- Biafra: The war rages on by other means
- Secession: 'Igbo'll be greater losers'
- Who wants Biafra?
- Timely Warning To Nigerians!
- BIAFRA AS AN IDEOLOGY
- Northern House Of Assembly Proceedings, February - March 1964
- Ndigbo and Biafra: You want Biafra? What are your plans?
- Where are our leaders? Who are our leaders?
Biafra: The war rages on by other means
With defeat in sight, on 11th January, 1970, Gens. Ojukwu and Alexander Madiebo, the commander of Biafran army, fled for exile. It was the man that the white reporters called F-young (Gen. Philip Effiong) that did the needful by handing over to then Col. Obasanjo the instrument of surrender. So on 15th January 1970, Gen. Gowon received the Biafran delegation and thus announced the end of the war on the terms of "no victor no vanquished."
Secession: 'Igbo'll be greater losers'
By Tony Okafor, Awka
~Punch Nigeria. Tuesday, July 4, 2017.
|Chief George Moghalu|
The National Treasurer of the All Progressives Congress, Chief George Moghalu, has asked the Igbo to perish the thought of seceding from Nigeria.
He said the Igbo should rather embrace the clamour for restructuring.
Moghalu, who is aspiring for the governorship of Anambra State in the November 18 poll, said the Igbo would stand to lose out should the Biafra project work out.
Speaking on a platform, Anambra Consensus Forum, in Awka, Moghalu posited that 50 per cent of the property in Abuja and Lagos were owned by the Igbo, wondering where owners of such property would be accommodated in the few South-East states.
He said the Biafra fate was worsened when the Niger Delta states dissociated themselves from the struggle.
Expressing worry that most of those clamouring for Biafra secession were ignorant of what they were asking for, the APC governorship aspirant noted that the same people talking about Igbo presidency in 2023 were the ones talking about Biafra.
He said, "A lot of these agitators can't distinguish between restructuring and secession. You can restructure a country, a government and how things are done; but secession is breaking away completely.
"You can't be talking about Igbo presidency in 2023 and at the same time talking about Biafra secession.
"Where are we even coming back to? Will these five states contain all of us? We will be the greatest losers."
He added that most of the people involved in the agitation did not witness the civil war, adding that Biafra of the civil war era was no longer the Biafra of today.
"Those being killed on a daily basis are people's children, they are husbands of women. Those igniting this fire, their wives and children are not here. By the time it starts, they will all run away and leave us to die.
"History has shown that no conflict has ever ended on the battlefield. It always ends on the negotiation table."
Who wants Biafra?
Written by Minabere Ibelema
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, June 18, 2017.
In studies of political movements, there is one constant finding: the sway of extreme elements is always disproportionate to their numbers. They are more fanatical. Their rhetoric is more emotional. And they don't hesitate to threaten or intimidate those who hold less radical views. When level heads fail to prevail, the outcome is often disastrous.
That was certainly the case in the events leading to the secession of Eastern Nigeria in 1967. The pogrom against Easterners in Northern Nigeria was the precipitating event. Yet, historians have noted that the horrors per se were not enough to make the Eastern populace want to exit Nigeria. The prevailing view was that the country was undergoing a horrific crisis but normalcy would be restored. The declaration of secession was propelled by those who opted for the most radical option, and that included those who were driven by political ambition.
The horror of the pogrom was real, as was the anger it generated. But it was the exploitation of the emotions through massive propaganda that generated popular support for secession.
Lt. Col. Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, the military governor of Eastern Nigeria, told the world that he declared secession after due consultation. But quite a few historians and other Biafran leaders take issue with that claim. Among them is Ntieyong U. Akpan, who headed the Biafran civil service."[T]he majority of people in former Eastern Nigeria, including the Ibos, did not initially support secession, and would have rejected the whole idea if they had been freely and fairly consulted,"Akpan wrote in his memoirs, "The struggle for secession, 1966-1970."
Of course, fair consultation in the context was hardly possible. Emotions ruled and empowered the radical stance. Alas, that history may be repeating itself.
