Written by Elochukwu Nicholas Ohagi
The living legend Prof Chinuolumogu Achebe in his epic literary piece "Things Fall Apart", x-rayed the life of a great African son whom upon his greatness died the most shameful death ever known in Igboland. Killing of oneself (suicide) is a taboo in Igboland.
Okonkwo who never knew about the depth of the physical and psychological defeat of his people, upon his return from exile, by the ''strange whiteman", challenged and killed the messenger of the whiteman.
The people of Umuofia, unlike them, left one after the other leaving behind cowardic questions like "who asked him to kill? The dejected and disappointed Okonkwo went home, picked a rope and hanged himself. He took his own life and will be buried like a dog, as custom demands.
A certain Jaja of Opobo, an Igboman who became a King in today's coastal Biafra, became an economic Lord. He never allowed the Europeans to monopolize trade in Opoboland and environs. To stop Jaja, the Europeans invited him to the boat for a friendly chat. Upon mounting the boat, the strange white invaders took him into exile to West Indies.
The personality of Jaja is something worth mentioning. Apart from being an economic guru, Jaja of Opobo can speak more than four foreign languages. He is a personality one cannot easily write off.
One might say that Okonkwo's fall was necessitated by his own weakness, the fear of being thought weak, but same cannot be said about Jaja. Even though we can see the handwork of the British in hindering both of them. Jaja built a nation from the scratch. Having left the place of his enslavers to discover a virgin land at the bank of Opobo river, he built trade and grew the economy of Opobo. Jaja is a complete example that a blackman can do things adequately well. In contrast to the saying that "something is wrong with a black man, here is a man that lived in the 18th century, proving it all wrong.
Now the questions begging for answers are:
What happened to the blackman?
What made a continent with abundance of natural resources the seat of poverty and penury?
Why is it that many African leaders have remained on seat as Presidents for a whooping 30 years and still counting?
What made African youths to turn Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea the burial grounds for Africans?
Why are Africans killing themselves in the name of xenophobia?
Why is it that leaders in Africa have no semblance with the great man King Jaja of Opobo?
Why is an impostor the Nigerian President?
Who defeated Africa, is it Africans or external forces?
These and many more questions are things we need to urgently find answers to if we as a people truly want to walkout of the hell hole we all found ourselves.
Presently, Paul Biya is the current President of Cameroon. He just won his 7th tenure in power. He has been President for more than 30 years
and counting. Many have asked if Africa is cursed with bad leadership, but the truth is that, people gets the type of leadership they truly deserve. Is that not why a certain Muhammadu Buhari stands as the President of Nigeria even as an impostor, with no verifiable certificate? Someone that can not comprehend ordinary question asked in a simple English language from both local and foreign journalists. Today, killing and murder are the order of the day with the President publicly and tacitly supporting the killers and making their hapless victims villain. The same man has rendered useless, the economy of the country, sending the country for the second time into recession. Today some cabals in Nigeria have recruited a Sudanese to replace him.
The only reason someone like Muhammadu Buhari became President is because majority of Nigerians have been defeated like the strange whiteman did to the people of Umuofia. The only difference is that the strange whitemen of today are our fellow black men. Men who have vowed to enslave their own. Sadly, most Nigerians have lost every fighting spirit residing in them. Many have even forgotten they have a government. Nigerians have suddenly become quiet and somehow accepted the inhuman situation they found themselves. This is to the gain of the politicians who have to keep stepping up their games with a near zero resistance from the people. A typical Nigerian will forgive a politician of his numerous atrocities against the nation simply for decamping from one party to the order. They become saints, lesser evils for leaving the court of Satan called APC into the waiting hands of PDP. Such a person becomes the darling of the people.
The everyday to day life of a Nigerian is pitiable. Nigerians live lesser than animals. A Nigerian will not see electricity light for one month. He is presented with an outrageous bill. He pays without questions. Yet they shout happily when the light finally comes. A sign of defeat. Nigerians are harassed everyday in their own country by their country's securitymen. They on daily basis extort money from the people. Nigerians are prisoners in their own country yet they defend the same politicians that imprison them. You become their enemy when you speak against their tormentors.
Looking at the black world today, one might conclude that something is fundamentally wrong with the black mind. This writer still maintains that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the black man. A lot have proven that right. The man Jaja, the rise of of many empires in Africa and even the success of Okonkwo out of nothing, is a sign to that effect.
In history, many empires rose before ever the white invaders touched feett in Africa. Empires like Benin, Kanem-Bornu empires etc, grew under the leadership of African Kings and Queens. These empires never annexed other cultures and people. They did not bring in people with different interest and ideology into their empires and this necessitated their growth.
The black world started losing it when they forced a nation out of unwilling nations. You cannot bring in peoples of different interest, ideology, culture, tradition, religion and language under one country and expect them to grow.
This is why international community should support Biafra freedom. Biafra will replicate the ingenuity of the 1967/70 and with it, prove to the whole world that nothing is wrong with the black man.