I have deliberately refused to follow this unfolding drama. I have blind-sided the news and not even bothered to read stories or analysis on this issue, which I consider a non-issue. I see these people as miscreants and rabble rousers. The agitation for Biafra is just noise and will not even go beyond the sound of their cacophonic drums and the beats of their weather beaten sandals as they match on the Niger bridge.
Those behind this campaign don’t just get it. The issue with the South East is not secession. It is not the glorification of a failed attempt four decades ago at secession which saw to the massacre of about six million people that would solve the problem of exclusion, erosion, infrastructural decay, corruption, unemployment, crime, disease and a lot more that dog the ‘Biafra’ people.
The issue is that of leadership; constructive leadership that would engage perfectly with the aspirations of the people especially in strategic areas like commerce and education.
So all these jobless hoodlums who are hiding under the platform of Biafra to loot and cause distractions should just go and sit down. They will never get the full backing of the civil population and that is the major difference between this joke and the uprising that led to the civil war.
The Ojukwu-led push had a serious followership, that is why it lasted as long as it did.
Although it started out as a protest to perceived injustice and marginalization, it later was able to wean an ideology which got the people sold. What we have today is an attempt by some dog eaters to play on the nostalgic sentiments of that time to push a selfish and narrow minded agenda, especially in the face of severe economic strife which is affecting the whole country, not just the Igbo nation.
My blame sits perfectly with the Igbo leadership, both political and cultural. In their selfishness, they have not carried the restless youth along. In their bid for political power, they have disenfranchised the youths who come with abundant energy and strong ambitions.
With very few passed down wealth and privileges, little or no education they are left with nothing but pyric illusions of Biafra. A Biafra which to them was an eldorado. They were not even born, so did not witness the massacre and starvation that was the lot of the Igbo people. All they are made to believe was the strong courage of the Biafran soldier who was able to withstand the strong Nigerian Army with nothing but a stick. These stories and the war museum in Enugu is deceiving them and making them feel that they can withstand the Federal might once again and build a Biafra that would solve all these problems overnight.
The government needs to accelerate development initiatives, create jobs, build infrastructure, engage these youths, thereby slowly leading them away from this path of self-destruction and into the safer path of contributing meaningfully to society.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
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