Chief, I can understand how you feel about this elder business. After all, I too am an elder. I will find time to reply in full but for now, just note the following:
- Igbo youth are not disrespectful of elders but they are also discerning and have no difficulty in knowing the role each elder has played in their lives whether at the family, community or national level.
- Our people are suffering seriously today because of omissions of many so-called elders. Let us take the Azikiwe that all of us were brought up to regard as a demigod.
- Azikiwe had every chance to give us our freedom but he woefully failed to do so. Azikiwe was not one of the current 419 politicians. He was thoroughly educated and intelligent as a human being.
- Azikiwe studied the developing Nigeria that was to become a country. He knew his contemporaries Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello. He knew they were both extremely racist and reflected their people’s hatred against the Igbos. He knew that Britain favoured them, particularly the Fulani in the distribution of colonial appointments. He knew the British rigged every census since 1931 to give the north a huge majority which then British administrators still alive have confirmed. Zik witnessed the massacre of the Igbos in Jos in 1945. All the warning signs were there.
- What did that selfish man do? He did exactly what the fools calling themselves Igbo political leaders today do. He went to the Lancaster House Conference in London to discuss the official departure of the British and so called independence and instead of standing on his feet like a man to demand independence for his people like they did in Pakistan from India at independence, he put his personal political ambition above that of millions of his people. Listen to me, the British offered him a political title without any power – Governor General/ President. The British did not believe Zik would accept and they had other top positions like foreign minister, etc to members of his NCNC to help Zik swallow the bitter pill.
- To their surprise, Azikiwe accepted, signed the dotted line for one Nigeria and sealed the fate of millions of Igbo people.
- Imagine how many massacres, war, genocide Igbo people suffered since 1960 thanks to selfish Igbo politicians like Azikiwe.
- When war started, he ran to Lagos to live with Gowon while Igbos were being wiped out. The father of Nnia Nwodo was busy as a saboteur which his son inherited.
I will continue this article because I’m getting very angry.
- Instead of Azikiwe to help his people in any way he could, he started addressing the world press and criticising Ojukwu and saying he was not going to allow himself to be pushed around by people in temporary power. Zik did more to demoralise Biafra than any other single individual.
- When the regions started their self rule, Zik went to contest in Yorubaland to become their leader. Believe me, Azikiwe simply did not understand politics very well. He won in Yorubaland but before he could resume there, Awolowo came and told Yoruba people that Zik was Igbo and not one of them. In broad daylight, almost all the supporters of Azikiwe in the Western House rallied behind Awolowo. Azikiwe still did not learn any lesson before independence that one Nigeria was not workable, just like present day Igbo leaders can never learn any lesson no matter how many times the Fulani treat them like tissue paper.
- Rejected by the Yorubas, Zik of Africa then remembered that he was an Igbo man. He came to Enugu to kick Professor Eyo Ita out as premier which still angers our brothers in riverine Biafra till today.
- Zik of Africa was there when the British set up the minorities commission in Eastern Nigeria with the aim of dividing the East. They did not set up any minorities commission in the North or West. They made a deal with the French to carve out Western Cameroon from Eastern Nigeria in exchange for carving out Northern Cameroon and adding the whole Adamawa to an already bloated Northern Nigeria. They shrunk our size and inflated the size of the north. Our dear Azikiwe saw nothing wrong in all this and could not predict what these political games were leading to.
- After the war, every Igbo family was mourning the death of their loved ones. Azikiwe was writing poems mourning the destruction of his library in Nsukka.
- After the war, they commissioned the hateful Justice Maman Nasir – the very useless idiot that died last year that another elder and saboteur Orji Uzo Kalu praised so much. Those are Igbo elders for you. Maman Nasir’s job was to carve out stretches of Igboland from all sides and hand over to other surrounding states. All the oil producing areas in Ndoki, Egbema, etc were carved out of Igboland. Zik was alive. He never called the Fulani and the Yoruba to order. Zik was known all over the world but he never called for an international inquiry into serious massacres and attempted genocide in Igboland by the Fulani and their willing tool Yakubu Gowon.
I have discussed Zik in summary because he represents the Igbo elders and politicians who have wasted 50 years compromising the great Igbo Nation. Everyone in Igboland respects Ojukwu, Okpara, Akanu Ibiam and others like them. These were Igbos who knew who they were. Today, everyone respects Abaribe. Our people are not fools. History is very fair in the long term.
By Chief Sir Barrister Onyekachi Agwu