`OH BIAFRA, HOW SAD!’ That is the title of one of my blog posts on Biafra. It lamented how Igbo youth are committing avoidable suicide. First it was MASSOB unsettling long suffering Ndigbo with their protests, sometimes peaceful and at other times too robust and rough. MASSOB did nothing to endear Ndigbo, to assure them that when we get to that our dream Biafra they will be our guardians. Kogi youth invaded the site of the oil refinery Anambra State is building, killing Ndigbo with the villagers cowering in schools. There was no sign of the almighty MASSOB to defend the people they want to take to Biafra! A few years ago at least twenty bodies were reported floating on the Ezu River. The federal government and the security agencies said nothing. But we all knew they were MASSOB members killed extra judicially. How many young Ndigbo have ended up in unmarked graves?
Then MASSOB splintered giving birth to IPOB, Indigenous Peoples Of Biafra. And with it, seemingly out of nowhere, appeared Nnamdi Kanu, the new saviour of Ndigbo. The protests reached fever pitch – `we want Biafra now’! Our military went into overdrive, mowing our youth down as reported by Amnesty International. Naturally our government denied everything. And that is the end of the matter. Our army is harassing Ndigbo States with their `Operation Python Dance’ reportedly extorting money from impoverished citizens in broad daylight.

Nnamdi Kanu was arrested, spent months in prison awaiting trial. He is now out on bail. And he is virtually a folk hero, royalty. Everybody wants to be associated with him. But he still has not explained to us convincingly why IPOB should kidnap us into their dream Biafra to go and slaughter ourselves to make the civil war in South Sudan appear like child’s play. Can an Igbo man from Imo secure a job with the Abia State government? Can An Anambra man secure a job with the Enugu State government? Which of our almighty governors will defer to the other? We simply hate ourselves. Our State governors are jostling to be noticed by Nnamdi Kanu, giving him dollars and exotic vehicles, currying his support to enable them win elections and continue amassing money. Oh Ndigbo, how sad! 

In my follow up blog post, Biafra – How Not To Fight For Independence, I gave examples of Catalonia who have been seeking independence from Spain for years. Catalonians have voted overwhelmingly for independence. But the Spanish government is resisting it, constitutionally, no violence. And Scotland after being part of the United Kingdom for seven hundred years just failed to get the votes necessary for independence. There was no violence. Biafra cannot be forced overnight on Nigeria no matter the frenzy Kanu and his ilk generate!. Such things take time. Biafra is likely to happen, perhaps not in our lifetime. The dysfunctional make up of Nigeria of over three hundred tribes will see to it. Nigeria is a country built on false foundation. The Fulani cannot continue being the task masters of everybody for ever in a country where there is no justice, no equity, where those who have continue looting the treasury and the impoverished keep getting poorer. 

But IPOB needs to change tactics. Those who fought for Biafra were not all Igbos. The second in command to Ojukwu was General Effiong. He was not Igbo. Several other high ranking leaders in Biafra were not Igbos. Unfortunately Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters have made their agitation an Igbo affair, thus making life more difficult for Ndigbo in Nigeria. Even non Igbos who fought for Biafra have now been disenchanted into denying the cause.

Having said all these it must be admitted that IPOB, MASSOB, the Arewa Youth have made a mark. The eyes of all Nigerians have been opened to the faults in the system, the injustice, the inequality. Nigeria will never be the same again. Things have degenerated to an extent that the citizens must get together and talk about re-engineering the country. Restructuring is now on the front burner. But it is now time for IPOB in particular to act with more decorum. Nnamdi Kanu must stop behaving as if he is the emperor of Igbo land. He should stop issuing decrees, no election in Anambra state in 2017 and no election in Nigeria in 2019. On BBC Focus on Africa, he was recently interviewed. I saw in his sitting room what looked like a coat of arms! If he does not know that the majority of Ndigbo are not on the same page with him on the Biafra issue he must be a gullible person. Ndigbo want devolution of power, fiscal federalism, restructuring so that Nigeria will function better as a country for the betterment of all citizens. So Ndigbo must seek out sections in Nigeria of like mind and that is currently the whole Nigeria minus the people Okar, remember Dimka’s coup, wanted excised from Nigeria! Ndigbo must talk to them, strtegise with them. Re-engineering Nigeria is indeed possible. We are in a position in which we can force Buhari to open the matter of restructuring and making the central government give up many of the functions it is currently handling woefully.

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