Republicanism was one of the features of the Igbo people’s pre-colonial society. It was an acephalous society. That was one of the reasons the invading British overlords used warrant chiefs in their administration of the people.
Although Christianity made inroads into the southeast during the colonial era, it couldn’t obliterate the people’s cultural heritage.
However, sadly, after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, we started witnessing the erosion of core Igbo values in Igbo society. Then, musicians of Igbo descent started producing songs that eulogize people with ill-gotten stupendous wealth. But a poor man, who possesses probity, is vilified and treated with ignominy. During social functions, a poor man will become butt of jokes, if he tries to air his opinion on an issue. And this unedifying saying has surreptitiously entered into the tapestry and fabric of the Igbo philosophy: Onye ego bu eze which translated to English means – a rich man is king.
Reminiscent of what happened in Things Fall Apart, the literary classic written by Chinua Achebe, the things that held the Igbo people together have loosened owing to the erosion of their cultural values and beliefs. Now, an Igbo man is no longer his brother’s keeper. And, the Igbo people do not speak with one voice on national issues anymore because they do place their selfish and pecuniary interests above the collective good of their people. We still do remember how some Igbo politicians thwarted the efforts of one of their own, Chief Alex Ekwueme, in his bid to become the President of Nigeria in the past.
Since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war in 1970, they’ve been treated like second class citizens in the Nigerian scheme of things. Yet, the Igbo people are hardworking people who fought for the political emancipation of Nigeria. And they’re still contributing their quotas towards the development of Nigeria. Instead of giving them a fair deal in Nigeria for their contributions to our national development, they are being marginalized.
A great majority of IPOB members believe, although erroneously, that President Donald Trump of America possesses the power to carve out the sovereign state of Biafra from Nigeria. It’s the reason for their clamour for Donald Trump’s victory at the American presidential poll. So, even when it’s obvious that Trump has lost the election, they refuse to come to terms with the reality.
Again, while they portray Trump as a Christian, who would fight for the protection of the Christian ways of life, they believe that Joe Biden’s presidency will support same sex marriage and abortion.
It is ironic that my Igbo compatriots have queued up behind Donald Trump when his foreign and immigration policies have denied Nigerians visas to America. His supporters, mostly my ethnic compatriots, have glossed over the fact that Donald Trump is a racist, who has a great dislike for black people. Didn’t he call Nigeria a shithole country?
More so, apart from his personal failings and verbal gaffes, his mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic caused the deaths of millions of people in America. And under his watch, America is fast losing its international allies. Its position as a global super power and the policeman of the world is being threatened owing to his inept leadership of America.
So, those who are misled into believing that a Donald Trump’s presidency will work for the betterment of Africa and her peoples if he is re-elected as the American President are naïve and mistaken. They are poor students of world history as well as victims of indoctrination, which is caused by their having fossilized world views and dogmatic religious beliefs.
Chiedu Uche Okoye, Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State