Richmond C. Amadi is an independent journalist, Book Publisher, member of RSU Alumni, Researcher (currently researching with Researchgate.net), Writer, Motivational Speaker. He is a BSc Holder in Office and Information Management, and Diploma holder in Management all from Rivers State University. Currently doing his MSc with RSU. Contact him on [email protected] or [email protected] All Social Platforms: @amadirichmondc
Ndigbo Wants Justice, Equity, Fairness And Not Biafra: Open Letter to Gov Hope Uzodinma
Dear Governor, Hope Uzodinma,
I must commend your continued effort to see that peace is finally restored within the South East region via series of meetings, consultations, etc.
Permit me to use this medium, your Excellency, direct some disturbing questions to you, sir.
I have been fortunate to read and digest columns of newspapers containing your submission towards ending increasing protests by Nigerian youths, mainly from the Southeast calling for separate.
I have as well followed up events relating to calls by these youths requesting a referendum to ascertain the continued coexistence of the ancient people (Biafrans) in Nigeria since the 1914 amalgamation. And this is in similar pursuit our fathers, great grandfathers/mothers engaged and over 3 million died, (excluding from Nigerian camp).
Your submission delivered during the opening address at the southeast security meeting, in Owerri, the Imo state capital, 11 April 2021 reads:
“What Ndigbo wants is justice, equity, and fairness. A Nigeria that provides a level playing ground for all citizens. That is what we want, not Biafra.”
“Like I have propounded time after time, Igbo are not at war with anyone neither is anyone at war with Ndigbo. The fact of the matter is that Igbo are the highest stakeholders in Nigeria.
“Igbo have seen war, not in storybooks or in movies but real war. No right-thinking Igbo, who experienced the excruciating and devastating effects of the civil war on Igboland and our people, will vote for another war.
“Those creating the erroneous impression that Igbo want to leave Nigeria are either naive or mischievous. Igbo need Nigeria just like Nigeria and Nigerians need Igbo.”
Unarguably, as an ‘elected’ governor, your primary responsibility is to ensure a lasting peace where there are none, provide social amenities, infrastructural development, etc inline with the people’s yearning.
Considering your position as the chief security officer of the state you would know a better approach to resolving security issues affecting the people. But I would quickly remind you, your Excellency, that the issue in question is not new and deserves the best approach in resolving them.
Consciously or unconsciously, the issue of Biafra is always being overlooked at the governmental level and as well given wrong remedy and poor attention whenever it’s revisited. But one thing remains certain, it will never be forgotten as far as history lives.
The interesting three keywords in your first paragraph sampled “Justice, equity, and Fairness” as approaches to remedy the avoidable but endangering situation.
Sir, If you would shelve outside for a moment, your political interest and benefits, and being given another opportunity to speak on the same issues, would you still tender both aforementioned approaches or rather go by the plight of the protestors?
Constitutionally, if I’m not mistaking, you ought to be duly elected governor assigned to serve the people; considering their plights.
The Biafra question has lingered and has met generations that have continued in calling for a separate nation through peaceful approach – referendum, as provided by major international treaties of which Nigeria is a signatory. Why not consider it a priority?
Why do you have to consider going through the same process that yielded no positive result or expected change, 60 years on?
If same clamouring Indigenous People could not be treated fairly, equitably, and justly 60 years ago, when and how do think it will be achieved considering the same frustrating constitution, leaders, foundation, structure, diverse religion, culture, belief, etc?
In order not to stress your Excellency with so many questions, I would suggest these few be given attention and ponder upon to end the ‘edging second civil war’ as you posited.
To clarify you, sir, on the assertion you made ‘…vote for another war’, no one has called for war. Self-determination is a core principle of international law, arising from customary international law, but also recognized as a general principle of law, and enshrined in several international treaties. It gives the right to peacefully seek a separate country.
May I also use this medium to inform you that I’m also considering the same thought as you implied “Those creating the erroneous impression that Igbo want to leave Nigeria are either naive or mischievous” and I’m not naive nor mischievous? I would want a different country if the average Northerner sees me as a different person. If they think the leadership of the country is for them alone. If Igbo people are treated as common criminals in simple protest whereby terrorists in the North are protected, sheltered, and fed. I have millions of reasons why I should leave this present ‘Nigeria’ to another country but let me leave with you these few.
Sir, Finally, do you think a referendum is a bad option if the government at the center refuses to restructure the country, dialogue with agitators, and proscribe and apprehend the real criminals?