Friday, January 1, 2016

Biafra Agitation And Antics Of Divide-And-Rule

         By Nwobodo Chidiebere

“I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Harriet Tubman

FOR weeks now, the issue of Biafra agitation has been at the front burner in the polity. The movement is being propelled by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) via peaceful protests ravaging the old Eastern region. The promoters of IPOB are led by the detained Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Agents of divide-and-rule have gone back to their age-long work of dividing the indigenous people of Biafra. Their major target is to Igbonize this present struggle of Biafra restoration using the instrumentality of the media to tag Biafra agitation Igbo “affair”. Majority of those divide-and-rule advocates are non-Biafrans, who ordinarily should not have any say in determining the future of old Eastern region.
Why is it that Hausa and Fulani which comprise major ethnic groups especially in Northern part of Nigeria are always referred to as Hausa/Fulani – as one indivisible people, instead of Hausa and Fulani? Why do we have South-South as a geo-political zone carved out of old Eastern region, but there is nothing like North-North in the Northern Nigeria? How did the creators of this South-South mantra invent this word that is not in line with known cardinal points as enshrined in the principles of geography? How come there is Niger-Delta in the South but nothing like North-Sahara in the North? Why is there one Northern Governors Forum in the North, but coming down Southern Nigeria; we have South-East, South-West and South-South Governors Forums; all in one Southern Nigeria? Why do we always hear about Northern Elders Forum and nineteen Northern states as one socio-political block and one North, but we hardly talk of Southern Elders Forum, seventeen Southern states or one South? Someone should put on his thinking cap by now.
Yoruba as one of the major tribes in Nigeria has roots in North-Central states of Kwara and Kogi – which are outside Yoruba-dominated region of South-West yet Yorubas in Kogi and Kwara are all seen and respected as full-fledged Yoruba-speaking people with their rights and privileges protected in line with Yoruba customs and traditions. There is nothing like Kogi and Kwara Yoruba being inferior to Yorubas in Lagos or Ogun or other South-Western states.
In line of this thought process, why would propagandists keep on referring to Igbos in Delta and Rivers states as not being “real” Igbos by branding them Delta or Rivers Igbo with sole purpose of creating division between them and their brothers and sisters in the South-East? These conjectures have ended up sinking deep into the psyche of majority of Igbo people from these states born after the civil war, who now ignorantly view their brother as strangers or even enemies!
If Yorubas in Kogi and Kwara states are “true” Yorubas like their brothers and sisters in Osun and Ekiti, why on earth would Igbos in Rivers and Delta states—who are of Igbo origin, bear Igbo names and speak its languages be made to believe that they are “half-cast” Igbos in other not only to divide old Eastern region but to limit the so-called “real” Igbos to Five states of South-East – thereby consolidating and deepening the seeds of division and discord in the region.
The unfortunate angle in this scenario is that so many of our brothers and sisters born during and after the civil war bought into this gimmick unknowingly until now. The emergence of Radio Biafra has helped to deconstruct this mountain of falsehood and deflate the balloon of fallacies bandied by divide-and-rule campaigners who now termed undiluted and unalloyed truth emanating from Radio Biafra as “hate speeches”, what an irony!
I have asked these questions several times without getting reasonable answers: why do we have BBC Hausa Service broadcasting in the Northern Nigeria and there is no BBC Yoruba Service and Igbo Service or Ijaw Service broadcasting in the West or East? Who is afraid of Radio Biafra? Could the difference between BBC Hausa Service and Radio Biafra be that one is propagating divide-and-rule antics cum born-to-rule ideology, while later is championing restoration of rights of Indigenous people of Biafra via self-determination as enshrined in the United Nations Chatter? Where were those anti-Radio Biafra elements when Radio Chanji setup by the APC apologists in the North before the presidential election for the only aim of inciting Northerners against President Jonathan by heartlessly misinforming them that President Jonathan and General Ihejirika were the ones funding the dreaded Boko Haram – the same insurgents they were fighting?
Former President Jonathan lost the last presidential election as a hero but the campaign that preceded the election unified the entire old Eastern region for once since after the Nigeria-Biafran civil war to the detriment of divide-and-rule antics that are at it again to divide us. The 2015 presidential election result map showed clearly that Jonathan got eight per cent of his votes from old Eastern region, the remaining twenty per cent votes were given to him by Biafrans residing outside old Eastern region.
It is on record that Igbos sacrificed a lot to ensure re-election for Jonathan during the campaign not because of government patronage they were enjoying—of course an average Igbo man doesn’t need government to survive but as a result of the umbilical cord intertwining Ijaws, Ibibio, Igbos, Ogonis, Uhrobo, Efik and other ethnic nationalities that make up old Eastern region together. The Igbos voted en mass for Jonathan to entrench justice, equality and fairness in the overall interest of old Eastern region in particular and Nigeria at large.
For my brothers and sisters in Ogoni, Ijaw, Enang, Efik and other ethnic nationalities that make up the so-called South-South zone, who are still under the spell of divide-and-rule propaganda by believing the concoction sold to them by those who want to continue to enslave us that Igbos are their problem. Can I ask the following questions: was he an Igbo man that killed Ken Saro Wiwa? Who murdered Isaac Idaka Boro? Who ordered the invasion and massacre of thousands of innocent people in Odi town of Bayelsa? Why is Northern Nigeria normally referred to as one North irrespective of hundreds of tribes in that region, yet we allowed ourselves to be divided into states and villages?
What is the ethnic affiliation of those in control of eight-three per cent of oil blocs in Niger-Delta, how many of them are Igbos? Weren’t the same people who are trying hard to divide us now conspired to remove your son, President Jonathan from Aso Rock? Why would we remain in perpetual slavery by allowing outsiders to divide us by rewriting our history for us? The time has come for all lovers of freedom and prosperity in old Eastern should to stand up and be counted. There is a time when silence is no longer golden.
• Nwobodo Chidiebere wrote in from Abuja.

