Friday, 22 September 2017 18:36

Biafra is not a Person. It Cannot be Killed by a Bullet

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There is a great desire on the part of President Buhari and his henchmen to arrest, detain suffocate and may be even kill Mr. Nnamdi Kanu the head of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The belief is that once Mr. Kanu is out of the way, Biafra would be killed. Those who think thus are unaware of the history of Biafra.

There was once a man by the name of Emeka Ojukwu who preached the gospel of Biafra. He was the most hated name in Nigeria except in the eastern provinces where he was worshipped. Ojukwu was forced out of Nigeria and Biafra seemed dead for a while. All the other people who were expected to take up the mantle of Biafran leadership were compromised and it appeared that Biafra was truly dead. All these happened before a young boy to be later known as Nnamdi Kanu was born.

Ojukwu was not an Igbo man really. He knew more of Lagos, Kano, London, etc. growing up than he knew Nnewi. I doubt that he attended any more than two years of primary/high school in Igbo land. Yet he got the message of Biafra. So it is with Kanu. He did not see any of the horrors of the first Biafran war. Like Ojukwu he was probably more at home in London than in Umuahia. He too got the call to come lead Biafra to freedom.

The lesson is that if Kanu is forced out of Biafra, like Ojukwu, Biafra will still not die. Biafra is neither Ojukwu nor Kanu. It cannot be killed with a bullet or in Operation Python, Lion, Tiger, Crocodile, etc. Dances. Biafra is an idea. Do not mess with an idea whose time has come. Biafra is an idea whose time has come.

Just as a man can be subdued by a stronger man so idea can only be subdued by a stronger idea. And this is what is lacking in the armory of President Buhari and his praise singers. Ojukwu’s Biafra consisted of what is now known as SE and SS. But Kanu’s Biafra includes parts of Benue, Kogi and of course SE and SS. Kanu’s Biafra is creating possible Free States of Oduduwa among others. Buhari should take note of the changes on the ground. General Brutai is not the answer. He has neither the military strategies, nor metal capacity to lead. As Chief of Defense he has recorded no military victories and has not proposed any known military philosophy let alone any political initiative. He is no General Powell. He cannot implement orders given him such as “defeat Boko Haram by December 2016”, and he gives orders that his officers disregard without consequences such as “capture dead or alive” the BK leader in forty days. He is neither a leader nor a commander.

All the current efforts to defeat Biafra will come to nothing. These efforts include declaring IPOB a terrorist organization. It will have no effect even when all the constitutional requirements are met. Buhari/Brutai military may continue or intensify their military solution; Operation Python Dance may be justified in their minds; it could even lead to the militarization of all of SS and SE that has already begun but they would not bring Biafra to her knees. Each has been tried before to no avail. Biafra is not a military problem. It is an idea.

There is a superior idea that will defeat Biafra and until PMB understands this idea he will die a frustrated man. He has fought Biafra since 1967 and he is no closer today than he was in 1967. This idea is restructuring the country to look close to what it looked like before independence. The structure then was a weak central government and strong regions. The regions were attractive enough for Bellow to remain in the north and to send his deputy to Lagos; attractive enough for Awolowo to remain in Ibadan. It was as premier of Western Nigeria that Awo made his greatest contribution to Nigeria; attractive enough for Zik to do his greatest work in Eastern Nigeria. It was when Nigeria started trending to a strong center that Zik and Awolowo left the regions for Eko and things have not been the same since.

If Nigeria is to be one again, we must follow the idea of confederation or at least a true federation, not a federation in name only as we now have. We must follow the worldwide trend. UK has moved to a federal government by the recognition of Northern Ireland Parliament with powers, the Scottish Parliament with powers and very soon Welsh Parliament. Quebec in Canada is now pretty much independent of Ottawa in many areas of governing.

Will Nigeria listen? Will PMB keep pursuing his lifelong dream of defeating Biafra?  Will General (?) Brutai stop being Brutai?

There is still time but not much.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 22, 2017

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Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.