Season of Nonsense

105
16154
Guest Columnist: Chidi Amuta
Guest Columnist
By Chidi Amuta
The descent has been willful and rapid. In just two years, camouflaged hate has come to the surface. Love thy neighbor has virtually degenerated into loathe thy neighbor. The freedom of diverse voices which democracy so highly values has become a license to insult, abuse and denigrate each other. In the extreme, the ritual of communal living has recently been truncated by spontaneous blood letting often on an industrial scale. The social media which elsewhere is contributing to the spread of knowledge and fraternity has become for us a highway for a free trade in sectional abuse and unprintable sectarian and primitive divisiveness. The smart phone in your hands is now a veritable time bomb, a purveyor of incendiary hate and avoidable self- flagellation. This no longer looks or sounds like Nigeria.
In 2015, there was a country. That country behaved like one nation in rejecting misrule and governmental rascality at the polls. Our people voted massively for a reinstatement of the Nigerian ideal and with it a tolerable level of responsible government. Mr. Buhari was anointed as the mascot of a Nigerian restoration. His appeal for that role was in the general feeling that he symbolized, more than the incumbent, a more disciplined approach to governance and a battle -tested commitment to national unity. 
The millions of Nigerians who trooped out to vote at the presidential election of 2015 wanted their country back as a union of hope and purpose, a place to call home after decades of wasted time and squandered opportunities. No one dreamt then that after only two years, the cries of separatism will rise so high as to overwhelm even the mighty voice of the federal state.  The central irony of the Buhari presidency at mid term, therefore, is that a mandate to unite and refocus a nation has degenerated into an untidy rehearsal for a dance of national death and a deafening cacophony of divisive noise.  My appeal is first that we do not allow Mr. Buhari to end up as the most divisive leader in post civil war Nigeria. 
An untidy collection of ‘youth’ groups at Arewa House in Kaduna have issued notice of the Nigerian equivalent of Trump’s travel ban on fellow Nigerians.  Ours is a ‘residency ban’ with a grace period of 3 months. The quit notice stands out in its laughable treasonable absurdity. Yet, we cannot laugh it off casually or hope that the sanctimonious exhortations of officialdom will frighten off determined anarchists. This was a well-orchestrated affair involving sponsored miscreants, clandestine zealots and mischievous political merchants. 
If it could be dismissed initially as the handiwork of political orphans, the quick ownership of the toxic project by a certain Mr. Ango Abdullahi shredded the veil. Now we know the foot soldiers, shareholders and sponsors of this project of hate. Taken together, both the ‘quit notice’ and the sagacity of its ownership represent the return of the ugly politics of bad manners and youth bad upbringing that most sensible Nigerians thought was far behind us. 
Happily though, the rise of a whirl of sensible voices all over the country has somehow begun reassuring a shocked public. My friend and brother, Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna state, the Emirs of Kano and Zaria as well as Acting President Yemi Osinbajo have raised voices of reason. Organs of the state (the police especially) have twitched predictably into life to reassert the imperatives of the Nigerian constitution just as the Acting President has embarked on a series of important dialogues. 
Still, the corrective point needs to be made very strongly. Nigeria is a constitutional secular republic of free citizens. Our social contract with the Nigerian sovereign binds us as individuals to the sovereign. We are not Nigerians as Efiks, Kanuri, Hausas, etc. but as individual citizens with constitutionally guaranteed rights and obligations. Those insisting on relating to fellow citizens as tribal ambassadors belong to a medieval ethos that has no place in the Nigeria of 2017. Discrimination against fellow Nigerians on grounds of ethnic branding and profiling remains a treasonable breach of the constitution. 
Ostensibly, the ‘quit notice’ politics is a reaction to the perceived excesses of the Biafra spring. For the avoidance of doubt, I am a Nigerian citizen of Igbo extraction. I experienced the civil war in various capacities. I share the burden of its sad collective memory. But the burden of collective memory is usually relieved when a group that has suffered loss is allowed occasion to remember their loss and mourn their dead. I am not aware of any nation in which a group collective memorial is so criminalized as to be shot down in a hell of bullets. Soldiers and policemen that behave like an occupation force will not help restore a psychology of normalcy. They can only annoy, infuriate and alienate citizens while emboldening separatist militants.  
For as long as there is no violence, the Biafra enthusiasts ought to be entitled to their day of remembrance. In New York, for instance, when it is a Jewish holiday, it is futile to go out shopping. Most businesses are closed because Jews own them. They observe their holiday and next day, life goes on. No one threatens, arrests or shoots them for closing their shops nor do Irish or Indian native Americans issue them a ‘quit notice’ to leave the United States!
The separatist agitation for a relapse into the hubris of a new Republic of Biafra is an entirely different matter. I see it mostly as bad politics slipping into dangerous territory. It is primarily an instrument for political agitation in the context of the injustices of present day Nigeria. It is perhaps the only potent instrument remaining to protest the scandalous inequities in Nigeria’s present allocative federalism.  Maybe the pro-Biafra movements have learnt that competing geo-political blocs in Nigeria have accessed the apex of federal power through orchestrated campaigns and disruptive behavior.  The Niger Delta, the South West and the northern half of the country have had the presidency as a trophy for taking turns in disturbing the peace and frightening the rest of us. But no democracy grows by bending the arc of justice to the weight of sectional blackmail and trouble making. 
There is an even more mischievous side to the politics of the Biafra thing. I suspect that the political elite of the South East is using Biafra as a diversionary tool. The existence of the Biafra pressure guarantees Ohaneze a seat at the Aso Rock table. But a vast amount of federal revenue has accrued to the South East since 1970. It may not be anywhere near what other regions have cornered on account of their dominance of Federal power. But the results on the ground do not match the sheer quantum of resources. Sadly also, after the era of Sam Mbakwe and Jim Nwobodo, the region has witnessed an abysmal decline in the quality of political leadership and governance. An embarrassing succession of glorified thugs, uneducated errand boys and political pimps has traversed the various government houses as governors since 1999, leaving the region impoverished and hopeless. This coupled with deliberate and benign federal neglect and criminal indifference has devastated the zone. So, for the political leadership of the South East, Biafra turns the heat away and beams it on Abuja. 
I suspect that Nigerian citizens of the South East may have fallen victim of Nigerian myth making and age long blackmail. The line that the Igbos are very enterprising, hard working, innovative etc. is hogwash. We do not embody any of these values than any other sample of Nigerians in this diverse federation. If the Igbos were so wonderful, Mr. Dangote and the top 5 after him in the billionaire’s row would have featured some Igbos. Since Forbes started listing Nigerian and African billionaires, how many Igbo people have made the list? Among the major indices of power (money, religion, media, traditional authority, raw coercive power), which one is controlled by the Igbo in Nigeria?  
If the Igbos were such wonderful entrepreneurs and innovators, the entire South East would have been more like the Israeli homeland –highly developed infrastructure, high level of skilled manpower, best schools, factories, best hotels, shopping centers etc. Yes, there are Igbo people all over the federation. But they are mostly struggling as retail realtors, janitors, petty traders selling inconsequential merchandise; white and blue collar slaves, street hawkers, artisans, prostitutes etc. They are engaged in very visible daily life- and -death struggles to survive in a country they call theirs but which is deviously indifferent to honest strivings. The Arewa ‘youth’ and others like them should not isolate the Igbos for further selective victimhood. It will create in them a deeper sense of persecution and deepen the kind of insular solidarity that could worsen the Biafra headache.
We can forgive the youthful effervescence of the pro-Biafra movement. Being mostly aged under 45, they did not see hell with us. Mob hysteria and naïve romance with the past is not a crime until it threatens the peace of others. In terms of commonsense and hard history, the new Biafra project is a foolish and expensive gambit. The only thing that is worrisome is that the movement is drawing its followership from among impressionable youth, the rural poor and half educated urban mob. That makes them potently dangerous because they are not equipped to understand the lessons of history. 
Here are some obvious lessons of history for the benefit of the new Biafra devotees: First, no one people can survive being defeated in two civil wars in one century. Second, anarchic mobs and their hysteria do not lead sensible people to any good destination. Third, when a people allow their towns, villages and backyards to be theatres of war, recovery takes more than a century. Fourth, the first Biafra was a man made disaster and huge human sacrifice to the gods of political folly. Fifth, the next Biafra, which is unlikely, will be a self- inflicted carnage.
Clearly, Nigeria is facing problems of mismanaged communal living. The solution is not to threaten to quit (Biafra, Arewa, Niger Delta or Oduduwa) or to threaten exclusion of some groups from the fold (‘quit notice’). The urgent need is to adopt a smarter template of governance led by enlightened younger Nigerians who can manage the commonwealth for the good of all Nigerians. Above all, we need to urgently replace this ‘allocative’ federalism with a new one in which viable federating units fiscally subscribe to a central government in return for collective security and other sovereign benefits.
  • “Korede

    I know that a dog about to miss in the jungle will never hear the whistle of the hunter. That is for the people that will naturally criticize Chidi Amuta for this brilliant piece.

