While true because of the civil war, and while Nigeria needs “a new grand bargain” between it’s ethnic nationalities, the Igbo themselves have harmed themselves.
They must first shed victim mentality. Then they must address the disadvantage of being “led” by selfish, greedy and self-centered political elite masquerading as political and social-cultural leaders who are the first to shoot down their own.
Many Igbo leaders are fine men and women. But there are too many that are envious and self-hating, choose to be politically second-class so long as it serves their little interests.
Ndigbo need strategy, with high impact strategic engagement with other ethnic nationalities with a win-win proposition, not ethnic noise-making.
Do you think it’s a surprise that Barack Obama became US President despite the attempts of many other black Americans like Jesse Jackson?
Obama succeeded because he did not have a chip on his shoulder, though he acknowledged the systemic injustice of racism. But he had a proposition, not just a sense of entitlement. He was able to largely because he was the son of Kenyan man and a white American mother who did not descend from a line of former slaves and therefore was spared of their psychological insecurities.
The joke in Kenya is that a Luo (his father was from the Luo tribe) could be a US president but not a Kenyan one!
I ran for President in 2019 as a Nigerian candidate, not as an Igbo candidate, and no apologies. I love Ndigbo. But I also love other Nigerians, unburdened by the hang-ups of history.
All of this not say we should not deal with the civil war in our national history. It is the elephant in the room. I have argued that Nigeria’s leaders must apologize for the millions of lives lost in the Nigeria-Biafra war if we are to heal.
That’s the right thing to do.