On the 22nd of September, 2011 five Igbo men domiciled and carrying on businesses in Mandala, Niger State of Nigeria were murdered by some Muslim men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram group. The reason given for the killing is that they failed to recite verses from the Koran, the Islamic book of religious tenets. Boko Haram is a separatist Islamic group of the north of Nigeria. In the past nine years the group has consistently campaigned through violence to human lives and property for the establishment of a separate Islamic state from the Nigerian union. But through brutal force of Nigeria’s military the Islamic North of Nigeria is being suppressed and forced to remain as unwilling member of the Nigerian union.
Within this period of nine years the Boko Haram group has been credited with several bombing and other forms of killing activities of both civilian and military targets in which thousands of people have been murdered. Already the group has successfully helped to establish in the twelve states of northern Nigeria the Islamic sharia legal system which they have repeatedly claimed to supersede and be superior to Nigeria’s official national constitution. So, as expected of any worthwhile Islamic state the next phase in the group’s agenda implementation after establishing the sharia laws should naturally be to purify the society of all non-conforming and pollutant agents. Koran’s injunctions to the believers are sacred and their purity must be maintained by every means including the killing of unbelievers.
The killing of the 22 September of the 5 Igbo men who could not recite parts of the Koran was only one of the steps that have to be employed to cleanse the North Islamic State of Nigeria of non-Muslims who would serve as distractions to the Faithfull’s earnest desire to practice pure Islam. A lot more of such killings should be expected as it becomes even hypocritical for outsiders to condemn such religious act since it has to do with the practice of the people’s religion. Islam by its injunctions approves of such killings of non believers and the killers are only but carrying out the commandments of their religion. For all those who take serious the practice of their own faith, whatever that might be, will no doubt find themselves in a state of moral dilemma to out rightly condemn these killers who are only being good Muslims.
From history and all what is realistic and true there is no doubting that religious faith runs very deep in all peoples of every society and it will be a mere dream of fantasy trying to wish away this truth about religion and the human nature. Therefore it is expected that all realistic and practical leaders and builders of human societies must always take this fundamental truth about the human nature into consideration as they try to put together structures and systems that deal with human beings and their affairs. If a society or country is structured or established without such due consideration so as to conform to what the people actually want then such a society or country becomes morally illegal and must not be allowed to exist since the essence of every human society is the well-being of the human beings in it.
From the above therefore the question of whether a forcefully united one-Nigeria is moral and legitimate becomes very necessary. As we shall see further down in this discussion, all the various parts that make up the Nigerian union are completely and uncompromisingly disaffected and dissatisfied with their membership of the association. Each part vehemently, even violently protests their continued forced membership of the union and everyone is asking, how many more children, women and men need to be murdered to sustain this unworkable one-Nigeria? Or for how much longer shall the existence of a state continue to be held as more precious and sanctified than the lives of its human members? Perhaps there will never be a more warped reasoning than that; some kind of putting the cart before the horse. Absurd, isn’t it?
Igbo people are not Muslims. They are either Christians or Animists. And they also make up a significant part of those forced into the unworkable one-Nigerian union. Currently they have several organized groups that are protesting their continued membership of Nigeria. The Igbo ethnic group with a population of 55 million has a homeland within the ancient Biafra Land. They are among the many indigenous ethnic groups that make up the original inhabitants of the Lower Niger/Delta basin. Biafra Land and her peoples straddle the great Niger River starting from just below the Niger’s confluence with the Benue down to the Atlantic Ocean. Biafra’s territory stretches from the deep south of swamp and mangrove forests of the Atlantic coastal line of more than seven hundred kilometers to the outline edges of the semi-grasslands of Edo, Nsukka through to Ogoja, into the stretches of the Obudu Plateau at the foot of the mountain ranges of Sankwala Mountains and all the way into the Bakassi Penisula. 44 years ago they were forced through persecution resulting from deeply entrenched ethnic/religious hatred and eventual pogrom against them, to seek to separate themselves from the Nigerian union. For three years they fought a bitter war of Survival known as Biafra War and at the end 3.1 million of the Igbo/Biafra people were murdered by the Nigerian state in the worst atrocious genocide that has ever taken place on the African continent. After the War, Biafra was again forced back to the unworkable one-Nigeria but in spite of everything they are still bent on opting out to reestablish their sovereignty in their Republic of Biafra. It is their fundamental right as human beings to actively seek Self Actualization or Self Determination and be in total control of their lives, territory and destiny. It is legal and many other people in other places are doing the same thing. Why not Biafrans?
On the 22nd of September, 2011, 44 years on since Biafrans first seceded from Nigeria and were forced back through the genocidal murder of 3.1 million of them, a group of Muslim men of the North of Nigeria rounded up 5 Igbo or Biafrans and asked them to recite the Koran as proof that they were fit to reside within their territory, Islamic territory, the 5 failed and they were shot there and then pointblank. The five Igbo (Biafra) people killed in Mandala, Nigeria on that date were identified as John Kalu, Oliver Ezemah, Uche Nguweze, and Sunday Emmanuel. The fifth victim was yet to be identified by name. Needless to repeat it, it is just one point in the cleansing process. The only viable option, it goes without saying, is to encourage and actively work for a speedy Self Determination process for the various agitating groups within the Nigerian union. Let each group go their separate ways in a peaceful, orderly and civilized manner or they can continue to maintain a forced unity to the unnecessary death and destruction of human lives and property.
