As published on May 5, 2019, by Punch Newspaper, a range of Igbo leaders are opposing the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. We do not know for certain if the statements credited to the named folks are true or not. I say this because Nigerian media thrives on fake news. Nevertheless, since none of the mentioned individuals has issued a disclaimer, it becomes pertinent to look into the issues as published and credited to them.
IPOB called for a sit-at-home as an honour to every Biafran who died for the sake of Biafra – those that died in battlefield in the late sixties, the civilians that were murdered by Nigerian genocidal soldiers, the children and even adults that were starved to death, IPOB and MASSOB members that were killed and are still being killed by Nigerian armed forces. Some self-seeking political figures of Igbo extraction, however, have come out to oppose it as reported by the Punch newspaper. One then wonders what’s wrong with remembering one’s dead?
All over the world indigenous people remember and honour their heroes. Even Christmas and Easter celebrations observed by Christians are in remembrance of the birth and death of Jesus Christ … the most important Christian figure. Muslims have theirs, and so do other faiths around the globe. Not long ago, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo flew to far away Rwanda to attend a ceremony in honour of the 150,000 victims of Rwanda genocide. It thus follows that mourning or honouring one’s dead is cultural, legal and acceptable. What then is wrong with Biafrans honouring their own fallen heroes?
Ironically, those opposing the remembrance day for Biafran fallen heroes welcomed the idea of Vice President Osibanjo traveling to far away Rwanda in honour of 150, 000 people. Biafra lost over five million (5,000,000) people during the war and about additional half a million from the end of the war to present day. Which weighs more? How is it that the so-called Igbo leaders value outsiders more than their very own? Could this be a curse laced in blind politics? Governor Dave Umahi who has never questioned the constitutional rights of the army killing unarmed Biafra protesters or the invasion of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s house, suddenly finds his voice in questioning IPOB’s constitutional rights in declaring a mourning day for victims of genocide perpetrated against Biafrans in 1967-1970, and which has been visited upon the same people periodically ever since the war was verbally pronounced ended.
Governor Umahi has never hidden his aversion and opposition to Biafra sovereignty. This antagonism against Biafra Heroes Day is just another expression of hostility to Biafra nationhood. We should not forget that it was Umahi who, acting in his capacity as a favoured child of the caliphate, pronounced IPOB proscribed, an action that provided the murderous Nigerian military an expansive ground to massacre Biafrans. Umahi connived with the rest of the Igbo governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership to invite the army to Biafra land and unleash terror on innocent Biafrans exercising their constitutional rights, and then turn around to question IPOB’s constitutional rights to mourn the victims. What constitutional rights have Dave Umahi and his collaborators to kill innocent protesters? What constitutional right has Umahi to pronounce IPOB proscribed? This wretch of a governor, David Umahi, shamelessly said “We have to go about our businesses come May 30, 2019.” Of course he and his cohorts have to go about their business because they are part of the killing scheme. They have to go about their business so as to distance themselves from Biafran bond and prove to their Hausa/Fulani paymasters that their loyalty is still to them.
For Anambra government whose opposition to the sit-at-home order was made known through its Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, Biafrans remembering their dead breeds anarchy and disorder. Yet the one Vice President Osibanjo attended in Rwanda did not breed anarchy and disorder. And how about Easter festival which is actually the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as believed by Christians? It doesn’t bread anarchy and disorder, but celebrating Biafra Heroes Day somehow breeds anarchy and disorder? Adinuba asked Biafrans not to heed the sit-at-home order, yet the people have been heeding it since 2014 – a sign he doesn’t speak for the people.
The proscribed Ohaneze Ndigbo which has never really given a thus about the economic plight of Biafrans has also stepped forward to wave an opposition flag against the Heroes Day celebration, packaging their treachery in the form of economic concerns. Speaking through its Deputy Publicity Secretary, Chuks Ibegbu, the now proscribed sociocultural group argued that closing down economic activities of the people is of negative impact, adding that IPOB did not consult them before making the declaration. Does IPOB really need to consult an outlawed and crises disbanded Ohaneze Ndigbo? It does seem the reality of their proscription is yet to dawn on them fully, but even before their proscription, what really has Ohaneze influenced for Biafrans? Of what significance was the group to the people? And talking about consultation, does anyone really need be persuaded to accept the remembrance and honouring of one’s heroes? Biafra Heroes Day has been in celebration for some years now, are the so-called Ohaneze Ndigbo claiming ignorance of it or what?
Dear Ohaneze Ndigbo, you are proscribed, so Biafrans need not consult you before embarking on any project. Even before you were proscribed, you were helplessly ineffective. And if the people can survive Sundays, Ramadan holidays, Christmas and Easter holidays, May Day, Democracy day and all other holidays that paralyze economic activities, they can as well survive twelve hours of economic inactivity in honour of their fallen heroes.
Summing it all up, one realizes that the antagonistic outbursts are treachery-driven and born out of antipathy against Biafra nationhood. Biafrans are thus advised to ignore the self-seeking political slaves who sacrifice our common good for their immediate gratification.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media