1 comment:

  1. Is unfortunate that the Igbos from five East central states of Nigeria find themselves in this pit of neglect and distancing,and they are now claiming others as parts of them?

    The Delta state of today,where part of Western region of Nigeria with Edo state,before been created as Midwestern region of Nigeria,and never in the history,geography of Nigeria were they ever Eastern Nigeria nor Igbos like those from across the Niger.

    Delta North comprises of six Yoruba speaking towns with headquarters in Ukwunzu town

    They call their language Olukumi

    Six Igalla towns ,with headquarters in Ebu town

    Several languages abound in Delta North,that most of them adopted Ibo languages as their second language,because of their closeness to Igbo towns of Onitsha and Anam,and cross border trading.

    The agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra could have been credible,but for some ulterior motives of Teritorial Expansion into other Independent areas of Nigeria,namely the South/South-Niger Delta,Urhobo,Ibibio,Effik,Ijaw,Ogoni,Calabaris,Issoko,even Edo state that comprises non Igbo speaking Entities were included in this imaginary,fictitious Biafra flag of Fairy Empire.

    Seeing this so called Biafra map,one will clearly understood,that the Igbos from five Eastern States of Nigeria are looking for territories,because they are land locked and not true quest for and Independent state of Biafra.

    In the year 1958,if the Igbos from the five East Central States wanted the republic of Biafra?

    They could have it without blood shed,instead,they derailed the process of getting Independent for the Southern protectorate;as they wanted the greater Nigeria .

    The first Nigeria Military Coupe of 1967,which was national coupe,and involved every segment of the Nigeria Military;was again derailed by the Igbos from the East Central region of Nigeria,when the efforts of this fine young Soldier in the person of Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu,was sabotaged by Igbo Military Officers,thereby putting their own man as the Head of State :Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnaeke Aguiyi Ironsi .

    He the Major General Johnson Thomas Umannaeke Aguiyi Ironsi,once again abolished the four regional Autonomy of the four regions then in Nigeria,and passed a decree of Unitary system of Government?

    The main intention,is for the Igbos to rule forever?

    These are reasons why dislike and rejections among Nigerians to the Igbos of East Central region.

    The Minorities in defunct Eastern region of Nigeria,were marginalize and shoved aside by the Igbos in the defunct Eastern region.

    The Premier of then Eastern region,was Dr.Michael Iheonukara Okpara,and Igbo man from Umuahia

    The Governor of then Eastern region,was Dr.Akanu Ibiam,equally an Igbo Man from Bende town.

    The Chief Judege of Eastern region of Nigeria then,was Sir Louise Mbanefo,also an Igbo Man from Ojoto/Onitsha

    The then President of Senate in Nigeria,Dr.Nwafor Orizu,is an Igbo man from Nnewi.

    The then Nigeria President,Mr.Nnamdi Azikiwe,who choose to add his titile,is an Igbo man from Onitsha.

    Leaving,marginalized and shoving aside the minorities:Ogoni,Ijaws,Ibibios,Effiks,Calabaris,Ikweres and other aside,and refusing to give them even the position of Cleaners,nor allowing them to have their Autonomy nor freedom which the Biafra Agittaors are seeking.

    This was how the minorities in Eastern Nigeria were made to be parts of South-South/Niger Delta region which Edo Delta have been given since they were carved out from Western region.

    The indigenous people of Onitsha,were equally denied their rights in Onitsha by Igbos from different towns in their enclave.

    With these,tell me:Will anybody be happy to join Igbos from the five East central states of Nigeria?

    Teddy Allanah

    CT 06118



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