Nigeria by official definition is supposed to be a secular state and all its citizens irrespective of their religious persuasions are supposed to be free to reside and do business in any part of the country of their choice without discriminations or molestations by the government or fellow citizens. The country’s law and constitution is supposed to guarantee this. But experience has always proved that for any legal system to be implementable and effective in any society, it must be firmly rooted and essentially emanate from the people’s culture and way of life. Unfortunately in the case of Nigeria such is not true and can never be since there are too many antagonistic peoples and cultures that detest each other as fellow citizens of the same country. The Nigerian union’s experience is too fictitious and unrealistic such that none of its constitutional and legal injunctions can ever be effectively applied to any of the divergent and mutually distrusting societies or nations forced into an unworkable artificiality.
So the issue of a unified and functional society or country can never happen in the Nigerian experience, those at their best can only be described as mere wishes based on no known realistic facts. The truth is that the actual peoples who make up the Nigerian union have very deep-rooted religious persuasions that are radically opposed to each other. For the indigenous peoples that make up Nigeria they are always willing to live or die for their religious beliefs. Each ethnic group has their own cultural/religious norms which they have grown accustomed to over the many centuries of their existence in their original homelands. The other truth is that these cultures and ethnicities had always lived well as good neighbors who admired or were awed by each other’s ways but never worked cohesively as a mélange of cultural cocktail within a defined choking geographical/political space. The various peoples had mutual respect for one another from distinctive distances but never as citizens of the same society or country. Forcing these very divergent groups of peoples whose ways and customs are opposed to each other without any rational recourse to what is real and true is not just sheer insensitivity but absolute callousness and stupidity. Such display of stark foolishness has not only cost the various ethnic societies or nations progress, prosperity and development but also multiplied millions of lives killed in cold blood and untold amount of lost wealth and opportunities.
The irrational forced fusing of these mutually antagonistic peoples and cultures is not only the highest kind of absurdity but the demonic act of consciously choosing death, retrogression and all forms of undignified human existence over life, decency, progress, security, prosperity and development. In the case of the Igbo/Biafra people this madness of one-Nigerian existence has caused them, as we already mentioned, well over three point one million of their children, women and men who were deliberately starved to early graves and murdered so brutally for no other reason than the fact that they are hated by their “fellow citizens” of the murderous one-Nigeria.
Now that figure of the Biafran Genocide of 1966 to 1970 is the worst gruesome mass-murder and crime against humanity that has ever taken place on the African continent. As we have stated, as terrible as that crime is which of course must be redressed and the cost of procedure of prosecution is the collective responsibility of every Igbo/Biafra person anywhere in the world. But the Igbo/Biafrans’ plight and persecution do not seem to have any end in the one-Nigerian arrangement. 22nd of September 2011 continues to reinforce the only truth and reality of the fact that Igbo/Biafra people can never one day wish away the necessity and urgency of the Biafran State; a separate Homeland from Nigeria. It is only through that way shall another 22 September be permanently and effectively prevented from happening again against Igbo/Biafran people in Nigeria. All people of Igbo/Biafran origin as a matter of self-preservation must urgently and vigorously pursue the freedom and independence of a sovereign state of Biafra separate from the Nigerian union.
This effort for Biafra’s freedom calls for the enlistment of all people from within Biafra Land without any form of reservation. At this stage (and it has always been) the situation calls for all leaders and politicians from this area (Biafra Area) of the present Nigeria to own up to their responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to actively identify with the plight of their own people. This is not the time to be politically correct and play to the gallery or compromise their people’s survival in order to be seen as “civilized and educated and sophisticated”, what some people call “political correctness”. This time calls for true and pragmatic leadership and astute politicking. And among the many qualities of the leader is being able to analyze situations as they affect their people and environment correctly, being bold enough to act based on their convictions but above all basing those persuasions and actions on the true and realistic feelings and opinions of the people the leaders and politicians are representing. The leader must be conscious of the fact that his true worth and reason for being who he is can only be based on the feelings and wishes of the people he is leading or representing. At this time in Nigeria Igbo/Biafra politicians and leaders must openly and publicly work at freeing their people from Nigeria. The situation as we have it has reached the height of life and death affair. It is either Biafras leave the Nigerian union now or perish away as a people.
This wish and desire of the people is legitimate and morally right and nothing to be secretive or ashamed of. The politicians and leaders can pursue this wholesome act of self-preservation through the introduction of legislations and other methods that are within the gambits of their individual and collective strengths and callings. No one should be ashamed at working to save and secure lives and means of livelihood of a hated, oppressed and continuously-being-murdered people, especially when they are those of their own kith and kin. It is also important to state here that there is absolutely nothing wrong in any group from this part of Nigeria, no matter how highly or lowly placed, to engage in any form of clandestine activities, even subversive ones to free their people and Homeland from the current one-Nigeria arrangement. Because of how dire the situation of the Igbo/Biafra people is in Nigeria, any method anyone adopts to free themselves and homeland from the one-Nigerian death and destruction entrapment is totally justified. To put it another way, Igbo/Biafrans are looking for a hero or heroes, those politicians and leaders who are bold and persuaded and passionate about saving their people. This is how to attain immortality. For all who want to live forever, this is the way. Accept this challenge to do well on the behalf of others and you will live forever.
The reader can read further on this topic on what Igbo politicians and leaders should do concerning the many dangers facing their people in Nigeria and the threats of imminent annihilation of their race should they continue in the Nigerian union. The title of the said piece is; Biafra, the 5 Murdered Igbo and Igbo/Biafra Leaders/Politicians.