- Category: ARTICLES
- Thursday, 16 August 2012
- By Dr. Onyebuchi Chikezie Eseonu
AIMS OF THE TALK: Since after the 1970 war defeat, Ndi-Igbo seem currently to be suffering from severe crisis of confidence as a people, in spite of their previous massive and renowned abilities and their great roles for and within Nigeria.
PLIGHT OF NDI-IGBO IN NIGERIA (by, Dr. Onyebuchi Chikezie Eseonu)
Aim of the Talk
Brief Relevant ‘Distant’ History of Ndi-Igbo
1945, 1953 genocides, then the1966 Igbo genocides and the 1967 to 1970 Biafra War-
Ndi-Igbo in Post-War Nigeria 1970 to date:
- Consequences for Nigeria
- Consequences for Ndi-Igbo
- Realities of Life in Nigeria for Ndi-Igbo
Generally for Ndi-Igbo
- urgent measures
- long-term measures
Individual / Families Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora
AIMS OF THE TALK
Since after the 1970 war defeat, Ndi-Igbo seem currently to be suffering from severe crisis of confidence as a people, in spite of their previous massive and renowned abilities and their great roles for and within Nigeria.
-- The Need for Ndi-Igbo to know about pre-war roles for Nigeria and their wonderful and great natural abilities and qualities as a people;
-- To believe, again, in themselves as a people – change of attitude needed;
-- Despite the present-day marginalization suffered in Nigeria, to enable them to again believe in their innate abilities and remain confident of themselves.
To achieve these aims, Ndi-Igbo and their descendants need to be educated of their:
– relevant ‘distant‘ history of Ndi-Igbo,
-- pre-1966 history of Ndi-Igbo,
--1966 Igbo genocides and Biafra War,
-- how Ndi-Igbo can be revitalized in our present-day.
Brief ‘Distant’ history of Ndi-Igbo:
The trans-Atlantic slave trade, from the 16th to the late 19th century DEVASTED NDI-IGBO far more severely than most other affected groups; and was far worse for them than the outcome of the devastating Biafra war!
15 % OF ALL TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVES WERE NDI-IGBO. DISUNITY!!!
During their many inter-clan disputes, one group would capture others as slaves for the European slave dealers who were conveniently located around their coasts!
Over the 400 years, Igbo parents were in fact procreating, in part, to have ‘slave’ children!
DISUNITY - A severe persistent Igbo problem. Even today, Igbo political leaders seem to manifest the most tribal disunity within Nigeria.
Reproduction of a handbill advertising a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1769.
Significance of the Slave Trade
Many, many more black/mixed race people are Ndi-Igbo than seem apparent – locally and globally
Local and Global Dispersion of Ndi-Igbo:
Locally - millions of the bought slaves unfit for the hazardous trans-Atlantic boat journeys were abandoned along the Bight of Bonny (Biafra) areas/coasts,
Delta, Igwe Ocha (re-named Port Harcourt from August 1913), Calabar (Atakpa) and coastal areas of present-day Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, South Cameroon and parts of Northern Gabon
Internationally - Brazil, Columbia/upper parts of S. America and the West Indies
- West and Southern USA especially Virginia, New York , South West regions and ‘new England’ (see arrows on the map)
- Place of present day gene studies: these could help define Ndi-Igbo amongst these far and near populations,
- The slave dealers problems with Igbo slaves as they were too rebellious,
- Advantage of Christian religion for Ndi-Igbo, curtailing their slave trade wars.
2. Consequences for Ndi-Igbo (The Entrapment and Productivity Equation):
Almost complete entrapment of Ndi-Igbo within the Nigerian System
Onye-Igbo natural craving for progress at any costs, despite the national exclusion
‘Innovative’ methods to enforce productivity/progress and obtain personal gains
The National Environment of breakdown of law and order
Post-war Igbo families disunity and the people’s in-fighting, very high incidences of human kidnapping for ransom, armed robberies and drugs, economic sabotage (419), prostitution and decadent living for financial gain, attitudes depicting low esteem among individuals and populations of Ndi-Igbo; even violating Igbo names, language and culture, while seeming to prefer others!!!, etc, etc.
Possible Solutions for post-war problems of Ndi-Igbo
GENERAL – Urgent measures – the right political will is needed by Igbo leaders:
THE IMPENDING CRISES/GENOCIDES IN NORTHERN NIGERIA FOR 2015/16!!!
1-- Improving infra-structure and provide more and good utility services in Igbo land,
2-- Stop the frequent kidnappings in Igbo land so that the business people can come back home to freely establish their businesses in Ala-Igbo,
3 – URGENTLY, relocate Ndi-Igbo and their businesses from Northern Nigeria before the 2015 Presidential elections. (With the next presidential elections, the danger of far, far more severe massacres than those of 1966, in Northern Nigeria, can easily materialize - if a Northerner does not win! And it is very unlikely that a Northern Nigeria Muslim would win the election, if free and fair). All the signs for the terrible genocide are there.
- Long-term measures
1– To have Igbo-people orientated local and national leaders. With our present crop of Igbo leaders, to obtain the Nigerian presidency is yet not a valuable priority for Ndi-Igbo,
2– Orientated policies to re-establish the pre-war attitudes and outlook of social and cultural confidence of Ndi-Igbo in their tribe, names, language and among the people,
3-- To re-establish the general pride of being an Igbo.
Possible Solutions for post-war problems of Ndi-Igbo
INDIVIDUALS - Ndi-Igbo in the Diaspora:
Having gained some increased freedom from the Nigerian restrictive environment on the productivity and innovation of the Igbo, you should set great priorities for yourself and aim very high for your possible attainments. ALSO,
-- emphasis on building strong family relationships - vital;
-- do your best to train your children to the highest possible level, encourage and help your children and spouses obtain the best possible for themselves in the UK environment;
-- Consider establishing your investments at home and with the people (There are many trust-worthy Igbo at home, in your town and village, if you search carefully).
Think about your home, village and people first, before investing for the development of other areas and people.
Umunnem, Ladies and Gentleman, please, draw your own conclusions from the talk.
Slides presentation of one of our speakers
Talk By Dr Onyebuchi Eseonu delivered on the Igboday/iwa ji ceremony on the 11/08/12 of Ndi Igbo na North East England (NINEE).