By Kuforiji Moses
Below are some of the reasons why the stupidly confrontational approach by Nnamdi Kalu and his neo-Biafrans is failing. I do hope Kalu’s 15 minutes of jobless fame will be over soon with a bailout and more credible folks will work with other ethnicities in forging a true federation from the geographical cage called Nigeria.
- First, there is no entity called BiafraBefore the British lumped us all together in the geographical cage called Nigeria, there was the declining Fulani and Kanuri empires, the lost empires (Oyo empire, etc.) and a motley collection of small disparate entities organized around towns and clans, but there were no major political entities and certainly no entity came into the cage as Biafra.
Neo-Biafrans like to use examples of Jews, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Balkans etc., but they fail to mention that the splinter ENTITIES that came out of these countries were entities before they were subsumed into a larger entity.
SO if we have to revert back to status quo ante and pile out of the cage, what would we be reverting back to? After 100+ years of being inside the same British imposed cage, would it not make more sense to look around and find ways to live peacefully together in the cage? or jointly work together to get out? rather than one group wanting to escape solo?
- Secondly, there’s no singularly compelling reason for Biafra right now
In the 60s, the British partitioned the Nigerian cage into three/four compartments including the East and there were successive restiveness to self-determine resulting in coups/countercoups and eventually a civil way.
There was sympathy for the Biafra cause then because the East was responding to pogroms in the North. But tell me, what is the compelling reason for the current clamor? Marginalization – Is the East more marginalized than the north east, the middle belt and most other parts of Nigeria? The East have occupied ALL positions in Nigeria since the civil war, so it cannot be marginalization of positions. Or is it because their preferred candidate lost the last elections? What’s the singularly compelling reason? Someone tell me …
- Thirdly, the Neo-Biafrans have no locus standi.
When Ojukwu declared a republic in the 60s, he had legitimacy as the de-facto leader of the Eastern region . What is the legitimacy of Nnamdi Kalu and his group of noisemakers? Access to Internet Radio? In that case, maybe I should buy some internet access, and start soliciting for guns to declare my village a republic. Nonsense!
- Most Igbo people don’t support the clamor
Ojukwu dissociated from the new Biafra idea while he was alive. Wiser Igbo people (the majority) have distanced themselves from the street noise. Do the neo-biafrans actually think they think they can declare a country and Igbo people who are thriving in other parts of Nigeria would pack up their businesses and jobs to try their luck in a landlocked pipe-dream? Or do they think the ideal of no man’s land is a realism in Nigeria? Wake up folks!
- Democracy does not lend credence to the Biafra Dream
Instead of insulting all and sundry on the web and soliciting for guns and ammunition abroad, the Neo-Biafrans had the opportunity to elect people who may be sympathetic to their cause into state and national assemblies and then push for their agenda from there, but they did not. So basically, the millions of South-Easterners that voted in the last election are basically saying yes to Nigeria – in your face. Neo-Biafrans, listen to the voice of your people – unless you don’t believe in democracy and want to force your ideas on the majority.
- Non-Igbo people in the South-South don’t care for your republic
In the 60s, many of the present south-south communities were part of the Eastern Region and were politically forced into being part of Biafra land. Since then, they now have their own political entities and even if they have no bitter memories from the 67-70 war, I’m wondering how they will be forced into another misadventure? Wake up Neo-Biafrans!
- Other Nigerians don’t care
As you may have seen from the derisive, nonchalant reactions on social media and elsewhere, most Nigerians don’t give a f*ck whether you form your republic or not, as long as you don’t lay claim to other peoples land or try to forcefully subsume any other nationality into your utopia. Remember these are the same nationalities you and your ragtag followers (many of those who have never actually lived among other ethnicities) spent hours insulting on your internet radio. Don’t expect them to take pity on you when your inevitable beat down starts.
- And you know what? Nigeria’s Military will crush you mercilessly
These guys have some pent up anger right now following the war and their demystification by Boko Haram. I would hate to be the recipient of their merciless campaign and so should you. They’ll crush you mercilessly. The world would shout human rights for a couple weeks, then other pressing concerns like crude oil, ISIS will take over and you become a footnote of history. Ask them at Odi.
- Nigeria’s Government is powerful.
Nigeria’s successive governments can be incompetent when it comes to governance, but they can be very effective in dealing with noisemakers and anyone that dares their will. We are now celebrating 20 years of Saro-Wiwa hanging, heavens did not fall. OBJ, went to jail, nothing happened. They can jail Nnamdi Kalu and nothing will happen. SO far by keeping Nnamdi in jail despite all the noise shows they can be very resolute, if necessary.
- The World wont pay attention to your self-inflicted beat down
There’s so much the world has to contend with right now. There’s global Islamic terrorism (ISIS and Al-Qaeda, down to AQIM in Mali, AL-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa and Boko Haram in Nigeria. This is not the time for another self-inflicted African war. If the Nigerian Military decides to crush a self-induced crisis, the world would pay no attention. Maybe there would be the usual UN statements, but don’t expect anyone to intervene on your side. The world has little patience for the Biafra idea right now. The new Biafrans should read the British statement again with clear minds.
Neo-Biafrans, I hope the foregoing has convinced you that your current methodology is screwed. But Hope is not lost, here’s what you can do
- Contribute funds to bail Nnamdi out, find him a job. His 15 minutes of jobless fame is over.
- Harness your views through your political leaders to work with other nationalities in the Nigerian cage to negotiate how we live with each other. Not leaders that would be hauling insults at other Nigerians from their basement n London. Do your legwork, identify and elect credible political leaders at all levels to actualize your agenda in a non-combatant manner. The Southwest’s position in Nigerian political space after 19 years in opposition is not by accident. Go figure
- After you take control of your political space in the Southeast, you will have a voice worth listening to rather than rash of internet insults.
That’s it! Now I expect the usual barrage of insults, but I hope a few thinking biafrans would read in a calm introspective manner. In a way, we are all Biafrans!