By Azuka Onwuka
Biafra Republic or Ikenga Republic?
20 Reasons Why Ikenga Republic Will Set the Igbos Apart Globally
By Azuka Onwuka
If you are giving a lecture to a group of Nigerians of different ethnic backgrounds and notice that they are feeling sleepy, just mention Biafra and everybody will become alert. Biafra means so many things to different parts of Nigeria. Many Nigerians are quick to oppose Biafra without even knowing why they are doing so. Only the Igbos are passionate about it.
But what does Biafra mean? Who coined it? One big complaint many people give against the name Nigeria is that it means nothing and was coined by a European. Similarly, Biafra was coined by Europeans (the Bight of Biafra), and means nothing in Igbo language.
But Ikenga is fully Igbo. Ikenga is the symbol of manliness. It is the strength of a man’s right hand. The day a man dies, his Ikenga is cut into two and a part is thrown into his grave. If you destroy a man’s Ikenga, you have killed the man while he is still alive. Ikenga is the symbol of power, bravery, pride and essence of the Igbo man.
Republic of Ikenga therefore means the land of the brave.
It is a name that befits the proposed Igbo nation. It is a name that makes every Igbo person feel proud and strong. It is easy to pronounce and is an Igbo name that is taken from the Igbo cosmology.
With the name Ikenga, it will be a country for Igbos alone, with no other people laying claim to it.
Below are 20 reasons why Republic of Ikenga for Igbos alone is the best thing that will happen to the Igbos:
1. When the Igbos have their own country like Ikenga Republic, they will no longer be apologetic about their Igboness. They will no longer be too cautious to avoid being called over-ambitious, overbearing, or aggressive.
2. They can speak and promote their Igbo language all over the world, including using it to address the United Nations or African Union
3. The patriotism of the citizens will be sky-high as they will be willing to even die for their country unlike now when nobody is ready to die for Nigeria except under compulsion.
4. Igbos all over the world will be ready to come back or send their resources home to help build the country
5. Merit will be the bedrock of the country. So competition will help the country to develop fast.
6. There will be no focus on natural resources; rather the key focus will be on human resources, which will make the country grow fast
7. Science and technology and commerce will be promoted, making the country a force to reckon with globally.
8. Christianity will be the main religion; therefore there won’t be any clash of religions and religious killings. However, religion will be separated from governance, making the citizens to practise their religions privately without using them to cause conflicts. Respect for human life will be paramount.
9. There will be an alliance with Western and Eastern countries that love technology, freedom and capitalism which will aid growth.
10. It will be a sporting nation, with football being the key sport. The country will excel in global and continental sporting competitions because only the best will be used.
11. Because of its focus on technology, power supply will be easily available to power all the sectors.
12. Education will be paramount with high focus on developing the local schools and universities. There will be no quota system for admission into schools and universities. So academic excellence will be the order of the day.
13. The Igbos will not accuse any group of marginalization and no ethnic group will accuse the Igbos of marginalization or domination.
14. No Igbo will be killed with impunity anymore in any part of the world or have his or her property destroyed for fear that Ikenga Republic will retaliate.
15. Igbo will become a globally recognized language.
16. The friction between the Igbos and the Yorubas or Southsouth or the North will disappear, as the Igbos will be seen as foreigners wherever they reside and no longer seen as a threat.
17. The pride in Igbo culture, language, names, foods, etc will go up, attracting tourists and attention.
18. Literacy level will rise to 100% as no part of Igbo land will be allowed to scorn education.
19. Investment level in Igbo land will skyrocket as there will be more patriotic impetus to invest at home and help to boost development.
20. There will be a high focus on agriculture to avoid being dependent on any country for sustenance.
Finally, the more a people have the same language, same religion, same culture, and same worldview, the less friction they have and the more peaceful and progressive their country is. That is the biggest advantage Republic of Ikenga will have. That is why Europe is the most peaceful and progressive part of the world. Almost every country has its own language. The very few like Switzerland and Belgium with different peoples and languages have created a wonderful system that makes them live in peace.
Ụmụ Igbo ndị Chukwu goziri, otu osisi adịghị adụkpọ onye ma ihe anya ugbo abụọ.
Ya dịrị ụnụ mma.