Thursday, June 29, 2017

President Buhari On Life-Support Since June 6 – Gov Fayose

*Gov Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State  
Full Text Of Governor Ayodele Fayose's Address At A Press Conference in Ado-Ekiti On Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Today, it makes 53 days since our President; Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria to attend to his health challenges abroad. No official information as to his whereabouts and his state of health.
Like every other Nigerians, I do not wish the president dead, I have therefore maintained dignified silence since we were told that the President embarked on his second medical trip abroad this year.
However, the recorded audio message which was released by the Presidency as the President’s Ramadan message to Nigerians necessitated my setting the records straight today.
No doubt, the audio message was only a damage-control strategy aimed at further deceiving Nigerians.
I have therefore elected in good conscience to state as follows:

President Buhari’s Hausa Republic

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
Neither time nor sickness can change President Muhammadu Buhari. He would ever remain parochial and divisive. This is not just an awful attempt to denigrate Buhari and his hallowed presidential office. No, this is how he wants Nigerians to see him in his audio message in Hausa on the occasion of the Eid El-fitr, a feast of Muslims marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

 If the message had only just enjoyed a surreptitious circulation on the social media with its accompanying non-complicit anonymity and without official imprimatur, it would not have provoked outrage. We would have easily dismissed it as one of the regular affronts to the president by the corrupt who do not wish him well and who in fact prefer an abrupt termination of his government so that they can be free to enjoy their loot. After all, there have been many reports on the social media of the president’s death following which even the British queen had to condole with Nigerians. But the message was released by the presidency and rapturously recommended to the growing horde of the naysayers as an indication that the president is not incapacitated. Clearly, the presidency has not disowned it. And we do not need to split hairs over whether the voice was genuinely that of the president. We accept it is his because the presidency has said so.

But what is clear is that it is either that the handlers of the president who confronted the public with this message as the unimpeachable evidence of the president’s good health deliberately set out to humiliate him before Nigerians or they never reckoned with the baleful consequences of their action. Either way, the audio message has once again confirmed the apprehension that we are a people saddled with a president who is not the right person to manage the complex and combustible affairs of the present-day Nigeria and pull it from the brink of splintering.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Open Letter To Arewa Youths

By Charles Ogbu
Brethren from the north, I bring you greetings from the southern part of Nigeria. On behalf of the peace-loving people of the south in general and millions of Igbo youths in particular, I start this letter by commending you for your recent open letter to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, where you called on the pastor-turned politician to organise a referendum for the Igbo to enable them to determine their future in line with international laws on self-determination.
*pix: guardian 
By that letter, you proved to be better versed in legal matters and ways of international laws with regard to the right of indigenous people on self-determination than many have given you credit for. Above all, your decision to resort to dialogue by writing a letter as against the option of violence is one I must not fail to commend.
Having said these, let me come to the main reason why I’m here. In your letter to the acting president, I noticed what I’ve been trying to figure out whether to classify as an innocent amnesia-induced oversight or a calculated attempt at revisionism on your part. The aim of this letter is strictly to put the record straight.
You cited the January 15th coup which you mischievously tagged Igbo coup and claimed was the Igbo manifesting their hatred for Nigeria. Quite frankly, when I read that part, I was left wondering whether to pause and die laughing or die crying. Contrary to your assertion, it was not the Igbo who manifested hatred for Nigeria’s unity. It is you and your kind who invented the word “hatred” and even went further to prove that indeed, it is not just a word.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Swan Song Of The Iroko: The Life, Time And Works Of Chinua Achebe: The Lessons For Nigeria

By Professor Umelo Ojinmah

(Paper presented at the Memorial Symposium in Honour of Professor Chinua Achebe by Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) on 20 May 2013 at International Conference Centre, Abuja)
*Chinua Achebe 

There are few writers that their lives and works have been studied as much as Achebe’s. His novels, especially, Things Fall Apart is standard reading in many high schools in America and Europe, including Germany, and all over Africa and Asia. I know that my work on Achebe was excerpted and is used in a text, Novels for Students Vol. 33 Ed. Sara Constantakis (2010) for high school students in America

