Reflecting on the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914

The colonial masters inflicted irreparable damage on the Igbos that resonates to present time. The most atrocious and heinous crime ever committed on Igbos was the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914 by the British colonial masters. The evidence of this disaster manifested itself by Hausa/Fulani assaults on the Southerners, especially on the Igbo interests on two separate occasions even before independence, 1945 and 1953, respectively. Soon after independence, in 1966, the same Hausa/Fulani unleashed another genocidal rampage on the Igbos which resulted in civil war that decimated over two millions Igbos.

Time after time, Hausa/Fulani machinery bounces on the Igbos living in the North, and slaughter them at any slightest provocation. They kill Igbos at random because, deep in their hearts there is no single commonality that exists between the two ethnic peoples, socially, traditionally and culturally. The Northern and Southern Nigeria should not have been united as a country at all. The unification of the two was the greatest man’s inhumanity to man. Very unfortunately, the Southern leaders did not recognize the dangers ahead of them while strategizing and concentrating on its interests based on regional demarcations; whereas Northerners kept on solidifying their dominance of Nigeria – the dominance they hold very strongly till today.

During the civil war, with the Igbos gone from Nigeria, the Western Region and other minorities became a small fish to fry by the Northerners, and the resultant effect was their dominance in the Nigerian Armed Forces. The junior army officers before the civil war automatically became generals, and in order to further consolidate their dominance, they enmeshed themselves into coups and counter coups, insidiously and cunningly started fortifying Northern region with Federal infrastructures; building refineries, petrochemical companies and laying of oil pipes from Rivers State to the North even though there is no oil in the region, constructions of international airports in many states and other industries in cahoots with foreign Islamic governments.

The climax of the deceit of the Northerners was a lame excuse to relocate the nation’s capital city from Lagos to the North by the use of oil revenues extracted from the South. They used the supreme military council that was dominated by the Hausa/Fulani operatives to steal Southern resources in the name of national unity to develop the North, thereby concentrating employment opportunities that attracted the Igbos to the region for easy slaughter at the slightest provocation. Because of mistrust among the Southern leaders, and in doing so, they become very susceptible to Northern manipulations.

Last week, the Sultan of Sokoto, the highest Muslim leader in Nigeria exonerated the Hausa/Fulani in Nigeria as being members of Boko Haram and attributed the carnage and assault on Igbos to Fulanis from Niger Republic, right! It was the same Hausa/Fulani machinery from Niger Republic that bayoneted pregnant women and other Igbo extractions during the killing field of 1966. If the North had murdered the Yorubas as they did on the Igbos in the 1960s and subsequent killings, I bet you that Nigeria would have taken a turn for a national disintegration.

It kills many souls to watch cowardly as Igbos are suffering the same fate that many of their brethren experienced over forty years ago in the same hands of the Hausa/Fulani killing squads. Time has come for the Igbos to divert to diplomatic strategy to apply for statehood in the United Nations. It is obvious that the North prefers to kill Igbo race totally in order to amicably sojourn alone as one nation.

The former Yugoslavia separated and became two countries. In the continental Africa, just recently the nation of Sudan did it as well as the island of Suriname. Southern leaders should stop masking for a united Nigeria that does not exist. The killings of innocent Igbos are getting to an alarming stage and I strongly believe that desperate time calls for desperate measures. Obviously, the Northerners are very objectionable for the Igbos’ existence with them in Nigeria.

In one of General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s broadcast during the civil war, he concluded, “Rejected people cannot reject themselves.” The systematic killings of Igbos are getting out of hands and if unchecked, could spell doom for Nigeria.

I am in full support for a diplomatic maneuver in the United Nations for a State of Biafran for the Igbos. These killings cannot go unanswered for long.

If the Southerners wants to remain in Nigeria, the killing of the Igbos must and should be halted and the victims be robustly compensated with unalloyed apologies by the Federal Government of Nigeria  the Supreme Muslim leader in Nigeria; punishment on the  murderers to the fullest extent of the law, a construction of a replica city of Abuja to be built in any part of Southern territory, to build equal amount of federal infrastructures in the South as already built in the North, and the  immediate commencement of national sovereign conference.

The killings of my fellow Igbos in the North have further eroded my faith in Nigeria. Frankly, I wished Ojukwu had succeeded in his secessionist agenda. How could I in good conscience call Nigeria my home whereas my fellows Igbos are bombed in their own country by so-called fellow Nigerians? The colonial masters from England caused more harm than good for the Igbos, and the poisonous pills that they left behind are the same pills the Igbos continues to swallow even at this moment.

What a tragedy?

Mazi Henry Otulle Eke-Onyeaku writes from Austin, Texas

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