Below is the letter addressed to Senator Abaribe from ADF
IGBO POSITION ON THE CURRENT POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN NIGERIA
1. Let me first thank you for inviting me to the recent meeting you organized in Lagos on
the subject of Igbo Position on the Current Political Developments in Nigeria.
2. I am happy you accepted the suggestion I made that the meeting should observe one
minute silence in memory of the millions of Umuigbo who have lost their lives since
1914 in the turbulent existence of Ndigbo in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I made this
suggestion to underscore the solemnity of the current discourse of the future of Ndigbo
and the future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Having said all these, please permit me to make the following observations on the
exercise you are presiding over:
3. When you began your opening address, you made reference to “Ndigbo”, who you
otherwise referred to as “Ndi South-East”. In my comment, I did point out, my dear
Senator, that “South-East” is only a part of Alaigbo. Alaigbo extends to Anioma,
Ikwerre (and Port Harcourt) in Rivers State. Some are also aware that there are Igbospeaking
peoples in Benue State.
4. The Igbo Position and Igbo National Interests
At this stage of the struggle for survival of Umuigbo and others, we should be speaking
of Alaigbo as a whole, making every effort to re-unite Alaigbo and enhance our national
integration, identity and consciousness.
As a result of the intensity of the national struggle, it is strongly dawning on most people
that the main source of the instability of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the fact that
autonomous nationalities were artificially lumped together into a Federal Republic
without any regard to their separateness and their wishes.
All through the history of Nigeria, two things have clearly demonstrated again and
again, the reality that we are separate nations. Please disregard the archaic European
anthropological appellation of ‘tribe’ to Africa nations. Those two things are the
i. The greatest heroes in the Nigerian history are leaders of the Ethnic
Nationalities – and these include: –
Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, the leader and hero of the Fulani
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the leader and hero of the Yoruba Nation,
Alhaji Aminu Kano, the leader and hero of the Hausa Nation
Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the leader and hero of the Igbo Nation.
Mr. Joseph Tarka, leader and hero of the Tiv Nation,
Isaac Boro, the leader and hero of the Ijaw Nation,
Ken Saro-Wiwa, the hero of the Ijaw Nation, etc. etc.
The case of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Sir Tafawa Balewa, were somehow different.
Both of them sincerely worked under the illusion that Federalism can override Ethnic
Nationalism in the conduct of the affairs of a multi-national Federation.
ii. In a multi-National Society such as Nigeria, politics is ultimately struggle,
not among individuals, but among the nationalities that make up the multinational
society. It is not even a struggle among political parties in the final
analysis. ‘Tribalism’ or ‘Ethnic Nationality’ are European anthropological
concepts used to refer to nations in Africa and other non-European societies,
while ‘Nation’ instead of ‘tribe’ or ‘ethnic nationality’ is applied to similar
European societies. Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Tiv, Ijaw etc, are nations
like English, Scotland, French, Germany, Russia, etc.
In other words, the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, etc., are separate nations
with distinct languages, cultures, interests, loyalties, etc.
All through colonial d post-colonial history of Nigeria, the Fulani nation have sustained
their dominance over the rest, not only because of the privileged position the British
carved out for them in the affairs of the Nigerian Republic, but because their feudal
order have remained a major bulwark in their politics. They have systematically
exploited cultural and religious factors, and even family order in sustaining their preeminence
within the whole political and economic equation in Nigeria. The North is
virtually under the ruler-ship and domination of one Fulani family.
The Yoruba Nation has gone very far in sustaining and putting their solid national
consciousness to immense political advantage, next to the Fulani. They have used to
maximum effect the spirit of their progenitor Oduduwa and the spirit of their next in the
order of their national pantheon, Awolowo, into great use in the political struggle in
Nigeria. Today, when you talk of Yoruba or summon a gathering of Yoruba, those in
Kwara and Kogi anxiously and proudly identify.
As for Ndigbo, I know that the major assault of the enemy after the loss of Biafra was
the weapon of dismembering the common identity of Ndigbo. Almost three thousand
men and youth in Asaba were massacred because they were Umuigbo – the relations of
Nzeogwu and Ojukwu.
In this era of Rebuilding and Development of Alaigbo, our success and survival will
depend on achieving a high level of Igbo National INTEGRATION &
CONSCIOUSNESS. That should be our priority today, taking a cue from the Fulani and
Dear Senator, it was in the light of the forgoing that I asked why your Committee did not
think it wise to schedule Asaba and Port Harcourt for purposes of consulting our kitsand-kin
in those States. I ask again WHERE IS ANIOMA, WHERE IS IKWERRE AND
WHERE ARE OTHERS WHO BELONG TO OUR RACE in the Nigerian Federation?
Is there any mechanism or process for consulting millions of Umuigbo – our brothers and
sisters – in the diaspora? We know there are several organizations of Umuigbo in the
diaspora; are we not consulting them?
