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Igboland – Truth of the matter: History and other lessons, By Fred Chukwuelobe

Dave Umahi, Chairman, South East Governors Forum

The youths of today want war. They have not witnessed one before. They want independence too. Everybody wants independence from oppression. Everybody.
But how best do you achieve it and to what end?

Many of the youths are rude, uncouth and abusive. You either support them and their thoughts and actions or you’re branded a fool, called an idiot and threatened with thunder and fire.

Some elders are complicit. They vent their (our) frustrations on the oppressors and on everybody else. They don’t help the youths to know. Even with their experience, the way to it is fight. War. Who has war helped? The ones we fought set us back. So, why do we need to fight another?

To find out, pease let’s insist on making history compulsory in schools and universities. Let’s go back and read and reread our history books.

Let’s teach this IT generation history of Nigerian civil war and about wars in other nations.

We need to teach them about freedom struggles, about South African fight against apartheid.

They need to learn a lesson or two about the Israeli  – Palestinian conflict, the civil war in Sudan, the partition of Sudan between North and South and the strife in South Sudan after independence was achieved.

Somebody should teach them about the dichotomy in the old Anambra State between the so-called Wawa and Agbenu people, who are today divided into Enugu, Ebonyi and parts of Abia and then the present Anambra State. Despite the creation of the states, the mutual hatred and mistrust have not abated. Don’t kid yourselves. They’re still very much there.

The truth of the matter is that marginalisation comes in various forms. None is good. But it’s unending. The political leaders of the South East are marginalising their people by not applying resources allocated  to the area well. So is the federal government by not applying tact, even spread and justice in appointments, promotions and allocation of resources.

Under presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, the Igbo had the chance to change things. Did they? What impact did our prominent positions in the two administrations have on us?

We secured approval for Enugu to become an international airport, built one of the worst airports in this nation and complained and abused everybody except those who did it. Now, it has been done and done reasonably well. That has not stopped the marginalisation anyway.

But seeing rats in your living room requires that you kill them tactfully. You do not set your house ablaze, go outside and wait for the fire to kill the rats.

Only a mad man sets his house ablaze, goes out smiling that the house is well lit. The fire will raze your house and you’d become homeless.

Nkwucha aburo uju – Igbo proverb.

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