News out of Nigeria can sometimes be very depressing, you really have to do your level best to keep yourself sane, especially given the frenzy pull to the abyss its politicians often pulled the nation. Just this week, we learnt of the death of Alex Ibru, founder and publisher of the Guardian Newspaper-the flagship of Nigeria's journalism. The man who single handedly changed the face of newspaper journalism in Nigeria. One could argue that without the advent of Guardian newspaper in the mid-80s Nigeria fiery brand of journalism would have remained comatose after the dizzying height Babatunde Jose and others had catapulted it in the '70s.
We also heard this week about the death of Dim Emeka Ojukwu. The man who personified everything about Nigeria's birth from colonialism and yet did a lot to pull the entity into an abyss. Ojukwu by accident of birth is a consumate Nigerian. Born in Zungeru, to one of Africa's first millionaire merchant. Ojukwu rarely spend any of his formative years in south east Nigeria. At various times he went to school in the north, Lagos, Ilesa and London before he joined the military.
He is a man who could speak any of Nigerian major languages fluently and yet he led a putsch to divide Nigeria and he nearly succeeded to dismember the nation but for the genocidal hunger unleashed on his people by the Yakubu Gowon led federal government in Lagos.
The fact however remains that the rationale advanced by his seccesionist government and ractify at the ill fated Aburi accord remains an albatross on the Nigerian nation. Every clauses of the Aburi accord, rings true today as it was then. Resource control, right to religious freedom, trade and commerce all of which precipitated the civil war and included in the resolution advanced at Aburi are now issues on all agenda advanced by agitators of the proposed sovereign national conference. Perhaps the only point of dissent I have with Ojukwu is what he did subsequent to Biafra. Ojukwu post Biafra, nearly destroyed the legacy of fairness he had burnished for himself. He fraternized with all and every dictators that ever reigned in Dodan Barracks or Aso Rock. At one time he even went on a junket accross western countries to canvass support for the most pernicious and evil ruler that ever ruled Nigeria-Sanni Abacha!
Let me also state, that whilst I support Ojukwu call for freedom for all Nigerians pre civil war, I however believe in the sanctity of Nigeria. The unity of Nigeria should be "sanctum" and non negotiable. Sadly, it is politicians like the post civil war Ojuwku that did a lot and continue to do a lot to put clogs in the wheel of advancement of the Nigerian people through their divide and rule mendacity.
The poor in Kafachan, are not any different than the poor in Umuaiha or Ipetu Ijesha! Whilst the politically rich and well to do can afford to send their children to schools abroad the poor "vulcanizer" and bricklayer in the slums of Ajegunle are stuck on surviving on a less than a dollar a day. Every time I travel in Nigeria i weep at the sufferings of the people and grit my teeth in disgust at the politicians who fan the embers of discord among the Nigerian people. Sadly, the education of Nigerians is a task for every well meaning Nigerian. And you can start today, by refusing to fight the politician phoney ethnocentric wars! Let them bring their own kids to work as party thugs and die for their ill conceived vitriol. Nigeria unity should be non negotiable!