In Igbo cosmology, we have okpesi, Ikenga, arobunagu, ngwu, and other personal gods and deities, but there is a recourse to the Supreme and Almighty God, which these gods and deities act as channels through which we reach him. That’s why we call Supreme God CHUKWU/CHIUKWU, CHUKWUOKIKE “God the creator”.
For one to understand how much Igbos reverence the supreme God, these few Igbo sayings will guide us: “Ikenga adighi ire, awa ya nku” which when translated opines that if a personal god is not potent enough, it will be used as firewood.
“Arusi kpakaria ike, agwa ya osisi eji pia ya” which means that when a deity becomes too powerful, it would be reminded the name of the tree it was carved out from.
The republican political landscape of the Igbos, makes us to be opinionated, and have full expression of our opinions. We respect our leaders, even if we see them as god-likes, but will never fail to point out where they are wrong, and even chastise them with strong words.
While reading Biafran war literatures, I realized that a lot of our brothers and sisters have been brainwashed, and they now see us as the oppressors while we are the oppressed. Churchill Okonkwo perfectly fits into this category of people.
It is a well-known fact that Churchill Okonkwo has always put up personal emotions than reasons while writing anything about the Igbos.
It’s insulting to our collective sensibilities for him to say that the systematic annihilation of Igbos going on in Nigeria is as a result of IPOB’s stance. It’s either he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about, or he is one of the people bought to change the narratives for the future generations, as he clearly said they are the target of his article. If Churchill with all his education is just realizing the grave danger our people have been facing in Nigeria, that means he’s not as enlightened as he appears.
Can Churchill please explain to us How we brought the self-inflicted annihilation unto ourselves? How can a sane man try to justify the killings of his people because a government is not comfortable with their ideology?
How is it IPOB that caused the mistrust between different groups that make up Nigeria? Can he tell us what the level of the trust among ethnic groups in Nigeria were before IPOB came into being? Was it not the mistrust that caused the war in the first place? Coming 53 years after to say the mistrust among Nigerian ethnic groups started existing because of IPOB is delusional.
What are the outright lies and half truths IPOB is feeding the Igbos with?
If Churchill had disagreed with Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB on the use of foul language to pass some of their messages, it would have been understandable, but calling the very well known and documented truths about Nigeria outright lies and half truths is utterly senseless.
How can anyone who praises Buhari accuse IPOB of ethnic bigotry? Buhari is the epitome of ethnic bigotry!
How can a sensible man accuse Ndi Igbo as a people to have been hoodwinked by IPOB, forgetting the republican nature of our people?
There are a whole lot of Igbos who are not IPOB members who disagree with Kanu, but still appreciates the truths he’s saying and the cause he’s fighting for.
Even though Churchill tried to paint himself as one who is narrating an insider’s view of the story about Igbo land, he really did that as an outsider as he has successfully alienated himself from the people. He made only accusations but never pointed at a single misinformation and half-truths he was talking about.
He should have told the world his own truth at least to prove IPOB wrong and convince the people they are lying. If Churchill thinks everyone of Igbo extraction both the educated and the illiterates, except him to have been hoodwinked by IPOB, that means something is fundamentally wrong with him. Can he tell us the place of Igbos in Nigeria politically, religiously, economically and socially before IPOB?
What was the place of the Igbos among other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria before Ipob was formed?
Biafran heroes can’t send their son who lied against them and who downplayed the Genocide in which they died, to tell their people anything. Biafran heroes rather asked us to tell him that like others who joined the caliphate to vilify their people, that he will go the way they did, as anyone who killed your likes will see you like chaff in the wind, and won’t waste time to kill you when their need of you is finished.
I have seen Boko Haram terrorists being rehabilitated by the Federal government, Fulani herdsmen demanding a large chunk of money from the government and bandits being dialogued with by northern governors, yet Ipob’s only crime is use of foul languages.
Between foul languages and killings and outright murder of innocent Nigerians unprovoked, which is worse?
Fulani herdsmen is the 4th deadliest terrorist organization in the world, just behind Isis, Al Queda and Boko Haram according to World terrorism index, yet the FG refused to proscribe them, but unarmed IPOB was proscribed.
Churchill won’t condemn it because to him that’s the right thing to do as IPOB must get the stick because they don’t agree to the government he praises.
In his long epistle, he never talked or advised the people on the alternative way to agitate, or even talk about the salient issues they have been raising, hence the agitation, but want them all to conform to the ideology of the people who kill them unprovoked as a way to preserve the Biafran spirit. Let me draw his attention to the fact that Biafra lives in the heart of everyone of Igbo extraction and can never be erased no matter what.
Churchill should above all know that any man who did not pay heed to his past and history will repeat the same mistake in the future.
By Odumodu Gbulagu
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK