It was our own inimitable Chinua Achebe who said that: “When old people speak it is not because of the sweetness of words in our mouths; it is because we see something which you do not see.” Also, a famous Igbo adage has it that you do not wrestle with a loquacious man in the dark because no matter the outcome, he will claim victory in the daylight. Currently, the entire Alaigbo is already under siege even before the start of the Python of the Opera dance-drama.
The result is that many lives have been needlessly lost, families have been shattered, and properties destroyed. And this is only a preview of a grotesque macabre dance orchestrated by the ravenous lion king bent on ultimately bringing hyenas to the market square! Therefore, it is time to take stock, to work for the preservation of life – the first and most basic of human instincts. Our elders have it that ukpara okpoko gburu nti shiri ya! You have no arms and you have no military infrastructure – you only have a voice, and that voice has been heard in every corner of the globe. You have made the point and the whole world has seen the continued genocide and humiliation, but it is now time to play the Eneke ntioba!
Please, our younger brothers, we need you to stay alive to continue the struggle beyond our own generation. The efforts of our ancestors have motivated you for fifty years and, because of you, millions of us are once again proud to project our Igboness. You have achieved what a battalion of soldiers could only dream of – but now it’s time to momentarily go and ease yourselves, and let the python dance. When you are faced with a bigger, stronger bully in the schoolyard, the wisest option is always to find your way home. Let the truth be told, you will not get any mercy from the python whose fundamental mission is to wreak havoc on you, and to wipe out the progress of the last fifty years! Remember the 97-to-5 mathematical equation please! Biko, let the python dance for as long as it wants to dance – onye ji ihe nwata welie aka elu, aka raa ya ahu, ya e wetuo aka!
Umunne, as a matter of life and death, it is an imperative that you stay away from the Python of the Opera, and pray for the eclipse to end so the sun can rise again. Some of us like to draw parallels with the Jews, so it is time to study a lot more about the Jews to see how they have managed to stand firm. We need to spend more time on our study desks and laptops, and less on the road and street corners. We need more computer programmers and graphic designers, more Roy Umenyis and Obi Njokus – we need Igbo Nobel prize winners. That’s what the Jews have done and today they have an unparalleled global influence that not even the Anaconda could withstand, much less the Python.
Simply put, the easiest route to Canaan is through the Brain Avenue and not the Python Crescent – ihe agwo muru ahapughi inwe odu ogologo!
Bitter as this may sound, we are a conquered people – demographically a majority but politically and economically a minority! Through a most malicious statecraft, we have the least number of states, the smallest landmass, the least number of local governments and federal electoral constituencies. That means that the Igbo man has been programmed to underperform and under-prosper in the Nigerian project. We don’t have arms and we don’t have people in the top security apparatus of the Nigerian state – so we are up against incredible odds. The only thing, however, that is not under shackles for the Igbo man is his brain and indomitable entrepreneurial spirit – and this we must sustain, as that will provide an unassailable platform for our eventual freedom.
Today, Anambra State is beating everyone else in the education of children, and that did not come through the Federal Character principle but rather the vision of Igboman Peter Obi. Now, imagine what would happen in ten years from now if Governor Okezie Ikpeazu established a “common” Technical School at Ariaria market! Imagine if Governor Ugwu revived or re-established the Project Development Agency (Proda) in Enugu! Imagine if Governor Okorocha established a college of Solar Technology at Ogboko! Imagine if every Igbo family in the village bought just one dairy cow (ehi) to produce their own milk - ordinary milk! Imagine if every Igbo man/woman in the diaspora invested just five hundred dollars in the planting of palm trees, bananas/plantains, African breadfruit, cashews trees etc. in their village! Imagine if every state in Igboland bought all their vehicles from Innoson! Imagine if every Igbo child wore only made-in -Aba sandals! These are the things that will lay the foundation for true security and the eventual freedom of Ndigbo. It may sound ridiculous but it is true!
Does that then mean that we abandon the struggle now? Not at all! It only means that we live to fight another day. You don’t beat a python by throwing preys into its mouth; you do that by hiding every prey and sooner than later, the music ceases and the python disappears. It means that our youth should go back to work and maintain their dominance in the largest opera house on the planet – the blogosphere. The Google search easily recognizes “Biafra” today not because our youth danced with the python but rather because they spoke the language of the internet with inimitable verve and ingenuity.
Thus, we appeal to you, our brothers and sisters, in the name of everything you cherish, to let the python dance its way back to the forest. The python is not worth one more Igbo life or the life of anyone for that matter! Bikonu, onye ndi iro gbara gburu gburu n’eche ndu ya nche oge nile!
Ka Chineke Dozie Okwu!
Rev Fada Henry Ibe
Mazi Okey Peter Asuzu
Rev Fr Kieran Okwu Udeze
Barr. Mike Nnalue
Mazi Henry Pius
Rev Fr Basil Anunobi
Rev Fr Uzonna Ezeani
Mazi Felix Ody
Mazi Ibu Ebulue.
Mazi Erasmus Chiedozie Emejulu
Mazi Onyia Cyril Nwabueze