  • okwuchukwu

    Am in my fifties, each time I arrive in Enugu or Owerri, I seek out to know where and when Ohaneze or any Igbo leadership event is holding. I like showing up to contribute.

    Dr Chidi Amuta is a brilliant guy with sound intellect who should be in his sixties now. I expect him to help chart the way forward for his people (Igbo) by joining his peers in the Igbo leadership. He should emulate Nnia Nwodo, Profs Charles Soludo and Pat Utomi in standing for his people instead of staying in Opebi, Lagos and bad mouthing them.

    Again he should stop this PR white – wash he does for his peers and colleagues, like the nonesense he recently wrote about Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi which made me recoil in shame. I know he is into marketing communications but he shouldn’t put his name on such materials.

  • William Norris

    Igbo leaders in the North meet with El-Rufai and REJECT Biafra….

    https://www.google.com/search?q=IGBO+LEADERS+NORTH+MEET+RUFAI&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS731US731&oq=IGBO+LEADERS+NORTH+MEET+RUFAI&aqs=chrome..69i57.8327j0j3&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

  • agbose akinwole

    In all his writeup, Chidi Amuta tries to hide the Igbos behind a broomdtick. He tries to show as if nugerians have not be following developments in this agitations soon after the lost and won election of 2015. Chidi you have deliberately plsyed down the IPOB agitations since PDP lost the election. No other tribes have been standing Nigeria on her head since then. How can you be speaking in monolog as if people are not reading between the lines of every if your statements. You presents the Igbos as mere pety traders who cannot hurt a fly just struggling to make ends meet. Yet they are ones Kanu and his team are amassing weapons of war for. A people who cannot hurt a fly preoaring massively for another round of carnage. You are speaking as if your manner of agitation id not hurting other tribes in this country. This is because in your mind Nigeria is made of Igbos, Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba. As far as you are concerned when you talk of south east, it austensably include all other ethnic groups in the south excluding the Yorubas. On your views about Arewa youths have you taken time to read the basis of their conern? Are you saying only the Igbos have a right of agitation? Are you saying that the Arewa youth have no right to express their fears as you the Igbos have claim if the monopoly of being well educated than the north. Even though I am not saying what the northern youths said is not good fir the peace of this country, let us not us not think thst they have no right of response to the Igbos unprovoked agitation having lost an election and a govrrnment that for 6 or so years have provided a fertile ground for their unwholesome amassment of our commonwealth, the period of which agitation went into a coma. Chidi I know you write in defence of your Igbos, but know that the basis of your agitation based on the fact of your quest for the domination of other tribes cannot be allowed and must not be supported by anyone who has the love and unity of this country at heart. The Arewa youth must know that two wrongs can never make a right. Dont rely on your size to think that your wish can be reslized. If you think you can use your dize to intimidate the rest of Nigerians you make a very big mistake. In this modern era, the use of intellect (be it political, economic, etc) and strategy are what wins in a state where there are disagreements.

    • Arabakpura

      If I had the opportunity, I would award you a distinction in English!

  • Frank

    ….White and blue collar slaves…..Is that the new name for the man and woman that wake up in the morning to make a respectable living for family, community and self? The absence of decorum and careless writing is palpable. Sad.

  • Victor Leke Olaleye

    This is a brilliant piece from an entrenched Establishment journeyman and a Babangida apologist, but the fact still remains that it is Africa’s long term strategic interest to have Biafra on her soil.Dangote is what he is today because he was favoured by the system not to talk of the oil bloc billionaires.

  • Fr. Ken Evurulobi

    Dee Chidi mma mmaooo! Imegbasukwala ahu la otu i si kpoo he aha ya. Chineke m goziere m gi

  • Adeyemi Owolabi

    This is one of the best reasoned commentary over the current issue. Granted that Nigeria is an allocative federal arrangement, as a work in process, it can only continue to be made better through collective efforts of all the components.

  • Mbe Nwaniga

    What started here as a reasonable treatise on the recent dichotomous political threats in Nigeria veered off into a prattle about the Igbo .One question that stuck out from this whole pretentious piece is the rhetoric ”Among the major indices of power (money, religion, media, traditional authority, raw coercive power), which one is controlled by the Igbo in Nigeria?”.Then Dr Amuta gave himself a bizarre answer.An answer so bizarre that it leaves every reader wondering what the point for writing this was.Yes,there are probably no Igbo in the top 5 Forbes richest in Nigeria but isn’t that part of the legion of complaints by alienated Igbo youths?What have those in the top 5 done differently to make it to the top?

    They got political patronage from those in power who shared the national wealth and cut them extra large pieces.1,2 or 3 of them got oil wells worth billions of dollars from a sitting president.Compare that with the Igbo entrepreneur like Barth Nnaji.How has the government helped him build the half a billion dollar,first private power plant in Aba? Dr Innocent Ezuma of Eta-Zuma Group,whose company acquired Jos Steel Complex recently announced he is set to invest $6 billion in electricity generation.He is already mining coal in Okobo,Kogi state.How has the government helped Allen Onyema float Air Peace? Dikko Nwachukwu just announced he is floating JetWest airline.Chinedu Echerue got a Forbes mention for founding Hopstop and Tripology.There are hundreds of Igbo names out there doing their bit to pull Nigeria out of its self inflicted comatose.

    Dr Amuta knows what the problem of Nigeria is but he chose to give it just a passing mention.He called it ”allocative federalism” and refused to discuss it for fear of breaking his politically correct face mask.His Igbo kinsmen have since rose to challenge this ”allocative federalism” that allocated only 95 local governments to their 5 Igbo majority SE states but gave 105 local governments to just Kano,Katsina and Jigawa combined.National revenue in Nigeria is shared between FG 56%,states 24% and LGAs 20%.It is that structured malfeasance that is fueling the Biafra agitations.Lets see this author write about this.

  • Chidi Odo

    Amuta’s column on “Season of Nonsense” does not deserve the space it wasted in ThisDay Newspaper of Monday June 19th. Indeed, the man is almost everything he accused his Igbo brothers of — a pimp and a shameless opportunist, with intellectual pretentions. If not, he would have seen clearly that the so-called Arewa Youths ultimatum was a design by his “Friends and Brothers” Governor el Rufai of Kadana State and Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi.

    You don’t need to be DG of the DSS to know that a bunch of youths won’t just enter Arewa House and have access to all the facilities to issue such unfortunate statement without somebody authorizing their use of the place. And the chief custodian of the place is your friend el Rufai. Furthermore, go through again the content and style of that statement, you won’t need a thicker eye glasses to see that it resembles the writings of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Why do you think the Acting President invited him for a chat out of the hundreds of traditional rulers in Nigeria, including his superiors such as the Sultan of Sokoto? That script is a collaboration between your two friends and a few Igbo haters in the North who thinks they are blood thirsty. They shoot at night and come during the day to inquire where the sound is coming from.

