The new-found-love between indegenous-anti-Biafrans and other parts of Nigeria is unrequited and the bubble will burst in the nearest future.
No movement of redemption in the history of mankind, has ever commanded support in totality. When Moses tried to intervene among two quarrelling Israelites for whom he had earlier killed an Egyptian, one of them queried his motive and no sooner than later, his messianic gambits came to bare and he was made to flee from Egypt. When Jesus came to save mankind, someone had asked in amazement; ‘…is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know…?” Later, others asked in mockery, “…are you the king of the Jews…?” The story is also told of Apartheid South Africa. Some blacks who lived in various forms of slavery in exclusively white enclaves, with a residue of privileges, were opposed to the bid to end of Apartheid and subsequently queried the motive of Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and other (Terrorist) activists and wondered why the ‘few concessions’ granted to blacks and dogs were not sufficient to make them (Black South Africans) maintain the status quo. The black slaves who were delusional in their beliefs that they were rubbing shoulders with the slave-drivers were afraid that the ‘perks’ they enjoyed will vanish once an egalitarian South Africa was achieved.
Across the world today, there is a constant quest for secession. In Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and even the Oceania, there is agitation for secession by various people who believe that they are getting a raw deal in their circumstances. Biafrans are one of them.
The responses of the ‘Central Government’ to the enclaves seeking secession has been varied. Some quest for self determination have been met with forceful suppression as in the case of Biafra, in Nigeria, the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Kashmir region in India/Pakistan. The citizens of advanced democracies has seen less military onslaught. At the peak of the table is Scotland, United Kingdom. In September 2014, Scotland was allowed by the United Kingdom ‘Central Government’ to hold a referendum whether to be independent or not. The Catalonians have not been that lucky. The referendum they held on October 2017 is still suffering from lockjaw. At the moment, the region is under threat of political and military siege by the Spanish ’Central Government’.
With the reenactment of the agitation for self determination amidst obvious marginalisation, exclusion and systematic denial of rights and privileges, the experience of the indigenous people of the South east and South south of Nigeria has not been worthwhile. The foremost obstacle to the agitation has been a ping pong of aimlessness between a clueless junta disguised as democratic leadership and a rag tag agitation lacking the energy of organisation and consisting mainly of a hapless babel of educated and uneducated masses. I am one of these hapless babel of masses who have expressed the desire for self determination of Biafra. Peacefully, I will continue to express myself as a bonafide and peace loving Nigerian until our aim is achieved.
However, I have referred to the ‘Central Government’ of Nigeria as a junta disguised as a democratic leadership because of the gross human rights violation attendant upon their quest to crush the Biafra agitation. The Nigeria security agencies’ commando-style attack and the attendant killing of several agitators can only be associated with those who rule without recourse to the rule of law.
I have also referred to the Biafra agitators as a hapless babel because, unlike in other climes, as in Catalonia, there are sparse elite in the quest for Biafra. While millions of us are educated, very few have the financial power and no one holds any political position to help streamline the cause or advance the course of the agitation. In the end, there has been an over reliance on the purportedly banned Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of a cult of personality. The attendant consequence is that there is hardly any one voice or any consensus on how to handle the Biafra matter. At the moment, those seeking for the self actualisation of Biafra do not seem to be winning.
Despite the onslaught of the ‘Central Government’ of Nigeria on agitators, there is an obvious believe by the elite Igbo that the preservation of the status quo is the only avenue to their personal and selfish quest(s). In support of the few Igbos in power, are their mangrove roots — an army of vocal and educated class — who have been recently ramping up the delusion of an indivisible an not negotiable Nigeria. This class has been quick to occupy both the social and traditional media space and exhibiting so much histrionics and non demonstrable affection and show of unity. Toeing the line are some elite associations of indigenous people of the area regarded as the old Biafra. From Cross River to Aqua Ibom, Ikwere, Urhobo, Delta, Imo Enugu and Abakaliki, etc, these bandwagon of highly postured voices have continued to sing the song of one indissoluble Nigeria.
Before the emergence of new love song produced in Western Nigeria and copyrighted in Northern Nigeria, discrediting the major movement in support of Biafra (IPOB) was the top agenda. Biafra was firstly bespattered with the pariah of tribal sentiments — an Igbo bid to oppress the adjoining minorities. In that light, various socio-cultural organisations like the Mbogho Mkparawa Ibibio dessociated themselves from the quest for an Independent state of Biafra. Ditto the Urhobo Progressive Union and some voices from Abakaliki and other minority dominated areas. The scare mongering worked for sometime, leading to a constant barrage of denouncements of the quest for Biafra and it’s subsequent goal. However, when these minority ethnics in Biafra were presented with images of the Niger Delta in pari passu with that of Abuja, Kano and Lagos etc., and further asked if they have been better treated in the century long relationship with the rest of Nigeria, they saw through the propaganda and reenergised their quest for the independence of Biafra.
Today, the new gospel of ”one Nigeria” has been in town since the lull in the quest for agitation which began with the Operation Python dance. Unappetisingly, even some religious leaders that tended to give credence to the voice of the agitators for Biafra seem to have dimmed or switched to ‘Bob Marley’s One Love…’ for fear of possible back clash.
Apparently, there are about three reasons for this. The first is the successful illegal silencing — albeit momentarily(?) of Nnamdi Kanu by the Nigerian Military through their act of invasion and illegal proscribing of IPOB — which are at the forefront of the quest for an Independent State for the people of Biafra.
The second reason is the illiterate synonym associated with the agitation for Biafra and membership of IPOB and the feared (rightly or wrongly) consequence of extrajudicial killing also associated with such an identity. With the alleged killing of so many young men by the Nigerian security forces at the height of Operation Python ostensibly embarked by the Army to clear up the agitation, there now seem to be a feeling among Biafra agitators only associated with the jews in the Third Reich.
The third reason is that there is no more bread in Israel and everyone has to go to Egypt to buy grain. In order to buy grain from our own Egypt, the deluded Igbo has to swallow a tablet called ‘Restructure’ manufactured by the Yorubas and sold by the Hausa-Fulani Oligarchy. And if the drug has no such brain-damaging-effect as to make you sing one-not-negotiable Nigeria, you will have no food for your family.
It is mindful to say that the Hausa Fulani Oligarchy will never cut any deal with the Igbos and the Yorubas are too educated jettison the history of Igbo Self-cannibalism and self-betrayal in order to bring the Igbo to their planning centre. That is why, of all the drama on the subterranean brinkmanship regarding the forthcoming General Election in 2019, (General elections determine the betterment of life in any region in Nigeria), there are no postures of any Igbo character.
The ultimate result is that, in the next nearest future when this administration begins to close shop and make way for another, the elite Igbos who are now in positions of power and who rejected the agitation for self determination, will be very lonely in their castaway ship.
Amaeshi Anthony Magnus (Caesar), a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, hails from Ikeduru, lives in England.