THE SCAM IN THE BIAFRA AGITATION PROCESS? – Where Michael Owhoko got it all wrong
Columnist Michael Owhoko surely thinks that he has invented a new controversy. He did not. He’s just a new kid trying to assert himself on the block. Perhaps he should steep himself in the writings and analysis of Barr Tony Nnadi, a proper Niger Deltan. Meanwhile here is my take, one of many, from three years ago.
IF THE NEW BIAFRA IS FREE AGAIN: WHO KNOWS THE BOUNDARIES?
Many young pro-Biafra agitators are very bitter about real and reported sad experiences in the hands of our Hausa-Fulani oppressors and some collaborators, our neighbours and “brothers” in the Niger Delta.
As a result they cannot envisage a Biafra with the Niger Delta included. I believe that this stance, while understandable, is rather hasty. Who could have imagined the French and Germans cohabitating in a peaceful Europe for almost a century now?
There is nothing to profit by bad-mouthing any Niger Deltans who, for reasons best known to them, choose to identify with either the Biafran experience (read up Nsikak Essien, former editor Concord newspaper, and others), OR the renewed agitation for Biafra. They are perfectly at liberty to do so, EVEN IF THE PLURALITY OF THEIR PEOPLE DONT YET SEE THINGS THEIR WAY. . Time will tell.
It is on record that a not-insignificant fraction of Ndigbo, (who Lai Mohammed would like to claim to be in the majority), are either opposed to or exhibit serious ambivalence to the quest. There is a very interesting phenomenon currently at play here.
Some young people who were raised on a steady staple of anti-Igbo rhetoric seem to have independently come to the conclusion that their freedom is irretrievably tied to that of Ndigbo. The music has changed obviously! That’s a hard conclusion to chew and swallow. Hence it is not to be treated with levity.
It is easy and understandable to hold onto old grudges and grievances. One thing they definitely don’t need is for Ndigbo to go raking over old (albeit valid) animosities. We have to be prepared to deal with a lot more of such not so surprising developments.
For example, the arrowhead of the Nigerian stormtroopers who invaded Biafra were animist and nominally Christian people of the Nigerian Middle-Belt. Remember that Gowon was one of them.
The term, Godo-godo, a most dreaded adjective, we have now found out, is the name of a community in Southern Kaduna, whose peoples are now undergoing their own Golgotha in the hands of the Hausa-Fulani. How then should Ndigbo, in their quest for Biafra, respond to their cries? This is a hard nut to crack.
General Zamani Lekwot’s people have suddenly discovered that they have very little in common with their former allies, now oppressors. We know that the experiences of the people of the Middle Belt is not new.
They have swallowed the phlegm all these past forty years because strangely it was politically incorrect that a community in Northern Nigeria would loudly report that it was experiencing anything close to what Ndigbo have been complaining about since before, during and after the civil war.
The incessant raids by the “Fulani” herdsmen was perhaps the last straw.
Should Ndigbo in their relative success in dealing with oppression and surmounting privations, turn their back on such? Again, what does one say about the Agatu of Benue State? And others?
In the light of the above, for this new, improved agitation for Biafra, anyone who claims to know for a fact the final boundaries is a liar. The truth is that nobody knows.