    Have you bordered to think how a little barely-educated fry like Nnamdi Kanu has been deliberately made a regional hero? Is it too difficult to smell that some higher authorities want to use Kanu issue to hold on to power in spite of their incompetence which has improvised Nigerians in both the North and South? Just like Chinua Achebe of blessed memory pointed out, it only takes you to introduce the Igbo issue on the table for the rest of the country to unite and temporary forget their differences. The agenda is to use Igbos to unite the North for 2019. Just go to the internet to listen to Nnamdi Kalu’s obnoxious Radio Biafra. The quantum of sedition and treasonable content is enough to have him put away in jail for life. Yet, the Federal Government “arrested” him, publicise it, put him in a cozy prison in Abuja, allowed him to entertain high profile visitors and equally publicise them. Obviously, there is more to Nnamdi Kalu that meet the eye.

    It doesn’t make sense that you glowingly excluded Sam Mbakwe and Jim Nwobodo from the rot in the South East. Have you forgotten how Governor Jim Nwobodo took a foreign loan on behalf of his state and transferred 90% to his personal account and shared the remaining 10% to his commissioners, without a cent coming to the state? Or Governor Mbakwe and the reckless life-style of his children particularly Patience, the “Ada Dollar”, who used to spray only dollars in parties. Part of the major problems in Igbo land is that the so-called intellectuals like you, never participate in politics while “your friends” in the South West and North are deeply involved, in one way or the other. el Rufai is involved, and if Sanusi is not an Emir, he would also be involved. In the South West, the likes of Prof. Adebayo Williams, Femi Fani Kayode, and Olatunji Dare among many others are directly or indirectly involved. Of course Amuta is among the Igbos who are waiting until they are given a party’s electoral ticket without struggling for it. When will Amuta realize that if he supported any of the alternative candidates, the likes of Orji Uzor Kalu and Rochas Okorocha would never have become Governors in Igboland. Amuta needs to think deeper for future contributions.

    Chief Chidi Nnamdi Odo

    • Obinna Obigbo

      Dear Chief Odo,

      Thanks for your effort at educating Mr Chidi Amuta. He even called current Igbo leaders “Glorified thugs, Uneducated Errand Boys and Political Pimps”. I will advise him to look into the mirror and see what would be staring back at him. Perhaps he would behold an educated errand man who happens to be an intellectual pimp. Real educated people from other parts of the country, and indeed the world, are directly involved in politics. Perhaps nothing confirms the quality of Amuta’s ranting than his lamentation that there are no Igbo billionaire like the likes of Dangote and yet, he is not enlightened enough to know that most billionaires are creation of their environment, aided by their political authorities.

      First of all, he should add up the value of all the waivers Dangote has received to know that the figure would make the poorest Nigerian beggar a billionaire. Amuta should further ask any of his banker “friends” how many banks Aliko Dangote has crashed in Nigeria or the aid he received from the Nigerian authorities to destroy some of his rivals such as Ibeto. Will Mike Adenuga be a billionaire today without the almost-free Globacom license given to him on generous terms by former President Obsanjo? Recently, President Obasanjo happily announced that part of his achievements was the creation of some billionaires in Nigeria. How many Igbo were among them? Certainly, this Amuta is very ignorant.

      As late Dora Akunyili taught Nigerians, Amuta needs to shine his eyes and drop his foolish pretension to intellectualism. The problem of the Igbos is that the Federal Government has refused to end the war against us, even long after the defeated people have surrendered. It has gotten so bad that they won’t even allow us to cry over our misfortune.

      Dr. Obinna Obigbo

      • obinnna77

        He’s not ignorant. He merely feigns ignorance. Blinkered, is the word.

      • Iskacountryman

        war against the eboes?…what are you blabbing about…we gave you no winner, no vanquished….what else do you want?…bottle feeding…

  • Gloveman

    Shameful! After many years in journalism this is all you can come up with? You have had your Biafran experience and suffered the attendant humiliation visited on the defeated Igbo nation. Do you want that to continue ad infinitum? At a point in the life of a suffering man, he will say that enough is enough. That is the point that the Igbo youths are at the moment. If you can not support the struggle, do not impede it with your skewed intellectualism.

    Your generation failed to ask hard questions. Do you want the younger generation to fail also and continue to live as second class citizens in their so-called country?

    Advising for caution would have been a more sensible position for an elder like you but not to poison the minds of both the agitators and their adversaries. For you to posit that the agitation is purely driven by Igbo politicians is a clear lack of understanding of the variables at play.

    Nobody is asking or preparing for war in Igboland except you and your likes. It is time for you to reason! One day your eyes will open and you will be able to SEE.

  • RumuPHC

    Chido Amuta has decided to balk the trend by speaking truth and sense to divisiveness and recklessness in this very impressive piece .

    The author is quite right on the 2015 Elections. This was the poll that has recorded the most intense preparation and participation in Nigeria resulting to a verdict that was undoubtedly close to the yearning of majority . Yet the after effect of the election is more division in the country and increased contemp for political leadership.

    Is democracy failing in Nigeria or are Nigerians dissatisfied with the products of the democratic process?

    I suppose it is answer to this question that will address the fundamental issue and not queries and counter narrative to challenge divisiveness and mounting agitations for restructuring and secession which are mere symptoms of the underlying issue.

    Democratic governance being representative is suppose to resolve most of the issues currently agitating the minds of citizens .

    It is becoming apparent that we take elections largely for democracy . The practice of the concept of democracy is obviously a great challenge for politicians in Nigeria. Our opinion of democracy is mainly victory at the polls, sharing of appointments and then award of contracts. Little effort is invested in leadership and sustainable development.

  • RumuPHC

    Chido Amuta has decided to balk the trend by speaking truth and sense to divisiveness and recklessness in this very impressive piece .

    The author is quite right on the 2015 Elections. This was the poll that has recorded the most intense preparation and participation in Nigeria resulting to a verdict that was undoubtedly close to the yearning of majority . Yet the after effect of the election is more division in the country and increased contemp for political leadership.

    Is democracy failing in Nigeria or are Nigerians dissatisfied with the products of the democratic process?

    I suppose it is answer to this question that will address the fundamental issue and not queries and counter narrative to challenge divisiveness and mounting agitations for restructuring and secession which are mere symptoms of the underlying issue.

    Democratic governance being representative is suppose to resolve most of the issues currently agitating the minds of citizens .

    It is becoming apparent that we take elections largely for democracy . The practice of the concept of democracy is obviously a great challenge for politicians in Nigeria. Our opinion of democracy is mainly victory at the polls, sharing of appointments and then award of contracts. Little effort is invested in leadership and sustainable development.

    • Fula

      Sir, democratic elections do not resolve deep seated cleavages in
      societies. It is true for the USA as it is for our dear Nation.
      Competing elite formations across the country understand this game and
      know how to use the divides to continue the struggle for access to
      patronage, which is what governance has become in Nigeria. This call for
      secession is not because anybody has been marginalized in truth but a
      continuation of old politics under a new name. If the SE points to
      Dangote as an example of prebendal politics, The North can also ask how
      Emeka Offor et al make their own money?

      • RumuPHC

        I doubt it that people will agitate to secede if democracy produces real dividends like peace and prosperity . It is the inability of political leadership to do this that promotes agitations .

        Democracy guarantees freedom . This is just as the government of the people by the people and for the people is expected to create the sort of inclusiveness that can only produce the best of economic prosperity.

        There is however loads of problems in a democracy where poverty is rife while people are able to air their grievances.

        The divisiveness and reckless pronouncements in the country today can be attributed to failure of democratic governance to promote economic prosperity and provide for Nigerians.

        Failure of democracy in the 60’s led to the civil war. Another failure of democracy over the past decade could probably lead to another crises where there are no winners.

