Several prominent Nigerians have described young people holding placards in Igboland and agitating for the creation of the Biafra Republic, a country made up solely of, and administered by, Igbo people in Southeast Nigeria, as a complete waste of time.
If the Igbo finally break away, they argued, it will be a good thing for the rest of Nigeria as Igbo people are yet to come out of the civil war defeat and inferiority complex, and have been constituting nuisance for others with their frequent display of anger and complaints of discrimination.
For one, they said, there is nothing too attractive in Igboland and the discrimination they complain about is more virulent in Igboland than in the rest of Nigeria.
While Igbo are well established in many parts of Nigeria, it is increasingly difficult for them to accord the same favours to strangers in their lands, these prominent people from Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani tribes told Simonateba.com.
They advised Igbo to first begin to accept themselves, arguing that among many tribes in Igboland, there are still deep seated discriminations. Some Igbo people, they claimed, feel superior to other Igbo tribes within Igboland.
And if the Igbo cannot even accept themselves, how will they form a united Republic, these people asked rhetorically.
The prominent Nigerians who spoke to simonateba.com did not want to be mentioned, arguing that it was unnecessary to be dragged into a needless controversy of a tribe that continues struggle to find its foot within Nigeria 45 years after the civil war ended in 1970.
These people dismissed allegations by the Igbo that they are being discriminated against within Nigeria and said power is not served a la carte.
“If they want power, they must be well organised and strike deals with other tribes instead of screaming in Onitsha or Enugu streets ,” a prominent Nigerian said.
They said Nigeria is a better place for all its tribes and although not perfect has come a long way and is moving forward.
Many people took to the street on Thursday to call for the release of Nnamdi Kanu of London-based radio Biafra, an activist radio station calling for the end of Igbo slavery within Nigeria and said they want to break away.
Since the end of Nigeria’s civil war in 1970, many Igbo people have complained that they have not been fully integrated into Nigeria or are not accepted by other tribes, especially the Hausa, Fulani and Yoruba tribes in northern and southwestern Nigeria.
Federal appointments, many Igbo people have claimed, have not favoured them. But other tribes have long argued that Igbo are great businessmen and have received very prominent appointments under leaders from other tribes.
Besides, Igbo are so deep in tribalism, that once one of them is appointed, that sector of the economy is flooded with other Igbo immediately, they said.
“Once, you make an Igbo man or woman minister, chances are he or she will flood the Ministry with Igbo people,” a prominent Nigerian said, citing the example of Stella Oduah, the corrupt former minister of Aviation who bought two bullet proof cars for N255 million and flooded Aviation agencies with her tribesmen.
Many Igbo people who spoke to simonateba.com dismissed the idea of Biafra and said the young men carrying placards and blocking Onitsha bridge should find unity within Igboland first before demanding justice from elsewhere.
Over the years, these arguments and counter arguments have been advanced and many Igbo have argued that other tribes feel intimidated by them as they are very hard working and not as lazy as many others in Nigeria who sell all their land to the Igbo and then blame them for buying the land in the first place.
An Igbo man or woman, they argued, could bring out water in the desert and these qualities have not gone down well with other tribes.
In the midst of arguments and counter arguments, even simonateba.com gets confused.