There can be no justice without peace, and there can be no peace without justice.” — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chanted this statement outside a California prison, which was holding Vietnam War protesters on December 14, 1967.
One of the root causes of the ongoing chaos in our own Alaigbo (South East Nigeria), today, stems from over 60 years of unimaginable Injustices perpetuated against the Igbo Nation. It appears the Nigerian State is still subconsciously at war with the Great and Good People of South East Nigeria.
Ahead of 2023, I reiterate that the Nigerian State is at the crossroads and sitting on a powder keg. Events of the forthcoming 2023 elections will certainly go a long way in determining whether the Nigerian State will be further glued together or collapse.
On the sidelines of the 1994/1995 Constitutional Conference, Alex Ekiotenne of RIERPO had argued: “The first question we must answer is if the diverse groups feel this federation (Nigeria) is no longer beneficial, then, we should dissolve peacefully without bloodshed like Czechoslovakia & Soviet Union.”
The above said, nobody with a decent 9-5 job, a decent business operation in Onitsha Main Market, Ochanja Market, Ariaria Aba Market, Owerri Market, Abakaliki Market, Nsukka Market, etc, a decent roof over his head, will abandon such perks and largesse of life; relocate to the forests; go about burning down his local community, in the name of self-determination, et al.
1930s, America’s 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), healed America and Americans via his New Deal Policy Program.
To ameliorate rebellions here and there, across America, among other things, he invoked the Spirit of Capitalism into average Americans by embarking on a Massive Cheap Public Housing Scheme.
The Progressive Thinking was that a man with a decent roof over his head, and in his name, within his local community, is assumed a Capitalist. Such a man won’t turn back to burn down his own local community, no matter the grievances.
He would rather defend his local community from unwarranted attacks by indigenous and foreign enemies.
Way Out Of The Ongoing Chaos In South East Nigeria
1. Release Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, immediately, and unconditionally. Kanu didn’t commit no Treason or Treasonable Felony as leveled against him by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime. Kanu is only but a Prisoner of Conscience.
Etymologically and Legally, Treason consists: Levying war against your country and Adhering to your country’s enemies, giving them aid & comfort.
Those who commit Treason against the Nigerian State are Boko Haram members, ISWAP members and the so-called bandits, levying war against Nigeria and Nigerians, particularly, in the Northern Region of the country.
2. Ahead of 2023, Nigeria’s two major political parties, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must pacify the South East Geo-Political Zone for their over 60 years of marginalization, thus, zoning their 2023 Presidential tickets to the region.
Nothing is new in the whole world– Ecclesiates 1:9. This same thing happened in 1999 via Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP and Olu Falae of the AD/APP Pact, to pacify the South West Geo-Political Zone for the June 12, 1993, MKO Abiola’s Debacle.
Doing this, head or tail, APC or PDP, an Experienced Reformer from the South East should emerge Nigeria’s next President in 2023.
3. Repeal the Nigerian Police Act, thus, devolving Policing from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent and Residual Legislative Lists. Through an Act of Parliament, decentralise the Nigerian Police into 37 Independent State Police and 774 Independent Local Police Departments.
I will continue to argue until my face turns blue, that the present over-centralised, Abuja-controlled and corruption-riddled Police Force has outlived its usefulness. A man from Biu Local Government Area in Borno State cannot better Police Aguata Local Government Area in Anambra State.
The Borno-born Police man who speaks Hausa doesn’t understand the Igbo local language of Aguata community. He doesn’t understand the local customs and traditions. He doesn’t understand the nooks and crannies of the local terrain.
The abovementioned factors have already caused a communication lacuna. For the Aguata community in Anambra State, South East Nigeria, it will be Insecurity Palooza.
4. Create a South East Development Commission (SEDC) with sole purpose of massively providing Job/Business Opportunities for millions of unemployed and under-employed Restive Youths in the South East.
5. The South East Development Commission (SEDC) should be funded adequately by the Federal Government, States, LGAs, Foreign Funds, etc, to embark on Massive Cheap Public Housing Schemes across the five States of the South East.
Commit at least N5million to N10million per home, and let these homes be transparently made available to the millions of Restive Youths in Alaigbo. Will they pay back in say a period of 10-30 years, the framework will be discussed by stakeholders.
Do this and invoke the Spirit of Capitalism into millions of Restive Youths in Alaigbo, just like FDR did with average Americans (especially Whites) in the 1930s.
A man with the above perks and largesse of life won’t be crying Bohoo Wawa everyday, ranting, cursing the ruling political elites and devising unimaginable means to causing chaos in our own Alaigbo.
Dear Ndigbo, and Friends of Ndigbo, let us think deep about these things, as our own Alaigbo is fast transmogrifying into Thomas Hobbes’ State of Nature, where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
A stitch in time, saves nine.
Ikenna Asomba is Co-Convener Pan Nigerians For South East Presidency 2023, he writes from Charleston, Illinois, United States.