  • Jon West

    With the current countrywide descent to angst, I was always confident that the worms of the Nigerian political disaster will soon come out of the woodwork, and the hack writer and Babangida apologist and slave, Chidi Amuta, did not disappoint. Next on the train will be his fellow traveler, C Don Adinuba.

    Like in the comedy sitcom ,Some Mothers Do Have Them”, the Igbos really have the capacity to produce some grovelling, self-hating pseudo intellectuals in the guise of patriotic commentators like Chidi Amuta , and that should worry most of us. There is a preponderance of intellectuals for hire among the Igbo, perhaps due to limited opportunities to participate in the rentier economy of Nigeria , which it appears the “learned” Chidi does not even appreciate. After rambling about the failures of his hero the missing Dullard from Daura, he had to take a dig at his fellow Igbos , perphaps in order not to offend his political and economic runners and make life harder for himself, having no other means of income, except as a Babangida foot soldier.

    For your information, Mr Amuta, the top five Forbes billionaires from Nigeria are products of the rent-seeking economy of Nigeria, which you admitted , has been deployed to deny the Igbos participation at the commanding heights of the economy. What did these great businessmen do to get into the Forbes list and which Igbo business person could have challenged them? Pray can an Igbo be in the position of Dangote, Adenuga, Folurunsho Alakija , Wale Tinubu and Mohammed Indimi, the illiterate oil tycoon and potential Forbes billionaire? How do you get the freebies of the Nigerian economy, if you are denied access to the sharing table? How can you blame and deride such an oppressed people for their own oppression, like the prey now becoming the predator? However, this is not quite a surprise, as oppressed people sometimes produce people with the Stockholm Syndrome mentality. There is a saying that “Come between a master and his slave, and the slave will kill you first”.

    Chidi Amuta is a Babangida slave and does not bother to hide it. Even his criticism of the Dullard from Daura must have been cleared by the gap-toothed evil genius from Minna.

    Chidi Amuta should be reminded that the Igbo people ekeing out an existence all over Nigeria as low class operators are the real backbone of the Nigerian economy. Pray, which other ethnic group has the economic clout to shut down the Nigerian economy, if they decide to down tools? If the Jews own all the retail businesses in New York and can therefore shut down retail shopping at their whim, which ethnic group can do that in Nigeria apart from the Igbo? I am not aware that Leo Stan Eke of Zinox, Ernest Obiejesi of Nestoil, Oilserve, Kaztec, Ibeto, Coscharis, Innosson etc can be regarded as being engaged in daily life-and -death struggles for existence, when the real Nigerian economy is really under their control even if they cannot make the Forbes Billionaires List for Nigeria, your only measure of economic activity and its operators in Nigeria. If they are so hopeless and helpless, why are the Arewa and other youths and Elders obsessed with the collation of thier real estate , factories , schools ad other assets in regions outside the Southeast?

    You have challenged the Igbo to replicate the Israeli homeland inside Nigeria and under Nigerian supervision ? How servile and therefore intellectually obtuse can a Doctor of Philosophy be? Which other ethnic groups, including the members of the G2 that won the Biafran War , have replicated Israeli or even Arab or Indian development in their own areas? Is that not why everybody wants a restructured Nigeria?
    Mr Amuta, you may wish to crawl back into the Nigerian political woodwork, because this outing has really damaged whatever shred of reputation you may have, even among your sponsors and runners. Their is a limit to servitude and in your peoples culture, what you are doing is an abomination.

    • William Norris

      Your points are very good…succintly put, the Igbo have been denied a place at the rent seeking table and thus can’t be expected to perform miracles. That is true.

      My problem with your commentary has always been that you portray the Igbo as a race of supermen who can easily overcome ANY obstacle put in their way.

      Anyway, have a good day.

      • Jon West

        No Mr Norris, the Igbo are not supermen, since really there are no such people. However, by surviving the impossible obstacles in their way in Nigeria, you must admit that they are no ordinary Nigerians. By Nigerian standards, they are in another league. Can you imagine any other people facing the travails as the Igbos in Nigeria? The Hausa /Fulani will die off in six months, the minorities in a year and the Yorubas in five years maximum. But the Igbo have survived 50 years. Yeah Mr Norris, they are a special breed!!

        • Fula

          You have argued so eloquently in the past about this supermen quality of the average Igbo, wherever they may be found in the world, am not sure its logical to now revise your strong assertions by trying to provide a Nigerian context for your assertions. it does not bode well for your intellectual ambitions.

          • Jon West

            They have done very well whererever they are found , even historically, but that does not make them supermen. I have never called them that. Gifted , yes, supermen definitely no , since there are no supermen. However, compared to other Nigerians they are really different in the positive sense. Even you can attest to that.

          • Don Franco

            Dear Jon,

            The “Super” capabilities of the Igbo was initially denied by their detractors, then ferociously challenged by £20 handouts; and is now accepted as self-evident. I hardly see why you bother to belabour the verity of this truth.
            Our King Jaja was the first millionaire on the African continent pre-amalgamation and before there was ever a Forbes List; just as Chief Louis Ojukwu was the first Pound-Sterling millionaire before Independence.
            All in all, the gleanings of Biafra is by far better than the vintage of Nigeria, is my opinion.

          • William Norris

            If the Igbo were so Superior, they would have won the Civil War.

            Finis…..

          • Iskacountryman

            ouch…they were outsmarted, forced into a war when they were not ready…by fula herdsmen…

          • Arabakpura

            I thought you have been redeemed?

          • FrNinja

            Complete the sentence. Fula herdsmen armed with russian military weapons bought with stolen oil money.

          • Iskacountryman

            who is smarter?

          • FrNinja

            The one who lives to fight another day.

          • Iskacountryman

            begin pack go home…

          • Don Franco

            Greetings, William Norris;

            Is intellect superior to brute force; were the Athenians not superior to the Spartans; can you really compare the Romans to the barberian hordes? Are the Germans any less for losing two world wars to forces of the entire world? Are they still the biggest economy in Europe today?
            In these questions lies your answer, Bill.

          • William Norris

            The Athenians and Romans had their own writing and mathematics. And applied high tech tools like the wheel and abacus.

            Germany? Independent nation. Mercedes, Audi. Great beer.

            Biafra? Defunct. Innoson. Fly infested palm wine.

            I rest my case.

          • Don Franco

            Dear William Norris,

            You case isn’t rested, William; as Biara, like Germany refined crude oil before Nigeria; again, like Germany, invented bombs and rocketry before Nigeria; and composed the Ahiara Declaration that make your national pledge sound incoherent.
            But you miss the point that both Athens and Germany both lost wars like Biafra did. I fail to see why you’re invalidating your own assertions.
            In any event; I wish you good luck with your oil-rent of a republic; for us, there was a country, and there will be a country, again.

          • William Norris

            Dear Sir, I have no affection for your Nigeria. God forbid that I fall in love with a Zoo. Your Biafra is or was like Nigeria in that it incorporated diverse ethnic groups without their clear consent. It was essentially the Anambra Igbo playing the role of the hegemonist in the Eastern Region. Just like the Fulani do Nigeria.

            My point is simply this – ever since contact with the Europeans & Arabs, the Black Race has shown a consistent inability to self organize into viable nation states that the Black Peoples themselves feel happy to live in. Biafra will be no different from Nigeria, Haiti or any other nation space dominated by the Negro Race since contact with Europe and Arabia.

            Read the preceding paragraph well. There’s nothing ANYONE can do about it. It just is……which is to say, Darwin was right.

            Have a good day.

          • Don Franco

            Dear William Norris,

            A man who stands for nothing or no country will fall for anything or any “country”; therein lies your dilemma and ambivalence as a Niger Deltan. The Anambra Igbo is no more Igbo than the Imo or Ebonyi, or even Abia Igbo. We’re one people, and I find it entertaining that non-Igbos seem to be the experts about Igbo disunity that’s only a wishful figment of their docile imagination.
            I shall not dignify your profane utterances about Christianity with any response, for remember the fool says there’s no God.

