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Buhari, Buratai And Biafra; The Missing LINK – By Chuks Ibegbu

There is  no human society devoid of conflicts ,crisis and personal/group differences. These are facts of life ,  but how they are managed and attenuated is a different kettle of fish. The agitation for a neo-Biafra and the reaction of the authorities to it have elicited  local and international concern. In International law, there is nothing wrong with the clamour for self determination. However, every country  and society has its own peculiarities and de facto concerns which should also come into play in resolving centrifugal and dissenting voices.

Truelly , the South East of Nigeria occupied by the Igbo race has bee witnessed  a state of imposed emasculation  and constraining policies since the end of the civil war , a situation that cannot be blamed entirely on the present Buhari regime. With least federal presence, least structural units and least socio-political leverage in Nigeria, its not suprising the youths of the region  who bear the brunt of these constraints have been agitating to escape from this cul de sac and their seemingly perpetual bondage. In a country a pupil from the South East will score 200 in a federal common entrance exam and find it hard to be admitted in a federal secondary school when a fellow Nigerian pupil from the North west for instance is admitted with only a score of 2 , something is dangerously amiss. There are other instances. When that pupil with a score of 2 finally graduates from a tertiary school, he gets a federal super job more quickly than the pupil with 200. No nation can justify that level of discrimination without its attendant effect one of which is the present agitation in the south East.

Yet , one cannot absolve the political leaders from the zone for the frustrations of their youths.A situation where nearly eighty percent of even little allocations that percolate the zone end up in the bottomless pocket of political leaders in the zone and salaries /pensions not paid or jobs made available to the teeming youths from the area, contribute to elicit the frustration among the youths of the zone. There is hardly a plan for them by their political leaders . There is no AMNESTY DEAL  that now cushion the youths of the Niger Delta, nor the different empowering programs for youths in the West and some parts of the North which engage and assure them of a better future. 

Yet , it is not even uhuru for the political elites from the zone as the way the Nigerian state is presently structured most times tie their hands down from addressing some of the challenges of their youths. This is the paradox of the South East which President Mohammadu Buhari ought to factor in in his approach to the Nnamdi kanu and the IPOB  issue. Actually , nobody expected President Buhari to clap for Nnamdi Kanu in his mission as not even an Igbo man at Aso Rock will do so. But as a father and leader, there would have been nothing wrong if the President had ealier invited Nnamdi Kanu as a son and hear him out. This could have solved the problem ab initio . The festering Boko Haram imbroglio we now face could have been nipped in the bud at the early stages if past authorities had engaged them on time. We are paying a big price for it today.

Yes, for Gen Buratai , he is carrying out the orders of his Commander-in-Chief  and is also not expected to watch askance when hie is ordered to check security threats in the nation. Yet the rule of engagement of any civilised army in the world does not include shooting unarmed agitators as it happened in some parts of the South East in recent days.. 

I appreciated the fixated and Command structure mien of Mr President based on his military background. . He also participated in the Civil war and is therefore not expected to kowtow to to centrifugal forces . Yet , we must be frank to admit that his approach to the pro-Biafran agitation has been less fatherly and more  truculent. He made Nnamdi Kanu a Hero , if not a messiah in the first place by his approach. Criminalising Kanu is not and can never be a solution. Declaring his group a terrorist group is neither here nor there for as long as Nigerians keep on complaining about the activities of groups like the armed fulani herdsmen and their treatment with kid’s glove . The country must operate on the basis of the rule of law  level playing ground for all its citizens. 

That is the ultimate way out and not hardened positions or military show of force. I expect the APC led federal government to be sincere on its restructuring trajectory. Let our President be less combative to agitators and the dark cloud will clear sooner than expected.

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