There is certainly an indication of that in the communique issued by a coalition of Igbo groups in response to the Arewa youths' ultimatum that the Igbo should leave the North by Oct. 1. In the communique, the Eastern Consultative Assembly demands that the Igbo be allowed to leave Nigeria if the country is not restructured immediately. "Restructure Nigeria now or let us go," the communiqué asserts.
Any student of group dynamics would readily discern that this statement is a compromise between radical and moderate wings of the assembly. If the pattern of such discussions held true, the radicals pushed for an independent Biafra while the moderates called for restructuring. With such polar positions, it is inevitable that a compromise would yield a demand for the improbable: Restructure now or let us go.
That the moderates acquiesced to the "now" demand is a demonstration of the sway of radical elements, a sway that will probably loom larger with time. Incidentally, the name Eastern Consultative Assembly was lifted from Ojukwu's strategy book.
General Yakubu Gowon's administration created 12 states out of four regions virtually overnight. But Nigeria is now a democracy, and in democracies, nothing happens overnight, not even the replacement of a broken street light. There are deliberations, negotiations, rejections and compromises, and these take a while to play out.
The Arewa youths that issued an ultimatum to the Igbo also seem bent on reprising the horror meted out to their 1966 counterparts. The only difference is that this time round they are humane enough to give a three-month grace period.
Northerners bore the brunt of the bloodshed of the January 1966 coup, which was led by Igbo officers. Yet the pogrom against the Igbo and other Easterners didn't begin until several months later. It evidently wasn't spontaneous mass hysteria. It was fermented by radicals - both civilian and military - who saw an opportunity to settle ethnic scores and advance political ambitions.
Despite the incitation, most Northerners were still horrified by the mass killings of people with whom they had lived peaceably for years. Had the masses in the North been as bloodthirsty as the radicals, few Igbo would have escaped. Quite the contrary, many Northerners provided shelter and facilitated Igbo escapes. Moreover, as General Joseph Garba recounted in his own memoirs, "'Revolution' in Nigeria: Another View," the bloodshed would have been much worse had many Northern officers not risked their lives to quell it.
A tragic aspect of the current Biafra advocacy and radical Northern response is that both sides seem immersed in parochial views of the realities of the 1960s crises. There appears to be little awareness of the complications caused by the expulsion of Easterners from the North, not to talk of the loss of about one million lives during the ensuing civil war.
In the ultimate case of strange bed fellows, the Arewa youths' ultimatum was supported by Biafra advocates MASSOB. Yet the expulsion of the 1960s caused considerable problems on both sides. Even before the outbreak of the civil war, a major crisis in Igboland was the challenge of accommodating hundreds of thousands of Igbo in a highly densely populated area. Ironically, that problem was eased by the drafting of young men into the Biafran army to fight and die.
The North experienced a reverse problem: a skills vacuum. With the departure of Igbo tradesmen and professionals-physicians, engineers, administrators -many Northern establishments found themselves barely functional. As then Major General Olusegun Obasanjo recounted in his own memoirs, "My Command," the Army Corps of Engineers in the North was so depleted it had to resort to a crash programme for re-staffing.
These are just scratching the surface of the complications, and they are certain to re-occur, probably in greater magnitude.
Perhaps because I am not privy to the details of the neo-Biafra advocacy, I am not sure that there is a projected map of the advocated Biafra. In 1967, the boundary was easy enough to determine: Eastern Nigeria became Biafra. Today, things are a lot more complicated. So, when the Eastern Consultative Assembly demands immediate restructuring or "let us go," what do they mean by "us"? Just the Igbo or other Easterners, as the name suggests?
The map of the advocated Biafra would seem easy enough if it is exclusively for the Igbo, but it isn't that simple. It begs the question of who are the Igbo? Are the Ikwerre of Rivers State included? They are an amalgam of Igbo and Ijaw cultures. How about the Midwestern Igbo, with their similarly hybrid identity?
Things get a lot more complicated, of course, if "us" includes all Easterners. Non-Igbo Easterners were the least enthusiastic for the 1960s Biafra. Though sentiments have shifted somewhat over the years, it is improbable that a majority would embrace Biafra now that they have their own states. There may be considerable strife over such a choice.
