WHY WON’T WE LET GO?

The Igbos are deaf at the persistent, adamant and almost stubborn belief of the non Igbos that they have no reason for such a cry. The north especially find this guilt provoking emotional laden cry shocking especially when they have been finding themselves side by side for decades with Igbo dominating in number among the southerners that live in their environment, when they are the dominant southerners in some of their universities and polytechniques, when they are in good number at their places of work even as heads, when they have Igbos in some of their state civil services with equal opportunities as the indigenes of some states, when they see some sections of their markets almost like Onitsha, when they see Igbos in the most remotest part of the north which some northerners do not even know of its existence. …

The inability of Nigerians to analyse situations without emotions and sentiment, and conduct peaceful dialogue is the reason why we will never move forward in this country. We talk at each other and learn nothing and keep moving through a vicious cycle of tragedies.

Here we are for decades, turning a deaf ear and refusing to acknowledge the persistent and adamant cry of the Igbos at a country they believe is against them and hence their need for the resurrection of Biafra which they believe will bring an end to their perceived subjugation, marginalization and unequal opportunities. Here we are refusing to acknowledge the belief that non Igbos are jealous of the Igbo’s ingenuity and creativity that is why they stand in their way and make them targets at every point of crises.

The Igbos are also deaf at the persistent, adamant and almost stubborn belief of the non Igbos that they have no reason for such a cry. The north especially find this guilt provoking emotional laden cry shocking especially when they have been finding themselves side by side for decades with Igbo dominating in number among the southerners that live in their environment, when they are the dominant southerners in some of their universities and polytechniques, when they are in good number at their places of work even as heads, when they have Igbos in some of their state civil services with equal opportunities as the indigenes of some states, when they see some sections of their markets almost like Onitsha, when they see Igbos in the most remotest part of the north which some northerners do not even know of its existence. They north always thought all was and is well that is why they see many Igbos in many nook and cranny of the north with owned land and properties and even as landlord, living their way of live unhindered. They agree that the Igbo’s have been victims of one crises or the other in the north but they say “so have many others including the northerners and the crises you chide us for has its variation in your Biafra” They Igbo are refusing to acknowledge that the north is not jealous of them but rather find their condescending attitude towards the people they live with as a turn off.

We can go on and on defending ourselves in a vicious cycle that may never yield any fruitful solution but the bitter truth is that we don’t seem to agree and may never agree. Dialogue seems impossible. It's like Shakespeare's quote about a dialogue of the deaf.

So why force this loveless, blame trading marriage to continue? Why can we let go instead of burdening our generation with the need to always see others as the genesis of their woes and calamities? Why don’t we relief them of shouldering the responsibility of continuing with our energy and time wasting exchange of blame. Why turn them into a volcano that is always awaiting the slightest opportunity to erupt in the crass exchange of tirade that is becoming the order of the day? Why must we allow others to live a life of guilt that they can’t even justify?

If division will bring the lasting consequences no matter what it will take to achieve then why are we cowering from it? What is the fear? Why wont we let go and take our destiny into our hands.

My friend Ijeoma Evans said “ looking at the shambles that is Nigeria today, I have to say that I wish Biafra never failed. However bad it became it would never have been as bad as Nigeria is today. I believe that if Biafra existed now, we'd have 2 neighbouring successful countries with a complex historical relationship, like UK and Ireland, who cooperate with each other economically and socio-culturally for their mutual benefit in particular, and for the wider benefit of the whole continent of Africa and other African-origin regions in diaspora, namely the Caribbean and Latin America”.

“Buts”,“what ifs” or “had it been” are nothing but conjecture of the human but I still cannot help but imagine that “If we let go and take separate ways we may suffer it badly but we may also be oooing and aaahing courteously anytime we meet each other just the way we do when we meet Ghanians, Togolese or Cameroonian without bothering to know what tribe they belong to or what religion they adhere to.

It was for this reason that I totally agreed the comment of Offia Valentine Offia who said "Each time d various ethnic groups highlight their differences, it is derisively described as tribalism. Yet all the problems in Nigeria stem from disregarding these differences. Will parliamentary govt work in US? Will the Presiential system work in UK? Each of these peoples chose what was appropriate to the climes. Ethnic groups within Nigeria are similarly different and the attempt to impose a uniform system of govt on all of them has failed. Recognise these differences and allow each to seek its own ways. That doesn't mean the end of the Nigeria. It means a truly plural and progressive Nigeria. Beyond the derision, Achebe simply said we are all different and didn't know it in 1960.The tragedy is that the only people who have adopted a uniform code across all ethnic platforms are the criminals and they now own the country. I believe Eastern, Western and Northern Nigeria need different systems of govt to thrive. Let's abandon the continued subjugation of all of them to a central system".

It time to stop talking and do something like letting go…

-I'm Almajiri

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