            Biafra is already different from Nigeria in mindset, accomplishment and ethos; and I can see how that’s beyond your understanding.
            I was hoping you’d address the scientific achievements of Biafra, which is yet unequaled by any other African country, but you cleverly avoided it; and that is fine; but for what its worth, I’d like you to know and recognize that Thales, the first Greek philosopher was trained by “black Egyptians”, 300 years before Pythogoras, Euclid, Anaxagoras and the seven sages; who all preceded Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; all of whom codified the sciences in the separate and specialized order that we know it today.
            So your Athenians, Romans and German Audi and Mercedes engineering was predicated on Euclidean geometry and differential calculus as taught to Thales by ” black Egyptians”. Where were you, in our Laugardian zoo, when Chike Obi bagged his Phd in Mathematics?

            Biafra cannot help that you don’t see anything good in the black man; and given your political opinion, that is understandable, even if unacceptable. I can assure you that Biafrans are not waiting for your good opinion to set any example of what they have achieved in the past, and the excellence that they’re capable of in the future.
            Do be well, Mr. Norris.

          • Arabakpura

            I can see that you are not “Don” for nothing; in fact, I should say — “the Don!”

          • FrNinja

            Norris is not well. He starts off like a man of great thought and ends up like a child throwing tantrums.

          • William Norris

            For your information, I’m not from the Niger Delta.

            Meanwhile, it appears Igbo leaders have REJECTED any division of Nigeria. Here –

            https://www.google.com/search?q=IGBO+LEADERS+NORTH+MEET+RUFAI&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS731US731&oq=IGBO+LEADERS+NORTH+MEET+RUFAI&aqs=chrome..69i57.8327j0j3&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

          • FrNinja

            Your mental degeneration always reaches the same conclusion after lengthy debate.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            How is Jesus a homosexual?

          • Netanyahu

            Those flies are intruders, reaping where they did not sow. Lol.

          • FrNinja

            The Germans may have the biggest economy in Europe but the language of business is English and they don’t have a seat on the security council of the United Nations. Economic superiority is not political superiority.

          • Don Franco

            Dear Frninja,

            Economic superiority is inextricably intertwined with political superiority; English isn’t the language of business in China, Russia, Japan or France… Upon the activation of full Brexit , the role of English as a business language would be totally diminished as Bretton Woods, and major financial services providers are already relocating to Frankfurt.

          • Netanyahu

            Foul. I thought you were smarter than this. Sarcasm?

          • FrNinja

            You ain’t wrong. Just like the Germans who under-estimated the might of the Anglo-Saxon in World War I and World War II. The Igbos are politically naive when stacked up against the cunning Yoruba tribe and the imperious Hausa-Fulani. Missionary education is not political education.

          • Ibu Anyi Danda

            Louis Ojukwu became first Pound- Sterling millionaire in 1934 and J Green Mbadiwe became second Pound-Sterling millionaire in 1938.

        • Samson Judah

          I absolutely doubt they are special. We lived, moved and inter-married with he igbos and they are loved where ever they go in this country. Going by the obvious, its just a developed skill and cultural adaptation their way of retailing, we know the fulani has higher IQ than average Nigerians which is obvious but chose simplicity, humility and Gods-time as a way to life all courtesy of Islamic doctrines. In contrast, the igbos culturally chose trade over formal schooling or pastoralism- which ever you believe and celebrate can be a way…they (igbos) did not even have any commercial ingenuity and history before we were colonized, what we have now is a product of our European masters, we all learn from them, so please save the haughtiness for the foolish-next. Though the tenacity trait and arrogant culture is why the blind crave for at-all-cost riches. But your estimate of survival is a pointer of blind obsession on your people, so was Mandela’s SA and most freedom so-called fighters. Persecution works for our benefit, just like what comfort did to the North, and sociology and history did prove that.

          • Iskacountryman

            evans is an eboe genius from nnewi…

          • okwuchukwu

            Just like Oyenusi from Yoruba and Anini from Edo. These are the deviants and not the standards in these ethnicities, so say something important.

          • Don Franco

            Dear Okey,

            How dare you forge the great Sina Rambo and Monday Osunbor, including Inspector Iyamu!

          • Don Franco

            Where were Sino Rambo and Oyenusi from?

          • Arabakpura

            Of course he is, despite the fact that his ingenuity was in crime! The security men confirmed him as the smartest! Remember however that his victims were his own brothers whom he felt could afford his ransoms!

          • Iskacountryman

            his victims were biafrans…

        • William Norris

          Every race thinks they’re special.

          As for surviving against the odds, every other tribe in Nigeria is surviving and they’ve braved all kinds of injustice and violence just like the Igbo.

          You’re going to bring up the usual – Biafran War and the pogroms. Well, the Igbo tried to suppress the other tribes and those tribes fought back….as in, the other tribes resisted and survived.

          There are no special people in Zoo. The Igbo you claim as special, almost in their entirety are worshippers of a Jewish homosexual hobo. If they’re so special they would worship their own gods. The first thing about being special is self respect.

      • katalyst

        Have the igbos not proven that? Give them waivers, allocate oil wells, let them have a fair share in policy making and partake at d Aegean table -Abuja. U will see how Amutas Forbes billionaires will serve Igbo men.

    • American Abroad

      It is difficult, nigh impossible, to read from any of Nigeria’s many public intellectuals with a straight face. Most are a self-righteous trash-field of expletive hypocrisy. Amuta is but one; emblematic, but not prototypical or even characteristic. He is clearly well-informed, he is certainly well-educated, he stumbles then veers around the truth, he even writes rather well, but he is not virtuous. He knows, or should know, that Igbo have been excluded from the table and dining rights of this republic. As Elizabeth Warren once presciently remarked, though in another context, if you are not at the table, you probably are on the menu. And therein, lies the Nigerian, especially Igbo, paradox. The Igbo, who have been mostly sinned against than have perpetrated sin against the Nigerian project, are undoubtedly talented, possibly gifted, but it is all wasted in a barren land. Yet, Igbo have routinely, and remarkably, excused their “best and brightest” from political service, but have always recruited her worst examples, both in the First, Second (Shagari) and Third Republics: Orji Kalu, Okorocha, TA Orji, Ekweremadu, Uba (father, son, tout and pimp), from an area that could have fielded Obumselu, Nwakanma-Okoro (father, not son), Ogoazi, Ukiwe, and a host of informed minds who would assuredly never pick your pockets. In part, that is because those who have the most to give, are often impecunious in Nigeria’s post-war realty. Also, the damning Dunning-Krueger effect, a cognitive bias that permits the least endowed to appropriate the space of accomplishment, especially in unstable societies. How else would you explain Nnamdi Uba or Okorocha? Still, Amuta is on to something: ethnic invective, pretty much like alcoholic excess or pornography, is a product of diminishing returns; you need to turn up the noise to get the same effect. Which is why APGA gave way to MASSOB, and MASSOB in turn gave way to BIM, which in turn gave way to IPOB. It is a vicious race to the bottom. The consequences are still huge, possibly fatal: who will tell the Igbo that though they have suffered a raw deal in Buhari’s Nigeria, Biafra is not the solution? Landlocked Biafra is too small to be a viable republic, too big to be a dependable retreat from bloodthirsty neighbors, too homogenous to provide Igbo with an adequate creative (and commercial) outlet. Who shall tell the Igbo the unvarnished truth?

      • Jon West

        The Igbo know the unvarnished truth, and that is , that as talented and gifted as they are and as you admit, all that is in your words, “wasted in a barren land” , hence their desire to take their chances in a possibly mythical Biafra, with all its fears, disadvantages but also possible opportunities to change their own and Africa’s narrative, currently very hopeless.