Most of us here have critiqued one of Achebe’s work or the other.  Achebe has influenced writers from all over the world – Europe, America, Australia, and Asia. The New Zealand Maori writer, Witi Ihimaera, acknowledges that he was influenced by Chinua Achebe. He became one of the most famous indigenous writers of the Maori nation and has, himself, influenced a new generation of Maori writers. As editor of the African Writers Series, Achebe edited and mentored a host of African Writers including Ngugi Wa Thiong’0.  Elechi Amadi in a recent interview accepted as much, that they all were influenced by Achebe, which is one of the reasons he is seen as the father of African Literature. Growing up, many of us never knew how books are made. For us, Shakespeare was that nebulous but wonderful writer who weaved magic with words that our teachers asked us to memorise. It was Achebe that made us realise that writers were flesh and blood like us; that is what Achebe did for so many people, bringing literature to life and kindling our interest in writing.

 I: Life and Time 
When  Karl Maier’s This House has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis was published in 2000 there was the usual hue and cry by Nigeria’s elites and politicians on what they saw as the denigration of the Nigerian state. Coming seventeen years after the publication of Achebe’s The Trouble with Nigeria  (1983) it was amazing that despite the obvious kleptocracies of those at  leadership positions at both state and national levels that have stunted development of the Nigerian state, people still shouted themselves hoarse about the conclusion of Karl Maier’s This House has Fallen. A conclusion that Chinua Achebe had drawn and foretold seventeen years earlier. 

Although this paper celebrates the life and achievements of Chinua Achebe, as a writer and social critic, in the light of the furore generated by There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra and the level of discourse that it has precipitated, I was tempted to jump into the fray, but I quickly realised that what was happening was, in fact, what Chinua Achebe wanted. To draw attention to those issues raised, debate them, criticize them, but definitely not ignore them or sweep them under the carpet). Chinedu Aroh writes that “Achebe … feels the forty-two years the book took him to release shows the seriousness therein. According to Pourhamrang Achebe ‘had to find the right vehicle that could “carry our anguish, our sorrow ... the scale of dislocation and destruction ... our collective pain’’’ (cited in NewsRays, 2012, 40). 

The only sad note, particularly for Achebe scholars, is that the people who should be debating these issues are not; the leaders and government functionaries whose actions impact on the lives of the citizens. For it is for such people that There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra was written, so that we do not continue to play the ostrich as a nation. Achebe’s death has brought out all manner of critics and pseudo-critics. Recently, Odia Ofeimun, in his interview with Ademola Adegbamigbe and Nehru Odeh, under the guise of reacting to Chinua  Achebe’s  There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra took a hefty swipe at The Trouble with Nigeria thirty years after its publication claiming that:
We loved him so much for what he wrote that we hardly ever challenged some of the most contentious positions in his novels and in his non-fiction writings. Achebe said many things that are thoroughly wrong and that we ought to have contested very sharply and strongly.

Ofeimun states that “The trouble with Nigeria is not just bad leadership. That is the first bad point” yet by the time he had summed up Awolowo’s credentials he said “Now, it is good never to forget that what saved Awolowo was not just leadership….” Basic English lesson teaches us that when you use expressions such as “…was not just…” it presupposes that leadership is NOT excluded but included. Of course, it also means that there are other things that make up the qualities being advocated but the important thing is the acknowledgement that leadership is included.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nigeria: Tales From The States

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
When former President Olusegun Obasanjo described state governors as emperors last year, the gibe at the messenger tended to dim the message . The riposte was not only from the supposedly traduced state governors, but also other citizens – he was not qualified to speak on such a matter because he equally operated as an emperor while he was a president. Again, continued the reprimand, why would he not consign his epistolary obsession to the federal level and avoid interfering with the goings-on in the states?
*Some Nigerian Governors 
But we must admit that Obasanjo was only reminding us that as citizens, we have not demonstrated enough diligence in monitoring how the states are run because we are preoccupied with the activities of the government at the centre. After all, it is the reports on these activities at the federal level that hug the headlines on the front pages of newspapers. And because we do not pay enough attention to them, these state governors easily pass as poster boys of good governance. This is the case as long as these states do not have opposition parties that can let the larger society know the poor governance that goes on there. Yet, the citizens live in states where their lives are impacted either positively or negatively by the performance of their state governments.
Thus, it is necessary for us to be troubled by the mismanagement and brazen theft of state resources that go on as governance in most of the states of the federation. In most cases, the governors set up the states to fail by not allowing council elections so that they can keep on appointing those who would do their bidding as caretakers and manipulate elections for them. These caretakers are then sustained by doling out part of their statutory allocations to them to spend as they like without any question from the state governors.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How APC Betrayed Buhari

