Last Tuesday, May 30, business and commercial activities throughout the Southeast and states outside the zone with large Igbo population, ground to a near halt as Igbos stayed at home in obedience to the directive of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for all Igbos to sit at home in remembrance of their fallen colleagues in the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War.
The sit-at-home was also a protest against Igbo marginalization in the country.
However, unlike the previous ones, the latest protest was completely devoid of violence. No one was molested for not complying with the directive and no one was injured or killed by security agents for breach of public peace.
Reports from across the country indicated that apart from the Southeast Zone, the protest recorded a huge success in parts of the North where the Igbos have large presence. They all shut their shops and in most cases, barred their children from going to school.
We commend the organizers of the latest protest on their ability to rein in the troublesome elements who usually hijack such protests to foment trouble and get killed in the process.
The success story of the last protest gives hope that giving an intellectual bent to the agitation will yield faster results than resorting to brute force.
It is possible that if previous protests had been as peaceful and as organized as the latest one, more success would have been recorded in the struggle.
The high rate of compliance with the latest protest is eloquent testimony that Igbos can achieve a lot when they unite and have a unity of purpose.
We therefore call on the Igbo Nation to leverage on the success recorded last Tuesday to push their case in Nigeria. While we agree with the position in some quarters that a physical Biafra may not be achievable, given the political dynamics of the present time, we feel that the Igbo Nation can carve out her own destiny by coming together and making the Igbo Nation economically strong and viable, the way Nnewi people have succeeded in making their town to be.
A strong, united and economically viable Igbo Nation will not have need to depend on the rest of the country. Rather, other parts of Nigeria will be courting the Southeast.
The only people to make this possible are the governors and politicians of the Southeast Zone. If the Southeast provides the enabling environment for investment, our people who develop other parts of the country, will happily come home and add to the growth of the zone's economy. Once this happens, we would have achieved Biafra without firing a shot or losing any life.
It is therefore time the Igbo elite and political leaders took more than a passing interest in the New Biafra struggle as they are the ones to make a difference. They should protect, guide and encourage the foot soldiers from the back ground, while plotting an economic blueprint for the New Igbo Nation or New Biafra. An Igbo Nation that won't depend on federal allocation or the rest of the country to survive and blossom.
That is, after all, what the Biafra of the mind is all about.