By Mazi Nnamdi Chukwuka… As a proud Biafran one must not fail to express his indignation as regards the lingering injustice, marginalisation and psychological trauma the Igbos have been subjected to by the ruling elite in Nigeria. The hostility and animosity toward us continues unabated even up to this day. They hate us yet they don’t want us to go our separate way. We must hate them in kind and force our way out of the federal zoo they call a nation. Exposing the monumental century-old Lugardian lie unilaterally told in 1914 should rather constitute a “task that must be done” than keeping Nigeria one. The ‘gospel’ according to ‘prophet’ Gowon (preached decades ago and now by ‘saint’ Buhari) must be proven wrong!
The Nigerian federation as presently constituted was not made or meant to favour our people’s general aspirations. It’s a confused so-called country with irreconcilable ethnic and religious differences. Only a peaceful or violent dismemberment could provide a lasting solution to the question of identity and diversity. To hell with unity! The federal ‘marriage’ of convenience or inconvenience isn’t working and can never work! Using brute force to make it work is akin to kicking a dead horse!
Something terrible had happened some weeks back (precisely 27th February 2017) to a gentle Biafran at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos. Upon his arrival from the United States one Charles Chuma Opara, a prominent member of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, (MASSOB), was pounced on by operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) promptly arresting and detaining him. His crime? Belonging to MASSOB and being a brother to Ikechukwu Opara, another active prominent member of MASSOB in the US. The SSS had desperately sought information as to the activities of the seperatist movement based at home and abroad.
And to obtain the information Charles, a Pastor, was blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination. And during gruelling moments of interrogation the SSS goons used horse-whips, night-sticks and riffle butts on his head and body! He was asked violently to give names and addresses of MASSOB militants in America. They refused the polite request of the man of God to call his family or a lawyer and even refused him treatment after days of excruciating torture sessions. They told him that he was on their hit-list like his brother. According to Pastor Opara he was lucky to have escaped from captivity because of one sympathetic SSS man who discreetly intervened on his behalf upon learning of his ecclesiastical calling. He was hospitalised for days as he recuperated from the manhandling and humiliation.
The respected man of God is alive to tell the dreadful story but thousands of his compatriots of Biafran origin were not so lucky. Many had lost limbs and lives and others languishing in prisons across the federation for asking for Biafra! The security forces are always too happy to employ brutal means to quell any agitation for Biafra. They fire live bullets into the crowd often killing unarmed demonstrators and taking prisoners. And gloating over their murderous exploits! Some international human rights organisations like the Amnesty International had risen in strong condemnation of this flagrant violation of the people’s right to demonstrate in a democracy.
But the spirit behind Biafra remains immortal! The idea is a great one in all its glory; it can never die for whatever reason least of all state repression or intimidation.
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It would be recalled that in 2003 the SSS operatives had stormed the village home of Charles Opara demanding to know his and Ikechukwu’s whereabouts from their aged mother and brother Emeka. They were both arrested, tortured and subjected to interrogation. Though the late Mrs Opara was released later Emeka remained in detention and up until now he’s reported missing! Mrs Opara died as a result of this SSS invasion and cruel methods and tactics! Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) still remains in solitary confinement for years running for his vocal advocacy for Biafran independence. Despite court orders releasing him on bail the Buhari regime is still holding him captive. He was arrested and charged to court but judge after judge had found him worthy of bail yet he’s still suffering detention in the Buhari gulag!
Buhari has never been known to be a friend of the Igbos. In deeds and utterances, he has manifested, time after time, his loathsome disposition towards our dreams and hopes. His abhorrence of the Biafran idea is proven by the scorn and derision with which he treats the agitation for freedom. It goes to demonstrate clearly his resolve never to let our people go like Pharoah did to the Jewish people during the years of slavery in Egypt. But today Israel has reached the ‘promised land’ with or without a Moses!
Buhari dislikes our natural guts, cultural greatness and economic wizardry hence the need for the continuation of the barbarism and subjugation. But everything that has a beginning must have an end. We’re too great a people under the Almighty God to accept permanently to be glorified second-class citizens in the land of our fathers and forefathers. Freedom must, therefore, ring from Onitsha to Owerri, Aba to Abakaliki, Enugu to Umuahia. The boundless energy and ingenuity of our people can only be released in full under the Biafran nationhood.
If the Fulani terrorists (herdsmen, madmen, gunmen et al) could be invading households and villages — as thieves in the night — setting homes and farmlands on fire, raping, maiming and killing innocent citizens and evading arrest and justice then one wonders why those fighting for independence non-violently should be hounded down, tortured, imprisoned or killed gruesomely at the slightest provocation. Many towns and villages had fallen victim of this marauding terrorism with governments doing little or nothing to curb the violent invasions and encroachments. No one has ever heard of any Fulani herdsman being arrested or prosecuted for committing arson, rape or homicide anywhere!
Is it a crime, if one may ask, the genuine agitation for self-determination of a people? Isn’t it legitimate and normal in the case of Biafra? No one can ever succeed to force togetherness upon a people determined to govern themselves otherwise. No one can wish it away either! The dream is still very much alive in the hearts and minds of millions of our people despite the organized state terrorism to quench the fire. Personally, I’ve got no doubt in my mind that we shall overcome somehow, someday.
Some instances would suffice here to buttress a relative point. Bangladesh and Pakistan were formerly ruled by Indians under the Indian sovereignty but today they both rule themselves after prolonged battles for self-determination. South Sudan fought years of brutal war with the Arabic establishment in Khartoum to liberate themselves from the Sudanese cultural and political domination. Today Juba has achieved national independence in tears and blood! Kosovo once suffered from the Serbian administrative diktat only for external forces led by the United States to bomb Slobodan Milosevic, the late “Butcher of the Balkans” into submission.
The defunct USSR existed, much like Nigeria now, as a convoluted federation. Dreams and hopes were stifled and suffocated as peoples struggled to bring down the unsustainable system that put them in an open prison against their will. Today out of the ‘womb’ of the USSR were born nations like Ukraine and Georgia. Few people had shed tears (if any) for the disappearance of the Soviet Union. Perhaps only Vladmir Putin, the Russian strongman, in elusive search of global military dominion, that regrets the fall of the Soviet state nonsense. If Nigeria collapses today maybe only the Hausa/Fulani would have any cause, for obvious reasons, to mourn the demise of the “mere geographical expression”.
We, Biafrans, we challenge the indisposed lanky Mallam from Daura pretending to be presiding over a divided federal house to put his credibility on the line by organising a referendum in the south-east to test the popularity or otherwise of the quest for freedom of our people. I dare say the outcome will definitely vindicate MASSOB and IPOB. The ‘yes’ to secession, without any iota of doubt, will win the majority vote. If the Katsina sick old man and his northern anti-Biafra elements believe in the unity in diversity they’re hypocritically preaching then the way to go is for the people to decide for or against as it’s done democratically elsewhere.
RipplesNigeria ….without borders, without fears
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