From the year 1914 when the term “Nigeria” was used to refer to the three pre-existing African regions (Biafra, Arewa and Oduduwa) by Frederick Lugard, the British mercenary, the elements of disunity, hatred, genocide, and marginalization have never been found wanting. As Agbu (2004) depicts, “Historically, indigenous societies ante-dated Nigeria, and these consisted of the three largest ethnic groups, the Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the Southeast, and the Yoruba in the Southwest…” Among these three nationalities, the Biafra nation has been the one on the receiving end of all the evil elements bedeviling the geographical expression called Nigeria.
Of all the horrors that have befallen Nigeria ranging from genocide, war, ethnic cleansing, and marginalization, only one particular enclave have all these been meted upon and that is the Biafrans in the Eastern region. The current operation “Stop and Search” policy at the airport by the federal government is targeted only at Biafrans returning their hometowns to see their people during this Yuletide season. This “hate order” as one may prefer to call it, is an extension of the hatred the rest of the nationalities have against one region of the country known as Biafra.
Nigeria, since its creation till now, has been going through one crisis or another, arising from unhealthy ethnic and religious cleavages because of the incompatibility of the constituents of the country’s forced unity. The northern part of Nigeria, also known as Arewa, has always held onto their acclaimed right to federal power and has never failed to display that at any slightest provocation. This is what they are now making us to understand clearly with this new policy against the Biafran people.
What proves then that Biafrans are part of Nigeria when they are been treated selectively with such level of hate? Why a people should be molested in this manner if they are part of the country. This act goes to violate the principle of the sacrosanctity of territorial integrity and in a nutshell, calls for a quick intervention from the world bodies. Subjecting the country to a referendum is the best way to ensure that all these unnecessarily injustices against the Biafran people are brought to a logical end and also a means to determine the fate of the Biafran people.