There are two statements that President Buhari made in the last few days that I find curious and misleading.
I have read them over and over again and I am left with no other conclusion than the fact that we have a President that has no recollection of history and that has no memory.
Firstly he said that the PDP governments that were in power for 16 years before him had achieved nothing and had “left nothing” for him in terms of development.
Secondly he said that the Igbo people of south eastern Nigeria that are agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra should “forget it”.
The author, Femi Fani kayode
Permit me to begin with the latter and my response is as follows:
Mr. President, you are right when you say that a war was fought in which two million people were killed just to keep Nigeria one.
Yet the cause of that war and the reasons that it had to be fought in the first place are still very much with us and have not been resolved or even addressed.
Worst still the barbaric acts of savagery that provoked it still occur on a daily basis in our country.
You seem to have forgotten that the catalyst for the war was the fact that over 100,000 innocent and defenceless Igbo civilians, including women and children, were murdered in cold blood in a series of well-planned and well-executed pogroms in the north over a period of three months just after a group of young northern officers, including your good self, carried out their “revenge coup” on July 29th 1966.
During the course of that “revenge coup”, no less than three hundred Igbo officers and an Igbo Head of State, together with a Yoruba Military Governor, were beaten like dogs and murdered by those northern officers.
After the pogroms started, the Igbo fled the north in their millions, ran back home to the east and demanded to have their own country where they would be safe.
You and others denied them that right and it led to war.
During the course of that war you bathed in the blood of Biafrans.
You killed their infants and babies, you raped their women, you burnt and pillaged their homes.
You crushed their bones, you brought them to their knees and you stripped away their dignity, self-esteem and self-respect just to keep Nigeria one.
After the war was over you took all their properties, seized all their money and left them with 20 pounds each in the bank.
For the next 40 years you insulted them, killed them, marginalised them, humiliated them, broke them, denied them their rights, enslaved them, turned them into a nation of traders, took away their soul and reduced them to second class citizens.
Now you say their grandchildren, who swell up the ranks of IPOB and MASSOB, have no right to ask for self-determination or for their own country simply because you killed their grandfathers and grandmothers during the war, starved their parents and shattered their dreams.
I say shame on you and all those that think like you.
If Nigeria was a normal country by now you and a number of your colleagues would have been at the International Criminal Court at The Hague answering charges of genocide and crimes against humanity which were committed during the civil war instead of being President.
Remember the Asaba massacre? Remember the bombing of Onitsha Bridge? These are just two of many.
If you want the Igbo or any other southerner to stay and if you want Nigeria to remain one then you must treat us all as equals, offer our children and our people equal opportunities, tender a public apology.
You must pay full compensation for all the atrocities that you, your people and your forefathers have committed against the people of the south and the northern minorities over the last two hundred years.
In addition to that, you must defeat, destroy and dismantle Boko Haram, decommission your state-sponsored Fulani militias whom you call herdsmen and put a stop to the marginalisation, intimidation, threats, genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass murder of our people.
You must also desist from implementing a contrived and ill-motivated economic policy whose primary objective is to pauperise and impoverish the Nigerian people and bring them to their knees.
And whose purpose is to ensure that no individual or group of people has the resources and means to fight you and to stop you from coming back in 2019.
It is after you have done all these things that you can make a passionate appeal to us for the continued unity of Nigeria.
And please bear in mind that it must be an appeal and not a demand. There must not even be a whiff of the usual threats or intimidating words.
Outside of that the Nigerian baby you are carrying and saying that you killed and died for during the civil war is already dead. It is only waiting to be buried”.
To President Buhari’s assertion that sixteen years of PDP-rule “left him with nothing”, I say it is manifestly dishonest and by saying this he has inflicted what William Shakespeare describes as “the unkindest cut of all”.