This is the time to rethink strategies. Nobody killed comes back to life.
There are things you do when you do not know the mind of your opponent;
they should be different from what you should do when the strategy of
your opponent is made clear to you. The recent statement by President
Buhari, to the effect that Nigeria/Biafra war continues, removes doubts
about the President’s disposition to the southeast. This means that
reducing the population of the Southeast remains a legitimate strategy. The
war continues for as long as those, like him” who fought in the war, remain
alive. Thus we must take, as war dead, the casualties at-the Aba School
Compound, days ago, where unarmed members of Indigenous People of .
Biafra was gathered and was dealt with: 50 persons in all, with 10 dead
at the spot. We have no way to know yet how many of the wounded have
died. One wonders whether} even, in wars, there are no rules of
engagement. Armed policemen and soldiers, shooting-to-death innocent or,
.at least unarmed individuals} can only be seen} properly, as crime against
humanity, even worse than pogrom!!! Body language may be more
commanding than express orders or commands!!!
At this stage, it does not make any sense to talk about self-defense. If
(armed) self-defense is attempted it can only lead to more depopulation of
Southeast youths. Buhari will continue fighting Biafra, or now, Nd’Igbo – for
as long as God gives him breath. Let us not give him any semblance of
excuse or justification; let us not give him the opportunity to further
slaughter our youths. Thinking persons should, in the circumstance, see
any effort at self-defense as suicidal!!!
It is very important to understand where we are on the Biafra issue –
controversy and struggle:’
Leaders of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) have taken the decisive
right step. They have taken the Biafra case to the United Nations – thereby,
effectively applying for self-determination, Because the United Nation has
clear procedures for such cases, their action has really removed the issue of
Biafra from decision through the barrel of the gun to decision by the vote –
vote in a referendum – like those held in: Quebec, Catalina, Scotland etc. In a referendum, it is one man: one vote, Governor: one vote, big political
leader: one vote, the lowest political follower/person: one vote. Now, most
of the home-based Igbo (people who live in Igbo Home Land), who are sure
that they believe in Biafra now, now, now, and, no going back, must tell
some of their fellows in Diaspora, why they must vote for “Biafra now”.
And there are those in Home base and Diaspora who seriously believe that
easterners have major roles to play in the achievement of Nigeria’s
Manifest Destiny! The size of Nigeria is also said to be relevant in the
achievement of that Destiny. Both arguments (importance of the size of the
country and major Igbo contribution to the’ achievement of the Manifest
Destiny) are seen to be against supporting Biafra now-now. But these
points can be answered very easily. Since Manifest Destiny is the purpose,
or, intention, of the Almighty God, for a country, we should leave it to God’
to determine what happens, whether there will be Biafra or not – for God’s
will, must dominate man’s will. The Almighty God, who created the heavens
and the earth and all that is in them and in-between them, “have” all the
powers in heaven and earth- the powers of man and jinn, the power of
thunder and lightning, the power of the scorpion to sting, the power of the
snake to bite etc. Since nothing that God does not allow can happen, there is
no point in the proponents of Biafra and their opponents confronting each
other. Both sides should go on their knees and hope ultimately to win. The
referendum is not a once and for all event. It must be repeated as long as
serious agitation for self-determination persists.
And there is no conflict on the principles of action – the bases of Igbo
decision making. The commanding principles of Igbo action remain clear,
uncontested and yet uncompromised!! Yes, “eji ndu eme gini”, which says
that life without honour is not worth living. And yes, “onye ajulu adighi
aju onweya”, meaning that one rejected does not reject oneself. Yes, these
are fundamental determinants of Igbo action, from the ancient of days – to
date. The first accounted for the fact that the great majority of suicide cases
among Nigerian slaves in America were Igbo. The second explains the
attempt by Nd’Igbo to create a world of their own (in Biafra), when the
leaders of Nigeria declared that “the basis of unity” (of Nigeria) was not
there. A third principle, “ebe onye bi ka 0 na awachi”, that is where one
lives, one mends (builds), explains Igbo massive developmental efforts
anywhere they find themselves. It explains also how it happened that since
returning to Nigeria, after the strategy “to keep Nigeria One” succeeded,
our people built up much of Abuja and other towns in Nigeria. That remains
the magic or miracle of a people given only twenty Nigerian pounds each
(irrespective of whether millions were in their personal bank accounts), at the
presumed end of the war. Commendable, but we must never again forget to
“Presumed end of the war”, yes, because persons, like “Buhari, are
innocent of the presumption of the end of the war. That is why he takes
action that makes non-pretenders in the southeast feel exposed to gross
inequity, injustice as unfairness, marginalisation, discrimination, not seen
as full-fledged Nigeria nationals or not qualified to hold the highest office in
the land etc.
