Biafra: Nigerian government treats Igbo as conquered nationality – Doyin Okupe - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Biafra: Nigerian government treats Igbo as conquered nationality – Doyin Okupe

Biafra: Nigerian government treats Igbo as conquered nationality – Doyin Okupe

A former Senior Special Assistant to then President, Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, has noted that Igbo people, in so many ways, have been trampled upon in Nigeria since after the Civil War.

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He said since the war ended in 1970, Nigeria has continued to fight Igbos in many other different ways.

Okupe noted that the agitation by some groups in the South-east to leave Nigeria is borne out of the high level marginalization they go through in the country.

In an article he entitled, “The Igbo, and the nation; Nigeria,” and shared on Facebook, Okupe said the Nigerian nation has treated the Igbo as a conquered nationality.

“The Nigeria civil war which physically officially ended some 50 years ago must end mentally and be abrogated in our national psyche now.
“The Igbo nation has borne the outcast status that the system over the years has bestowed on them with remarkable humility, forbearance and temperance.

“As a nation, the Nigerian state has treated the Igbo as a conquered nationality, in spite of the ‘no victor, no vanquished’ national mantra proposed by the then head of state, General Gowon. But in truth, the spirit of ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand’ has been suppressed and inactive in all these years.

“The Igbo leadership on the other hand have accepted the obvious humiliation and sustained discrimination against Nigerians of Igbo extraction as an inevitable and excusable consequence for taking up arms against the nation state.

“In spite of this pronounced indignation, the leadership of the Igbo, and the Ndigbo in general have kept faith with the Nigeria Project, accepting their lot and hoping that sooner or later, the wounds and afflictions of the war will heal and the soothing rays of the Nigeria sun will shine on the South East.

“It was with this spirit that Chief Vincent Amaechi; the founder and chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, and my humble self accompanied the late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, to his historic lecture titled: ‘Handshake across the Niger’ at the Nigeria’s premier club, the Lagos Island Club some years back.

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“After this memorable event, we conceptualized the establishment of an Elite Club in Ikoyi, where the cream of Yoruba and Igbo will socialize, mix and discourse freely, hoping that such an atmosphere will create the forum where genuine friendship and bond between the East and the West can be nurtured and developed. It was hoped that this will help to reduce the level of mutual distrust between the two major Southern nationalities.

“Chief Amaechi and I later on followed Ikemba, in continuation of his effort to seek for peace and understanding within the nation to the North. Among the states we visited were: Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto.

“It was a grand tour and we were very well received especially by the ordinary Nigerians on the street. I saw a Fulani woman who ran after the Ikemba, shoved me aside, and used her son’s hand to touch ikemba’s head.

“Such were the open show of love, innate affection and reverence accorded the Ikemba by ordinary citizens in the North. This became the hallmark of our tours in the North at that time.

“I sympathize with Nnamdi Kanu, a young generation of Igbo that was born and brought up in a period of inexcusable and inexplicable humiliation and discrimination against a people. A situation of palpable hate and undisguised marginalization.

“Before Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB, there existed MASSOB. All these are visceral protests of a people against injustice and inequality which are irreconcilable with their level of education, exposure and mental development.

“Those who are advocating resort to iron fisted solutions for these “separatists” movements are trying to smash the clay feet on which our unity as a nation stands presently.

“This is the time to heal old wounds Nationwide. It is time to forgive the errors (on all sides) of the past. It is time to END the wars including the civil war.

“The drums of war are sounding loudly everywhere. Let us with wisdom listen to what the drums of war from various quarters are saying. Let us preach peace from every available pulpit.

“This is a great nation, made up of a complex array of formidable and potentially great nationalities which if carefully wedded together will still create the greatest story in World Black History.”

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