By Joe Igbokwe
I was shocked to the marrows when I heard that some APC Senators asked the National Working Committee of the Party led by the National Chairman of the Party Chief Odigie Oyegun to prevail on President Buhari to drop all charges against Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct corruption trial before they stop sabotaging the presidency. Words failed me when it dawned on me that this potentially dangerous demand is coming from some APC Senators who are supposed to be the agents of change we promised Nigerians while seeking their mandate in 2015.
*Buhari, Tinubu and Saraki 
I reflected on the event of the past 24years from 1993 when we elected Chief MKO Abiola to bring hope to Nigerians and how he was crushed and decimated by demonic and satanic forces after five years struggle to defend and sustain the mandate. Time and space will not permit me to recall the quantum of energies expended to defend the mandate for five years, the wars, on the streets, the casualties including MKO Abiola and the late wife Kudirat Abiola, and many others, the damage to the national project, the devastation of our economy, the balkanization of the political entity called Nigeria, the alienation by the international community making Nigeria a pariah nation, and the ethnic division it visited on Nigeria.
After killing Chief Abiola in July 7, 1998, the same satanic and demonic forces still bent on decimating Nigeria further decided to foist PDP and retired General Obasanjo on Nigerians. In sixteen years, from 1999 to 2015 the same forces wasted huge resources running into hundreds of billions of dollars earned in times of oil boom. The unconscionable looters and unrepentant thieves diverted and stashed away these huge resources into private pockets. These funds have been traced to private accounts both at home and abroad, traced to real estates both in Nigeria and abroad, and traced to farms and some buried underground. The rest is now history.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Osinbajo And The Troublemakers

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
It is a predictable path that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has taken in his response to threats that are nibbling away at the nation’s unity. Unfortunately, this path has consistently failed to engender national healing and boost the prospect of fidelity to the vision of a united people. For, what our leaders like Osinbajo are unable to successfully disguise is their insincerity in responding to the overarching challenges of our contemporary society.
*Yemi Osinbajo
His was a response cast in the mould of a warning to those who are fomenting trouble that poses an egregious threat to the peace of the nation. At a meeting with northern leaders over some northern youths who have given an ultimatum to the Igbo in their region to relocate, he vowed to crush troublemakers. Since Osinbajo did not say that the warning was specifically directed at the northern youths, we must not limit it to them in order to appreciate its futility. We must appropriate troublemakers as all those who have grievances against the state since the northern youths only responded to the position of some aggrieved youths in the south-east.
The current threat to the nation’s unity is not what could be wished away by threatening fire and brimstone. It requires a more rigorous examination before proposing a solution. As Osinbajo himself rightly observed, disagreements are bound to exist in any union. But what he did not acknowledge is that the Nigerian nation has failed to adopt an enduring mechanism for resolving these conflicts. Again, why should disagreements whose source can easily be located and resolved permanently be allowed to fester as the Nigerian nation is doing ? In this case, what plague the Nigerian nation are not just conflicts that are inevitable in a union. They are rather crises the country and its leaders have refused to resolve because they benefit from them.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Nigeria: All Is Quiet On The Western Front

By Dare Babarinsa 
Let me start with a confession. I have not read the manifesto of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. However, I had expected that one of the new grounds the party would cultivate is the abandon forest of constitutional reforms. So far, it has shied away from this. Indeed, some of the pronouncements of its red-cap chiefs suggest that it is militantly opposed to any form of constitutional amendment.
*MKO Abiola
We may recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, before he was halted by illness, had said on national television that he would have nothing to do with the reports of the Constitutional Conference brokered by his pliant predecessor, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
It is not out of point to regard the APC as the successor-political estate of Chief M.K.O Abiola, the great man whose sacrifice formed the cornerstone of our struggle against military rule. Indeed when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn-in as the elected successor to General Abdulsalami Abubakar, many of the leaders of the struggle regarded him as an undeserving beneficiary of Abiola’s great struggle. It is a fact of history nonetheless that Obasanjo had suffered as much as, if not more, than most of the leadership of the opposition. It was not surprising therefore that Obasanjo paid scant attention to the call for the restructuring of the Federation. As President, he played his game as an advocate of a strong Federal Government. He and members of the military class, especially those who spent their youths fighting in the Civil War, are suspicious of the call for constitutional reforms. They fear it might spiral out of control. I disagree.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Now That Nigerianism Has Failed!

