It’s no more news that there have been demonstrations in various parts of the east by pro-Biafra groups. Just this morning alone, there have been heavy demonstrations in port harcourt, which coupled with the bad roads, have resulted in a lockdown.
What do I think of all these?
I’ll let you know in a bit, but first, I’ll share a short story.
I was in a personal development class some time this year(aka Mr. Essien’s class) when the issue of marriage was being discussed. He mentioned, that if two people are getting into a wrong marriage, the Holy Spirit might be warning those involved all the way up to the altar. But once they take their vows, it becomes God’s will that they be together for time and all eternity. Or at least till death do them part.
While I’m in no position to state explicitly whether that is God’s say, I subscribe to that notion! I really do.
The amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates, is like a marriage of two very different people. It is no secret that some people till today, regardless of tribe, feel this was a mistake. Well who says two very different people, man and woman mind you, can’t live together as husband and wife. I remember asking dad, that question and his response was two smart people can make anything work! So let’s be smart about this.
Let’s make it work! Why back out now? So what we’ve down a hundred years trying to do that, let’s put in another hundred eh?
We are not the only country with diversities. We are not the only country coming back from a civil war either. Take the United States for example, where there are American Indians/Alaska native, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, African American, Asian American and white American. And these are just the major ones.
Under the white Americans, you now have the northerners and the southerners who up until recently, could be differentiated by their different accents.
Still under white Americans alone, you now have European American(Italian, German, Scottish, Dutch, Irish, English, Polish, French and Norwegian)and middle eastern American(Iranian, Arab and Jewish.)
Said President Barack Obama, in The audacity of hope, published in 2006;
“…We will need to understand just how we got to this place. This land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we’ll need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences just how much we share. Common hopes. Common dreams. A bond that will not break.”
Emphasis on “warring factions” and tribal hatreds!
Yet they are working it! Why because despite all their differences they are united by national interest.
Nigerians, it’s 2015 for crying out loud! Let’s put down tribal interest and embrace common good. Let’s get rid of partisan agendas and welcome national agenda! Let’s get shun tribal prejudices and marginalization.
Let’s not judge people by the sound of their accent, or by their last names but by the content of their character.
Maybe then, every tribe would know that they are welcome in Nigeria. That there is no Nigeria if they aren’t in it.
How do we move forward?
I suggest the government sit down with the leaders of this pro-Biafra groups to discuss what their grievances may be and how they can be ameliorated.
I suggest we go back to the national conference. And review the outcome and results so we can know the way we can coexist in harmony.
Most importantly, I suggest we practice true federalism! then, each state would be able to thrive. Then, there would be no talk of marginalization. Then we would stop toddling and start taking giant strides as we ought to!
And so, contrary to some of my family members and kin, I am not in support of secession.
One needn’t suppose I’m a black sheep. Or not Igbo enough. For I am Igbo and very proud. But I am a Nigerian and even more prouder.
Let’s keep Nigeria together.
Then again, this is just my opinion. I’ll love to hear yours.