What they always tell us is that the South East zone, or the five Igbo states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, were the least populated, and according to the list released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that with over 84 registered voters nationwide, the South East zone has about ten million voters.
With this small population, the impression they give us is that it would be worthless for the Igbo, or the South East zone, to make any strong statement about their interests, or take any stand on any issue affecting the country.
According to them, the Igbo people should simply be follow follow, and necessarily toe the path dictated for them by other zones, and forget whatever they thought would be their interest.
Yes. It is true that the South East zone has only five states,while others zones has between six and seven states. It is equally true that the figures credited to Igbo states both by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were far less than those of other zones.
These, notwithstanding, the Igbo people can still make strong statements about their interests in the Nigerian project and have these interests sell through.
Igbo people are cosmopolitan, and they are mobile. In every town or village you go in any part of Nigeria, you will find Igbo people residing and doing business there. They speak their language, eat their food, and marry their daughters.
In other words, Igbo people constitute the second largest population in every state of the country. This means that the so-called huge population recorded for these other states or zones, equally constitute part of the Igbo population.
Therefore, with the ten million registered voters or so recorded by INEC for Igbo people at home, and over nineteen million registered Igbo voters residing outside Igbo land, Igbo people can conveniently make strong statements on any issue of their interest in Nigeria.
The only thing necessary is for Igbo leaders to sit down, articulate their views, their interests, chart the course Igbo people should go, and sell them to Igbo people nationwide.
The Israeli nation which has the Jews as their homeland, is one of the least populated countries in the world. But the Jews are scattered all over the world and they occupy important positions in the global society, and through these positions influence many decisions that are of their interest both in the United States of America, and many other world organizations like the United Nations.
Igbo people in Nigeria can equally play this role if they are properly sensitized and set on course.