By Abraham Ogbodo
Last week, the movement for the restructuring of Nigeria got more converts from an unlikely quarter. Some 16 youth groups in the North rose from a meeting late on Tuesday to declare the unwillingness of the North to continue in a Federation that has the Igbo as part. The groups, which met in Arewa House, somehow the symbolic throne of the Northern establishment and which gave the meeting added significance, were actually more far-reaching.

As if they were the appointed deciders of the fate of Nigeria, which has been hanging precariously on a balance for more than a century, they gave till October 1 for every Igbo man, woman and child in Northern Nigeria to leave for the ‘Republic of Biafra’. Next day, some Northern elders including Governor el-Rufai of Kaduna who said they were taken aback by the action of the youths dissociated themselves from the quit notice and even called for the arrest and prosecution of members of the groups.
Nothing happened. Instead, the youths returned a day after to reinforce their declaration. For opposing the declaration, Nasir el-Rufai and Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State were isolated for some tongue lashing. A statement signed by spokesman of the Northern youth coalition, Mallam Abdulazeez Suleiman said: “we are particularly disappointed by the treacherous positions assumed by Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai and Kashim Shettima who in pursuit of their blind ambition for the vice presidency chose to side with secessionist Igbo against the interest of peace-loving Nigerians.”
The statement said there was nothing altruistic about the position of el-Ruffai and Shettima on the quit notice because both governors “are openly known to be waiting in the wings for President Muhammadu Buhari to die so they can further their plot to seek the presidency.” Specifically on Shettima who spoke on beh: “Shettima has disconnected from reality as he gets intoxicated by immoral wealth and property acquisition at the expense of people of the state suffering the devastation of Boko Haram.” This was what Robert Louis Stevenson described in Treasure Island as ‘quarrel among the pirates.’

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Nigeria: You Can't Kill The Igbo Spirit

By Dan Amor
Multiculturalism has been the subject of cover stories of most international magazines including Time and Newsweek, as well as numerous articles in newspapers and magazines across the world. It has sparked heated jeremiads by leading American columnists such as George Will, Dinesh D'Sousa, and Roger Kimball. It moved William F. Buckley to rail against Stanley Fish and Catherine Stimpson on "Firing Line." It is arguably the most hotly debated topic in the civilised world today- and justly so.

For whether one speaks of tensions between Hasidim and African-Americans in Crown Heights, or violent mass protests against Moscow in ethnic republics such as Armenia, or outright war between Serbs and Croats in Yugoslavia, it is clear that the clash of cultures is a worldwide problem, deeply felt, passionately expressed, always on the verge of violent explosion. Problems of this magnitude inevitably frame the discussion of multiculturalism and cultural diversity even among leading intellectuals across the world. Yet, it is unfortunate that, in Nigeria, the vexed issues of racism, nationalism and cultural identity are downplayed by our commentators and analysts because some think that they and their tribes are not directly affected.
Few commentators could have predicted that one of the issues that dominated academic and popular discourse in the final decade of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century- concomitant with the fall of apartheid in South Africa, communism in Russia, and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union- would be the matter of cultural pluralism in our secondary school and university curricula and its relation to the "Nigerian" national identity. Repeated experience and routine violations of the rights of minorities and the Igbo nation in Nigeria attest to the urgency of the scattered, and often confused, debates over what is variously known as cultural diversity, cultural pluralism, or multiculturalism. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nigeria: Breakup, Northern Style

