Before anyone says funny things let me declare that I am Igbo. My Parents are Igbos as they hailed from Imo state. My father was arrested during the Biafra war. He was taken away from his house in Ibadan to kirikiri Prisons in Lagos where he was bundled with other “Biafrans”. He was there for close to a year before he was released. That he survived was still one of the mysteries my late mother couldn’t understand but attributed to God. I have uncles who lost their lives. I have lost cousins whom I never knew because of the war. Many houses in Mokola where we lived in Ibadan were mainly owned by Igbos but they lost most of those properties during the war. It was really “pathetic” I must confess. Everyone has a story. War is not a good thing by any means. You lose a lot and you gain nothing.
However, I have a major problem with the current agitation. It’s an agitation based more on “hate” for a particular individual than really for the over 2 million people that died during the war. The current agitation for Biafra is almost like what I witnessed during Obasanjo regime when Uwazurike came up with MASSOB(movement for the actualisation of the sovereign state of Biafra). He puffed and shouted. He made so much issues and he had a “dose”of OBJ’s treatment.
However, he did score a point then; He gave an ultimatum that all the police officers and military guys that served the government must be paid their gratuities. He was unrelenting in this mindset. OBJ quite uncharacteristically, acquiesced to major part of this demand. Uwazurike was very clear, he wanted “Biafra” and he never wanted anything to do with the government of OBJ or OBJ himself. I was in Portharcourt in 2002 when the whole markets were shutdown on his orders. However, the mass appeal he generated then had disappeared after so many government harassments combined with his own idea of making ends meet.
Between 2009 and 2015, we had a President who you would say came from the “old Biafra” as it were. We had Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who you could in all fact call a “Biafran”. For whatever reasons; the intensity of people agitating for Biafra dropped during his time. It was as if the “actualization of Biafra” didn’t matter anymore. During Jonathan’s time, some suspected MASSOB’s members(30 of them) were killed by the security agencies and thrown inside Ezu river. This incident (http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ezu-river-corpses-victims-were-our-members-massob/) happened in 2013 during a supposed “Biafran man” as the President. I wonder what the promoters of the new agitation would have done if this had happened now. Your guess is as good as mine.
Before the last election; Uwazurike the leader of MASSOB supported GEJ for the president(http://www.nigeriannewspapers.today/p-o-l-l-massob-leader-begs-ndigbo-to-support-jonathan-for-ojukwus-sake/) I had thought this was the person whose security forces killed MASSOB members. Why would you still be interested in Nigerian presidency when you want Biafra? You can see when I said the reason for the agitation is always different from what is in the domain. Biafra’s issues have been personalised to whom or who is not Nigeria President. Massob fought OBJ but left Jonathan alone even as Jonathan dealt with their members in no small measures.
After Jonathan lost the March 28th election, all hell broke loose. The agitation took a more frenetic pace. A radio station was formed and another individual(Ndubuisi Kanu) took charge of his own group. He has been spewing hate, hate and hate all around. He has been supported by people, whose only reason for coming to this Biafran story is their collective hatred for the person of Buhari. People that never even supported Ojukwu’s fight to be President in 2003 have come out in full force to support Biafra’s cause. It gives them a platform to form the unrelenting antagonism to Buhari in all ramifications. They supported Jonathan but they hate Buhari with a passion that is so deadly you can touch it. The hatred for Buhari has evolved into the so-called support for Ndubuisi Kanu. A guy they never knew nor bothered about. However, the stoke of their anger is not because of an agitation for Biafra but hate for Buhari. To fight for Biafra’s actualisation during Jonathan wasn’t their concern, however it is there concern now because their man didn’t win the election. This is not how to fight for people who lost their lives in the Civil war debacle.
I know our Biafran brother GEJ promised and failed to deliver 2nd Niger Bridge. I know he promised and failed to deliver Enugu-Onitsha road. I know he promised and failed to properly deliver East-west road. I know they are not concerned with this. Biafra agitation was meaningless during this period. The problem is this: Buhari !!
Government has to find a way to acknowledge what happened during the Civil war I agree. However, with these characters, Biafra is far from their mind-sets. Biafra agitation is not a bad idea but the people pushing it have a different goal.
We are still watching……Ewolewooo!!!