’s? I see BIAFRA, but in a different way. I see the birth of a Nation within a Nation, if only we can trash the idea of secession yet and invest all the strength and funds in regional development.
I see BIAFRA only if we can come together and play national Politics with a regional master plan.
Nnia Nwodo and Nnamdi Kanu, Biafra is here!
Okoye Chukwudi E.