By Paul Onomuakpokpo  
With northern youths giving Igbo residing in their region an ultimatum to quit before October 1 or face dire consequences, the agitations for the dissolution of the Nigerian union are fast reaching frenzied heights. What obviously provoked the rage of the northern youths were the ceaseless agitations for self-determination by some indigenes of the south east. Such agitations being championed by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) culminated recently in the shutting down of the major towns of the south east on May 30 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the quest to create a Biafra Republic out of Nigeria.
President Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto,
Sa’ad Abubakar
Of course, the northern part of the country, like other regions that make up the Nigerian nation, has the right to respond to the clamour for secession by the Igbo. But what is intolerably scandalous is that the approach they have adopted amounts to self-sabotage. For, it rather portrays them as a people who are not really interested in responding fully to the demands of restructuring of the polity but are rather only motivated by greed and the envy of the success of the Igbo.
If the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar’s claim during his visit to the south east that the Igbo easily become objects of hate and annihilation because of their success were a Freudian slip, the position of the northern youths do not disguise their hankering after the wealth of the Igbo. If the northern youths were really interested in restructuring, the first step they should take is not to give the Igbo an ultimatum to leave their land. Even if Nigeria breaks up today, this does not give the northern youths the right to seize the property of the Igbo. Are the Igbo war criminals or their property are proceeds of corruption that the northern youths would seize them? The Igbo are free to live and own property in any part of the world, including the north as foreigners if the country breaks up.
Besides, it is not only the Igbo who have been asking for a redefinition of the terms of the existence of the Nigerian nation. The south south and the south west have also called for the same purpose. It is ludicrous for the northern youths to single out the Igbo for intimidation and possible liquidation as if other people were comfortable with the injustices upon which the nation has been built for decades. They should not think that after allowing the Igbo to go they would continue to feed off the resources of the south south.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Buhari, Please Don’t Die Before Me!

By Steve Onyeiwu
Buhari and I are in a race of death. I hope and pray I win that race. As transient humans, we all embark on the race to death right after sliding from our mother’s womb. How long it takes to run that dreaded race depends largely on exogenous factors beyond our control. Religious people believe that the more pious and God-fearing you are, the higher the probability that your race to death would be protracted. In other words, you’ll be competing head-to-head with the likes of the famed and biblical Methuselah. 
But secular folks argue that the duration of the race to death depends on a combination of factors that include genetics, life-style and serendipity. The latter may be influenced by God, spirituality and “providence.” For these reasons, I may well die before Buhari, though he is far older than me. As an inherently unpredictable phenomenon, some of those who have been overly obsessed with Buhari’s death may die before him. Death can also be a biased umpire that fulfills some people’s wishes, but dashes other people’s hopes. While some politicians who are prematurely positioning themselves for 2019 have been cheering Buhari to run faster on the death track, many other compassionate Nigerians pray for his quick recovery.
Right from when he began receiving treatment in London early this year, endless news about Buhari’s death have been circulating around the world. Some say he has a terminal disease. Quack doctors have looked at his photos and conclude that he is chronically ill. Some medical doctors who should refrain from diagnosing a disease by perusing a patient’s visual outlook, without conducting blood, X-Ray, MRI, colonoscopy, physical and other vital tests, have jumped into the fray, declaring that Buhari is a lost cause! But they forget that even the best doctors in the world cannot look at photos and diagnose a patient’s ailment, let alone provide a prognosis for the patient’s survival.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Lai Mohammed: An Unmanageable Mistake!

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
When President Muhammadu Buhari announced the people he has selected to occupy some of the most strategic positions in his regime, there was understandable uproar across the country. Nigerians looked at the profile of these fellows and wondered what could have motivated their choice, what exactly in their credentials qualified them for such sensitive positions.
*President Buhari and Lai Mohammed
Ordinarily, Buhari would have simply ignored such an outcry, but he surprised Nigerians by volunteering an explanation. These, he said, were the people who had stood by him through the stressful years of his various unsuccessful attempts to become president. As he moved from one party to another in his quest to actualise his ambition, they stuck with him, undiscouraged by his growing history of failed presidential runs. So, this was the time to "reward" them for their steadfast loyalty. (These are the people now loosely referred to as Buhari’s "Kitchen Cabinet," or more recently, "the Cabal" in Aso Rock, whose activities Nigerians have learnt to monitor with considerable apprehension.)

Buhari's preference for cronyism which mostly celebrates mediocrity at the expense of merit and expertise (an odious, counterproductive practice that has sufficiently advertised its predictable dividend in his regime's very dismal performance in the last two years) is, however, not original. In the unmissed Olusegun Obasanjo regime, appointment into public office was celebrated as an invitation to "come and eat." And not a few in that wayward regime, and the ones that followed it, really overate and became horribly obese, as evidenced by their mysterious humongous   accumulations!

