Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

 

Paul Uwadima Blogs Obscene Title To Make A Case For Illusive Igbo Unity

 

I refer to a blogged piece titled “Idiotic Reasons Why Nnamdi Ebo Thinks Biafra Will Be A Disaster” posted on pauluwadima.blogspot.com.ng by Paul Uwadima dated September 12, 2017, in reaction to my treatise published by ThisDay on Tuesday September 12, 2017. “Idiotic reasons” means “very stupid reasons”. An idiot is a mentally handicapped person. The word “idiot” is originally from Middle English denoting a person of low intelligence. While not certain whether the obscene title with uncouth prose lacking finesse targeted me or my treatise, it is a truism that Uwadima’s vituperations of “Igbo Unity” is ahistorical. Uwadima’s piece lacked historical perspective and political context. The blogger only exhibited ahistorical nostalgia that misunderstands Igbo politico-cultural history in contemporary Nigeria.

File photo: Pro-Biafra irredentist & separatist agitators match in protest (in Igboland), demanding a referendum and/or breakaway from Nigeria.

I would have ignored Uwadima but I was suffused with the need to open the vista of Igbo political firmament in Nigeria, which is a sojourn from political ascendancy to a near-political oblivion within so short a time (1966-1970). The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) moulded the first organized Igbo unity in the now defunct Igbo State Union (1948-1966)] as its first president. The union was banned in May 1966 by the military junta of Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi (an Igbo man).

PhotoṆ́dị́ Ígbò.

The founders of the Igbo State Union had anticipated that Nigeria would be re-arranged into states based on tribal, cultural and linguistic affinity, and the Igbo State would be a member of the Commonwealth of Nigeria. This certainly was the idea Zik had advocated in his book, “Political Blueprint of Nigeria” published in 1943. Zik later resigned as president of the Igbo State Union because his national view of a Nigerian leader conflicted with his leadership of a tribal organization.

File classic photo: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe campaigning under the NCNC for political office | Circa 1956.

That was the beginning of Igbo unity gone national as Zik took the Igbo nation into national politics were the Igbo later went into an alliance (NCNC-NPC) which enabled them to dominate Nigeria’s political space. Buttressing his ahistorical bent on Igbo unity, Uwadima went on a tangent, below:

“. . . You are then forced to ask how did Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò at various times made Dr Michael Okpara (present day Abia State) premier of Eastern Region? ; Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (present day, Anambra State) as Premier of Eastern Region; Dr Akanu Ibiam (present day Ebonyi State) Governor of Eastern Region? How did Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò in general agreed in one voice for General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to be their head of state for three solid years while the Biafra lasted? . . .”

File photo: Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu declaring the Republic of Biafra | May 30, 1967.

That Okpara, Zik and Ibiam (in that order), are Igbos of Abia, Anambra and Ebonyi extractions (different Igbo states) did not on its own exude unity or Igbo unity. That politicians came from different states or regions and represented one tribal or linguistic grouping anywhere does not mean they were united or that the fact of representing their different states and/or regional extractions connoted unity, ab initio. Igbo unity is illusive because they are not united. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò vote along Igbo tribal lines without an agenda.

File classic photo R-L: Dr. Michael Okpara & The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe campaigning under the NCNC for political office | Circa 1956.

The crux remains that if Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò are more intelligent and educated than the Hausa-Fulani or the North, as many claim, Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò will nevertheless serve the Hausa-Fulani in Nigeria, if Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò are not united. The North is united and playing national politics, because unity is greater than both intelligence and education. Continuance of belief in Igbo unity which is illusory, is a distraction which will make an Igbo Presidency to elude Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò must get back to competing for power at the center, not just voting en masse for candidates that bear close affinity to the East.

Photo: The Biafran flag.

That Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò endured a pogrom (1966-1967) and suffered a military defeat in Biafra in 1970 did not mean Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò in general agreed in one voice for Ojukwu to be their Head of State while Biafra lasted, as claimed, erroneously ahistorical and factually incorrect, by Uwadima. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò in Biafra had no choice in Ojukwu’s emergence or appointment as the military governor of the Eastern Region which metamorphosed to Biafra (1967-1970) having been solely appointed without recourse to Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò by Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi. There was no agreement or Igbo unity in that circumstance.

File photo: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (The Owelle of Onitsha) left & Dr. Akanu Ibiam right | Circa 1980s.