Like the many other multi-ethnic countries around the globe, Nigeria is like a marriage involving many people. As with actual marriages, if one spouse incessantly expresses the desire to get out, there is bound to be a souring of interest all around. The Arewa youths' ultimatum to the Igbo is readily a dangerous development in this regard.
Unlike in 1966, when things quickly got out of hand, the indications are that moderates will contain the political extremes this time. And their clarion call may well be another version of the triple Rs: re-negotiation, redistribution and/or restructuring.
Timely Warning To Nigerians!
"OMAR BANGURA from Sierra Leone has this to tell Nigerians;"
"I don't think you guys know what you are playing with. You can call each other names and laugh about it now but when you end up inciting hate here as I read through your posts here and a real civil war starts in your country you will regret what you are doing now. Your religious and political leaders are trying to divide you between religious lines and you are helping them do that rather than standing up and say we are all Nigerians never mind our tribe, region or religion. That's the only stand that will save your blessed nation.
The foreign powers pushing the government to take certain decisions will abandon you when you start killing one another and reject you from running to their countries so be careful. Our 11 year war in Sierra Leone was not even based on religious or tribal difference and see what we did to our country.
The worst conflicts are those based on tribal and religious differences. See Central Africa, Bosnia, South Sudan and Rwanda. To have a better knowledge of this, please watch the documentary/movie called _"Hotel Rwanda"_ or _"Sometime in April"._ My heart bleeds when I read what you guys are saying because I know what this will lead to. _*You will be the losers all of you whether Christian, Muslim, igbo, yoruba or hausa.*_ Stand as one and save your nation together because you have only one Nigeria that has the potential to lead Africa."
BIAFRA AS AN IDEOLOGY
When the Biafran war happened, Igbos were ill-prepared. Ojukwu's blood was hot - an age factor. He failed to look into the future and how much Igbos would lose in that war.
He took many Igbo young men and wasted them in different sectors of war. And achieved nothing. In the end, he ran away to Cote d'Ivoire - with a WOMAN. And moved on.
I am passionate about the Biafran ideology.
But I won't be a party to bad strategy.
The spirit warned Ojaadili, "Ojaadili, agbakwana chi gi mgba". Don't wrestle with your chi.
I prefer to see Biafra as an ideology than a country. That's my take.
I will suggest this any day, any time.
Igbos want a country to be called Biafra.
Sometimes, I just wake up and begin to laugh at this humongous Biafran dream.
It is good to dream - don't get me wrong.
But permit me to say that Igbos are not diplomatic dreamers.
So Igbos who are busy building the best hotels, schools; estates, businesses, bus stations etc in the South-West and North of Nigeria, want a country to be named Biafra with its capital located where???? Excuse me??
Ibeto hotels in Abuja is owned by an Igbo man.
New Nyanya, a major transportation company that dominates northern routes is owned by an Igbo man.
Efab estates in different parts of Abuja are owned by an Igbo man.
Rock Foundation Schools, one of the three best schools in Wukari in Taraba State is owned by an Igbo woman. Deo Gratias schools in different parts of Abuja are owned by an Igbo woman.
Many young, hustling Igbo ladies own tasty houses in Abuja and Lagos.
Show me a Fulani man who owns big schools in Awka.
Show me a Yoruba woman who built classy schools in Nsukka.
Show me a Tiv man who has classy hotels in Owerri.
Show me a Jukun woman who owns a big hotel in Aba.
Show me an Igbira man who owns many estates in Enugu.
Apart from Dangote's trucks that pass by Igboland for delivery, show me one Hausa man whose transportation company is domiciled in Abakiliki.
Every Yoruba man I have seen in Igboland is either a tailor or a banker or telecom worker who owns an inconsequential one-room apartment with a miserable mattress for sleeping or straffing ambitious Igbo girls who want to be laid and a miserable bucket to wash down.
Every northern ethnic minority or majority I know in Igboland is either a driver of a commuter passing by, on temporal posting by his or her company; a well-digger, farmer, fisherman, shoemaker or banker in TRANSIT with a room to lay his head.
It is only Igbos that have the mind to live in Sokoto and Bauchi with their wives and kids, establish businesses and make investments.
And the next thing, they're talking about Biafra.
Do you plan to uproot those houses and other investments or what?
Now, this three-month ultimatum ...