5. Elders not being carried along in the crucial search for the Future of Ndigbo at this
Dear Senator, I expressed great surprise that none of the Igbo Elders were being carried along in
this crucial exercise. Such a meeting was holding in Lagos but Admiral Ndubusi Kanu was not
there; Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Pascal Dozie, Capt. Emmanuel Ihanacho, Dr Emma Eleazu, Prof Anya O.
Anya, Admiral Allison Madueke, Amb Anyaoku, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, as well as several other
key Igbo leaders, including many in business and politics, were not there. And you are talking of
having come to Lagos to consult Umuigbo on the Future of Alaigbo in Nigeria!!!
The same thing happened when you came to Abuja, The meeting was held in a private home and
many people did not know about it.
5. No working Document or even a Template for the Crucial Consultation:
The most curious observation on the exercise being conducted by your Committee is that there is no
Report or Working Document produced by the Committee set up by the Ohanaeze leadership under
the chairmanship of Prof. Chigozie Ogbu. In announcing the commencement of your assignment
you state and I quote:
“I was appointed as Chairman of the Agenda/Programme (Restructuring) sub-committee of
Ohaneze with a specific mandate to produce a draft of Igbo position on restructuring.
(Note the emphasis on RESTRUCTURING)
You went further to explain:
“In carrying out this assignment we reasoned that to start the discussions there should be a
starting point. On advice from eminent people like Amb George Obiozor, we decided that
the Igbo Position at the 2014 Political Conference should form the basis of our interaction
with our people in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu…So the draft is nothing but Ndigbo position at
the 2014 National Conference which of course could be jettisoned if we do wish”.
Dear Senator, according to you, your mandate is
i. to conduct consultation on Restructuring, period.
ii. That the Igbo Position at the 2014 Political Conference should form the basis of
your Committee’s interaction with our people in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu.
Dear Senator, you must have observed that majority of the people who have commented on your
exercise have expressed so much embarrassment that the Ogbu-led Committee was unable to
produce any report or working document, and the document given to you as a basis for consultation
is the badly “badly flawed” document, to use Senator Chris Anyanwu’s phrase in qualifying the
Igbo Position submitted to the 2014 Jonathan’s National Conference.
The document is out of tune with the realities of today. Does it mean that Ndigbo are incapable of
producing a draft document for our broad discussion on our future at this time? The Yoruba, the
South-South and the Middle Belt with whom we are in consultation had position which they
presented to the Jonathan Conference and none of them is basing their current stand on such
In summary on this point, it is our stand that since the draft is nothing but Ndigbo position at
the 2014 National Conference, and is indeed out of tune in the light of the challenges of the
moment, it should be jettisoned.
6. Mandate of the Committee is Restructuring or Nothing:
Your Committee was set up and given a specific mandate to produce a draft of Igbo Position
on Restructuring. From this, it is obvious that the mandate of your Committee is to dwell on
Restructuring, no more no less. Given this mandate of your Committee and the entire
exercise being conducted by Ohanaeze leadership, there appears to be a Script on which the
present Ohanaeze leadership is acting. It is a script authored not in the interest of Ndigbo at
this critical exercise.
7. The Memorandum On the Future of Ndigbo submitted to Chief Nnia Nwodo, the
President of Ohaneze Ndigbo requesting to present it to Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
On January 10, 2018, the Alaigbo Development Foundation(ADF) forwarded to you a
Memorandum on the Future of Alaigbo in the Fedral Republic of Nigeria , and I quote the covering note.
“Dear President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ike Ukehe,
When we (ADF Team) visited you last time, I did inform you that the Alaigbo
Development Foundation (ADF) was working on a document that would address
the current debate on the future of Alaigbo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
with particular reference to the issues of Restructuring, Nigeria and Biafra.
I forward to you copy of what may be regarded as the First Edition of the
Memorandum and request you to summon a meeting of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze for
ADF leadership to present and defend the position as articulated in the
We refer to this version of the Memo. as First Edition because the views
expressed at Ime-Obi will be taken into account in the final edition of the
At the moment we are making the document available to other pan-Igbo
organizations and other compatriots and collating their views which shall be
taken into consideration in the final edition.
This exercise is our modest contribution in the current debate and search for a
safe and honorable future for our beleaguered Alaigbo and her citizens.
The main text is accompanied by an Outline.
Prof. Uzodinma Nwala
Chief Nwodo did nether acknowledge this letter and the attached Memorandum nor invite ADF to
Ime-Obi as requested. The Ogbu-led Committee has never made reference to the document. Here
there is goodwill and candor, ADF should have been invited by the Committee. In all the
deliberation of the Abaribe Committee no reference has been made to the ADF Memo. I do not
want to dwell much on this experience.
But I would like to end comment on it with an anecdote
In those days (I believe in the sixties), the Local Government Compound of Okpula Ngwa
had one of the best and most attractive Local Government Buildings in Eastern Nigeria. The Ngwa
people were so proud of it and expressed this in a popular proverb.
“Ta onye ngafere Okpuala Ngwa leghi anya nazu, la olu ndaraya ahu’
Anyone who passes the premises of the Okpula Ngwa Local Government and does not look
back just to once more appreciate its beauty, then that person must have a problem with his
Such cavalier treatment given to a document many Umuigbo have eulogized as a great visionary
document agbaghi aka.
