One saw those sordid events happen then in Biafra; one is again seeing the repeat of that ominous History again today in Nigeria. Just like it was in pre-Biafra, people are today being chased about, running helter-skelter all over the country, suffering and dying, churches, mosques, buildings, animals, property etc. are being destroyed; ordinary man feels quite unsafe everywhere; there are bizarre threats to our unity and cantonization of the country. During Biafra and post-Biafra, what happened is a mirror-image of some unfortunate events of today. People were deceived and misused to kill, maim and destroy. Youths, children, the aged and the infirm were the worst victims. Most of the children of the so-called big men hardly-fought or died during the enraging war. Today, there are fears and tears here and there; there are ongoing losses of lives and property; the nation seems to be at a crossroads and brink of disaster; many southerners have escaped from the north back-home while some northerners are equally-hurrying away to where they may consider to be safer; hunger and poverty is rampant in the land; refugees and IDPs are almost everywhere; some are begging for subsistence etc. While the Local Governments do not seem to exist anymore, both the Federal and State Governments seem to be helpless in challenging and tackling the disunity problems or tend to be waiting while allowing nature to possiblysort out the problems. Such a wait-andsee attitude may end up complexing the problems to the unfortunate total destruction of this country.
For almost two days now, some IPOB youths have mounted a siege at the Niger Bridge end of Onitsha causing a lot of distress along the expressway. There have been massive demonstrations by MASSOB and IFOB all over the Southeast and Southsouth Zones and Abuja calling for release of Nnamdi Kanu of Radio Biafra who has been detained by the DSS. The demonstrators are calling for re-emergence of defunct Republic of Biafra. The Federal authorities seem to be watching the developments with a laissez-faire attitude while seemingly-tending to the temptation of using the poorly-advised rod-and-stick approach. It was reported that about nine protesters were killed while some were wounded during shootouts at the Onitsha head-bridge. Unfortunately, some officers of the Nigerian Army have been talking tough over these developments when such tough talks are not necessary in a democratic system; that Army must give the police the chance to do the job. The Federal government should be patient and listen to whichever group that has complaint(s) and try her best to find a possible solution rather than aggravating the situation. That is the beauty of democracy. Governments must not regard anyone as an underdog since all have similar needs and stakes in the polity. The reports of some injuries and loss of lives should not be allowed to happen again while demonstrators should do so peacefully without breaking the laws of the land.
Nigeria can survive and be a great nation if we are genuine to listen and hear the voices and the cries of our people and make amends as much as possible and practicable and ensure that corrective changes that are worthwhile are made. Both our leaders and followers must be honest and sincere at execution of fairness and equity in governance and followership. Unfortunately, all and sundry seem to have refused to do the right thing for the people. The sounds of the grim voices and cries of hope, sorrow, neglect and depression in our lands today, are real and palpable and do sorrowfully-touch the hearts of those who really care; it was like that in pre-, during and post-Biafra. One can feel these cries like the severe cuts of sharp razors into one’s heart and life. These grim loud sociopoliticalcum- economic cries and voices of sorrow still come today from many mouths, lips, throats of people and corners of the nation; be it the widespread complaints from the north, central, east, west and south of Nigeria; from men, women, adults, youths, children, the aged and infirm etc. Our country, Nigeria is grimly-hemorrhaging and severely-going through traumatic and debilitating problems of contorted and troubled governance despite the fact of our Godly-survival from Nigeria-Biafra war and the series of military interventions that endangered our recent History. People seem not to have learned much from our horrible past experiences despite the fact that we have returned to democratic governance where things ought to have become better but seem not to have become really.
