Have you seen the video of the Biafra Remembrance Day in Germany or the one in South Africa?
They were as colourful as the Biafran flag and mimicked the Mmanwu Festival.
They were lively and benefitted from the sunshine ala the rising sun.
Contrast this image with the lament that was the Biafra Remembrance Day in the South East!
Citizens cowered in their homes for fear of their self-proclaimed defenders IPOB and ESN and the enemy pretending to be the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army. It was a Hobbesian choice: heads you lose, tails you do not win.
Years after the fact, the Governors of the South-East and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, have now come out to support a formal declaration of 30 May as Biafra Remembrance Day. So little too late.
Remembrance of Biafra Day brought out the beast in President Muhammadu Buhari. He spoke from the heart to remind Ndigbo of the civil war. According to him, in tweets and a television presentation:
“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has treated the South East in the language he speaks and understands since coming to office. He has never pretended about his hatred for Ndigbo, this man whose supporters always complain about how his traducers “hate” him.
Under him, any criticism amounts to hate.
Twitter deleted PMB’s tweet for hate speech. It has drawn global attention to the thinking in the epicentre of the Nigerian government. It is not sufficient, unfortunately.
Ndigbo have every right to complain about Buhari. They should also be concerned about the safety of lives and properties in the South East as the Federal Government sends troops to the region to commence an undeclared war without the knowledge and approval of the National Assembly.
Unfortunately, there is enough blame to go around. Igbo ancestors advised on the virtue of introspection. They cautioned about counting the cost before embarking on any activity. I drew on the wisdom of the ancients two weeks ago when I told our people that “Circumspection is the higher courage.” https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2021/05/23/circumspection-is-the-higher-courage/.
I also spoke about the plans to draw the South-East into a plot, frame and set it up.
“It is tempting to do a lamentation or to flare up in rage. Instead, I submit that Ndigbo should apply the ancient ako na uche. Ako is the intellect, while uche is the spirit. Ana ma ako ama, mana ana enwe uche. The uche is inbred and guides those willing to listen to its still small voice. These times call for Circumspection and the wisdom of the serpent.
“Please resist the urge to engage in the free-flowing denunciation and abuse of Malami and fellows of his ilk. His statement is part of the provocation to gather stuff with which to accuse you.”
I ended the admonition by observing, “Ndigbo should respond with equanimity to these deliberate provocations from the agitation and propaganda playbook. It is a classic divide and rule. There is no time for bombast or Egbe Onu. Time to meet in the Imeobi. Time for elders to speak up and for young men to act wisely.”
Unfortunately, Igbo elders have refused to speak, and young Igbo men have continued to act foolishly. Nnamdi Kanu leads the now huge organisation IPOB. His actions turn into an unintended consequence of enemy action against his fatherland while misguided people -young and old- hail him. Take an example.
In previous interventions, I doubted the origins of unknown shooters. Many factors accounted for this, including Imo State governor Hope Uzodinma’s statement that more than 70 per cent of criminals arrested for UGM actions were not Igbo. It was abominable to have 30 per cent as homeboys!
On 1 June 2021, Kanu cleared all doubts for me when he glorified the destruction of the home of someone. He tweeted: “Unknown gunmen visited a saboteur residence in Abia State today. Results will shock you. All of them must receive this holy ghost baptism one by one. Evangelism continues”.
Abominable conduct and justification. Has IPOB played into the hands of a more potent force deploying deception and all the tools in the book of war against it?
Do these include false flag operations that mimic the idiocy of UGM and deepen it? Reports from victims say so. Add the orders of the Acting Inspector General of Police to his men to ignore fundamental human rights, and we have a war ongoing in Igboland currently centred on Imo State.
Where are the elders of Ala Igbo? Who or what shut their mouths?
Is it the renowned selfishness?
Is it some fear, though our people brag about our courage? How can the land be without elders?
Please let no one mention the alleged intransigence of IPOB. I do not subscribe to it, and I have one telling recent incident to debunk it. Remember when the so-called Supreme Leader railed against the establishment of a vigilante outfit by Onitsha? The Obi of Onitsha rose to his height and that of his office to caution him. Kanu changed his tone and backed down.
Where is the Obi of Onitsha, and what are his thoughts on what is happening in the land? Does the South-East not have three former Senate presidents living between Abuja and the Igbo homeland? Do we not also have a former Deputy Senate President who is still in the Senate? Or is it military chiefs in the Army and the Navy?
Both the South-East Governors Forum and Ohanaeze Ndigbo affirm that the Igbo stand is for restructuring consistent with Southern Nigeria. Speak up and engage the South-East on this. Speak up and engage those in Abuja eager to push Ndigbo out. Then have optional plans. Your people are lost; since nature abhors a vacuum, they are going in a particular direction.
Halt the drift. Now.