Unity is one thing that is mostly preached in Nigeria especially by the politicians, to the extent that it is even inscribed on Nigeria’s Coat of Arms and in the National Anthem. There is no doubt that the war of Nigerian unity was fought heroically and staunchly against Biafrans. The then Nigerian Military Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon maintained that “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done”. The war claimed the lives of over five million Biafra men, women and children, just to keep Nigeria united. Many Biafra women were raped to death on broad day light, pregnant women’s wombs were ripped open, killing their unborn babies.
Many coups and counter coups were carried out and millions of people killed all in the name of fostering Nigerian unity. To keep Nigeria united, thousands of armless activists of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have been severely killed by the murderous Nigerian military across of Biafraland. Many other were atrocities committed and lies have equally been recycled to keep this hapless country of people, encaged in irreconcilable values, together.
An Igbo self-hater and an accomplice in the Biafran genocide of 1967-1970, Mr. Ukpabi Asika, once said that “Nigeria unity is absolutely good”. What an irony! Fact is that the indigenous people in Nigeria including entrapped Biafrans have benefited nothing good from this British contraption that is still unable to feed itself nor provide basic infrastructures to it’s citizens. What we have is a state that uses the quest for unity to sap the blood of it’s own people. What a shame! This country that has never been united, daily drinks the blood of the innocent. Why? The answer can be found as provided by the Eminent Jurist, late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa,, when he said: “An Igboman thinks like an Igboman; a Yorubaman should think like a Yorubaman, not like an Igboman’, Is there anybody called a Nigerian”? The answer is no because from the above statement, one can safely say there is no unity in Nigeria.
The civil war of 1967-1970 made manifest, the problems of Nigeria, laying to bare how roguish the Nigerian state and it’s unity are and those issues remain unresolved till today. The war exposed the contradictions in the fraud called Nigeria which are encapsulated in irreconcilable values, tribalism, nepotism, corruption, Fulani ethnic domination, Igbo genocide, avarice, insecurity and poor management of resources. These contradictions have continued till date.
Nigeria’s present social, political and economic life clearly tell us that unity does not exist. Surely, when a whole people are rejected, they must have the right to live under a different kind of arrangement which does secure their existence. States are made to serve people, governments are established to protect the citizens against external enemies and internal wrong-doers but when there is no unity of purpose, all amounts to nothing.
When more than eighty million people have become convinced that they are rejected and that there is no longer any basis for unity between them and other groups, then that unity has ceased to exist. You cannot kill millions of people and unrepentantly continue in it all in the name of unity. There is absolutely no unity between the dead and those who killed them and there is no unity in slavery or domination.
Africa needs unity, but not by force. We need unity over the whole continent and in the meantime we need unity within the existing states of Africa. It is a tragedy when we experience a setback to our goal for unity. But the basis of our need for unity and the reason for our desire for it, is the greater wellbeing and the greater security of the people of Africa.
Unity by conquest is impossible. It is not practicable and even if military might could force the acceptance of a particular authority, the purpose of unity would have been destroyed. For the purpose of unity, it’s justification is the service of all the peoples who are united together. The general consent of all the people involved, is the only basis on which unity in Africa can be maintained or extended.
If we should tell ourselves the plain truth, we should know that Nigeria unity is only on paper but not in practice. It seems that many are just pretending as if all is well. As it stands now, Nigeria cannot fight any war and win because there is absolutely no unity which is the basis of winning any war. What is the solution to the lack of unity in Nigeria? The solution is simple: dissolve the irreconcilable value systems: feudalism (Arewa), monarchy (Oduduwa) and republicanism (Biafran). Let everyone go his way.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media