Why Nnamdi’s Biafra Is Not Ideal For The Eastern People Of Nigeria Known As Ndigbo
Biafra is an idea started by leaders of the eastern Nigeria during the first military rule in Nigeria. It was the outcome of the marginalization the Igbo people experienced following the conclusion (true or false) that the first military coup led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and 4 other majors; mostly from the eastern extraction was an Igbo coup targeting the Northern part of the country. I bet you already know that part.
Ojukwu announced the birth of Biafra following the collapse of the Aburi accord. It was met with a declaration of war against Biafra by the Yakubu Gowon led military administration.
As I suppose you already know, we found ourselves in a 30 month battle with Nigeria. We suffered, we bled, people died and the effects of the war is still with us. You cannot imagine the pains that people went through to get back on their feet.
I cannot begin to educate you on the effects of the war because literature and history books are replete with them. From death to eternal enmity and suspicion amongst the various ethnic groups to the confiscation of the property of Igbos in the north and to the failure of the 3Rs.
The effects and scar might never go away. Ultimately, the chief protagonist of the struggle, Odumegwu Chukwuemeka Ojukwu of blessed memory fled the country. Historians attribute this to the advice given to him to save the struggle by not getting killed. But eventually, he left and came back to Nigeria and not Biafra where he even contested the post of the President under the aegis of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and lost.
Over the years, the struggle has moved from the military approach employed by Ojukwu to the civil approach. The movement for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) came and remained vocal in speaking against the marginalization of the Igbos in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the movement has been compromised and their leader Uwazurike looks like a confused figure. When it looked like Biafra agitation has become a child’s play, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) came on to give it a bigger momentum and impetus.
Truthfully, they have achieved more than MASSOB has managed in a very long time. They have given the agitation a serious boost even though they are doing that in a way I perceive as the wrong way. I have always maintained that Biafra is a noble Idea and should be aimed towards the emancipation of the Igbos in particular and humanity in general. It is as a result of the ideal conception of Biafra as a contrast to the way that IPOB is going about it that I maintain that it might not work. Below are the reasons why I believe that Nnamdi is getting it all wrong.
Related: The biography of Nnamdi Kanu and how he became a living God in Nigeria
Five Reasons Why Nnamdi’s Style Might Not Work For The Biafra Actualization
The Hate Speeches:
If you listen to radio Biafra, you will agree with me that Nnamdi and the correspondents at that radio station are anything but constructive. They actually make me sick. They talk about how they are going to destroy everything and everybody who stands in their way.
They talk about how ready they are to embark on war if need be as if they have an idea on what it takes to execute a war.
They are talking about how badly the Hausa fools and Yoruba betrayers have treated the igbos and the forget that we are our greatest enemies. They don’t talk about how we can become a better people filled with love but on everything that has been. They are concerned about the past and they tell us Biafra is the answer. If so, tell us how. That, they have not been able to do.
They need to tell us how Biafra effectively answers all our questions and solves our problems or even tell us how they intend to make Biafra that Instrument. Nnamdi should concern himself with that if he is the savior.
It Does not Represent the True Needs of the Igbo Nation:
The agitation for the actualization of Biafra by IPOB indeed lacks that true representation of the needs of the eastern part of Nigeria.
What we need is to hold our brothers who are embezzling the funds meant for the masses accountable first before we can talk about the unjust system. It is pitiable and a sign of underdevelopment on the part of Nigeria that we are still concerned with the ethnicity of the members of the executive council and other heads of department rather than their merit.
I am not saying that Igbos are not qualified. In fact, this will be a serious fallacy. But the underdeveloped nature of Nigeria has blinded us from the truth. We regard the number of people we have in power as a sign of not being marginalized. The fact is that every part of Nigeria is marginalized.
They remain marginalized in so far as the leaders are not delivering dividends of democracy. This is what the agitation should be preaching. Biafra has to be better than Nigeria if people are to adopt the ideology.
The Timing is Just Not Okay:
Biafra just like the other trends of agitation in Nigeria is usually more effective when the political elites in that region are not very close to the corridors of power and decision making.
We had a president who was theoretically sympathetic to the cause of Biafra in Goodluck Ebele Jonathan but we did not do anything. There was no IPOB to cry out on the bad roads in the East, there was no Nnamdi Kanu to tell them about the pathetic nature of Onitsha Bridge and push for the construction of the second one. There was no Biafra agitation to talk about the savior nature Nnamdi. We waited and waited while the milked and dried the resources.
Unfortunately, we were too loyal to avoid boarding a sinking sheep. The sheep sank unavoidably and suddenly, everybody wants Biafra.
The same people that milked us are not supporting it at least not openly, their children are not been killed and they are still very comfortable where they are. All these are happening because a northerner who is not very sympathetic to our course is in power.
That will all change tomorrow. Then what next? My bet is that chukwu okike abiama will stop speaking.
It is not favorable to Entrepreneurs and Businessmen:
The Igbos are majorly business oriented people scattered all over the country in particular and the world at large. The biggest hotels and houses in the north are owned by the Igbos.
This agitation and the process it is taking are endangering the Igbo people in the north. It is a threat to business generally.
Entrepreneurship requires solving the needs of the people and the people could be from anywhere. There is an ultimatum in place that the Igbos should leave the North by 1st of October. I have not seen any of my friends and brothers living in the North.
This is simple. The north is their lives. They cannot imagine living anywhere else apart from the north. I hope the government diffuses the tension and restore normalcy.
The Religious Implications:
We are dominantly Christians in this southern part of Nigeria. We understand that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our personal Lord and savior.
This might be regarded as subjective but so what? Religion has always been subjective.
There are instances of Nnamdi disrupting Christian activities in Aba. People now equate him with Christ. That is very funny. He is now a cult figure and is misleading many. The consequences will be terrible for him. Instead of using the Christian community as a rallying point, he is going contra Christian culture. It does not sit well with me.
Don’t get it wrong, Nnamdi has really achieved a whole lot but it is time to channel it rightly. The fact that I don’t support him does not mean he is a total fool. It just means that I don’t share his method.
Come rain, come sunshine, I will always be a proud supporter of the Biafra ideology. I didn’t really concern myself with Nnamdi as a person; my interest is in the message.
It is not right. Remember, Nigeria is not the only nation where there is secessionist agitation and Biafra is not the only secessionist group in the world. We should get it right. We have to need it but right now, what he is offering is not worth dying for.