        The futurist, Alvin Toffler, in his seminal work “Stay of Execution” posited , inter alia, that “A dying Man needs to Die ,as a a Sleepy Man Needs to Sleep; and there comes a time when it is both impossible and unnecessary to resist”. There is also an Igbo saying “Ejindu eme gini?” which translated literarily says, What Good is Life Without Hope?

        Some our fellow countrymen have been brought up to accept helplessness and hopelessness, couched under a cloak of religious and cultural stoicism. They are therefore better equipped to live in the barrenness of the Nigerian reality, but some of us cannot just bear this aura of perpetual hopelessness, which is why even “rational” heads, are now resigned to take their chances with anything but the Nigerian reality.

        When I hear about landlocked and other perceived disadvantages, I cannot help but wonder why the other Nigerians fail to see that the Igbo thrive in the greatest adversity and sometimes almost involuntarily will it, in order to prove to themselves that this aura of invincibility is actually real. Biafra was the ultimate test and everyone who passed through it has perhaps a different perspective but everyone agreed that it actually was proof of Igbo intellectual genius (in the technological sense), a genius that no other African ethnicity has even come anywhere near to.

        I , a natural liberal arts student, who scored a maximum of 15% in mathematics in 1966, became a Doctor of Engineering and a patent holder in chemical engineering, because of the influence of the rocket researchers Dr Garret B Leton, the Ogoni rocket fuel wizard who pioneered Biafran rocket research , production and deployment in my little village and Dr Gordian Ezekwe. 52 years after , peacetime Nigeria, imports paper clips, rubber bands, toothpick and toilet paper to name a few mundane items, and goes cap-in-hand, begging for bullets and small arms , to fight a bush insurgency.

        The foregoing reality is what is driving all this angst. Some people know that that they had done better than the painful reality of Nigeria’s political, economic and social hopelessness, in a previous incarnation, and they are therefore willing to “try their luck”, in a replication of some positive aspects of a mythical past. Some people can only take so much hopelessness, before having a go, any go.

        • Romla

          The day many on this forum and beyond understand that they don’t have exclusive rights to opinions,knowledge,education,talent,solutions,viewpoints,threats,violence,arrogance etc.That will be the beginning of the end of general non-sense that has characterized our country.

          • Jon West

            That’s what democracy is all about, genuine democracy. Freedom of speech, opinions and ideas. “Nonsense” is good for development and changes in human interactions. See what the nonsense of IPOB has wrought. Now everybody is talking to others , instead of at others. Maybe there could even be hope for Nigeria; see what nonsense has wrought, even in Jon West and American Abroad.

          • Romla

            Yes o.Practice it.

          • Jon West

            I practice it everyday I have been on this forum. You say your piece and I say mine. However some people are afraid of genuine dialogue. And by the way ,false humility is worse than the worst kind of arrogance and, in truth , talent and humility are real strangers; ask Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Okocha, Kanu, Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc. In the atmosphere of unbelievable mediocrity that is present day Nigeria, I am compelled to almost laugh at the “humble”. Let the humble sleep in Nigeria, leaving the arrogant in the rest of the world, to inherit the earth. I hope that makes some people happy.

          • Romla

            You should then have tried to appreciate Chidi Amuta’s opinion rather than totally condemn and belittle him.You are free to make your opinion(s) without the impression that it is God’s law.

          • Don Franco

            Dear Romla,

            Everything that Jon said about Chidi Amuta is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; l can understand the temerity in your advise that Jon not call out Chidi Amuta for the ventriloquist’s dummy that he is; but alas, no commentator on this forum has debunked the home truths that Jon told Dr. Amuta, truths, which are belittling in only your own opinion.

          • Romla

            Some commentators have in essence stated that everything Mr Amuta wrote about is rubbish.Very wise people listen properly to the babble of babies and gain something.If we listen and observe properly to even a “mad person” we may learn something.
            I don’t agree with everything all commentators put out,but I learn one or two things from their comments by appreciating some of their views.

          • Don Franco

            Dear Romla,

            While I agree with you that God gave us all two ears and only one mouth so that we can listen more and talk less; through sheer intellectual mischief and betrayal of decent Igbos; Dr. Amuta has dishonorably managed to negatively inspire other race traitors like Churchill Okonkwo and Joe Igbokwe who spew forth malicious lies about Igbos; hence the need for him to be called out with the intensity that Jon West did.
            I tried as hard as l could, but couldn’t find any positives to grasp from his oped. Apologies.

          • Romla

            Ok.

          • onyema22ohaka

            My dear person,
            Dr Chidi Amuta writes absolute crap.I have been following his “pay as go for hire” writing since his Babangida prince of the Niger biography in the 80s.Where did it get you and me if I may ask you?
            Again he was in the bandwagon with his afonja co-travelers touting Buahari,the daura dullard as the best thing for project Nigeria.Where is project Nigeria today with the missing in action Buahari?:
            There is nothing wonderful about Chidi Amuta’s write up please.

          • Musibau Adebayo

            Whaahoo!!!!!!! I envy your intelligence in responses on this particular topic. Truth be told , A doctor in Chemical engineering? No doctor in Philosophy, History or political science could floor you in a debate of present political tremor in Nigeria. i dough my cap. with positive envy.

          • Jon West

            I also raise my hat to you in appreciation. Thank you.

          • William Norris

            Some opinions are WRONG and some are RIGHT.

            When the majority of Nigerians learn to choose or follow the RIGHT instead of WRONG is when progress will start.

          • Romla

            Opinions being right or wrong depends on who is giving and who is assessing.You obviously feel your opinions are right,others may see them or some of them as wrong.
            The essence of debates,conferences and fora like this is to express different opinion,hopefully with anyone or group being under the illusion their opinion is the right one.

        • American Abroad

          Jon:
          I feel your pain. It equally saddens me that a man of your undoubted intellect- even when I do not agree with your assertions, you certainly possess more intellectual nous than the rest of the rabble-rousers who populate (and desecrate) these BackPages- has been so betrayed by our home country. Like you, my native inclinations were towards the so-called liberal arts, but it never stopped me from attaining degrees in Philosophy and Natural Sciences. The difference, I suppose, was that immediately after defending my PhD thesis, I was offered a coveted position at my Oxbridge alma mater, which amongst other things, rescued me from what Nigeria has since become.
          In war-time, self-sufficiency is triggered by extreme circumstances: it was the shortage of saltpeter during the Civil War that led to full-scale collection of urine from Southern Confederate belles as a ready source of ammonia and, of course, gunpowder. I do not minimize Leton or Ezekwe, but those are the usual harvests of war from fertile brains. Not surprisingly, such heights of insight and improvisation are almost never repeated in peace-time.
          For me, the tragedy is that the potential of folks like you is wasted, especially in a country where such knowledge is really very limited, few and far between. I’d rather you were prospecting for oil or utilizing your engineering knowledge for the betterment of country, than acting as an internet hell-raiser. That Buhari does not appear to see the hoary nature of wasted talent in Nigeria, or have a mechanism to fully harness it, is my biggest “beef” with the Daura general.

          • onyema22ohaka

            I for one do read and appreciate Jon West’s public intellectualism and do religiously read him as much as I can.He keeps me interested in the Igbo affairs despite my generation of Nigerians being the aborted generation by the daura dullard’s first outing in 1984/85.
            Jon West is a public intellectual per excellence!

        • FrNinja

          Impoverished Benin Republic did not find it difficult to generate 24 hour power supply nor provide pipe-borne water in the city of Cotonou. Something the Zoo Republic of Nigeria has failed to achieve with billions of oil money.

