What Nigeria Owes To Its Past -By Rees Chikwendu

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies,National Issues |

Starved Biafra children


If you owe a debt you have to know how and when to pay it, otherwise, don’t be surprised when debt collectors come knocking at your house to collect what you owe. They will keep coming until you pay your debts. Debts are not easily forgotten neither can you write it off on your own especially when there are sufficient evidence that proves you are a debtor. So, if you deceitfully attempt to write off a debt from your own record, the other party (the creditor) has a copy of the record with your signature – a proof that you are in debt. It is either you pay your debts or negotiate yourself out through WORK. Either way, something must be done to appropriately cancel your debt.

Nigeria is hugely in debt to its past, a debt it has attempted to write off from its debt sheet rather than pay or WORK through it. Nigeria owes to its past truth and reconciliation for its civil war crimes. It owes its past an understanding of the crime it committed against the Igbo and other southern ethnic minorities. But, as per usual, Nigeria is behaving fraudulently by denying its debts to the past. To achieve this, it keeps telling a different narrative about its debt. No matter the superfine narrative, its creditors have sufficient evidence to hold it accountable.

In order for Nigeria to move forward. In order for it to make that transition to a debt free entity to ensure its peaceful existence, there has to be a reckoning with its past and the crimes of the past. There must be an attempt to establish a consensus of what has happened under the years of its civil war (1966-70). There has to be an attempt to examine its collective memory to move forward in the future. Those who were victims of its war have to feel involved to the reckoning of the crimes that were carried against them. It is wrong to merely tell them to forget the past and move forward without examining that past and bring about its reckoning.

Whether Nigeria achieves a reconciliation or not depends on how it WORKS through its past. Nigeria needs to come to terms with its past, and to allow truths to emerge. It cannot impose reconciliation – but has to allow it to come from below. The reconciliation has to come from those who are victims of the crimes of Nigeria’s past. The more Nigeria fails to do this, those crimes will continue to haunt the country’s future. No doubt, the Biafran movement and other agitations threatening the unity of the country today are the results of Nigeria’s failure to bring reckoning with the crimes of its past.

What Nigeria owes, it has to pay!