By Kalu Nwokoro Idika
I have wondered why the Eastern part of Nigeria has remained to suffer economic and infrastructural strangulation, yet no reasonable explanation resolves this problem. Instead, all I see is the existing relationship between the conqueror and the conquered.
The pitiable situation Easterners find themselves in has given them the desire and willingness to hope amidst a hopeless situation. Then I ask, should so be the case? Ask anybody who’s not from the East to show you the problem of Nigeria, you will see him pointing towards the land where the sun rises from.
Why do Nigerians chant “One Nigeria” when they don’t really want to be one? The marginalization of the Easterners in Nigeria is unspeakable. The East records zero federal presence.
After the genocide, the Nigerian government initiated what it termed the 3 Rs: Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation. But has there really been any of these? Has there been any reconstruction? Has there been a rehabilitation?
What of reconciliation? Far from it! A lot of Easterners are still moving about with wounds that were covered to fester. Rehabilitation is to rebuild that which was. And this points to both human and material. The Nigerian government never bothered to rebuild.
Hence, since they did not bother to rebuild, how can they reconstruct for there to be reconciliation? The war cost the East so much, both in human and material resources.
Therefore, I will be stating the obvious truth if I should say that Nigerian leaders did not learn any lesson after the bloody war between Nigeria and Biafra.
They claim equal rights to all Nigerian, yet we know for a certain that Easterners are treated as second class citizens. Thus, it has made Easterners become the proverbial bat which is neither of the earth nor of the sky.
The thought pattern of this commentary is not anchored on pity party, far from it. But it tries to rebuke and direct, to reconstruct and to guide. The Igbo people have a popular adage: “ihe ojoo gba afo ya aghoo omenaala”.
The evil has lingered enough, and we have to bale the water now that it’s an ankle deep before the evil that will come with it will consume what’s left of Nigeria. Inconsistency and inequality is the foundation upon which Nigeria stands.
As such, there will be no amount of argument that will be tough enough to justify the unconstitutional and immoral actions of power brokers in Nigeria, as to why the Eastern region should be systematically marked off from every economic project that will better the wellbeing of it’s inhabitants.
I wonder why the hen that lays the eggs which other regions are plundering continues to beg for crumbs in order to eat and survive. Why should it be so?
A workman is deserving of his wages. 80% of the national revenue that sustains Nigeria is generated from the sweat and pain of the East, but there’s nothing much to show for it within the region. It becomes a case of monkey dey work, baboon dey chop.
Since the end of the civil war 51 years ago, the East has suffered in the hands of political demagogues who felt the Igbo people of Nigeria crossed the red line.
The Eastern part of Nigeria has been deprived and cheated in Nigeria. The East has suffered all kinds of premeditated exclusions in Nigeria’s political and economic equations.
These exclusions are quite comprehensible through the insincere actions of leaders who profess to be more Nigerian than others.
The dream of achieving one Nigeria cannot be possible in the next 200 years if the right decisions are not being made.
Kalu Nwokoro Idika is a writer and investigative journalist
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