It has become certain that Igboland, and infact the entire country, Nigeria, is infested with the deadly disease of political anarchism; a system that is in direct opposition to the established order of things: to its people, the state, its institutions and foundations and to the ideals and ideologies that created and support and glorify these institutions.
Our established order has been destroyed, creating unbelievable levels of human spontaneity that negates all sensibilities pointing to a society of ineptitude, corruption, rapid and declining value for what is right, and an unreal and transient annihilation of our world as we used to know it. The form of anarchism that has taken center stage in our land, is violence. You may call it social, political or religious anarchism, but its prevalence has become an impediment to our society and is about to destroy us and everything we are made of.
In my very early studies of Political Philosophy in the 1970s, I was somewhat convinced that violence through anarchism was a necessary tool needed in overcoming the obstacles erected by our political systems, and that it was beneficial for our institutional growth, stability and advancement. Also, that some form of anarchy was needed by individuals to correct the ills in our society as it provides some form of release of energies for persons to realize the level of powers at their disposal. In other words, that anarchism is good for our society as it makes it possible for transition and fluidity of power – where “the commander of yesterday can become a subordinate of tomorrow”. But this is not the form of anarchism that we are witnessing in our land today. What reigns supreme today, is anarchism of blind murder, and willful anachronism.
Once the war ended in January of 1970 and Nigeria failed in reconciling the warring factions, leaving the Igbo in desolation and abandonment, the period and process of anarchism set in. From that day to today, Nigeria invented the “scorched-earth” doctrine to get the better of their fellow humans by refusing to be bound by the laws of reason, or the immutable laws of nature. From this point, the Igbo began to express themselves in what one may call a constipated manner; refusing to be subjugated into slavery and struggling to gain dignity in existence that should portray them as human beings.
Today, the unpleasant anarchism in Igboland has left no stone unturned and has challenged all known norms producing hardened criminal elements both in the political and other spectrums of our lives, thus defying all standard of morality and decency.
An argument judiciously used, will point and trace the historical emergence of this anarchist trend to external factors. This point however, looks and feels less contemptible only if one remembers that the origin of disorder and anarchy can be traced to the period when bloodletting befell us from 1966 to 1970.
Let it be noted, incidentally, that Igboland prior to this period, maintained the most peaceful political atmosphere in the entire nation. The audacious criminality that prevails today is a result of the abhorrent ways the country has treated the Igbo in a manifestly ignoble manner and disdainful ways. But to belabour these known facts may be an inexcusable burden on this part of our history. Therefore, we must learn to move on, as we ponder the problems in our land and seek solutions.
As I write this short note, I see my job as that of a historian, although I am not one, to give a voice to the oppressed, and to feel the past in ways that will genuinely liken its disturbing occurrences to our present uncomfortable lives. The evil that now besets our land flows from men’s purposes, desires and beliefs
and derives from some fundamental wickedness and ignorance. The killings, the rape, the destruction, the kidnapping, the beheading, burning and looting – all occurring simultaneously all over our land are all clear signs of anarchism.
The anarchy in Igboland and elsewhere are occurring as modern day tyranny by authoritarians exploiting terrorism as a means of consolidating power and spreading their premodial tendencies. Without mincing words, I believe that State apparatus, citizens and politicians are the ones funding these violent organizations that cause anarchy and destruction to the political order and system, undermining the rule of law and democracy. When political actors and agencies within the State have access to violence, it is impossible to carry out any meaningful activities; including democratic elections, social functions, economic sustenance, judicial functions, make and enforce laws or perform any forms of governance for that matter.
With the anarchism in Igboland today, it is difficult to pose the question of what happened to the Igbo; a people who had the moral courage to stand up for their rights, to look the enemy in the eye without blinking, but rather injected a profoundly new meaning into the veins of history and of civilization. What became of them, that they have allowed their land to once again become the killing fields, where innocent Igbo blood is being used to irrigate our fertile land?
To sum up, but not necessarily to conclude, wherever we look in Igboland, we see the prevalence of political anarchism. The beheading of a member of the House of Assembly in Anambra, the killing of family members in Awka, the sacking of several police stations and the killing of police personnel, the kidnapping of the Head of The Methodist Church, and thousands of innocent people that have lost their lives to this anarchism.
There is not a single answer to these catastrophe. There are myths and there are dogmas and there are other reconstructed views about these ugly occurrences, but it is clear that we are all in trouble, and that no amount of any ingenious attempt of those who lead us now can resolve these problems.
Today a groundswell of discontent and anarchy has become the prevailing norm of life – it is now a moment of shame for everyone as we stand at a crossroad, a moment of great challenge. Our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil and our planners are in peril.
Dr. Okey Anueyiagu Author,
Biafra, The Horrors of War.