Some of these actions include: not including, even one, southeast person, in
the President’s first 40 appointments, the withdrawal of the appointment
of an easterner at Nimasa three days after announcement, something
similar happened at another very major national organization, failure to
appoint a southeast person to even the sixth and least protocol position in
government in a six-geopolitical-zone structure (the position of SGF), no
Igbo person is in the National Security Council, packing dangerous Boko
Haram prisoners to Ekwulobia, in Anambra State, and leaving them there
for very long, in spite of massive protests from all and sundry, not giving
enough key ministries to the south east persons, spilling the blood of
eastern youths – the most recent of which was at Aba, the impunity in not
respecting the rule of law but keeping Nnamdi Kanu in detention after a
court of competent jurisdiction had ordered his release on bail, body
language of undisguised hatred for part of the peoples one had sworn to be
fair to and to protect. There is also the recent case of handcuffing Mr.
Metuh, while other accused persons, whose cases were more heinous, were
swaggering into the court. It has been asserted that the body language of
the President gave the officials the motivation to do that, hoping, by that, to
please the President.
These are the ingredients of injustice, marginalization and humiliation
which can make life not worth living for an Igbo in Nigeria. They are signs
of the Igbo being rejected in Nigeria. These are the reason why I said that.
Buhari is stoking the fire of MASOB and Biafra and pushing the southeast
out of Nigeria. For as long as they persist, Biafra is inevitable. No two ways
about it!!! But there may be some legitimate questions!
What if these elements, ingredients and signs cease to exist – wiped out,
deliberately obliterated. What if only Buhari is the author and finisher of
the rejection, and maker of Igbo life not worth living in Nigeria? Will it
make sense for Nd’Igbo to surrender to Buhari, without regard to the
stands of other Nigeria? How much is Buhari’s “change” still accepted by
Nigerians – even Nigerians from the northeast zone? On the other hand are
there things that Nd’Igbo should have done differently, especially, in their
host communities? Should we have allowed the development of Almagiris?
Should we not have countered the bases of jealousy which degenerated to
hatred? Were not some enlightened neutralizing actions possible? The
bottom line is: it is fully accepted that anywhere in Nigeria, if you take away
the indigenes, the Igbo, who had voted massively with their feet for One
Nigeria, is the largest of the remaining population. Given this fact, what
would have happened, to the Igbo in Nigeria politics, if we had made
friends with our host communities? What can happen now if we, somehow,
manage to create such friendship? Now, what if an Igbo becomes Nigerian
President in 2019, 2023? Nd’Igbo and Nigerians, is there any important
point raised here that we haven’t considered. If so, there may be bases for a
rethink. Even Buhari may beat many to it. He can rethink and make
amends! But often, those in power are power-drunk and drunkenness of
any type cannot promote fairness!! Indeed, simply taking the geo-political
. zones as federating units can neutralize most tensions in the land. Add to
this, the implementation of 2014 Conference proposals and we may be
approaching an Eldorado!l! God, to whom all powers belong, has the final
say. He knows the best, we pray for that best!!!
Okwadike, (Dr) Chukwuemeka Ezeife CON, Ph.D(Harvard) etc.
Garkuwan Fika, Akintolugboye of Egbaland.
Ex- Perm Sec, Ex-Governor.