Greetings brothers and sisters. I have spent hours thinking about you, your wellbeing and your place in the Nigerian political equation. Every night, I ponder about your political calculations and slip-ups. I observe the emotions you failed to keep in check. I see the surging rage, I see your brittleness and despair and thus, I worry about all of you, my good friends.
Sorry, brothers and sisters, east of the Niger, but there is no quick fix to the political problems of Igbos in Nigeria. There is no quick fix to the problem of Ijaws in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. There is, also, no quick fix to the problem of my people, the Yorubas in Southwestern Nigeria. Fact: there is no quick fix to the political problems in most towns and villages across Nigeria. There is, thus, no quick fix to the problems of Nigeria.
I know, I know that something not so good happened to you. You found yourself in a pit. But instead of looking up and looking for help, you kept your eyes down, and unfortunately, started digging. I am here to let you know that you should stop digging. As a good friend, I want you all to start looking upwards; we should all look up, together as one nation.
I may not have an easy solution or a magic wand that will solve all the problems of my Igbos friends and brothers in Nigeria. What I, however, have and is willing to share with you is love, frankness, truth, and rationality.
No matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel, the truth is that Igbos need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs Igbos. I have been around for a while and I have also traveled across Nigeria. In every city, every town, every village across Nigeria, my Igbo brothers could be seen contributing to the ease of doing business.
You have what it takes to succeed. I love your persistence and never say die attitude. I love your industriousness. You are peace-loving and very willing to adjust to a new setting. You are open to coexisting with new cultures, religions, and traditions. You help bring development and positive change to your new community.
The reality is that Igbos are outgoing and have gone out to establish themselves across the Nigerian landscape. As I write this, more Igbos are leaving their home states every day and establishing themselves in new cities across Nigeria. The bigger the options for Ndigbo to move out, explore and establish, the bigger their accomplishment. So, keep doing what you are known for and please don’t retreat.
So, I am writing this love letter as an encouragement for you to let go of the bitterness you have because of what happened in the past. Don’t also let the present political predicament force you to stop being who you are. I love you, but you should let go. Just let go. You can’t receive with closed hands. A frozen hear cannot love nor be loved. You can’t kiss with a sealed lip.
As you try to reposition for the interesting political permutation for the 2023 presidential race, remember you can’t vote with a clenched fist.
Love is democracy.
From Segun, your brother and friend, west of the River Niger.
On Twitter @Churchillnnobi