Why not? Why won't they? They know you will lose again like in 1970.
Where are the agitators asking for a new country? It is time to host their brethren who will soon saunter home for safety. Prepare rooms for them please. Those northern youths mean business.
If you have lived in Northern Nigeria, you would know that hausas don't play. When they mean war, it is war. One hausa man can disorganise a million people. They get mind ooooh. One of them can go on suicide bombing just to exterminate a thousand southerners in a motor park.
Those guys don't joke. Don't be deceived that they are mere threats. They make good their threats. i don't see this APC government interested in frustrating that threat.
Igbos, start tidying up to push eastwards.
Decongest your presence in northern Nigeria. Stand one leg ... like a chicken brought to a new ground. Stop feeling at home if indeed, you want Biafra. Invest in the east. Have only annexes in these other states.
You make yourselves vulnerable when you live like this.
Keep your wives and kids at Enugu, Aba, Onitsha etc, and after chasing money, return home. Have a miserable room to lay your heads and straff their babes if you can deal.
Go HOME. Stop strutting the northern areas like you are helpless.
They hate you. With the strongest passion. They have only been tolerating you. And now, they are done. Peace? It's over.
Don't be that tree that waited till men came with machetes to make firewood of it.
I am pushing eastwards next month. I won't wrestle my chi. It's no one-Nigeria anything.
The one who wins the war is the one who strategises better.
Nnamdi Kanu is human.
Don't always take his words for it.
People change as they grow older. The Ojukwu that returned to Nigeria in the 80s turned out different from the one who led the Biafrans to war.
He had his regrets before he died. He identified the Biafran mistakes.
Yet Ojukwu was a brave stock.
Ten years from today, Kanu's disposition won't remain the same. Mark this.
Because he is human.
Ojukwu's family experienced the war. All his kids and official and secondary wives all experienced it.
Kanu's wife and kids are in the UK.
Ndigbo, ubelegede k'ana ekene eze mmuo.
I hate to employ clichés, but a stitch in time ...
This masterpiece is written by Ifedimma Onwugbufor ....a great poet and Prophetess as I use to call her
Northern House Of Assembly Proceedings, February - March 1964
Below is an extract from the proceedings of the Northern Region House of Assembly between February and March 1964, less than four years after Nigeria’s independence from the British. I have nothing to add. Read and judge for yourself:
Mallam Muhammadu Mustapha Mande Gyan:
On the allocation of plots to Ibos or allocation of stalls, I would like to advise the Minister that these people know how to make money, and we do not know the way and manner of getting about this business. We do not want Ibos to be allocated with plots. I do not want them to be given plots…
Mallam Bashari Umaru:
I would like (you), as a Minister of Land and Survey, to revoke forthwith all Certificates of Occupancy from the hands of the Ibos resident in the Region… (Applause)
Mr. A. A. Agogede:
I’m very glad that we are in a Moslem country, and the government of Northern Nigeria allowed some few Christians in the region to enjoy themselves according to the belief of their religion, but building of hotels should be taken away from the Igbos, and even if we find some Christians who are interested in building hotels and do not have money to do so, the government should aid them, instead of allowing Ibos to continue with their hotels.
Dr. Iya Abubakar (Special Member, Lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria):
I am one of the strong believers in Nigerian unity, and I have hoped for our having a united Nigeria, but certainly if the present state of affairs continues, I hope the government will investigate first the desirability and secondly the possibility of extending Northernisation policy to the petty traders. (Applause)
Mallam Mukhtar Bello:
I would like to say something very important, that the Minister should take my appeal to the Federal Government about the Igbos in the post office. I wish the numbers of these Igbos be reduced…. There are too many of them in the North. They are like sardines and 1 think they are just too dangerous to the Region.
Mallam Ibrahim Musa:
Mr. Chairman, Sir. Well first and foremost, what I have to say before this Hon. House is that we should send a delegation to meet our Hon. Premier to move a motion in this very Budget Session that all the Ibos working in the Civil Service of Northern Nigeria, including the native authorities, whether they are contractors or not, should be repatriated at once…
Mallam Bashari Umaru:
There should be no contracts either from the government, native authorities, or private enterprises given to Ibo contractors (Government Bench: Good talk and shouts of “Fire the Southerners”). Again, Mr. Chairman, the foreign firms too should be given time limit to replace all Ibo in their firms by some other people.