      • Don Franco

        Dear American Abroad,

        Only you have succeeded in telling us varnished lies about the non-viability of our fatherland. You must be cleverer than Chinua Achebe and Chris Okigbo.
        For every corrupt Igbo politician that you named in your comment, l can name five from other ethnicities of this Lugardian zoo; but they have still managed to keep the Igbo grossly marginalized out of the political and economic mainstream of Nigeria.
        There are countless countries, globally, that do not have half the geographical and ecological, not to mention the intellectual capital of Biafra that have made success of themselves; yet in you over-educated opinion, Biafra is too small to be a “viable” republic.
        It is very easy to cowardly wax sanctimonious behind a key from North America, but whether you know it or not; there was once a country that could have been the shining example of what the black race can achieve by intellectual harvest and innovation; we still dream of that republic, and that dream will be realized in our lifetime to the chagrin of naysayers, like yourself.

        • American Abroad

          Mr Don Franco:
          I have nothing against ethnic apologia, and I certainly do not claim that political skullduggery or official corruption is a peculiarly Igbo aberration. But let’s stick to the facts.
          1. I know that Achebe and Okigbo were creative prodigies, even genius, but “clever”, as in intellectual or superior insight? Knock me down with a feather, mate!
          2. There is a beautiful Ashanti proverb that goes thus: Only a fool calls the forest which gives him shelter and food a jungle.
          Think about it, in reference to your “zoo” metaphor.
          3. By geographical and ecological “capital”, which I suppose you mean the rich red earth of Mbawsi and the erosion-devastated wetlands of Oko, I’d like you to name one country- any country- that has made a success of it, with similar geographical afflictions. Switzerland? Monaco? Israel? Austria? Exactly: false equivalence, my friend, false equivalence.
          4. Finally, “wax sanctimonious” from North America: besides the dubious grammar, I should point out that I never wax “sanctimonious”, but have been known to wax “ex cathedra”, and periodically, even wax “poetic”. Kapisci?

          • Don Franco

            Dear American Abroad,

            It is my position that your ethnic apologia is predicated on riding political technicalities to a silly conclusion; or else, how would you refer to Achebe and Okigbo as “unclever” mere prodigies and “even genius? I doubt that even the weight of lead (Pb), would be heavy enough to knock down your level of intellectual disingeniousness.
            Your quick to list Tai Solarin and Bala Usman; a School Master and a Professor of History, as the heights of intellectual rectitude that Igbos cannot equal; but you intentionally leave out and disparage the accomplishments and memory of Senator Chuba Okadigbo; Charles Soludo, Pat Utomi, Emeka Anyaoku, Peter Obi, John Nnia Nwodo and Professor Charles Okeahalam. For your information, Igbo never went for Orji Kalu and Ohakim, these criminals imposed themselves, as they do across the entire Nigerian political constellation.
            Whether you wax ex cathedra or poetic, I find that trolling is a perilous profession and cowardice is easiest from behind a keyboard in far away North America.

          • American Abroad

            Dear Mr Franco:
            Not surprisingly, you appear to confuse garrulousness with intelligence, wit with insight, opinion with fact, and alas, perspective with truth. Again, those are the end-result of years of a minimalist type of education in my country of birth.

            More substantively, Nigeria is in crisis, mostly man-made but still dire, each Nigerian comes to the table- or keyboard- as a prisoner of his own experience and social limitations. The most assured, completely lacking in doubt, often do not understand the situation or what is truly at stake. We are all, to varying degrees, prisoners of our education and exposure.
            But I’ll grant you this: platitudes, prejudice, group-think, dogma, ethnic shibboleths, Me-against-Them can only take you so far. And no further. Nothing in Life ever works, until you do.

            The politics of identity never elevates any group, race or Man. It matters little if the substrate is tribe, gender, class, religion, or even sexuality. Life is about who you are, less about what Language happens to be your mother-tongue.

            What more can I politely tell you on a public forum?

          • FrNinja

            “The politics of identity never elevates any group, race or Man”. Is this what you learnt after years in Europe and in America ? You were clearly brainwashed. That the lion sleeps is no proof of everlasting peace.

          • remm ieet

            American Abroad is a coon. Don’t waste your time on him

          • American Abroad

            Ah, but for the anonymity of idiocy behind a keyboard.
            Sir, I only ask you to present your facts or opinions in the marketplace of ideas: may the most solid argument win.
            I will leave you with a memorable Ga proverb: We are all searching, mostly for truth, some for recognition. Life is full of questions. Idiots are full of answers.
            Makes sense?

          • remm ieet

            I just think we need a bit of humility, regardless of who we are.

          • Don Franco

            Dear American Abroad,

            You have said so much, and yet said nothing. It is fine to arrogate and approbate the monopoly of a decent education only to yourself; unfortunately the impasse at which Nigeria finds herself presently can do without your kind of platitudes and intellectual gymnastics.
            I, myself, enjoy elevated diction, exact prose, and syntax vocabulary, but alas, Biafrans are only demanding their right to Self Determination, to which Nigeria is signatory; how that is repugnant to your political opinion is beyond me.

          • American Abroad

            Dear Mr Franco:
            Yet again, I feel constrained to respond, at least to set matters straight before the vast reading public who must have to ultimately choose where they stand in this peculiar Nigerian imbroglio.
            I do not arrogate anything, either to myself or anyone else. I only state the facts as they are, without contest. There are no monopolies of education, or more importantly, knowledge; but yes, I do agree that I have been privileged to receive a better-than-average education at Oxbridge. Platitudes? Gymnastics? My forte is argumentation, with facts, logic and reason in the best Socratic method. “Biafrans” and everyone else have a right to self-determination; that should never be abridged. But do you speak for your self, family, clan, ethnic conclave, state, all Igbo (including Onitsha, Ika-Igbo, Ikwerre, within a polyglot cultural grouping), South-Easterners (including the Annang, Ibibio, Ijaw, et cetera) or the former Eastern Region of 1966?
            Again, the Dunning-Krueger effect strikes once more! With absolutely no hint of irony, you then proclaim a mastery of diction, prose and “syntax vocabulary”- whatever that means- whilst each sentence (each sentence!!) you write is riddled with grammatical errors, from your very first post to the latest! Brother, what more can I say?

          • Don Franco

            Dear American Abroad,

            What more you can say, is inderd up to you, but not so fast! I will not allow you to get away with your untenable opinion about the non-feasibility of a Biafran republic; you may try to digress or confuse this issue by implied insults to my lexicon; or making unverifiable and possibly false claim to an Oxbridge qualification, the consensus of opinion among Igbo people is that Biafra is viable, QED.
            I’ll ignore your Freudian slip about Jon West, as I don’t see any relevant or material nexus to him in my difference of to your opinion ; except maybe your own inferiority complex to his writing style.

      • FrNinja

        The South-East alone is 41,000 square kilometers or roughly the size of the Netherlands. It has an estimated 25 million plus people living in it. It has at least 1-5 billion barrels of crude oil, 2 billion tonnes of coal, 200 million tonnes of limestone, lots of arable land. It is not landlocked *unless the River Niger is categorized as land.

        Taiwan which is smaller in size than South-Eastern Nigeria has thrived in opposition to the far larger and more populous People’s Republic of China. Today Taiwan has a larger GDP than the Federal Government of Nigeria with less than one-eight of its population.

        The issue over Biafra (and Boko Haram before that) should have made Nigerians sit up and face the reality that Nigeria has failed and worked hard to fix it. But like ostriches the focus is on replaying the anthem Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable while the walls of unity have long cracked and the house built with cheap commitment is collapsing.

      • Orphic

        “who will tell the Igbo …?”, that line is an atypical Yoruba response to the Igbo, usually followed by a treatise on federal allocations.
        If a person is not happy then there is nothing you can do to convince him that he should be happy and that dissatisfaction cannot be ameliorated by pointing out the material positive aspects of his current situation.
        Individual or group satisfaction (happiness) is not something that can be objectively judged into truth or untruth. What makes the drunkard happy does not affect the teetotaller in the same way.
        The Igbo are dissatisfied not strictly or purely for material reasons but also because other aspects of Nigeria’s iniquity fall heavily on them.
        As long as they have that perception then I for one would not stand in their way nor produce spurious arguments in an attempt to show that their viewpoint is unreasonable or wrong.
        Nor would I even attempt to restrict their borders – as many do, in order to make it as uneconomic as possible for them. Instead I would argue for a popular plebiscite that allows relevant areas in the SE to decide their sovereignty, only after that has occurred and borders fixed can an argument be made about being landlocked.
        In the light that there can be no ‘unvarnished truth’ to a group’s satisfaction, then your last sentence appears at worst as a threat of violence.

