Professor Okolie: IPOB expressing Igbo problems on a faulty foundation

A protestor gestures as he takes part in a demonstration in Durban, South Africa, on May 30, 2019 during a Freedom March for Biafra held worldwide and organised by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to mark the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence in 1967 that sparked a brutal 30-month civil war in Nigeria. (Photo AFP)

The national president of Nigerian Political Science Association, NPSA, Prof. Aloysius-Michael Okolie, has said that the agitations by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for secession is built on a faulty foundation.

Okolie, who also said that the agitation by the group is justified by the marginalization which the people of South-east geo-political zone have suffered in Nigeria, called on a sustainable template for the realisation of the struggles of the group.

The political scientist who spoke at Nsukka, weekend, commended the group for taking the alienations and deprivations suffered by the Igbo in Nigeria to the international community for possible intervention.

The don said that as people that have been rejected in Nigeria, the Igbo should come home to develop their region the way to they want it be to the envy of other zones.

“Let me be honest with you, assuming the wishes of IPOB is granted now, where does the Igbo man stand? Agitations for secession by IPOB cannot be wished away, but what of the structural framework for carrying on with the secession?

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“Have we been able to harvest the ingenuities of the South-east in case there is secession and we are asked to present the framework or blueprint of leadership structure. Are we sure we are not going to fry ourselves in the pan? How do we accept our brothers in these five states of this zone?

“What they are doing to Igbo man today in terms of alienation, exploitation, deprivations,marginalisation is seen by everybody. It should be a wakeup call to the Igbos to come back home and find happiness, pleasure and build a synergy within our own society as people that have been rejected. It is when you build your society away from the normal that you have seceded.

”Let them see that they can’t match us in terms of economic development, let them see that they can’t match us in terms of intra and inter-states harmony, let them see that this zone is a commercial and industrial edifice; a place for think-tanks. Let them see that we are no longer thinking at the same level with people in Nigeria. Mentally, you have to liberate yourself before you can think of physical liberation.

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“What IPOB is doing is an overt response to what every Igbo man is suffering in Nigeria. The way Nigeria is treating the Igbo suggests that they don’t want us to live with them anymore and that is what IPOB is expressing by their demonstrations, but beyond that, we still have some homeworks to do.

”The Igbos must come back to accept ourselves and build our society within the cultural values we believe in. We have enough intelligentsias and businessmen to provide the framework for the take off of the Igbos. Whether you like it or not, the Amotekun you are seeing in the South West is not just a security outfit, it is the first foundation for take off. You have to secure the environment before takeoff, that is what I want from the Igbos. They are ready to fight it legally or otherwise until you allow them. If they are sure that Yorubaland is secured, investments will start coming into the region. Newer thinking will come, higher level of reasoning will come. Let the Igbos look at our settings and find what is suitable for us, we must not emulate them because we are different from them,” he said.

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He charged the Igbos to look inward and discover our haven using our value system even as he advised IPOB to seek counseling from some organisations that share similar ideas.

He also cautioned the group to eschew violence but to seek out solutions within the Igbo society.

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