Is the struggle for Biafra becoming a joke? Or, how can the elderly stay home and watch the goat give birth on leash?
“If wishes were horses, beggars might ride.”
And so I wish that MGB could hear the voice of reason and let Nandi Kanu (NK) go now – free and fair while the crescendo of “release him” chimes the air waves.
With recent events, particularly the upsurge in media battering of each other those claiming authentic representatives of the NK IPOB have risen such that it’s hard to tell who is and, or against this restoration of the Indigenous sovereignty of the Biafra Nation activism.
Twitter leading the way has been abuzz with all manner of names, titles and nomenclature – all associating with NK and his IPOB- as is accusation and counter accusations.
But, will it really matter or make a difference on whose shoulders IPOB, TRIPOB, MASSOB or REFORMED IPOB the sovereignty of Biafra nation materializes?
Some of the original names known, who had sacrificed sweat and blood, for years educating, advocating and sensitizing awareness to the struggle are now being castigated; and relatively unknown individuals morph daily to arrogate selves or make implausible claims. But that’s what sycophancy is all about.
THE JOKE THAT IS NOW CALLED THE BIAFRAN STRUGGLE
Not long ago, I read Reverend Father Mbaka’s pronouncements on Biafra struggle. I am not a fan of this man of God, and never will be (I am a core catholic raised by missionaries), but my experiential knowledge has taught me to not throw the bath water with the baby.
I try to critically analyze issues alongside criticisms. I tried to make sense from his proffered premises, and analogize conclusions out of those, drawing from past experiences to make my own conclusions.
It appeared the man of God described the current wave of protests for Biafra restoration as acts of youthful exuberance and perhaps lacking the wisdom and support of elders.
I think also that he mentioned prominent names – at least, those known names in Igbo nation who could lead the fight, but are not, and I have come to reckon with the salient intelligence in his statements.
I have also since appreciated the fact that many other Igbo leaders have since joined the call for NK’s release and by visits to the IPOB king in involuntary prison.
Whether those visits meant well is for another day’s story, but for now let us examine Rev. Mabaka’s utterances, and weigh them for what they stand for, rather than the person making those statements – against Uche Mefor’s counter: Mefor claimed that Mbaka has been “compromised.”
Although, I am not sure Mefor elaborated how or by who, or on what motive Mbaka has been compromised. But suffice it that self-interests sometimes blind folds and shrinks the truth.
Really, wouldn’t such Igbo leaders as mentioned by Mbaka be supporting a more meaningful, forceful agitation for Biafra?
Will it make a difference that youths – relatively young people lacking first hand personal knowledge of Nigeria’s past continue to scream Biafra secession to their own risks and without articulated vision?
What is the roadmap, and how do they plan to achieve success?
The indisputable truism is that people look and access a movement by its composition – there are people whose names, status, pedigree carry aura of respect. Our elders understood these and coined the adage “Ana enwe Obodo enwe!”
The truth remains that all the threats by the youth against continued detention of NK has been resisted because those out there assume, either wrongly or rightly those threats carry no forte to it.
Perhaps a little insight into where we came from may spew answers to questions staring the face of all these arguments.
The Igbo has been hated by the colonial masters – British. The wealth in Igbo land, Biafra has been the fulcrum upon which the British Empire thrived.
History points to the ideology of “common wealth” and what that connotes. Britain does not want to let go.
They fear Igbo ingenuity; they sense Igbo trait in our forerunners – Zik and the Zikist movement.
Fearing loss of their grip on Igbo wealth is the underlying reason for their fraudulently conducted and enshrine “Census” the bane of the creation called Nigeria today. Briton has done everything to stand on Igbo head. Its leadership at the onset of 1966 counter coup is instructive. The north was ready then to go – that they stayed was British making, that the was progressed was British making, that the war was lost also British handwork with its allies. NK is in prison. He is a dual citizen British and Nigerian, what significant role has Briton played to see his release? Or, is citizenship just for the sake of it? If a Briton, White/Caucasian was NK, Briton would have sought extradition and so with every diplomatic persuasion. But, no, NK is Igbo and Igbos are made to be exterminated.
First hand personal experiential knowledge of Biafra war with Nigeria
In writing this article, it is not my intention to engage anybody, any Igbo, particularly anyone claiming to be NK’s deputy, supporters, or those who claim to be “IPOB-USA mass mobilizer and PDP Women Leader” in meaningless rejoinders.
This is because sycophancy trades value in cynicism.
Those who act only to protect what they gain from the mess called agitation will jump up to castigate and throw abuses, insults and call names and that without intelligent reasoning, or following rules of argument.
I say these with respect to well-meaning Indigenous Igbo. I am a core Igbo/Biafran. I paid my Dues, fought from army recruit to a quartermaster in the Forth Commando Brigade – I earned the nickname “[A]ble quartermaster when I took control to ensure that what was available from food scarcity reached those it was meant for in the war front.
I am not stranger to pains, suffering, marginalization and exclusion of Igbo in Nigeria’s main stream. But my humble perspective has been that Igbos are their own downfall.
I am appalled at the way Igbos exhibit their self-centered interests now. When I joined Biafra war against Nigeria, I did for a just cause – the love to see my people free, a cause I fight even today.
The likes of Zik, Michael Okpara, Mbonu Ojike, Mbazulike Amaechi, and last but not the least my Icon – Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu including a host of others too numerous to mention were resolute and stood grounds for the true welfare and benefits of Igbo people rather than self-interests.
There are recent generation of Igbos following in those steps, but there are much more others working cross purpose.
I see these ones in the confusion that trails present agitation for Biafra.
I am Igbo and I have the civil and legal right to decide, chose and follow who will lead or be my leader – that choice is mine and cannot be imposed on me – no one has that right to so do.
If I want to remain in Nigeria, it is my choice; also, If not, I can denounce the entity and pitch my destiny where I see fit. The present crop of Igbo people have to mend their ways.
They have to eschew hate for one another; selfish- self-centeredness, forge in unity and stand with one voice.
Those old enough may recollect “Igbo Union” of the glorious days. When they spoke, when they sneeze the air whistles. That sent fear in British spines then.
I have carried on advocacy for fairness, equity and inclusivity and I will die for Biafra but on one condition: That Igbos discard their crisis of confidence in one another and imbibe the invaluable virtue of selfless leadership and absolute loyalty to those who lead them.
The struggle for the restoration of Biafra cannot degenerate into irresponsible agitation.
Perhaps, certain adorable trait of a good leader is the act of persuasion which employs a moderate appeal to “One’s ego” by tapping salient positive qualities of energy and motivation while discarding “selfishness and arrogance”.
IPOB should mend fence to achieve the goals undistracted.
Kallys Albert Sr.; +612-306-1945 (direct line); Nigerian Citizens for Good Governance, Community, Organizing and Education Mission; Ncgg.firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 (763) 571-7172