The Premier (Alhaji the Hon. Sir Ahmadu Bello, K.B.E., Sardauna of Sokoto):
It is my most earnest desire that every post in the region, however small it is, be filled by a Northerner (Applause)
Alhaji Usman Liman:
What brought the Ibos into this region? They were here since the colonial days. Had it not been for the colonial rule, there would hardly have been any Ibo in this region. Now that there is no colonial rule, the Ibos should go back to their region. There should be no hesitation about the matter. Mr. Chairman, North is for Northerners, East for Easterners, West for Westerners, and the Federation is for us all. (Applause)
The Minister of Land and Survey (Alhaji the Hon. Ibrahim Musa Cashash, O.B.E.):
Mr. Chairman. Sir, I do not like to take up much of the time of this House in making explanations, but I would like to assure members that having heard their demands about Ibos holding land in Northern Nigeria, my ministry will do all it can to see that the demands of members are met. How to do this, when to do it, al1 these should not be disclosed. In due course, you will all see what will happen. (Applause)
Ndigbo and Biafra: You want Biafra? What are your plans?
By Ogbonnaya Ifeanyi Ify
Ndigbo and Biafra: Where are our leaders? Who are our leaders?
By Ogbonnaya Ifeanyi Ify
My post this morning is to all my Igbo brothers and sisters. I am posting this mindful of the insults and abuses I will receive. I'm prepared to take them.
Ndigbo, o gini n'eme anyi? Onye mere anyi ifea? I thought the Igbo man is intelligent? I thought the Igbo man is smart? Where and how did we get it wrong? How can we expose ourselves to the current ridicule we are facing in Nigeria? A country we have invested so much in all nooks and crannies? Investments that many are jealous of. Investments you want destroyed or lost? A country we have fought and lost a war? Who learns from his own experience if not a fool? Are we foolish?
Where are our leaders? Who are our leaders?
My people say " ilokalia, ezelu ufodu". How can we be abusing and insulting everybody and be hoping to attain independence with their support? Independence to what end? Independence for a people without leadership? Independence for a people that are not united? Independence for a people who have investments running into billions scattered across the same nation we are running away from?
Ndigbo, how do we think we can win this latest agitation by abusing, insulting and threatening everybody. "Yorubas are cowards". "Hausas are cows ". "Niger Delta people are lazy". "Everybody is against us". "Everybody hates us". Let me ask, who do we like? Who are we smarter than? Must we expose our flanks by rude and brazen talks?
You want Biafra? What are you plans? What are your strategies? You want to adopt Judaism? You want to bow and worship Nnamdi Kanu? Who is he? What is his pedigree? What are his plans? Where is he leading you?
Our brothers in the diaspora, you sit in your comfort zone where you enjoy freedom of speech and of association and you hold Biafra rallies, puting your kith and kin at home in jeopardy. What is it? What is wrong with us?
In Mbaise, Imo state, Igbos have refused that their Igbo brother from Anambra cannot be bishop in a Catholic church. The Pope, the supreme leader who cannot be faulted when he speaks ex cathedra, has spoken and the clergy, religious have disobeyed him. And you want Biafra where ordinary people will preside? Once you achieve Biafra, all your problems will vanish? We will become paradise by mere proclamation?
Ndigbo, o gini? Where are your leaders?
Where are our politicians? They are busy buying choice property and building estates. In Anambra, they are seeking Kanu's endorsement to become governor. Ewooooooo!
My people, my people, my people, nsogbu di. Ezigbo nsogbu. Let nobody deceive you. We are making a very big mistake. A costly mistake. And we will regret it.
I am tired of reading quotations from renowned authors. I want common sense to prevail. I urge everybody to speak up. Talk to our youths and traders who are misguided and angry.
We are marginalized. But what have our political leaders past and present done to look inwards? Onye ajulu ona aju onweya? We had our people in GEJ government. What did they do? We supported GEJ, and still support him, what did he do for us?
Now nnaemeka Post counter arguments with facts. Ekwusigo kwam