Re: Biafra: Is It Time To Let Go?
The piece I wrote
penultimate week on the raging agitation by the Nnamdi
Kanu-led Indigenous Peoples Republic of Biafra
(IPOB) to secede from the rest of Nigeria they call a zoo, generated a lot
frenzy, and emotion, among a broad spectrum of readers from diverse
backgrounds. This was expected. Beginning from today, except for minor
editing to capture the bare essence of the arguments, as well as for lack of
space; I will attempt to give vent to some of those reactions. At the
concluding end, of course, is my short postscript. Enjoy!
Your piece titled as
above reflects the typical inability of the average Nigerian to see issues
clearly, except, of course, where it touches on his or her own ethnic group
or religion. The major point you seem to have missed, which is the major
short coming of all Nigerians who belong to your school of thought, is that
there is nothing that bondage or slavery can possibly offer that will ever
equal the sweet taste of freedom. To quote The Emir of Kano, in his recent
presentation on the Biafra issue, your kind are “not students of history”, or
you would know that this is the reason millions of men and women have, in the
generations past, willingly given their lives for freedom. No wonder you
cannot see that the Ethiopians and South Sudanese you mentioned prefer their
penury to Arab slavery. Surely human dignity demands that!
You are clearly the
image of the non-Igbo intellectual class who have
woefully failed this nation. When your great knowledge should have compelled
you to be at the vanguard of the struggle for freedom and equality for every
Nigerian, irrespective of their ethnic or religious origin, you put on your
ethnic regalia and, by omission or commission, aided the political class and
the military class to perpetuate untold atrocities against the Igbo from 1970
till date, which has seen to it that the Igbo youth are once again crying
Biafra! This cry was raised in 1966 only because of the hate driven
Hausa/Fulani led attempt to annihilate the Igbo for no justifiable reason.
If people like you had
risen up and challenged your fellow Hausa/Fulani Muslim brothers each time
they “massacred” the Igbo in northern Nigeria and destroyed their properties,
there most likely will not be any body agitating for Biafra today. Where were
you from 1970 till date as one government after another rode rough shod over
the Igbo? Or did you people not realize what was happening? Could it be that
the silence from your kind was because you had deluded yourselves to the
point where you believed that the Igbo have become a “none-issue” forever?
In 1969, General Yakubu Gowon declared that “Just as the Germans today do
not like to be called Nazis, soon no one here will like to be called a Biafran”. On the 15th of January 1970, he declared that
“The so called ‘rising sun of Biafra’ has set forever”. Quite clearly he and
his fellows were either too naïve or too young to have realized that those
words implied a lot of responsibilities aimed at re-integrating and assuaging
the hurt the Igbo felt about the unrationalizable
(sic) atrocities committed against them by fellow non-Igbo Nigerians.
The Nigerian army
recently threatened to deal decisively with the pro-Biafra agitators. As they
go about preparing to do this, they should ask themselves how many more Igbos
they are willing to kill to keep Nigeria one. Are the over 50,000 killed by
the Hausa/Fulani before the War plus the more than 3 million destroyed by the
army in the cause of that war not enough? Will the death of another 3 million
suffice? If this army and the other security agencies had performed their
constitutional responsibility of protecting the Igbo and their properties
from the murderers roaming the streets of Hausa/Fulani cities like Gowon had
promised the world that they would before the end of the Civil War, there
most likely would not be any Igbo people today dying for Biafra. The army
should realize that if they kill every Igbo person above 2 years globally,
our children of 2 years and below, including the unborn ones will still grow
up to cry Biafra.
To suggest that the
agitators are the uneducated of Igbo land is the height of intellectual
rascality, just as it is foolhardiness to believe that these agitations are
about getting a greater cut of the “national cake by way of political
appointments”. The fact that you do not realize that the impunity with which
the Hausa/Fulani and their collaborators, with the active connivance of the
Yoruba race, have gone about terrorizing fellow Nigerian citizens, particularly
the Igbo, is enough justification for the call for the disintegration of the
country is a problem in itself.
If after all this, the
Igbo still insist on Biafra, then it is indeed time to let the Igbo go; with
strong guarantees that their properties and investments in other parts of
Nigeria will not become “abandoned properties”; because Nigerians own
properties in other countries. If this later part is not done, the ensuing
animosity and hatred will last for generations. If the leadership of this
country are unwilling and cannot do this, then the Nigerian army should
prepare to kill many more millions of Igbos.
who have made killing Igbos in northern Nigeria their contribution to
national development, should sharpen and oil their daggers, because sooner or
later they will be presented with the opportunity to use them again. If this
“ready-made market like Nigeria” must be mixed with oppression, intimidation
and death for the Igbo, then even I will choose Biafra or death.