BiaFRAUD: Open Letter To The Igbo Nation

Dear Igbos,

I hope my article meets you people well as you go about your daily businesses. The Igbos are highly industrious people who have risen from diverse humble backgrounds to the zenith. I was opportuned to watch the interview of the owner of Nigerian car distribution  company, Coscharis in the person of Dr. Cosmas Maduka  on Channels Television, who is an Easterner and I said to myself, Igbos are blessed people instituting financial breakthroughs in spite of the economical hardships and limitations Nigeria is faced with. This is just one of several inspirational stories of Igbo people who have broken the chains of generational poverty to a life of affluence. I am from the South-South part of Nigeria, Edo state to be specific but I grew up in Ibadan, South-West dominated by Yorubas. I must confess I never really liked the Igbos but as fate will have it, my boss is Igbo and several of my colleagues. Every day, I study the Igbos around me and the kind of vision they carry baffles me. I believe God anointed their hands to succeed in businesses. An Igbo man's entrepreneurial skills are in-born, he mayn't be able to read nor right, but his practical analysis of business strategies and ideas could beat a scholar in business studies with several postgraduate degrees.

An average Igbo man loves the good provisions of life. He wants to make money and live life to the fullest. In making money, there should be an enabling ground for his business to strive well which ranges from adequate security of lives and properties, loan facilities, favourable government policies E.t.c. Even in the face of inadequate social amenities to boost business growth and development, the Igbos have survived. The Igbos have spread across all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria as well as the world as a whole in a quest to exploit business opportunities. They have recorded massive successes that betray the capabilities of their academic qualifications.

Today, the advocacy of Biafra movement is an aberration to what the Igbos stand for. Biafra maybe called a 'movement' which I agree with but it’s more retrogressive than progressive. I shed tears when I read news about Pro-Biafra activists being killed or maimed under highly controversial circumstances by security operatives like the way the Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states was shut down on the 6th of November during a 'one million man March’ It confirms the bible passage in the book of Hosea chapter 4 verse 6 that says ''My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge''

I have to be blunt to align with a recent statement by Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the National President of the Youth wing of the Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohaneze Youth Council that the Igbo nation will incur irreparable losses from seceding from our great country, Nigeria.

 Going by the words of SALLUST, ''By union the smallest states strive. By discord the greatest are destroyed'' And also, in the words of the former American President, Woodrow Wilson, We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.

The chants of Biafra are only a reflection of how soon we have covered the indelible scars of the painful civil war of 1967 to 1970 with make-ups and beautiful clothes. Over two million beloved Nigerians from the Eastern part of Nigeria died as a result disease and hunger instigated by the blockade of food supplies by the Nigerian Army. What about the 5,000 Nigerian soldiers that were injured, captured  and annihilated while making attempts to cross the River Niger from the town of Asaba to the Biafran city of Onitsha which is just one of the many fatal damages incurred in several gun duels between the Biafran soldiers and their Nigerian counterparts.  A lot of rape cases, destruction of properties and huge waste of governmental funds in the purchase of military weapons to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria were recorded. Today, the underlying factors of the war and the activities of leaders representing major tribes like Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo who was a Federal Commissioner for Finance in 1967 to 1971 and the then military Head of state, Yabuku Gowon has caused a discord which is being directly or indirectly passed from one generation to another. This has divided us, giving us different identities as different nationalities in the same country. Over ambitious leaders have sold goods and services of discord to us under the guise of fighting for our interests.

 I started following up on the Radio Biafra Director, Nnamdi Kanu inciting violence and spreading hate messages to secure the secession of our hallowed Igbo brothers and sisters. It will stun you that the so-called Radio Biafra was registered in the United Kingdom as a company by the revolutionist, Nnamdi Kanu and he has been sourcing for funds from well meaning Igbos and other sympathizers which is diverted for this private use. This rare information was revealed by his former Public Relation Officer and supposed ex girlfriend, Chioma Amaryllis who took the pains of visiting Nigeria to ascertain the claims of Nnamdi Kanu only to discover, his freedom movement was more of an idea of a 'personal' financial freedom as an innovation Igbo man seeking recognition. Nnamdi Kanu was captured on camera speaking at an influential gathering, making demands for arms and ammunition to force a break away from our beloved nation, Nigeria.

Nnamdi Kanu who to some myopic people is towing the line of the late South African leader and legend, Nelson Mandela by making a walk from prison to greatness was discovered to have been raising a private army which flaunted guns and other dangerous weapons in readiness for the backward movement called Biafra. That is treason and it attracts a death penalty as the 1999 constitution stipulates. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 which claimed 800,000 lives officially with thousands still missing till date was ignited by the same power tussle between the Hutu and the Tutsi. The bloody occurrence later unveiled the bestial nature of men which is typical of life in a state of nature when there were no laws as Thomas Hobbes described.