Sadly, it is not yet uhuru for Nigeria. Demonic events of disunity, oppression, marginalization, greed, avarice, ethnicsm, religious bigotry, corruption, lasciviousness etc. continue flapping their luciferic wings of destruction all over the place. There is a lot of personal pride, self-deification, egoism, egotism, jingoism etc. in governance and reactionary politics of winner-takes-all mentality and indescribable mendacity. These failings have been ravaging us and whatever little progress that have been recorded in the country. The oppressed people and the helpless have little or no elbow rooms to express their feelings of frustrations other than to raise their shrill voices to cry but which no one seems to be hearkening to. Good governance officials ought to listen to the voices and subdued cries of her people; an oppressive and cantankerous official will usually not care. If one seriously-listened carefully to these voices and cries from honest Nigerians before the Nigeria-Biafra war, in the then Biafra, inside and outside Nigeria, one would have seen that they were most painful and heart-rending and troubling. Then, that war could have been prevented or stopped. These heart-rending voices and tearful cries were there before, during and after the Loss of Biafra. If you care to have listened then, or even listen critically today, there are similar gruesome, painful voices from men, women, children, the youths, the aged, the infirm, the poor, the deprived, the security men and women emanating from here and there. The cries are bursting eardrums like the voice of Rachel weeping for her lost children for none could be found! All Nigerians, indeed, the world must, today, listen to and urgently-do something to solve the causative problems of these unhealthy grim cries and voices that conjure the ugly images and sordid memories of sad events on the History of Biafra and what they portend for the future for the survival of our people and the Nigerian nation! Otherwise, our leaders shall repeat the sordid History of Nigeria-Biafra war which did no Nigerian or Biafran any wholesome good whatsoever.
We, today, seem to have failed woefully to understand and appreciate the sense of History that star us on the face today. We stand and stare helplessly as Nigerians are killed and murdered in different parts of the country as sadly-happened in Biafra. Some naïve Nigerians wrongly-believe that since Biafra was defeated in that war with Nigeria, the Igbos or the then easterners have been finished in life forever; that one can today maltreat, dehumanize or marginalize the people as one likes because they had lost a war. This false belief is not borne out by true events of History in any clime. You may have beaten a father in an unequal fight but it is not guaranteed that you can also beat the son when he comes of age and learns of what happened to the father; even when the conditions of the being and life might have drasticallychanged as it is in Nigeria today. That may become the fate of Nigeria if one decides to repeat our sordid History in any part of the country; not just in Igboland but also for any other ethnic group. After all, while MASSOB and IPOB seem to be regarded as a threat, we have similar issues with the Arewa, Afenifere, Oduduwa, Boko-haram etc. all rendering affairs in the country almost comatose. Our leaders must come down from their high pedestals and listen to the drivers of these vehicles of disunity and try to sort out the problems and allow people’s destinies to be in their hands. That is what good governance ought to be like worldwide. Everyone, both leaders and followers, must carefully-watch one’s steps. Let us listen and hearken to these demanding voices before they deafen our ears; let us do something urgent and provide solutions to the mammoth problems that plague the country; let us not harden our hearts; we seem to allow evils to thrive and continuously-destroy the system.
We seem to be now at the threshold of a possible repeat performance of our fatal History where people of Nigeria have, once again, started killing one another countrywide. All right-thinking people must intervene now to stop massive killings, kidnapping, armed robbery etc. that confront the nation. Boko-haram is on the rampage maiming and killing people and scavenging for territorial lands in the north; MASSOB and Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) are now routing for a new Biafra; some of the westerners are threatening and routing for session into Oduduwa Republic if they are not protected from the Fulani cattle rearers while some Niger Delta youths are raising fire and brimstone over their oil and gas and fighting for protection of the environment ravaged by petroleum pollution/contamination. Majority of people who are now clamoring for the dismemberment of Nigeria into possibly-useless cantons do not know about the sordid events and ills of the Biafra experience. History is the key to the past, a guide to the present and a plumb-line for the future. It is for the living to read the handwriting on the wall and act for good or ill as one may deem fit and appropriate. The situations of kidnapped/missing Chibok and Biu girls cannot be tolerated anywhere anymore.
– BONIFACE EGBOKA