        • American Abroad

          I know that the Igbo are dissatisfied with Nigeria as it is. So am I. So are my kin. So is everybody. I might even wager that so is Mr Buhari himself.
          The question is really: What gives? Qui Bono?
          Not all protests are wise, and not all protesters are noble. We have faced protests and demonstrations in Nigeria for donkey-years, most being subverted by the ignoble, the poor and helpless ultimately being called upon to sacrifice their blood on the altar of Nigeria’s hedonism. Remember Abacha’s Million March, June 12 Demonstrations, Ali Must Go, Ojukwu Mandate (circa, 1966)… it is a long list. Before we all speak for “Igbo” and throw our divination beads on their behalf, let us remember that we have all seen this particular movie before. Such as “If the East is allowed to go, the West will also secede”. History never teaches anybody anything; reflecting on history does.

          • Orphic

            I believe that these agitations are matters that should be put to rest. Only the Igbo’s threaten it therefore their dissatisfaction have gained our attention above other groups.
            “Before we all speak for “Igbo” and throw our divination beads….”, it is in view of this that I support the call for a popular plebiscite to decide once and for all, otherwise this creature would continue to rear its ugly head, holding back Nigeria as far as an underperforming country can be even further held back.
            I know this view is hard for other Nigerians to accept, no one wants the home he has built to be divided but a home with discontent and rebellious murmurings is no place for domestic harmony.

    • Iskacountryman

      first october….make you begin pack…o

    • ayo

      What have the Igbos been doing with the federal allocation to their various states since the beginning of the present republic(1999) ? How come the east is still so underdeveloped despite the monthly allocation from the centre? States in The Eastern part of Nigeria are not even known for high IGRs’. What has the east done with what it has recieved from the centre all these years ? Or have they not been ruled by easterners? See all regions in this country are a victim of the same problem regardless of ethnicity. It is the tale of two cities , a battle between the Haves and Have-not’s. This idea of proclaim superiority over others always leads to evil actions and it is no way the solution. By the way Jon West , do you live in Nigeria ?

      • Jon West

        Yes, I live in Nigeria and have always done ,except the years of education and some employment. I dont really know why people think that the Southeast is not developed, like thinking that India is not developed because of a dearth of infrastructure.

        What you call development is actually the presence of artifacts, not real knowledge, the driver of real development. The Southeast is the most developed part of Nigeria and the least poor. Go to a typical Southeast village and you will wonder whether you are still in Nigeria. Actually , I dont want my pristine village to be any more “developed” than it is.
        It is in Ariria market, Onitsha and Nnewi that you can fabricate anything you need for projects in Nigeria, but people are looking for huge buildings and flyovers as signs of development. Go to Norway , Switzerland and Denmark, and you will neither see many SUVs , flyovers, skyscrapers etc, but people are in humble buildings creating useful materials and products. As an engineer, I am always aware that I can fabricate anything from a design in Aba, NNewi, Alaba, Gudu, De- Dei etc, and we know the operators there. So- called banking and other services do not develop a country. You have to be able to produce what you need in order to develop, and the southeast is the cradle of industrial development in Nigeria.

        • okwuchukwu

          Don’t mind them. The Germans sold the Alpha Jets to the Nigeria Airforce in the eighties. today the Germans can no longer supply the parts to the jets since they are out of production.

          The Airforce has now turned to Innoson motors who recently fabricated those parts for them. DICON the so called Defence Insutries Corporation of Nigeria established in the eighties and chaired by T.Y Danjuma has been Bagging and selling salt instead of producing armaments. They are now into talks with Innoson motors to see how he can help them refocus on real production.

  • Obi Ike Sorres

    Please bring out the restructuring part very well. Consolidate the writings with facts and examples so it resonates with all. Biafra agitators are not only the illiterates. Because the lowly ones are the ones flying the campaign doesn’t mean educated, exposed, well travelled are not in support.

  • Don Franco

    Dear Dr. Amuta,

    l commend you for a thought-provoking oped; which will now be copiously quoted by Igbo-haters as gospel; thank you for giving them ammunition;….. but your article is replete with factual inaccuracies about the ways and means that a lopsided federal structure has contributed to the underdevelopment of the SE; and about your vehement suggestion and encouragement for a “war outcome” as the only means to resolve the Biafra question.

    I make bold to say that the outcome of the civil war and genocide of 3 million Biafrans bred a cowardly intelligentsia of our people, of which you’re a high priest; or else, why you do you ignore the lessons of history indicating that there are peaceful non-violent means to effect a secession and or restructuring of contraption that is premised on oil-rent, without the option of a war?

    Whether you admit it or not, an overwhelming majority of Igbo people want nothing to do with a northern wahabbist religiousity that is responsible for the inability of Igbos to achieve their fullest potential along the matrix that you so ably detailed in this article. Everything that Igbos do not have in Nigeria in terms of Money, Media, Raw Coercive Power and Traditional Authority; they don’t have, only because they’re Igbo; and everything that Northerners have, they have because they are Northerners; they never earned it!

    The Nigerian Government isn’t capable of accepting a referendum or restructuring of the current arrangement; it may take the UN to legislate the final outcome for three countries to be created of this Lugardian contraption.

  • KWOY

    But for (1) being bold to tell the world that Biafra Memorial was NO crime, (after all the Yoruba in copy, re-started June 12 remembrance & no one is raising hairs!) & (2) & acknowledging that there has to be restructuring (having taken the courage after U hve read Adeniyi’s lips!, whose head is for but whose heart is against), the rest is thrash!

    • santos

      Exactly!! Thank God he is sane enough to realize that people have it as a fundamental right to mourn their dead. And also very importantly, that restructuring is the way.

      Making comparative analysis between a group of people that were penniless five decades ago with the rest of the regions that acquired most of their wealth through rent seeking economy is not just height of absurdity but shows the level of intellectual soundness of these writers.

      One need not go into his barrage of self conflicting analysis in a single write up.

      • Obi Ike Sorres

        So many rubbish with good grammar

    • Daniel Obior

      What else does one expect from Chidi Amuta but trash? Recall the trash of a biography of Babangida titled Prince of the Niger which he wrote sometime ago.

  • Daniel Obior

    Must there be a war if marginalised people agitate for separation from a union? How come every commentator on Biafra suggests a war outcome? There was a war the last time because the whole issue was badly handled by military people from both sides. We have a democratic setting with civilians in-charge today. The chances are that it could be better handled to attain a peaceful resolution, if political options are taken seriously. It may well be that the eventual outcome of tabling the issue will not result in separation ultimately, but a structural change that will satisfy all parties. Enough of this blackmail with a war outcome, for the genuine aspirations of a group of people. If it will also result in war this time around, it is not because people are agitating. It will be more the fault of the most divisive head of state we have ever had in this country, whose siege mentality inordinately drives him into repressive actions.

    • Fula

      Once the ball is set rolling, Controlling it becomes more difficult. Like the last time round, hotheads prevail

    • Jon West

      Why are some Nigerians terribly afraid of dialogue, always resorting to war songs and war stories , instead of war of words? Perhaps, a little bit more education can help out, but unfortunately, when you are accustomed to scoring 1%, even dialogue becomes a great challenge, because of a fear of being outed by superior logic garnered from having to score 80%.

      • William Norris

        The martial element of Nigerian politics started with a couple of guys named Chukwuma Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna. They even fired the first shots in the War against Corruption.

        I’m sure you know that.