“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” —Harriet Tubman
Permit me to begin this very intellectual discourse with except of memoirs of one of the founding fathers of United States of America, Benjamin Franklin.
He said: “They, who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Slavery does not really imply physical imprisonment or spiritual bondage but acute incapacitation of the mind to discern, bankruptcy of the freedom of one’s soul and inability to unleash your potentials to the fullest.
Affirming the imprint of the aforementioned quote in the subject of discussion, Benjamin Franklin imputed that those who give up the essentials of freedom just to acquire temporary comfort, end up losing all.
It is either you free yourself from the clutches of slavery completely or be held by the chains of its image. The most dangerous type of slaves, are not those who were forced into slavery by slave-traders, but those born into it.
While the former understand what freedom represents, the later sees freedom as illusion reserves for dreamers in the world of hallucination. Those who were clamped into slavery accepted their fate out of fear of the unknown.
They caved in, not because they love servitude but a dampened spirit and disgruntled mind became their new identity as a result of years of captivity.
In the guise of Nigeria-Biafran war, our parents fought slave-masters, which resulted in the gruesome murder of their loved ones in millions, unrestrained hunger cum deprivation, loss of cherished prosperities, and loss of freedom, suffered by their compatriots.
This is the agony and bane of Biafrans who lost the war, not to Nigeria superior fire power, but coalition of then world powers, who hid under the veil of Nigerian soldiers, to exterminate defenseless civilians.
After the war, Biafrans became conquered people; our territory annexed. We were literally subdued into slavery in our land.
Our resources were distributed amongst the Nigerian war veterans as booties of battle. Our hard-earned houses, hotels, schools and structures converted to ‘abounded properties’, to the advantage of the slave-masters.
THOSE BORN INTO SLAVERY
My heart bleeds for majority of Biafrans born after the civil war. Like I wrote previously, the most pitiable slaves are those who are yet to realise that they are in chains.
They have never tested freedom. They cannot describe what freedom means. They see mass unemployment as a way of life; poverty and penury as atonement for the sins of their ancestors.
These children of slave generation have come to believe that someone must go to Abuja or Lagos before he can secure a decent job, after passing through hell called university—where lecturers embark on strike at will.
The supposed citadel of learning has become certificate mill; churning out glorified degrees like Dangote noodles.
When travelling on roads, they see death-trap potholes on the highway as speed-breakers, meant to slow down their rickety vehicles. They have never bothered why our hospitals are not working or the school system collapsing.
They see nothing wrong in a pupil from Enugu State scoring 139 to gain admission into Unity Colleagues, sit in the same class with another pupil from Zamfara, who managed to score 5 points in the similar exam.
To those born into slavery, a freedom fighter like Nnamdi Kanu is a tout, miscreant and attention-seeker, whose sole agenda is to ignite crisis and run away.
To them, courage to ask questions on the decades of enslavement of our people via marginalization and oppression looks like stupidity. They have accepted morally bankrupt, visionless politicians as their imposed leaders, and corruption as a means of survival cum livelihood.
In their wretched minds, miserable and horrible living in this jungle called Nigeria is now part and parcel of them. Abnormality has been elevated to normality; normalcy has slipped into complacency.
Even the so-called intellectuals from the East, with all their international exposures, have dissolved into the absurdities in our land without raising objections. What a shame!
Like the children of Israelites, the first attempt made by our fathers to leave Egypt was meted with brutal killing and maiming of our people in the field of war.
After the conquest, Biafrans lost their second class ‘slaveship’ status and got demoted to third class position in the slave camp called Nigeria. The little privileges we were accorded to; vanished with the war.
Out of fear, intimidation and long period of oppression from the ‘Egyptians’, our fathers vowed never to fight for their freedom again. They became war-wearied, frustrated and eventually resigned their destiny and that of their children to eternal slavery.
After almost fifty years of post-civil war suppression, a Moses—Nnamdi Kanu, emerged. Reminiscent of biblical narration, our own Moses, Nnamdi Kanu came from the blues with one single demand from Pharaoh—President Muhammadu Buhari and Egyptians—Fulani born-to-rule slave-masters, to let Biafrans go!
Greatest obstacles on the way to our promised land are not even the Pharaoh, Egyptians but fellow Biafrans!
The tall mountain facing Nnamdi Kanu and his foot-soldiers—IPOB members today, is to convince some Biafrans who have gotten too used to slavery, that we the children of the Most High have to depart to our land of promise.
Some of our parents who bore the brunt of civil war are very sacred to hear the word ‘Biafra’ again, let alone pronounce it. To them, Biafra represents war, death, poverty, hunger and sickness.
But to us—youths born after the war, Biafra epitomises freedom, hope, prosperity, development, and living the lives of our dream. This is the major reason the present struggle is youth-driven.
Those who are advising us to drop the agitation for Biafra, have not provided us with an alternative either. The so-called restructuring is dead on arrival. We are sick and tired of third class treatment in this wilderness called Nigeria.
The revolution has started!
It is either we get our political and economic freedom from the Egyptians, or we perish fighting for it. The status quo cannot remain the same again; something monumental must yield!
In the face of gross marginalization of Igbos in this sadistic and vengeful government of President Buhari, Biafra actualization has become not only the beautiful bride for the youths, but the only option left, because when the preferable is not available, available becomes preferable.
I have never met Nnamdi Kanu neither do have any link with IPOB, but I will always identify with any platform that will take me to the promise land.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, Nigeria will never work! Nigeria was structured to fail. Any man-made system that encourages nepotism, marginalization, injustice, inequity, hatred and ethnic rivalry, cannot make any progress.
Nigeria is a typical PhD thesis on how-not-to-build-a-nation. Enough blood of innocent people has being wasted to preserve this fake Fredrick-Lugard enclave called Nigeria. The present structure of Nigeria is stifling the great potentials of Biafrans, instead of enhancing them.
Nigeria is like a big cage housing scorpions, cobras, pythons, crocodiles, vipers, and all sorts of venom-ridden reptiles, stinging themselves to death.
Nnamdi Kanu has risen with the message of hope. He is the proverbial voice of freedom shouting in the wilderness.
It is only time will determine how far he will travel in this quest to liberate Biafrans from the clutches of slavery.
I will like to end this intervention with Jim Morrison’s quote: “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes; you are free.”
All hail Biafra!
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