June 02 2020 | Radio Biafra
Long before Nigeria was created by the British colonial regime, there exist a people within the West Coast of Africa. This region was consciously noted as the Bight of Biafra. Overtime, the people constituting this region, the Ijaws, Igbos, Efiks, Ibibios, Ogonis, Itsekiris, etc all lived in peaceful coexistence with no record of inter communal conflict.
However, all these were eventually swept away by the infiltration of the colonial masters. Although they came in the guise of bringing civilization and religious redemption to the people, they however, sowed a very perilous seed of discord amongst brethren which is yet to be rooted out till date. These invaders, especially the British colonists, knew that the only way to conquer this region is through division.
Consequently, they have to explore and capitalize on the slight differences in lingual communications to sow hatred in the heart of everyone against the other. This gave birth to the false assumption that your very next-door neighbour is the enemy. The British however, in the process of granting the Nigeria establishment independence, handed the country over to a loyal but more brutal set of people- the Fulani Jihadi Caliphate.
From the time of sowing seed of discord by the colonial masters, down to the present ambition of total conquest by the Fulani Janjaweed, the people have been roped into practicing hatred and animosity for one another. It is a common knowledge that the British used some Biafrans as task masters over their fellow Biafrans. This in itself is enough to turn brother against brother. Now many have raised concerns accusing the Igbo tribe of intimidation because they were more in number and probably were used more by the colonial masters.
Others raised concerns of irregularities during the Biafra-Nigeria war of 1967, which has turned out to be instigated by sabotage and deception by the Nigerian Army who disguised as Biafran soldiers to massacre the indigenous Biafran population in the coastal region. Furthermore, the Igbos have also accused the coastal region of Biafra, of post-war illegal occupation of abandoned properties. The concerns, accusations and counter-accusations have made the highly necessary unity of the coastal and hinterland regions an uphill task.
THE FAILURES: PANDEF AND OHANEZE
In every sane society, especially in the African setting, where traditional rulers and elders are recognized, it is a known phenomenon that when there are quarrels or disputes between families, communities, clans and tribes, it is the traditional rulers and the elders of the affected areas who come out to meet and resolve the lingering problems.
However, in Biafra, the elders have failed woefully in this aspect. After the internal disorderliness occasioned by the oppressors of Biafra, the elders failed to reassemble and settle their differences.
They sat back, and were instead occupied with the heist for the crumbs falling from the master’s table, even if it means mortgaging their offsprings. They allowed erroneous history to thrive, thereby strengthening the hands of the oppressors and making themselves weak and desolate.
The failure of the supposed custodians of our tradition to make important reconciliatory moves to foster unity among the people has caused the younger generation to inherit a problem they never created nor witness. Unfortunately, this has made unity for Biafra freedom uneasy.
Till date, the traditional rulers and elders of the region have not deemed it necessary to call for a general assembly of all elders in the present-day South-South and South-East, to deliberate on how the people can be liberated from the shackles of Nigeria slavery, despite the enormous work being carried out by IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to unite the Biafra regions. Instead, the supposed elders of the land have continued to individually run to Abuja for self-aggrandizement, which has ended up worsening the situation.
There is a saying that “To err is human, and to forgive is divine.” There is no perfect relationship anywhere in the world. People live by peaceful negotiations and renegotiations where the need arises. Even in the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ told his disciples “Offences must come” and today even in a nuclear family of just husband and wife, there are signs of quarrel and conflict. So, if there were such occasions in Biafra before, it is common to all men.
If you think you have been offended, hear the German story. During the second world war, Germany was divided into two. The East Germany pledged allegiance to Russia, while the West Germany pledged allegiance to the USA. The war was a brutal one, in that they deployed missiles against themselves, and many died as a result.
After the war, while other nations began to reunite, Germany could not, as they were overwhelmed by an internal conflict called “the cold war” which lasted for another forty years. This is because the wound inflicted by a brother is more excruciating than that of a stranger. Within this period, Britain gained more powers and pride themselves globally. However, in 1990, some German leaders came together to end the cold war and reunite the country. Today, Britain has exited the European Union because of German dominance.
The case of Biafra is nowhere near what Germany went through, yet Germans came together as one as it is today. Biafrans (South-East & South-South) in Nigeria today are faced with total extinction which makes Biafra freedom urgent and inevitable.
If the Germans could overlook their differences to unite against a common enemy, why not Biafrans? Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB have proved beyond every reasonable doubt that Biafra today means justice for all. Why won’t these elders swallow their pride and work in synergy to ensure Biafra comes in the shortest time possible?
Overtime, the various components of Biafra have tried one way or the other to get justice on their own, but all failed. This is because no part of Biafra has the sufficiency to successfully defeat Nigeria. Furthermore, the Nigerian state has given no room for negotiations. Rather it is bent on total conquest of the entire Biafra Land. Is it not evident that no tribe of Biafra can seek justice alone?
Therefore, the entire region of East and South must realize that the freedom we seek is here with us if only we can kill and bury this internal animosity and unite for Biafra freedom. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has done almost all of the work. All he needs now is an overwhelming support from the region and Biafra shall come within a twinkle of an eye.
Finally, remember your actions or inactions of today, determines your tomorrow.
Thank you and God bless.
Source: The Biafra Herald
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media