May 30, 1967, goes down in history the birth of a nation east of The Niger was declared but the forces of tyranny and dissent voices on the other side of the table declared a war to ‘reunite’ the country, not a war borne out of love for the separated brothers but a war to reclaim and survive on the treasure beneath their land . This war, I dare say, cost over two million lives.
This writer probably still in the crawling stage saw what hitherto stood as houses and humans reduced to debris and a scene of carnage by dangerously powerful explosives, the Niger Bridge linking the East with the defunct Mid-West was blown up in the heat of the war to cut off troops’ movement from Nigeria to the East, the epicentre of the Biafra- Nigerian revolution.
The reactionaries as they were labelled fought doggedly to ensure the sovereign state of Biafra was sustained amid bombings and the resultant genocide being committed by the Nigerian government. All these happened in the Gowonist days!
The desire to secede from Nigeria at the period under sad review after the peace brokered to suspend hostilities by the two belligerents have again resurfaced by an acute marginalisation of the people of the region.
There has been agitation in the region today and this agitation has given birth to many pro-Biafran groups all speaking with one accord to secede from the federation of Nigeria. This is a nation comprising a down-trodden and marginalised people. The people have suffered so many deprivations and have indeed become strangers in their own land with attacks and killings capable of reducing them to extinction thus reigniting separatist feelings and aspirations.
This has given birth to a Moses in the person of a young revolutionary to free his people from the yoke and bondage imposed on them by Nigerian overlords who see them as nothing but worthless species. Only on Thursday last week, a woman from the region was decapitated by Muslim faithful in the desert city of Kano with the culprits alleging blasphemy but investigations so far have shown that late Mrs Bridget did not speak blasphemy after all! The cold-blooded murder is none other than their usual gimmick to unleash their hatred on the people from the region, in fact, events and happenings have shown that to be identified as Nigerian of Igbo extraction is almost tantamount to a crime.
Only yesterday, June 9, 2016, an irate mob again attacked a Christian carpenter , slashed off his ear for having lunch accusing him of non-observance of the holy month of Ramadan when as a matter of fact they do not profess the same faith. This victim, reports say, is also from that region and as soon as the news of the ill-conceived attack was noised about , people from the region voiced solidarity with the devil-may-care hoodlums who are none other than products of misbegotten Homo-sapiens marvelously evocative of an extinct barbarian tribe. This incident again took place in one of northern Nigeria’s desert cities located in the north-central parts of the country.
The Igbos, I dare say, have indeed become endangered species in a false union. There is no denying the fact that they run the risk of total extinction if the present trend continues.
While in their own land, a band of marauders led an armed invasion and had many of them butchered to death in Enugu State. This incident took place about two months ago when Nimbo community was sacked by armed Fulani nomads leaving behind sorrow, tears and blood and this harrowing incident triggered off a mass exodus from the community with promises from the Abuja regime that the perpetrators would be fished out and brought to justice but up till now none of them has been apprehended to answer for that heinous crime as everything appears shrouded in secrecy.
Then came the late Biafran warlord Odumegwu Ojukwu who probably saw tomorrow and took steps to liberate his people from the claws and bondages of the Nigerian state. He doubtless reincarnated in the illegally detained Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the director of a pirate radio station.
For exercising his freedom of speech, the Nigerian Pharoah accused him of having committed an ”irredeemable mortal sin”. Against every voice of reason to release the young man from detention when some erudite judges have ordered, he decided to stand pat until his diabolic whims and caprices are carried out and like Nicolo Machiavelli, he bestrides the Nigerian world like a colossus dictates to all and sundry no matter whose ox is gored.
Kanu had only broadcasted via that medium to draw the attention of the world to the bondage of his people in the false contraception Nigeria. He has never been engaged in armed struggle to warrant undue incarceration by the Nigerian authorities. Prof. Wole Soyinka also ran a pirate radio station christened – Radio Kudirat – in the dark days of Abacha’s rule.
The illegally detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) has only spoken for the freedom of his people from the bondage imposed on them by Nigerian overlords from the north who see them as nothing but objects of destruction.
The Nigerian Pharoah must be told in clear terms that he can not fight and get victory over the Lord’s Army in Nigeria domiciled on the east of The Niger. The time for liberation has come and that, beyond all question, remains Nnamdi Kanu’s bounden duty. President Buhari must be reminded under the existing circumstances of the events that preceded the declaration of the historic Edit Of Milan. A similar scenario appears at play in Nigeria.
History, they say ,often repeats itself. Emperor Constantine fought to suppress the Primitive Community whose efforts reportedly hit the brick wall. He had no option but to submit to a Superior Force which in earnest brought about the aforementioned historic Edit somewhere in the Old World.
A series of devastating plague has today invaded Nigeria and he appears coy about this young man’s freedom. It is unfortunate he has refused to see the evil handwriting on the wall that fighting God’s own people often spells doom and that is what is on the ground today.
As it stands, Nigeria has never been so divided. There is militancy here and there. Boko Haram militants hold sway in the country’s N’East. Nomadic armed herders often invade the Middle Belt and Southern Nigerian communities. Many people have been killed and maimed under his watch which is gradually precipitating a political crisis.
Avengers threaten missile launch to hit selected targets thus bringing about the seeming escape from the country of Nigeria’s Chief Representative to the world under the guise of seeking medical attention overseas thus leaving behind a pauperized citizenry with pangs of hunger staring ominously in the face amid missile launch threat that now hangs over their heads like the ancient sword of Damocles.
Oh, what a country! I ask the directionless and visionless Nigerian Pharoah yet again, whither are we bound?
*Iyoha John Darlington is a social critic, Turin-based scholar and public commentator on national and global issues.