Ndigbo, Biafra, Nigerian presidency and social justice: my views

All over the world people express themselves in different manners. Some could be emotive and emotional while others may be forceful and combative.

A salubrious position can be advanced in a wrong manner attracting unsavoury reactions.

The recent agitations for a physical state of Biafra by MASSOB/IPOB members and the detention of the Director of Radio Biafra Nnamdi Kanu have dominated public space in Nigeria for some time now.

For some youths in the South East and the South South, Biafra offers a better relief from what they consider their daily toil and frustrations in Nigeria.

For some Igbos and Niger Deltans, the nostalgia of realising Biafra is fresh and palpable. But a deeper retrospect and reflection by any student of history will quickly reveal that the neo Biafran option may not after all be in the best interest of Ndigbo and the Niger Delta. 

Igbos have a lot of stake in Nigeria. Eighty percent of their investments are outside Igboland while they form the single largest ethnic group after the indigenous people of any state in Nigeria.

My thinking is that Ndigbo should vigorously put their acts together and network with other contending forces in Nigeria to be politically relevant and in the nearest future produce and Executive President of Nigeria.

They have occupied all known political positions in Nigeria except the Presidency. Again they should insist on federal presence and level playing ground for their youths to realise their latent gifts.

Ndigbo to me do not need a physical Biafra now but perhaps Biafra of the mind. They fought a good fight in the past and the lessons should be noted.

For Nnamdi Kanu, MASSOB and IPOB, they should ask relevant questions to those who fought the war. They cannot do what they are doing in isolation thereby putting the lives of many gullible Igbo youths as risk. You may have a good case but approach matters.

I call for the release of Nnamdi Kanu and other detained Biafran activists while the Army should stop using live bullets on them. A restructured and just Nigeria remains a better option for Ndigbo.

By Chuks Ibegbu, a public affairs analyst and journalist