Dear Prime Minister,
Permit me to start by congratulating you on your hard-fought victory over the ‘dreaded’ Covid19 virus. I trust that even my best imaginations cannot really comprehend what you went through. Please accept my sincere sympathies and best wishes for the future.
I do not intend to write a long letter but forgive me if I happen to take more of your time than you had liked. I know you are very busy and may never get to read this letter though I really wish you will read it, even if it is after playing Rugby (do you still do that?) or better before your next interaction with the President of Nigeria (I trust you still know who that is considering all the conjectures).
Forgive my oversight. Let me introduce myself. I am unapologetically Igbo. I guess you may not readily recognise the term Igbo. Do you remember the Aro Confederacy? May be not. What about the Anglo-Aro War of 1901 – 1902? Please Do not tell me you did not study that in your history class because I know you are very clever. Okay, the Aba Women Riot of 1929? Oh, finally, you remember, Right? We Igbos occupy the South-Eastern part of the contraption, created by the British, called Nigeria. We were forced into a union with people we rarely knew and still have never understood. I know you cannot tell me why the British did it (created Nigeria) as it may be top state secret, but I have an idea though that is not the main subject of my letter today. The Igbos are a people of indomitable spirit and I am a typical Igbo. Our lives start with a dream, and once a typical Igbo person have had his/her dream, he/she will work assiduously to live that dream. We may be knocked back a thousand times by life’s issues, but we will rise a thousand and one times; we may be tricked, betrayed or even sabotaged on our journeys but we always retrace our steps, forgive our detractors and forge ahead. For us, life ends when we stop chasing or living our dreams. It is with that spirit, I came to the United Kingdom (UK) after the initial battle of having to prove my motive as I did not have a bag full of hard currencies – I still do not have and have not developed any interest of having. But twelve (yes, 12) years after arriving in the UK with only half my flight baggage allowance and a few hundred pounds sterling notes, I have earned multiple degrees including a PhD and now teach in one of UK’s most modern universities. I now also hold a British passport and for the purposes of national identity, identify proudly as British. So, permit me to use ‘We’ or ‘Us’ the next time I talk about the British. I will keep using ‘Igbo’ whenever I talk about the other half of my heritage that you cannot identify with. Before I conclude my self-introduction, let me also tell you something. You may not like to hear it, but I think it is important I tell you anyway. I did not vote for you in the last general election – nothing to do with you as a person though. I have always voted SNP – not because I subscribe to what you may call nationalist ideology but because I, may be because I am also Igbo, love the idea of freedom and liberty especially
in choosing who leads me. Could I also add that the SNP’s policy of abolishing prescription charges; providing free full time nursery places for children aged 3 – 5; and providing interestfree loans for electric vehicle purchase are just a few more reasons why I will still be voting for the party for the foreseeable future?
Sincerely, I write to you for posterity sake. I am not really convinced that your personal convictions are strong enough to push you to go against what is seemingly a nefarious agenda of the British and the Western world against a tribe with so much natural, mineral and human resources. What is going on in Nigeria? Do you not feel the embers of war in that country? Have our (the British) purpose not been served enough since the forced amalgamation in 1914? Why should we aid and supervise another massacre of a tribe whose traditions, natural tendencies and even core beliefs align more closely to ours, by another blood-thirsty group who cannot be any more different from us and will never have any intentions of behaving like us? What is it about the Igbos that we will never let them regain their freedom?
While you ponder on these questions, I wish to make one plea. The Igbos may be a proud tribe, but they are exceedingly hard working, very loving, law abiding, peaceful and respectful. I, and many other Igbo citizens in the UK are living proofs. Please use your good office and position to talk to other world leaders and leaders of Nigeria (that is if you can truly identify and reach them) to call off the long-going well-orchestrated war of attrition against the Igbos. The least the Igbos deserve after almost 50 years to the end of a needless civil war that claimed the lives of millions of innocent Igbo women and children is a referendum on their independence. Clearly, the Igbos do not want war but currently, their lands and territory have been invaded and surrounded by an inciteful blood-thirsty enemy. Time is of essence now!
Dr Stan Nwankpa
Dear Prime Minister,