OVERVIEW OF: 1914 Amalgamation: Igbos Didn’t Choose To Be Part Of Nigeria - Orji Uzor Kalu
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former Abia State Governor and current Senator representing Abia North in the National Assembly has submitted that Igbos did not get to decide if they wanted to be a part of Nigeria in 1914 or not.
It will be recalled that the Northern and Southern protectorate were merged as one to become Nigeria in 1914 by British colonialists.
History has it that Nigeria was formed out of the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorate in 1914 after Lord Fredrick Lugard signed a document on behalf of the British government to merge the two regions.
We understands the amalgamation was done by the British colonial government to ease administrative burdens on their part without given due consideration for the differences and diversities of the people they were bringing together.
Kalu has now given what appears to be another argument in support of claims from certain quarters for a referendum to be conducted for federating units that make up the country Nigeria to decide if they want to continue with the ‘forced union’ or not.
The Senate Chief Whip made the assertion in his newly released autobiography titled ‘My Life.’
Specifically, Kalu noted that the Igbo people never had a say in deciding if they wanted to be a part of Nigeria in 1914 or not.
He, however, submitted that the Igbo nation has been able to rise above the situation and distinguish themselves in various callings of life and in different parts of Nigeria.
He wrote: “In January 1914, Lord Fredrick Lugard completed the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates into Colonial Nigeria and became its first Governor-General.”
“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.
“Having embraced Christianity and western education with enthusiasm, they quickly rose to hold sway in the federal civil service, military, academia, commerce and industry.
“The ‘Jews’ of West Africa were on the march, toiling, sweating and swinging upwards, to the envy and hatred of their compatriots.”
Meanwhile, it will be recalled as previously reported by Naija News that Kalu also alleged that former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo gave N50m to each Senator in 2007 for them to support his third term agenda.
He added, however, that unknown to many, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, the then deputy senate president was the person that worked tirelessly to scuttle the third term agenda.
The former Governor noted that the role played by Mantu in ensuring the third term agenda failed has made him an ‘eternal enemy’ of Chief Obasanjo.
Kalu made the revelations in his autobiography entitled, ‘My Life’ where he said Obasanjo withdrew the money he shared to the Senators directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).