An Update That Asked The Interesting Question: Are Igbos Marginalised? By "Obinna Aligwekwe"

I read an update that asked the interesting question:
Are Igbos marginalised?
As usual, the comments section was filled by those who sought to project their own bias rather than listen to what reasonable people had to say if any.
I decided to keep my comments to myself.
I think the rest of Nigeria has really suffered to say only Igbos have been marginalised. The marginalisation has gone all round.
However we need to categorise the various acts of marginalisation to make sense of it all;
1. There is CYCLICAL marginalisation (experienced by those out of the power equation at any time). Every group has faced this marginalisation at one time or the other.
The DSS recruitment exercise is a clear example of this type of marginalisation.
Even the Igbos mete out this sort of marginalisation on others when they command a little influence.
2. There is STRUCTURAL marginalisation, a practise that stems from structures put in place decades ago which by its nature INHIBITS people from a particular region from achieving their aspirations.
Those who carry out this act merely follow policies put in place years prior, so it becomes difficult to appreciate unless when one draws patterns over the years.
The Enugu airport which until very recently was never designated international status can be cited as an example.
The states cut off mark can be cited as another.
The Awolowo policy of giving every former Biafran £20 regardless of what you owned previously is another.
The abandoned property saga is yet another.
These issues have effect even today, so please do not argue it is in the past.
3. There is CULTURAL marginalisation which is due to the very fact that Igbos are a widely travelled people.
The Igbos are about the most widely travelled group within Nigeria, and as such most times constitute the highest diaspora population in about any town outside igbo land.
In a country whose tolerance for outsiders is still developing, this renders the Igbos very vulnerable and identifiable during any period of unrest.
The unrests in Bayelsa, just a stone throw from the Eastern heartland, even though no life was lost, is a clear indication how vulnerable a diaspora population can be.
During these unrests, lives and properties worth millions are usually destroyed.
I would have added INFRASTRUCTURAL marginalisation, but I sincerely think it would fall under CYCLICAL, especially as every region has faced infrastructural abandonement at one time or the other.
But within the desolation of marginalisation that has been faced by every Nigerian, is the subtle igbo sub-version, which can only be felt by a people who love to call outside HOME, and have had to face surviving on just £20 when the rest of the nation was sharing national assets.

By Obinna Aligwekwe
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