BEYOND POWER AND POSITIONS:
Structuring an Igbocentric Progressive Polity
Our forefathers figured out that nothing has a God-given gift of eternal existence. It is no wonder that they abhorred lifelong kings or presidents of any Igbo nation state. For constructive coexistence and to build national stability, each ethnic entity must live its core values: “Onye na nke ya!” In many Igbo communities, these core values are communal and based on the sanctity of life, the sacredness of Earth, the belief in an enigmatic supreme spirit, and the golden rule of “Egbe bere, ugo bere.” (Live and let live.)
Beyond the powers of present political structures, beyond the powerful positions held by politicians and their appointees, Ndiigbo need to step back and do things a bit differently. First, the Igbo must unite in doing everything humanly possible not to fight other people’s wars again. No one is afraid of wars. Our ancestors stipulated that the fear of being fatally shot should not stop a good fight. A good fight is one that has goals, purposes, and strictly for survival—as was done and accomplished in the eventual Nigeria-Biafra War, which was initially not an Igbo fight. As the Commander of Biafran Armed Forces General Alexander A. Madiebo mandated: “If the Igbo can only give others a chance to fight their own wars, there may never be any more wars in Nigeria in which they will be involved directly.” Ndiigbo must use common sense to confront current civil challenges clouding Nigeria. The use of force should be a last resort. We are not close. Therefore, we must unleash our sense of elevated equity and let Nigerian nations resolve the current crises without kicking the Igbo into the middle, like gallant grasshoppers thrown into a court of crooked cocks.
Nigeria is not working. The clamor for referendum on, and or restructuring of, the 1999 military miracle called ‘constitution’ has gone national and viral. Though many Nigerians do not agree yet on the form of a new polity, anything different from the shady status quo is better. For Ndiigbo, the matter was settled at Aburi, Ghana in 1967, thanks to erudite then-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, later General and Biafra’s Head of State. At the 1994 constitutional conference in Abuja, Dr. Alex I. Ekwueme presented the Ohanaeze proposal, which was the Aburi Accord concept modified to accommodate the sensibilities of minority nations in separate confederations or zones. Nigeria is not working. The solution is simple: While the emotions of the current crises must not tear the country into smaller independent states that have no chance of stability nor sustenance, Nigerian nations must stay slightly apart or be consumed by the frictions of a fundamentally flawed federation tethering on the precipice of perdition. The Igbo must step aside, do useful work on themselves, and watch the others get their shtick together. “Nkwucha” or circumspection cannot be considered cowardice.
Thus, as the Igbo nation waits for other Nigerian nations to make up their minds without the Igbo in the middle, we must pursue the Aladimma Agenda: a gathering of persons and communities that value life, cherish freedom, and respect the sanctity of our benevolent Earth. Aladimma is a noble nation of majority Igbo-cultured communities. A nation is not necessarily defined by boundaries. Aladimma is for anyone living Igbo core values in thought and in action anywhere in the world but pivoting in core Igbo country southeast of the River Niger. The Igbo must tow paved paths, avoiding the mistakes that led the Jews to lose their promised land for centuries before the Jewish diaspora founded the modern Jewish nation of Israel. Therefore, the aims of Aladimma include the preservation and promotion of pan-Igbo communities in all parts of the world, the unification of Igbo persons and groups worldwide, the refining and reinforcement of Igbo nationalism in thoughts and in actions, and the use of civil advocacy in liaising with peoples and governments to achieve the goals of a great society of Ndiigbo worldwide. Ndiigbo worldwide, especially of the southeast, should aspire to economic, intellectual, and political power with the sole aim of delivering decent dividends of democracy and building town governments in all original communities—not the 1001 “autonomous communities” created for imposed and lifelong pseudo-monarchs, the so-called “traditional rulers.” Aladimma should be about the Igbo people—not power and positions, and about true representations—not callous and crass selfishness or pathetic primitivity.
As I concluded in my lecture at the International Igbo Conference 2020, titled “Of Dividends and Divisions: A Dozen Decades of Igbo Diaspora Disruptions”:
Nigeria as-is is untenable;
Biafra as-was is unattainable.
Between reality and romance,
Aladimma is a space of sense.
Let us use the teachings of our culture to move forward. Let us deliver drizzles of democracy dividends to all denizens. Let us give a new life to the dreams of the founding fathers of this great green giant with fossil-fuel feet and crumbling clay claws. Let us set the pace for numerous nations of Africa. Let us begin with Aladimma in southeastern Nigeria and show the way.
March 15, 2021
Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.
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