Making reference to the words of the late Andrew Owoye Azazi who was the former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Boko Haram insurgence grew out of the political disparities among the factions in the People's Democratic Parties as some faceless Northern elements were aggrieved by their lack of control of power. Today, the fire of Boko Haram insurgency has been fiercely burning for 6 years claiming the lives of over 17, 000 Nigerians, over 2.5 million people displaced, massive destruction of properties, the growth of several Internally Displaced People's camps with malnourished children whose formal educational life have been distorted. We don't even need to make reference to the disruption of economic activities; discouragement of foreign investors through the negative reputation Boko Haram has earned us as well as the wastage of developmental funds that would have been used to develop several areas of the ailing economy. Nnamdi Kanu was on the road to create another Boko Haram force for Nigeria at a different location with several light-skinned fighters. It beats my imagination how an activist who is living in the comfort of his home in Europe or America without a prior taste of hardship or a practical experience of the plight of his people will become their voice. What happened to the concept of participant observation method as a tool of research?

These so-called activists nurse mischief in their hearts and publicize them. Their immediate victims are the rugged people due to their shallow state of mind. They are mostly some technicians, Motor park touts, Mechanics, Carpenters, Artisans, criminals looking for opportunities to unleash mayhem, unemployed youths who are nursing different levels of anger against the government of the day. So they take to the streets to block busy roads. At the end of protests, the news changes from activism to incidents of rape, missing phones, jewelries, innocent people being stabbed and the perceived-wealthy class subsequently attacked to show you the nature of the protesters.

Nnamdi Kanu attempted or started a race he can't finish. Nnamdi Kanu spread hate messages and failed to show us a road-map on how the Igbo nation can stand economically as a nation and guarantee the wellbeing of its citizens. He was trying to cut a suckling baby from his mother without any provision of nutrition for the toddler. It was easy for President Muhammadu Buhari to criticise the former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during the presidential campaign period but on assumption of office, he was nicknamed 'Baba Go Slow' by his supporters due to his snail pace of development. This affirms the statement that 'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'
Now Buhari is begging Nigerians for 'patience' like he wants to woo the former First Lady from Rivers state. This is the reality behind inordinate ambition and quests for power without proper planning or a vision.

As far as I am concerned, the present day agitation for the Biafra movement is what I regard as BiaFRAUD. It is clouded by selfish interests. When the 'national cake' is being shared freely in equity, our leaders will flaunt their Nigerian identities the way Nigerian entertainers flaunt their fake wealth on Instagram but dramatically, when an individual or certain individuals are short-changed in the power or resources sharing process, he uses ethnicity as a tool to brainwash people who are unaware of the underlying factors of his agitations and that is the ill-treatment politicians have put us through in the past. They school their children abroad with those ones making first class degrees at top universities across the world, while they equip the children of the common men with weapons and use them for mayhem after buying their loyalties with cheap stipends some may never live to spend. At their retirement from power through old age, they will initiate the return of their wards who will address the general public in queens English, foreign accent and wealth of knowledge that will appeal to the minds of the masses who lack exposure due to financial limitations.

On this note, I subscribe to the views of Senator Shehu Sani from Kaduna Central senatorial district in Kaduna state who reiterated that the Biafra movement is an initiative by the supporters of Jonathan to frustrate the Buhari administration as these elements were operating at very low ebb in the last four years.

It’s acceptable if you don't like the antics of President Muhammadu Buhari. His appointments have been truly sectional. I am a great fan of Buhari but his conk northern accent despite his exposure in politics over the years speaks volume of how much he is into the North. He doesn't seem to see the Nigerian nation outside the Northern part of Nigeria. This amounts to his unbeatable record in the North during the presidential elections as the cattle and other domestic animals even wished they could vote him in. He had to employ the services of the former Governor of Lagos state and All Progressives Congress, party leader leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sell him to the South-Westerners which was very successful during the election campaign period.
Buhari's time will come and go. At most, after 8 years of two terms in power which is in doubts, he will be gone as many leaders have done but our identity as Nigerians supersedes all personalities and individual interests. It will always remain. We should never let the manifestations of the ideologies of men divide us.

The secession of the Igbos and the accompanied struggle will only initiate a Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). It will cause a major setback talking a cue from the plight of the people of Sudan who broke into South Sudan and Sudan today.

My dear Igbo brothers and sisters, don't be deceived my leaders without foresight, don't fall for an adverse movement. It’s my prayer that Buhari brings the promised 'change' and if he doesn't, we will be waiting for him in 2019 like we all patiently waited for Jonathan despite his alleged campaign funds of over N2 trillion. It is my wish that my few words open closed eyes so that events can be approached clearly in the interest of peace and national unity.
Nigeria is our cross; together we will take this great country to the summit.

God bless you all.
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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