By Ndidi Uwechue
Please note that Ndi Igbo (Igbo people) have not rejected or renounced our ancestral and OFFICIAL name of “Igbo”.
Like other nations in Nigeria/Africa, we are happy with the name our ancestors gave us, and want to be addressed by our OFFICIAL name. That means we are “Igbo” and nothing else!
Please therefore stop addressing the generality of Igbo people and the Igbo Nation with other words, as that would be insulting us. We respectfully call other Nations by their own OFFICIAL name, and want the same respect given to us, Ndi Igbo.
Should Ndi Igbo decide to change our name to something else, our entire Igbo Nation would be involved in such an exercise, and we would democratically decide upon a new name for ourselves.
We are a Nation so our name is not changed by one man or one group shouting out and ranting on social media.
To be clear to all, Ndi Igbo are Ndi Igbo and remain that. So that is: Igbo are Igbo.
There is no United Nations recognized country/nation called “Biafra”. On a map of the world, it is a body of water on the western side of Africa.
If some Igbo people want to call themselves “Biafrans”, that is their choice. That is just the name of their CLUB. It is an internet-based CLUB. Thus, it is just a virtual CLUB with a very low membership among Ndi Igbo.
Therefore please do not confuse or equate a CLUB called “Biafrans” with Ndi Igbo or Igbo Nation. Respect us please with our OFFICIAL name of Ndi Igbo, just as we respect your own OFFICIAL name.
(For the same reason, our land is called by its OFFICIAL name of Igbo Land or Ala-Igbo, and nothing else.)
Journalists (in print, TV or radio) especially, please note this fact in your writings: Igbo are Igbo, and want to be referred to or addressed as: Igbo or Ndi Igbo.
Please broadcast and share in Nigeria and the Diaspora.
Igbo and self-determination
Just as Yoruba and other Nations of the south of Nigeria are seeking SELF-DETERMINATION in their ancestral lands, so too are Ndi Igbo.
Ndi Igbo have wanted our Independence and autonomy (aka self-determination or self-governance) since 1967, and even before that time. We would not have agreed to be in the Union called Nigeria at Independence if self-determination for Ndi Igbo in our ancestral land had not been part of the deal.
We see Yoruba pushing ahead quickly to get their Independence. They are working for it under their OFFICIAL name. Ndi Igbo are we understanding that? Yoruba are getting their self-determination under their OFFICIAL name!
So Ndi Igbo, what makes some of us think that self-determination can be gotten under some fake name, that is not our OFFICIAL name? (Are we that foolish or what?!)
Some Ndi Igbo belong to a Club called “Biafrans” that uses social media eg WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to play out their Club’s fantasy. It’s a Club thing they are doing, a sort of child’s play.
There is no substance at all to what they are doing. Any honest people seeking self-determination KNOW that they can only do so in the OFFICIAL name of their people. That is a condition set by international organisations.
United Nations won’t even waste their time with that Club of “Biafrans” because that name is not OFFICIAL.
For seriousness and authenticity (genuineness) in working for our self-determination, we Ndi Igbo must seek it under our OFFICIAL name, just like Yoruba are doing.
The same is true for Ijaw, Urhobo, Ogoni, Anang, Ogoja etc. Every Nation anywhere on earth, must seek self-determination in its own OFFICIAL name!
Please Ndi Igbo, let’s leave those in the “Biafra” Club to their internet and WhatsApp game-playing, while we work for Igbo self-determination in our OFFICIAL name of Ndi Igbo or Igbo.
From Proudly Igbo and Igbo Thinkers (2021)