I am Nigerian but I am not from any part of the South East, so when I saw this video of a man who manufactured a Jeep in Imo state I was a bit confused. Confused because of the tiny Biafran flag that was placed on the front of the car. When we were kids, anytime I fought with my brother, I would immediately start returning stuff and collecting things back. There would be this urgent need to mark out territory and this never brought us any closer to being productive as brothers. recently we had a lot of differences which should normally rip us apart especially because they had to do with our belief systems but I can remember telling my brother that I would no longer entertain any discussion if it would not help either of us achieve our dreams. So we learnt to shove differences aside and help each other on our goals.
I want to be happy that someone from Nigeria actually did something as beautiful as this but then that tiny flag on the front of the Jeep, it tells me that someone somewhere intended this video to be a sign of rebellion. We cannot even allow ourselves to celebrate little achievements without bringing out all the divide lines.
First, the man is not just a man, he is an “Imo state” man (according to naij.com reporters). This conveniently excludes every other Nigerian or Biafran from the collective joy of what a black man could achieve. Then they just had to add that Biafran flag to the parade so that anyone like me who is not from the South-East Nigeria, would not be sure whether this success also represents them or not.
The green white green flag is all a lot of us grew up to know as our trademark as a nation but in these times, every pressure group is determined to stamp out that uniform and create their own symbol that would be exclusive to those who identify with their ideologies and since I am not a Biafran, I don’t know whether to be thankful to God for this progress in Nigeria or to be worried that this progress would be a symbol to strengthen the pressure for us to divide as a people.
Must the black man always be so self-centered that we find every opportunity to build up division and separation? I hope we reach a point where we are ready to collectively build and also celebrate achievements as one. It’s Sunday here and one of the greatest confusions I have right now is whether I should keep praying for one Nigeria or that Biafra should just quickly come and go.
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