Dear Senator, given the fact that both the Constitutional and Structural foundations of THE
Republic has collapsed, what is indeed required today at this crucial moment are -:
i. A RENEGOTIATION of the basis for the continued existence of the Nigerian
ii. A Clear Vision of the Future of Ndigbo within or outside the Nigerian Federal
This conclusion is inevitable in the light of all that have been stated above.
8. Our Internal Political Weakness and The Failure of Igbo Office holders
Senator, Chris Ngige made the point which a good number of people keep rehearsing,
namely, that Ndigbo are to blame for their predicament in Nigeria. He like others blame
ourselves and argue that we are our own nemesis. He cited the fact that we have held the
offices of the Vice President, Senate President, Secretary to the Government of the
Federation, Key Ministerial positions (Finance, Defense, External Affairs, etc,) and yet we
are shouting marginalization. Well said but,
To understand the political environment under which Ndigbo held such positions, take a
look at the office of the Senate President which about five Igbo Senators held like a musical
chair. For a given period, they were being shuffled like children’s game.
The truth is that the power equation in Nigeria has always been controlled and manipulated
by the forces of the prevailing hegemony and their agents. This is why many have insisted
that an Igbo President under the given circumstances will be an exercise in frustration,
except for the tiny minority of those that may hanker and succeed in getting appointed to
one political position or another, or given one contract or the other. The Igbo nation will
continue to remain a nation in captivity.
The same goes for the blame we heap on our elected Governors, especially on their political
weakness and inability to take firm positions in defense of their people. The truth is that
these brothers are operating in a most oppressive political environment. They have to go to
one Emir or one Fulani political heavy weight to get their due allocation to run their State;
they depend on a Fulani controlled-INEC for their election victory; they have to depend on
the Northern-controlled Judiciary for the validation of their election victory; they have to
depend on the Fulani-controlled Police, NSS, DSS, to enforce security in their states; they
can’t even protect their youth who are harassed by all manner of repressive state apparatus
nor can they defend their people when they are butchered by the AK-47-wielding Fulani
So, their political leaders are powerless to defend them when they are in trouble. The only
thing they have around them are toothless internet warriors who operate in various
platforms, many of who are sponsored by the slave-masters.
Fayose is operating in a different political environment from the Igbo Governor. Governor
Ortom was in the same political vulnerability like his Igbo counterparts the other day. He
was always in pains, watching helplessly as his blood relations were butchered like animals.
But as soon as his people ringed themselves around him, not as internet warriors, but
standing solidly firm, leaders, students, women and youth, Governor Ortom became first a
patriot, then a radical and today he is a revolutionary standing firm on those measures which
have now begun to wedge the reckless onslaught again at his people. Now, he has become
We can produce our own Fayose our Otom in Alaigbo once some of our office-holders with
conscience find that they have the people standing by them as a powerful pillar on which
they can lean on in ties of political travail. But the greatest guarantee of all these is a
renegotiation for a radically new political order, without masters and slaves, a political order
standing on the altar of self-determination, freedom and self-reliance.
The Memorandum of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) on the Future of Alaigbo
and the Future of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a visionary document. It is addressed to
the Igbo nation and it is also addressed to other nationalities in Nigeria some of who are now
astir and provoked by the ferocity of the forces of hegemony that have divided and
manipulated them in the past.
Let us ask the question, why did the Ohanaeze President ignore the ADF Memorandum?
Senator Abaribe did not even mention it even though he got a copy during the Handshake
event in Enugu and I sent a soft copy before the Lagos meeting. The ADF Secretary also
distributed over four dozen copies in the course of the Lagos meeting and personally handed
a copy to Senator Abaribe.
Then consider the authorship of the document. If anyone could ignore such a document
under such circumstances in meeting summoned to discourse the Igbo position, then it is
Once more the ADF position is a Visionary Document for today and for tomorrow. It is
addressed to our people and their neighbors facing the same existential threat like them.
Finally on the Igbo Position.
We in the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) wish to reiterate what we stated in an
earlier letter to Senator Abaribe and copied the Ohanaeze President, Chief Nwodo, and I
“The solution to the present political quagmire in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is beyond
Constitutional Amendment, It is beyond the powers of the National Assembly or the
Executive. It requires a Political Conference in which the various nationalities will
determine those who represent them in such a political conference. The outcome of their
deliberations will be subject to a National Referendum”.
Our advice, therefore, dear Senator, is for you and your team to ask various organized
groups of Umuigbo to present their thoughts as working papers which can be discussed and
out of which an Igbo Position can be distilled. The Elders and Statesmen in Alaigbo cannot
be ignored is such an exercise. If there is spirit of candor and genuine commitment to the
cause of our people, the ADF document is an adequate Working Document we can review
for the purpose.
The Challenge in Nigeria today is how to redefine the relationship among the various
NATIONS that make it up as a Federation, This cannot be done within the confines of the
existing highly flawed 1999 Constitution.
Prof. Uzodinma Nwala