In decently-run countries, people see appointment into public offices as sacrifice to their nation. Some, driven solely by love for country, quit high-paying jobs to take these positions whose statutorily fixed salaries compel them to undertake drastic readjustments in their lifestyles by shedding some luxuries that were easily guaranteed by their former salaries. Their country men and women celebrate them as patriots and heroes, and they leave public office with their heads held high, and their names boldly engraved in their country's Hall of Fame.  

But in Nigeria, the story is different. That is why it should be understood that while for many months Nigerians waited for Buhari to announce his list of ministers, thinking he was busy carefully searching for the best hands to do the very significant and urgent   reclamation job crying for attention at such a very critical period in our nation's history, the man was, no doubt, busy considering whom to "reward" with what position. 

When the list was eventually released, it greatly disappointed and shocked many Nigerians leaving them wondering why it took the president all those months to come up with such hope-depleting appointments. 

The most demoralising confirmation that little or no imaginative thinking went into the making of that list, however, was Buhari's decision to "reward" Mr. Lai Mohammed, the industrious chief propagandist of his party, with the office of the Minister of Information. Although, I had learnt very early to grossly moderate my expectations of the Buhari regime, I never in my wildest imagination expected that the president would fall so cheaply into such a brightly advertised trap.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Ambode, CAN And The Lagos Pastor

By Paul Onomuakpokpo
A democracy fiesta which began nationwide some days ago climaxed last Monday. Lagos strove to outdo other states with its Lagos My Success Story through which it celebrated those it considered as the exemplars of its exceptionalism. But the nebulous character of the concept became a source of excoriation for the state government in so far as it neglected some people whose successes constituted the excellence of the state.
*Gov Ambode
But this is not what has imbued the memory of the past few days with an unforgettable quality. Rather, it is the fact that the period unveiled a Lady Macbeth in the Lagos State house and that while the state government was valourising democracy which privileges the will of the people, it was at the same time serving one of its residents a robust measure of authoritarianism.

Nnamdi Kanu, Biafra And The False Premise

By Femi Fani-Kayode
In a short contribution titled "Biafra Without Our Consent?" which appears to have gone viral on social media, a social commentator wrote as follows:
*Nnamdi Kanu
"I think the current generation of 'Biafrans' are the most funny people I have ever seen. How dare you sit in your home or offices and draw your Biafra map and include places like Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, etc as part of your empire? Did you consult them? Did you seek their opinions? You are forcing people to join a country whose commander in chief you have already anointed- Nnamdi Kanu; whose currency you have already decided- Biafra Pounds; whose official religion you have already adopted- Judaism; whose God you have already chosen- Chukwu Abiama? Do you not realize that you are doing to those people the same thing you accuse the British and Nigeria of doing to you? For carving my state into your 'Biafra' and renaming it without my permission and consultation, I have a moral duty to stand against you with everything I have. I am not standing against you because I do not want your freedom; I stand against you because I love mine too. I don't stand against you because you don't have a right to your country; I stand against you because I have the same right. I stand against you because your map is an insult to me and my freedom to choose were I belong. Be warned!"

This commentator who I shall refer to as Miss X and those that think like her are being disingenious and unduly hostile to Nnamdi Kanu and the concept and spirit of Biafra.

She has made a point that appears to be valid but that point is based on a false premise. That premise is that the southern minorities would be compelled or obliged to be part of Biafra without their consent. This is false. It is not true.
The truth is that each of the bordering ethnic nationalities, and even the Igbo themselves, must and will have their own referendum before going anywhere. It is entirely up to them what they do and where they go.

They cannot and will not be forced to go with Biafra if they choose not to do so. And neither can they be forced to remain in Nigeria if they choose to leave.
Everything that is done must and will be based on the free and fair expression of the will of the people.

That is the basic point that needs to be grasped and clearly understood. Miss X's fear is therefore baseless.

Yet we cannot leave it there. We must consider the wider issues that her concerns have raised. We must learn to be clear-headed and strategic in our thinking and actions. We must know what we wish to achieve and we must learn from history.

The cost of petty bickering, division, undue rivalry, pettiness and age-old suspicions amongst the southern ethnic minorities and southerners generally is extremely high.

It has cost us virtually everything and it has stripped us naked and bare before our enemies and adversaries.

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