The Igbo man is known to enjoy blaming the Hausa – Fulanis, Yorubas and indeed every other Nigerian tribe and Lord Luggard/Britain for their third class citizen status of Nigeria. In their perpetual attempts to a play the victim card, they recount the political events of Nigeria from 1914 to the present in a half-baked and highly selective manner which cleverly avoids the mention of the roles played by their elite who by all natural laws of judgement were actually responsible for the woes that befell not only the Igbo race but the entire Nigeria.
The story told in the post above is one of such selective and distorted accounts of history which the average Igbo man is fond of.
However, the national archives have the complete and unedited history of Nigeria regarding the political events beginning from even before 1914. I will therefore proceed to furnish this house with the complete story for all to read and be endowed with enough facts so as to judge from an informed position.
Shortly after the 1914 Amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates, it started getting clear that the country was bound to fail as the amalgamation in question was done by colonial fiat without the consent of the different Ethnic group which were over 300. This prompted the political leaders to start asking for de-amalgamation so as to forestall the future danger which the forced amalgamation portended.
To that end, Ahmadu Bello, speaking on behalf of the Northern protectorate in 1944 described the amalgamation as “The mistake of 1914 which if allowed to remain will ultimately lead to unstoppable bloodshed and a failed country”.
Awolowo, speaking on behalf of the Yorubas and Western minorities, described Nigeria as a mere geographical expression not qualified to be a called a country let alone a nation. Awolowo added that if the amalgamation could not be reversed, then Nigeria should be structured as a strictly federal state so as to enable each tribe enjoy autonomy this freedom from being dominated by any other tribe.
But Nnamdi Azikiwe, speaking for the Igbos, denounced Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, termed them ethnic champions, accused them of nursing a sectional agenda against the unity of Nigeria, and declared that the Unity of Nigeria was non-negotiable.
After moving motion for independece in 1953, Anthony Enahoro proposed that a secession clause should be incorporated into the future Constitution of Nigeria so as to give legal backing for any tribe to peacefully exit the forced union if it feels marginalized in future. According to Enahoro, such provision in our constitution would instill in all Nigeria’s future leaders the fear of the consequences of misgovernance. But Azikiwe, speaking on behalf of Igbos, rose against him in the parliament and labelled him an agent of disunity, and enemy of Nigeria. At a later date, Awolowo too made a case for secession clause, but Azikiwe again resisted him and instigated the colonial authorities to threaten him and Enahoro with charges of treasonable felony if they didn’t stop proposing secession clause for the future Constitution. While Azikiwe did all this, Igbos cheered and urged him on because they felt the future Nigeria was theirs to dominate and lord it over every other tribe.
Before independece, Tafawa Balewa too had in a public speech described Nigeria as a British experiment and Nigeria’s unity as a British intention which Nigerians themselves don’t believe in. But Azikiwe kicked demonized him too. Had Azikiwe co-operated with Enahoro, Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa about the secession clause, Nigeria perhaps would not have been this misgoverned.
For those in doubt, here is a link of one of the numerous instances in which Nnamdi Azikiwe fought against the secession clause proposal for the future Nigeria constitution.
On regaining his freedom few weeks later and being told of Azikiwe’s radio interview, Enahoro resigned from his post as Editor of Azikiwe’s newspaper – The West African Pilot.
Then he wrote a book titled “Nnamdi Azikiwe: Sinner of Saint”. After launching the book, Enahoro left Azikiwe’s party – the NCNC, and moved over to Awolowo’s Action Group. The first military coup in Nigeria was carried out by majority Igbo army officers. That was the coup that truncated democracy just six years post Independence and led to a succession of coups which put the country on the reverse gear for 33 years.
Through that first coup, those Igbo army officers who accused the politicians and government of the day of monumental corruption, killed the political leaders of the Northern, Western and Midwestern Regions but allowed all Igbo political figures escape by tipping them off prior to the D-Day. In addition to the killing of political figures, they also killed a total of 27 innocent high ranking military officers from every region except their Eastern Region.
Then on May 30, 1967, Ojukwu too declared secession of Biafra Republic from Nigeria and without consulting or apologising to Isaac Boro’s, drew a Biafra map which included the very areas that made up Isaac Adaka Boro’s earlier declared Niger Delta Republic for which he fought against him and killed his soldiers.
In that constitution, Nigerians all agreed that on no account shall the military take over power. It was also clearly stated in it that ammendments to it could be done by only democratically elected respresentatives.That constitution was the first ever agreement between all Nigerians.