by Habeeb Isiaka
The year 1970 represents hope and stability in the history of Nigeria. It was the year that marked the end of the civil war after several millions of people have lost their lives and properties, while hunger and starvation have taken over the country, crime became the order of the day. The then great leader of the self-acclaimed secessionist under the auspices of the Republic of Biafra, Colonel Odumegu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu led a war that caused devastation which almost led to the total annihilation of the Igbo race. The lesson that must not be forgotten in that era is Ojukwu later gave up his hopes and aspiration of seeing the Republic of Biafra after facing stiff opposition in the hands of defeat, the major lesson is Ojukwu ran into exile and was eventually pardoned and life goes on, but remember the lives and properties destroyed never came back.
However, over the years people have refused to learn from history and have preferred ignorance to knowledge. Ethnicity and religion have been used as an excuse, rather than facing the truth. Before the recent agitation for the creation of Biafra, we should understand that indeed the government has failed Nigerians as a whole. We need to understand the fact that corruption should not be affiliated with any religion or ethnic groups, as various members of different ethnic and religious groups have been appointed into various positions and have failed woefully. The social and ethical structure of the country is weak, as crime and corruption have become the norms and culture of the people.
The agitation for the Republic of Biafra makes me wonder at this point if it will ever solve the issue of hunger, joblessness, insecurity, or whether the leaders will be different from the same old goons that have looted numerous wealth for themselves and family. We know the obvious answer to this question. At this point, I strongly believe that one of our major problems in this country is illiteracy and unemployment, let’s put sentiments aside and be objective, which educated and employed person will want an atmosphere of uncertainty, chaos and insecurity. Most times the masses are used as weapons to protest and agitate and in return, they are promised freedom and salvation which will never come to pass. The point here is how many politicians have come to our doorsteps over the years with many mouth-watering promises during campaigns? And have they been able to deliver after being elected?
At this juncture, let put religion or ethnic bigotry aside and face the bull by the horn, I believe all Nigerians have suffered from leadership deficiency, but ironically we have all supported it in one way or the other, during campaigns we rush to politicians’ houses to collect different gifts and sell out our franchise and in return they loot our funds and the cycle continues, so who is fooling who?
My advice to my fellow compatriot is that, let us all stand and fight against corruption in our society so as to maintain sanity in our electoral system by voting politicians that have their people at heart. The country over the years has made everyone to be a government of their own. At over 57 years of independence, no light, no water, bad schools and unequipped hospital, as we can tell from the recent health pilgrim of our President. I hope we all understand that the bad conditions do not only affect the Igbo race but indeed the whole country and if we should allow war opportunists and entrepreneurs to mislead us into war, we will all suffer together. So let us endeavour to channel our energy towards, restructuring and readjustment of our country against corruption from our so-called leaders who have used religion and ethnicity to rob us of our rights and privileges as Nigerians.
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