Once upon a time, a man married a rich woman. At first, they were happy, but as the years rolled by, she grew weary of the union. He was lording over her, even though she was the breadwinner.
As no one loves oppression, she protested. “I want to go back to my people!”
Her husband threw back his head as maniacal, mirthless laughter rumbled in his chest. When he was sated, he bellowed at her, “You are going nowhere! You are my wife and so you will remain.”
One day, she planned to run away, but her husband caught winds of her plans. He captured her, locked her in a cell, and beat her daily. Eventually, he beat fear into her and that fear dissolved the strong, crystalline notion that she could run away, free herself, from him.
There are days the memory of her trying to escape seems so vague, so far away, that when she reaches out her hands to touch it, it runs farther away from her, inch by inch, and she gives up. Coming to terms with the fact that she has forgotten an incident that should have felt so real, is a tough task. To soothe herself, and to reassure herself she is sane, she convinces herself that her act of trying to leave was all in her mind, something she had imagined. She must have played with the thought so much that she began to think her fantasy had miraculously materialised into reality.
At other times, she remembers! And when this happens, she scurries about in the house to pick her clothes and other things she owns. The ones she would not miss, she leaves behind. When she has assembled her clothes in one pile, when she is ready to put her clothes in the bag, Fear barges in on her. He pushes her violently, meanly – almost with a vengeance, to the bed. How dare she forget all that happened in the past, he says.
She trudges around the house with the heavy weight of fear strapped to her back. She has decided to stay, not because she loves him. She might not be scared of him. She only stays for peace. But how long would she stay for peace?
Lately, some people have been talking about how they want Biafra. Some people believe Biafra is the panacea to all the problems of Nigeria. How cute!
They have failed to accept, or maybe they are yet to realise, that the problem of Nigeria is Nigerians. Biafra would be made up of Nigerians; ergo, Biafra would suffer the same problems, if not worse problems, Nigeria endures.
I agree the concept of “One Nigeria” is a scam because of the disturbing level of ethno-religiosity we face here. Guess what! Some Igbo people do not like other Igbo people. Biafra would be divided, too.
Biafra is an amalgam of the South-East and South-South, but can we say the South-South is Igboland in the real sense? The South-South might end up suffering marginalisation, as “Core Ndi Igbo” would want the “lion share”.
This might lead to the top oil producing states (South-South) agitating for their own country. In the long run, Biafra might be like Nigeria – the “abusive husband” that refused to let his wife return to her people.
Some people are eager to have Biafra, but what lies await the moment we get Biafra? Good road network? Can Biafra feed itself in the first year? How many Igbo people are ready to delve into agriculture? Would we be ready to mine coal and thereby diversify our economy?
Are we going to have strong laws that would prevent the high rate of corruption? What crop of leaders are we going to have there? We should consider these few things before craving Biafra.
The only way forward is to move forward. It is time to embrace our diversity, and see it as our strength. Everyone can contribute in different capacities. Nigeria is blessed with human resources, but as it looks, we are not fully utilising our potentials as a people.
Other measures to take include implementing anti-corruption laws, constant electricity supply to encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs, banning importation of most goods and increasing local production of most goods, most importantly, we should drop hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is the only reason we move to countries that condone and embrace the values we condemn. Hypocrisy is the reason we have a high level of religiosity, while being very corrupt. It is time to strengthen our legal system, work on our values, and put strong institutions in place.
We should focus on how to fix ourselves as a nation – even if we had Biafra, minorities would feel oppressed. Besides, as I expressed earlier, there is a high chance we will face the same problem when we get Biafra. We have all it takes to make Nigeria a better place. All we need to do is work for it. We all have to start contributing to national growth in our own little way.
P.S. Some people want Biafra, but people from “their side” can’t marry people from “that other side”. Are Ndi Igbo even united?
P.P.S. South-South might refuse to go with South-East. I mean, they are not going to force SS, abi? In the event SE becomes Biafra, they would end up being landlocked.
P.P.P.S. Something says I should go’ an’ find Yoruba man to marry. I love Nigeria so much! I can’t let go of Nigerian jollof.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Scott Griessel