There is this mentality of survival that resides with the Igbo man. Some call it the Igbo man’s spirit. This is the spirit that assures the Igbo man that he will overcome every situation he is facing and turn them into possibilities. Where people see stumbling block, the Igbo man sees opportunities. Let it be noted here that when I say the Igbo man, I mean any being of Igbo origin, male or female.
Igbo-Biafrans have suffered lots of punishment from the Nigeria state. In 1966/70, the North killed more than 50,000 Ndi Igbo living in the North. Their properties and shops worth billions were looted and destroyed. The North went further to levy war against Biafra, killing Biafrans. About 3.5million Biafrans were killed. After the war, the Igbo lost their jobs in the government, soldiers and police men were not reintegrated into the force. All their monies in the banks were lost. The Nigeria state said that only those that can provide their bank papers can get a paltry 20 pounds. The three years bombardment have killed millions to talk of sparing bank papers. Many Biafrans lost their monies in Nigeria banks.
There were also this policy that confiscated properties belonging to Ndi Igbo outside Igbo territory. They called it abandoned properties. Properties belonging to Ndi Igbo in Portharcourt, Lagos, Kano etc were all taken. Lagos state government personally took Odumegwu Ojukwu’s landed property.
Apart from the events of the war, very many other horrendous things have happened to Igbos. Policies have been enacted to hinder the Igbo man. The APC government saw to it that businesses in Nigeria were destroyed so as to hurt the Igbo man. Importation of different products was made difficult, hence importers are taxed heavily and forced to pay through their noses. Borders were closed and top Igbo businessmen like Ibeto, Innoson and several others were attacked. But the never say die of the Igbo spirit keeps them going.
Some have opined that the marginalization of the Igbo in Nigeria has been to the advantage of the Igbo man. They said the marginalization have made the average Igbo man stronger. The oppression has forced millions of Igbos to seek for survival across the world where they are doing remarkably well, breaking and setting unbeatable records.
Some Ndi Igbo now brag with it. They are saying that whatever you do to the Igbo man, he will surely survive. They call it the never say die spirit of the Igbo man. Personally, I love this spirit and I too glory in it, but recently I found out that our people unconsciously accept marginalization, injustice and unfair treatment just to show that the Igbo can survive. Go round the social media and see many Ndi Igbo bragging about this.
We know too well that we as Ndi Igbo survive marginalization and unfair treatment by the Nigeria state to put us all down, but have we sat down to think about what we can achieve in a society where we are not marginalized? A society where politics will not be unjustly enacted? Don’t you think that it is better we stop telling them we will survive in their unjust Nigeria, and rather work towards exiting this ungodly Union?
Yes, we should exit a union that marginalize us and see us third class citizens. Gone are the days they fool us with restructuring. For restructuring isn’t coming. Not in Nigeria owned by the Fulani. Say no to marginalization. Stop accepting injustice in the name of bragging that Ndi Igbo can survive every situation they are put into. ‘Ndi Igbo abụrọ Job na ata afụfụ'(Igbos are not the biblical Job known for suffering). Let us journey together to freedom, through the restoration of Biafra.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media