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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Biafran people in Nigerian state.

The Biafran people in Nigerian state.
By Amanda Uzor
Published by Family Writers


I am puzzled by what we call the "Biafran people" in the 21st century, and where exactly the Biafran region wants to place themselves and their economic position in the Nigerian state. I am not really old enough to remember when we all lived in " Biafraland as one people" -- doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, preachers, plumbers, carpenters, undertakers, labourers, chauffeurs, maids, retail stores, grocers, barbers, hairdressers, restaurants, but my father told us stories about Biafra and the unity that existed during and immediately after the war as a community of people betrayed and injured whose main focus was to rebuild their lives. This was the Biafran people in the eastern and some part of southern Nigeria, Biafra for Biafrans. The Biafran people today don't reflect that spectrum. We are scattered well beyond the concentrations of the poor and underprivileged in Nigeria. Our presence and influence, however small, is reflected in the broader population.

We as a People, some of us have been fighting, struggling, others are crying, and even begging for equity in the "Nigerian Dream." You have an ordinary Igbo man buy and selling to nurture his own dream, Nollywood actors and actresses struggling to fit in and you have the music industry fighting for a permanent place in a society that is ruled by fraud and injustice, chaos and impunity from the onset. The only people who don’t have to struggle for any form of creativity in order to live their dreams are Nigerian politicians and church enterprises.  Affirmative Action divided and destroyed what semblance of togetherness we had as a people. Affirmative Action was designed to Window Dress, creating a crabs in the barrel Biafran society.  Affirmative Action is kind of the Pyramid schemes. Most of those educated and skilled, who understood the scam, took advantage of the opportunity. They were the ones, who were serving as role models, that began moving on up and out of the Biafran society. Our sense of self-sufficiency died.  When Nnamdi Kanu talked of self-sufficiency, he was accused of separatism.

The reality is that within the Nigerian states we are many nations in one nation. During this presidential campaign it was made clear that family and social values were paramount in connecting with candidates. We Biafran people are a family and it is time that we begin working toward our own families’ interest. “Charity begins at home”, is not separatism nor selfishness. The neglecting of ourselves and relying on others to provide for us, nurtures that negative perception other families have of our community.  I listened over and over again, the conversation between a Muslim northerner called Alhaji and the westerner called Kunle. Although the conversation was dominated by Alhaji,Kunle was more reserved. However, Alhaji made the point that during the 2015 election, the north voted for the northerner on the bases of brotherhood and religion and confirmed in the course of his rambling that westerners who voted also joined the north on the base of religion.

Until we the Biafran people take ownership of our own political, financial and social destiny we will continue to be seen as not deserving of others’ respect. Today it is not a whole lot about fighting for our rights, it is more of how we should exercise our rights. For one, making sure that we are being treated fairly with the allocation of government contracts, loans grants, scholarships, etc. and with the contracting of capital improvement projects. With a unified voice some of these infrastructure projects will be developed and build by us in our communities.  First, "Boycott," then start financing on our own family images, schools, health and senior citizen facilities, etc., but then there is the struggle to get out into their controlled “One Nigeria industry”. In one Nigeria you are still south south southsouthsouth “ganbari” Igbo yamiri, and the “them and us analogy”.  Who knows where the south stops.

Our so called Biafran or should I say “Igbo” Elitist need to stop trying to Fit-In. What they don't realize is that they are serious when they say that no matter which ethnic group referring, we all look alike to THEM. Trying to make a Hausa or Yoruba man see you as non-separatist while ignoring your own family neither make you one of them nor one of us. Those of us who are more fortunate should become entrepreneurs in the revitalizing our Biafran region. We as a family need to get out of the “One Nigeria brainwash concept and pool our resources, and make our children, our elders and to the legacy of our Ancestors, Proud! Make a plan. Like NOAH, I tried and still trying... but, I am building my ARK, because it is going to RAIN.

When I use the term Ark it is figuratively not literally. I am preparing by staying out of words, educating my off-spring, securing land with a water source, creating a seed bank, stay physically and spiritually fit, sharing the wealth of my knowledge and experiences.  I believe-in and live by the ripple effects of sharing with those around me, not the trickle-down effect of letting others bare the bulk of sacrifice. You can start your collection from all of those churches at every corner of the street. That will more than fund your plan.

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