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His vision of a new biafra described in the last

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His vision of a new Biafra, described in the last three pages of his text, depicts atechnologically advanced nation, inhabiting a zone of prosperity with smoothlyrunning public facilities: subway systems in the cities, a tunnel service under theNiger and a hovercraft crossing the river. Igbo cities would be transformed "intoadvanced modern spaces for living, working, recreating", with "cultural institutionsand recreational facilities such as parks, theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls,stadiums and the like". Linked by express railways would be a network of industrialconglomerates such as "the Onicha-Nnewi-Oka-Ihiala industrial conurbation formachine tools and heavy industry; the Enugwu-Emene-Nsukka informationtechnology valley; the Aba-Umuahia-Abiriba-Ugwuocha/Port Harcourt precisionequipment/light industry; the Uburu-Okposi-Egbema sodium carbonatedeposits/other minerals for potential pharmaceutical manufacturing".0The Igbo havethe potential "to construct the Taiwan or the China or the South Korea or the India ofAfrica".0By breaking the development blockade that has bedevilled the continent, theIgbo would assume a leading role in the liberation of Africa. They would lead, not byarticulating the common African heritage, but by adopting faster than others what hasbeen developed in Europe and Asia.<129>The modernist vision of an African Taiwan or Korea has only limited appeal.Improving the infrastructure and facilitating industrial production is, of course, animportant concern in political debates. A functioning rail network or a hovercraftcrossing the Niger has considerable attraction, however, the wish to achieve a life ofaffluence and technical sophistication cannot be in the centre of nationalistaspirations. Nationalism seeks to instil a culture of commitment and self-sacrifice.People must learn to forgo personal advantages for the sake of the nation. ThusMASSOB officials praise Igbo martyrs who are ready to lay down their lives. In thiscontext of nation-building, a hovercraft on the Niger is nothing to die for. If the futureBiafra is defined mainly in terms of material achievements, as "the next tiger"0following Singapore or Korea, it cannot arouse much passion. It has no uniquefeatures, no exclusive mission.<130>One way for the Igbo to become unique is to identify with their Jewish alter ego. TheBiblical paradigm of a chosen people makes it possible for them to relate directly toGod and to distance themselves from other Christians. The God of Israel is not onlytalking to them individually, he is addressing them as a nation with a duty towardshim. By engaging in a dialogue with him, the Igbo become a self-conscious entity, agroup with a common will that can make promises and that can be held accountablefor its failures and sins. In a community answerable to God, everybody is responsible0Ené 2009:4.

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Term
Fall
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
Igbo people, Igbos

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