Are We All Biafrans?

Jibrin Ibrahim

By Jibrin Ibrahim

On May 31st, my good friend Chido Onumah made a public presentation of his book, We Are All Biafrans. The book is a passionate plea to all Nigerians to work together to ensure that we stop “sleepwalking to disaster”. The discussions on the book in the media were completely overshadowed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s support for the political restructuring of the country, expressed in the same event. Chido makes the case that we need to renegotiate but it should not be done “solely on the basis of ethnic, religious or cultural affinity”. Biafra, he argues, is not an “Igbo problem” but a Nigerian one and the way forward is to build our federalism along civic lines and on the basis of “justice and equal opportunities for all”. I completely agree with the argument. Nonetheless, the discourse of marginalisation has permeated Igbo consciousness, just as it is the case for other Nigerians and the issue of unpacking ethnic narratives is extremely important.

I tried to do so in seven articles published in this column on marginalisation as perceived by Nigerians in the six geopolitical zones between October 29 and December 17, 2012 and the articles did not raise a ripple. Following the rekindling of the Biafra question by IPOB and others, I returned to what I called the Igbo Question on November 30th, 2015 and this time, I got the bashing of my life.

One of the issues raised was how can I dare to tell the Igbo story. The famous blogger, Victoria Ohaeri put it this way: “There are five main reasons why Sir Jibrin’s (I don’t know when she gave me the knighthood) article warrants a duteous rewrite, or at best, an outright retraction. First, the growing tradition and bourgeoning number of outsiders telling the Igbo …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper