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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

[MUST READ] Why Nnamdi Kanu’s Biafra Project Must Be Stopped - By Joe Igbokwe.

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Last week, I saw the photo of a group of people who gave the impression that they are receiving military training somewhere in Igboland. This afternoon, I saw another photograph on Facebook, with some youths bearing guns and Nnamdi Kanu standing with them. I may not know where these pictures are coming from and what they are planning to do, but this is the time to speak out and I urge anybody who is somebody, and who understands where we are coming from to stand up now to be counted. Woe betides a nation whose leaders are children. If we elders do not speak against this evil, posterity will never forgive us. Let us speak out and if these children do not hear us, then it should be on record that we spoke.
Ever since former President Jonathan lost the presidential elections on March 28, 2015, which some of us knew he could never win based on the facts that we had access to and the statistics available, a majority of Igbo people have been unhappy and angry. They have been cursing and abusing the president and APC leaders, wishing that President Buhari never existed and APC was never formed. Many of them have been so frustrated after the elections that they are now looking for ways to get back to the APC-controlled federal government.
Now, one Nnamdi Kanu who has been dreaming about the State of Biafra has provided a space for them to vent their anger. Some of them have joined this small boy to begin to wish for the State of Biafra. Suddenly the so-called Radio Biafra has created a momentum for them. On Facebook, I have watched with keen interest what these guys dish out on daily basis in the name of fighting for Biafra. They tell blatant lies; they create havoc; they make terrible noise; they abuse other Nigerians; and they preach unimaginable propaganda and hate that, at once, puts Igboland in potential danger. I have been waiting for the South-East Governors to speak up but they have maintained a deafening silence that suggests complicity. I have also waited for our elders to call this small boy to order but nothing has happened.
With the so-called Radio Biafra, this boy, whose age I do not know, has unleashed an unimaginable trailer-load of lies and potentially dangerous propaganda that has put the Igbo nation in danger. It is now 45 years after the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War and I think that Igbos must rise up to stop this small boy who never saw the 1967-1970 Civil War and who may not know the implications of what he is doing. He has never consulted anybody to seek their opinion. He has been speaking to the gullible and not too educated people in Igboland, and very soon these uneducated people will take a dangerous decision that may decimate and destroy Igboland. Soon our people will start complaining that they were not consulted. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.
Can someone tell Nnamdi Kanu that wars may be fought for 50 years, and should people die in order to achieve Biafra? The war may even consume Nnamdi and all the members of his family and millions of others without achieving its purpose. We have been so inter-married, interwoven, intertwined, inter-related that the idea of separation should not be encouraged.
Last week, I saw the photo of a group of people who gave the impression that they are receiving military training somewhere in Igboland. This afternoon, I saw another photograph on Facebook, with some youths bearing guns and Nnamdi Kanu standing with them. I may not know where these pictures are coming from and what they are planning to do, but this is the time to speak out and I urge anybody who is somebody, and who understands where we are coming from to stand up now to be counted. Woe betides a nation whose leaders are children. If we elders do not speak against this evil, posterity will never forgive us. Let us speak out and if these children do not hear us, then it should be on record that we spoke. About a month ago, the barrage of lies and uncontrolled propaganda Radio Biafra dished out everyday drew the attention of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), which asked Nigerians to stop listening to this useless radio station.
Now here are compelling reasons why the Igbo must remain in Nigeria in their own interest:
(1) The Igbo fought a war of self-determination between 1967 and 1970 and lost about one million people. This should be taken as a huge price for the unity of this country. Having paid this monumental supreme price, I think Igbo should work for the unity of this country on the basis of social justice, equity and fair play;
(2) Nigeria has three major ethnic groups: Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo. The Hausa/Fulani Empire has Hausa people stretching all through the Sahel to the Sudan. They are mostly muslims and they have contacts with the Arab world. The Yoruba nation has Togo, Benin Republic, and Sierra Leone, even up to Brazil and Cuba to run to where their kinsmen are. The Igbo nation has no other place in the world where the Igbo language is spoken. Therefore the people must see Nigeria as where they belong and work for its survival;
(3) Nigeria provides a big space for Igbo to spread their tentacles, explore, excel and blossom. The South-East is too small for this highly mobile and dynamic people to thrive;
(4) The world pays attention to Nigeria today because of our size and population. If Nigeria splits into smaller countries the world will pack their bag and baggage and leave. Population and size make a nation a destination;
(5) Assuming we manage to get a State of Biafra, which state in the South-East will produce its first President? When Enugu State was created, the late governor C.C Onoh sacked all the civil servants and teachers from Anambra State. Recently, former governor Orji of Abia State sacked workers from Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States. Now, how can we manage Biafra with this attitude?
(6) The Igbo control 60 to 70 percent of all the imports in Nigeria, and other Nigerians, Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani, Ijaw, Efik, Birom, Tiv, Idoma etc. provide the huge market for Igbo’s mobile and big time traders;
(7) Monumental inter-marriages between Igbos and Yorubas and other ethnic groups have thrived for close to 70 years now, and we cannot just dismiss all these with a wave of the hand;
(8) Igbos own huge and massive investments in property in Lagos and Abuja, and other state capitals in Nigeria. Now are you going to wish all these away?;
(9) Other Nigerian cities have provided safe haven for Igbos, as places to run to cool off whenever self-inflicted crisis arise or other problems. When kidnapping became a way of life in the South-East, our people moved to other parts of Nigeria to settle. Now, where will the Igbo go when confronted with these problems in Biafra?;
(10) How can Igbos thrive without their Lagos and Abuja or Port-Harcourt? What happens to all their connections and relationships in these places?
Can someone tell Nnamdi Kanu that wars may be fought for 50 years, and should people die in order to achieve Biafra? The war may even consume Nnamdi and all the members of his family and millions of others without achieving its purpose. We have been so inter-married, interwoven, intertwined, inter-related that the idea of separation should not be encouraged. I do not want to lose my friends from the other parts of Nigeria for anything.
When a writer is silent he is lying. A story that must be told never forgives silence. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in any society is for good men to do nothing.
I can go on, and on, but there is no need to continue to do so. We must be strong enough to stop this world’s old problem of looking down on people who are different from us. This is a problem with Nigeria. Nigeria’s diversity is a big plus for all of us to excel. United we stand, divided we fall. I confess that Igbos have not played better politics in Nigeria since 1970 and that has been our bane. Anytime we want to change bad leadership in the country, Igbos as a block would resist this. It happened in 1993 and we lost everything. In 2015, Igbos were at it again, but the forces of history prevailed. Igbos can do better than this.
If the truth must prevail, Nigeria has not been fair to Igbos since the end of civil war. They tell us that there is no victor and no vanquished but in actions and deeds the victors are still celebrating and enjoying the spoils of the war, while the defeated are still languishing in abject neglect.
Now we must collectively stop this small boy called Nnamdi Kanu who is still sucking his mother’s breast before he endangers the whole of Igboland and plunges us into a civil war once again. When a writer is silent he is lying. A story that must be told never forgives silence. The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in any society is for good men to do nothing.
We have found solace in all these because we have found out that those who are still oppressing the Igbos in Nigeria are not better. We also take solace in the findings of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council that all acts of indignity against human persons, against human society debase the perpetrators more than the victims. It is not that the offended cannot forgive but have the offenders repented?
However, I want Nigerian leaders to show leadership by carrying all Nigerians along in distributing power and resources. If there is no justice, there will be no peace. If there is no peace there will be no progress. Let justice prevail. Let us be fair to all concerned. If the truth must prevail, Nigeria has not been fair to Igbos since the end of civil war. They tell us that there is no victor and no vanquished but in actions and deeds the victors are still celebrating and enjoying the spoils of the war, while the defeated are still languishing in abject neglect. For instance, of all the six zones in Nigeria, only the South-East zone has five states.
President Buhari must address this injustice.
We have found solace in all these because we have found out that those who are still oppressing the Igbos in Nigeria are not better. We also take solace in the findings of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council that all acts of indignity against human persons, against human society debase the perpetrators more than the victims. It is not that the offended cannot forgive but have the offenders repented? This injustice must stop now for the sake of unity of this country. I wrote Igbos: 25 Years After Biafra in 1995 thinking that the book would prick the conscience of other Nigerians but they have not paid any attention to it. It has been business as usual. Now, President Buhari must address this injustice. Case rested!

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