By Tony Nnadi
The greatest initial strength of Biafra came from the “Onyeaghalanwanneya” Spirit, upon which the record-breaking Technological feats of Biafra found a firm berthing. (“Onyeaghalanwanneya” roughly translates to a be-your-brother’s-keeper communal admonition).
It was this Spirit that drove the many exploits of the Igbo State Union, the illustrious ancestor of the dubious Ohanaeze we now have.
Many of the Igbo who got early Western Education were the fruits of the Communal Sacrifices that characterized the Igbo State Union.
It was this Spirit that founded the well established Igbo Apprenticeship System (Igba Odibo/Igba boi), in which the Master Settled and Set up the Apprenticed “boi” after a few years (Hoping we know the cadence of “boi”, a corruption of “boy” from where it originated).
Many of the early honest Business Successes of Igboland were products of this vastly successful Indigenous Igbo Apprenticeship System.
Part of what was done to defeat Biafra, included the targeted onslaught against that Onyeaghalanwanneya Spirit.
Britain knew the various Peoples of Nigeria better than we knew ourselves and so devised a counteractive mechanism that went for this Igbo societal jugular.
Many here may not know this. The notorious “Sabo” phenomenon in Wartime Biafra, emanated from an elaborate reward system instituted by the Nigerian side, to entice and empower those in Biafra, who will break ranks and sabotage the Collective efforts of all.
It may also interest us to know that the immediate post-War emergency “Millionaires” in Igboland, were people who aided Nigeria massively against the Igbo Collective in that War.
The other set of immediate post-war emergency Igbo Millionaires were the ones who pimped Igbo Ladies to their One-Nigeria/Northern principals. (In the days before the War, it was a rarity and a feat that attracted instant hero status for the Northern fellow who reports any liaison with an Igbo Lady).
From these Wartime and early post-war targeted destruction to this all-important Onyeaghalanwanneya fabric of the Igbo Society, we advanced to the hard-to-detect Igbo One-Nigerianists whose affluence and influence flow directly from compromising the Interests of the Igbo Collective in every way possible.
This very sophisticated enemy Narrative, nurtured in London 50 years ago but planted and domesticated in Nigeria, has become the greatest albatross of the Igbo emancipation Project in Nigeria, by way of the current Self-Determination push. A few self-seeking Igbo individuals, erected, empowered and propped up by Nigeria as “Igbo Leaders”, to desecrate every known norm and Igbo societal value system.
Unfortunately, the Nollywood Scriptwriters, who most likely did not know that there was any sinister origins to the heretical Igbo-hates-themseves Narrative, went to town with that Narrative, thereby reinforcing the Narrative globally, to the point where the younger Igbo generation, especially those who did not know where the Igbo was coming from in Nigeria, took it as gospel and began to actually act it out in real life while the original authors of the Narrative only oil it up in many strategic ways, turning the barefaced falsehood of yesterday to the “irrefutable” truth of today.
Far from the truth. Just another of the many lies of Nigeria.
Those who read LNC’s ALADIMMA EPISTLE (2012), will recall the specific references to the damaged Igbo Societal fabrics. This is just one aspect. There are many, and the remediation measures are inbuilt within the LNC intervention Script. (ALADIMMA is the Igbo Caucus of the LNC).
Those of our Igbo brethren who do not understand the depth of the damage, the danger we are confronted with, as a People, and the urgency of the situation, are still discussing Elections that will reinforce the toxic depositions of Nigeria on the Igbo soil, society and cosmology.
I pray they do not learn the very hard way.