Orji Uzor Kalu, senate chief whip, says the Igbo had no say as to whether they wanted to be part of Nigeria or not during the country’s amalgamation.
In his newly released autobiography, ‘My Life’, the former governor of Abia state traced the “plight of the Igbo” to the early 19th century when the British first explored the Lower Niger.
His argument adds another twist to the debate about Nigeria’s formation which was formalized after Lord Lugard signed a document merging the northern and southern protectorate as one in 1914.
It is believed the major reason for such move was to “reduce the administrative burden on the British” but with Nigeria’s many diversities, some have described the amalgamation as a “mistake.”
In the autobiography, Kalu spoke of how the Igbo were able to overcome the situation at the time and have emerged successful in various fields.
“In January 1914, Lord Fredrick Lugard completed the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates into Colonial Nigeria and became its first Governor-General,” he wrote.
“The Igbos did not have a say as to whether they desired to be a part of such a contraption or not. However, the clouds lifted so briefly and the Igbo enjoyed brief sunshine in Nigeria in the decade before and a few years after independence.