A Look at How a Diplomat Who Signed Up to Serve His Country Ended Up Serving His Own People: Part IV

With the professor’s contribution to the employer of African harmony, and the OAU resolved to a stage of movement reasonable people might receive, the speak persevered in an uncanny chronology.

Setting: In the fifties and sixties, the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo tribes were rival younger siblings of their discern, Nigeria. They are vintage now, but like all siblings now and again they resume killing each other.

Disclosure: Answers aren’t phrase-for-phrase prices from Professor Austine S.O Okwu; as an alternative, they’re interpretations and extrapolations, based on my knowledge of subjects discussed.

Question: Why did Nnamdi Azikiwe, aka Zik, who no doubt fought for Nigerian independence extra forcefully than every other citizen, never turn out to be the all-powerful Prime Minister of Nigeria but become as a substitute reduced in significance to an insignificant ceremonial President?

Answer: ‘Nice query, my pricey Anselm.’ A quick pause accompanied. ‘By the way,’ the professor persevered, ‘my son Anselm, you appearance very well these days; sometimes I experience like killing you due to your gaunt look, however today you appearance properly. Your spouse Sandra is doing a good process – my compliments and congratulations to her.’

Surprised first of all by means of the surprising flattery, by way of the center of the praise I had with his participation laughed myself into a mild seizure.

When the chuckling stopped, a pregnant silence stuffed the room. In the expectant second, I saw in the professor’s face a person achieving into the depths of history, inspecting the content, and wondering whether or not the final results could have been any different. When he had found the proper tone and gesture he responded.

‘Zik wanted to be the Prime Minister. Nigeria desired him to be the first Prime Minister, and his birthday party, the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, the NCNC, wanted him to be the Prime Minister; but the British thought he changed into too strong-headed for them.’

Through his West African Pilot newspaper [1937- fifties], Zik have been a thorn inside the flesh of the colonialists.

Even even though I had expected this answer, my head nevertheless flopped all the way down to rest on my left fist. After I recovered he persevered.

‘You recognise, my pricey Anselm, the British will give you freedom but not power, now not authority.’ To deny Azikiwe, an Igbo man, together with his celebration, the National Congress of Nigerian citizens (NCNC), and his southern materials a real authority, the British came up with an unsubstantiated count which discovered northern Nigeria more populated than the southern a part of the us of a. Based in this calculation, which they entrenched inside the first Nigerian constitution, colonial Britain allotted northern Nigeria fifty one percent of representatives within the critical government, and to southern Nigeria they awarded 49 percentage.

Since the enclave that holds the majority of representatives produces the Prime Minister, the position went, in 1960, to Allahaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Hausa, the point man of his political birthday party, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC).

Question: So a good deal has been said approximately the ‘Igbo domination fear’ of the fifties and sixties, which to a sure extent become one of the accelerants of the Nigerian-Biafran civil struggle. From where did this sentiment come, who had been these Igbos who dominated Nigeria, and on what foundation did other tribes suppose the Igbos ruled them?

Answer: ‘Again, every other first rate question, and I love that you introduced this up.’ Then a pause, shorter in time however, going by the level of awareness, deeper in thought than the pause in the first answer.

The domination fear become a mixed bag in which you can actually discover mistakes of notion and mistakes of unrestrained emotion, however of direction also some simple reality. The united states of america became fearful of two categories of Igbos; those in personal organizations and people in the federal civil carrier.

Igbos are superb tourists, travelling to the northern and the western components of Nigeria. Out of necessity the Igbos travel. We have a massive populace but a smaller land mass, and our soil is not as fertile as in different parts of Nigeria. However, stores prosper when our humans set them up. Life blossoms when our human beings flow into groups.

Under small shanties, the Igbos promote leather, grow to be traders, alternate in palm kernels and weave baskets to promote, installation bicycle and shoe repair offerings, and open barber shops and hair weaving stores.

What the Igbos saw as versatility at handiwork, different tribes noticed as proof of domination.

Thinking for a few seconds and remembering the civil provider quarter of that technology, he stated, ‘Yes, there is no denying it – our human beings were abundant on the federal level.’

The Igbos are pragmatists. At one level they led the country wide combat to wrestle power far from the colonialists, but at any other stage they imitated the white man’s mode of life, helping them with governance, attending their faculties, cooking for them, cleaning their homes and tending their gardens.

Yorubas, the other essential tribe, were less enchanted, and were very suspicious and contemptuous of the white man. They consulted their gods, and assailed the white man with phantom punches, talismans and 7 serpentine witches.

Because of the Igbo’s ongoing courting with the white colonialists, upon the latter’s departure more Igbos stepped into their roles as federal civil servants and law-enforcement officials.

Envy, resentment, and paranoia grew from the other principal Nigerian tribes against the Igbos and their kin, lamented the professor.

Smelling bloodshed, I shifted uneasily. Where my proper palm had soothed my cheek a temperature had developed, hotter than on day 3 of malaria fever.

Nothing new: the devil in man will continually locate motives to brutalize another guy.

Many Nigerians joined the mob mentality of the sixties with the Igbos as scapegoats. Vilification is the fuel from which mayhem erupts; in this example, the Nigerian -Biafran battle, which lasted from 1967 to 1970.