In the next few weeks, the remains of General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu-the Ikemba Nnewi will be committed to mother earth-thus ending in a physical sense the life of man who will remain forever a colossus in the annals of Nigerian history and our struggles to form a prefect or mutually respectful union. Given what has happened in our polity lately- the drum beat of war and internal anxieties, given the concerns of safety that has been manufactured and nurtured by Boko Haram and given the inflammatory rhetoric that are being spewed by certain ethno-cultural organizations, one is left with no choice but to wonder whether it is déjà all over again!
In 1966, Nigeria was on a precipice-and its corporate soul and essence were dangling precariously on the edge. Six years after independence, the chasm and zero sum tendencies of the ruling elite had alienated and poisoned the fountain of unity. Hard ball political tactics were employed by those who commanded the instrument of power and coercion. Those who legally constituted themselves into viable voices of opposition were hounded, traumatized and eventually jailed.