That the late Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (then Lt. Col. Emeka Ojukwu) led Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò and the Eastern Region (with non-Igbos of the East) into a fratricidal Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-1970) did not mean Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò voted him into power — before he unilaterally declared the Republic of Biafra or afterwards, when he fled the “struggle” to Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) in 1970. Ojukwu’s APGA, during and after his death, remained a state/regional/Anambra party instead of a national party because Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò preferred PDP controlled by others to an Igbo party (APGA), which they would have used as political leverage to spring to national politics — where they belong — thus, in the process, repudiating Ojukwu’s anticipated Igbo leadership on the national stage.

Paul Uwadima’s reaction to my treatise is suffused with falsities, falsehoods, untruths, incorrectness and insincerity all rolled into one. After the Nigeria-Biafra War, Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò lost focus and direction, understandably, from their military defeat after then Gen. Yakubu Gowon reneged on his “No Victor No Vanquished” declaration and his Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (RRR) policy.

File Photo: Sir Akanu Ibiam before he dropped his British Knighthood — Sir | Dr. Akanu Ibiam | Then Governor of Eastern Region | Circa 1965.

It is not a sold lie that Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò are not united. The truth is that Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò have never been united since after the Nigeria-Biafra War. That Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò voted for Zik to be president in 1979 under NPP does not connote Igbo unity but voting along tribal lines which is done naturally by all tribal groupings. That Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò did similar thing in 1983 with massive votes for Zik is also indicative of the same expected tribal voting mannerism. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò in 2011 and 2015 massively gave all their votes to an Ijaw, Dr Goodluck Jonathan because Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò only identified with two words in their voting pattern: Ebele and Azikiwe, which are the Igbo names of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan — following the same tribal voting mannerism.

Nnamdi Kanu told Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò to sit at home to commemorate millions of Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò killed in the Nigerian Civil War and they obeyed him — did Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò obey him? Yes! Out of fear and trepidation. Any Igbo man or woman who had opened his shop, store, office or business premises on that fateful day (May 30 anniversary of Biafra) would have had them attacked, vandalized and looted by hoodlums masquerading as pro-Biafra agitators. Even APGA spokesman, Barr. Ifeatu Obi-Okoye said so while chastising Nnamdi Kanu over his exhibited dictatorial persona, militarized stance and royal personage designs for the illusive Biafran country. Kanu fled like Ojukwu, abandoning the so-called “Igbo struggle”.

The agitations by pro-Biafra agitators were never peaceful. There were reports of oppression, extortion, intimidation, violence, raping and impatience with Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò who disagreed with their Biafra quest. It is obvious from Uwadima’s reaction to my treatise that without minding to state factual history as it is, he proceeded under blindness of violent tribalistic impatience with those who have an opinion different from his, on the “Aftermath Of A New Biafra”. He should have at least been civil  in the choice of his title, without sounding angry, annoyed and obscene in the title of his own opinion on the illusive Igbo unity. Who was quarreling with him?

Save for the Igbo State Union’s 18 years of existence (1948-1966), when Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò agreed to follow Zik and voted for Zikism and he on behalf of the Eastern Region (including non-Igbos) agreed to the NCNC-NPC alliance with the Northern Region of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduana of Sokoto, Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò have never been united. Unity can only be forged amongst the leadership at the top not below amongst followers. Prior to now, Ohanaeze Ndigbo was splinted into two or three factions, each faction struggling to lead nobody through Ghana-must-go patronage.

File photo: The Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, The Governor General, President & C-in-C of the Armed Forces of Nigeria | Circa 1960-1963.

The Igbo elite, intelligentsia and bourgeoisie class have never been united while the Igbo proletariat and hoi polloi have only voted for Zik, Okpara, Ibiam or Jonathan along tribal lines, only — not out of Igbo unity. As a result of lack of unity, and tribal politics instead of national politics, Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò lost out in the power play to the Yoruba who have allied with the North to rule Nigeria. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò wasted votes on Jonathan who after a six-year presidency did not build his promised 2nd Niger Bridge and did not tar one kilometre of road in the Southeast. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò allowed Nnamdi Kanu to use his irredentism and separatism to postpone an Igbo Presidency for decades. Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò have lost their much vaunted Zikist touch of pre-Biafra national unity which saw Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò dominate post-colonial Nigerian political space.

I am still doubling down! Ṇ́dị́ Ígbò have never been united.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

By: Nnamdi Ebo
The White Paper |
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