By Dr. Dons Eze
We totally share in the sentiments and aspirations of the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, for a better place for the Igbo under the sun. But we do not endorse or subscribe to Nnamdi Kanu’s method of trying to actualize his dream Biafra.
The reason why many people, particularly the Igbo, became tired and uncomfortable with the contraption called Nigeria, which necessitated the declaration of Biafra Republic in 1967, was because Nigeria had turned itself into a Golgotha, a slaughter house, and also lacked freedom and equal opportunities.
For thirty months, Biafrans were in the trenches, fighting to liberate themselves from the oligarchic and fascist regime that had held Nigeria captive since its formation, and at the same time, creating a country where all its inhabitants would be free to pursue their legitimate goals without let or hinderance, without molestation.
These were the ideals which endeared many people to Biafra, why most Biafrans, young and old, stood firmly behind the Biafran leadership till the sun of that Republic set.
It appears, however, that the Biafra currently being pursued by some of its agitators, might be a different one. Perhaps, it could be a Biafra of the survival of the fittest, a Biafra where, according to Thysmachus, the strong rules, where might is right.
We have not been comfortable with the way the IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has been abusing, insulting and threatening the lives of so many people, including the South East Governors, and some Igbo leaders, who he suspects, were not on the same page with him in the Biafra of his dream.
Last year, members of IPOB physically attacked former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in far away Germany, where he went to celebrate New Yam festival. They also reportedly attacked Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi.
Just a few days ago, June 28, 2020, to be precise, Nnamdi Kanu in a radio broadcast, categorically called on his followers all over the world, “to stone to death the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Nnia Nwodo, anywhere he is sighted”, because according to him, Nnia Nwodo did not do anything to stop herdsmen attacks in Igbo land.
Perhaps, Nnamdi Kanu was trying to confer on Ohanaeze leader the power the man did not possess. How could Nnia Nwodo stop herdsmen attacks when he does not control the police or the Army? Instead of issuing a Fatwa on those who control the security agencies for failing in their duties, Nnamdi Kanu decided to vent his spleen on an innocent man.
Nnamdi Kanu had described Nnia Nwodo as “a saboteur from the lineage of saboteurs”, simply because the man was not in tune with his own idea of Biafra. But in a democratic dispensation, which we all look for in a future Biafra, must everybody hold the same view? The beauty of democracy is divergent of opinions.
Unfortunately, while Nnamdi Kanu is accusing the Nigerian state of suppressing Christians in the country, the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in the Nigerian section, has also named IPOB as one of the entities levying attacks on places of Worship in Nigeria.
They cited a media report that IPOB members “attacked five Christians, including a priest, for holding a holy mass in defiance of IPOB orders to stay at home”.
The other day, the IPOB leader was quoted to have said that “every Church goer is going to hell!” That would be a careless statement. Even in Israel where most of the people are Judaists, they still allowed Christians to come on religious pilgrimage.
If Nnamdi Kanu is a Judaist, does he expect all of us to follow him to Judaism? I do not think that would be possible. Thank God, the man Jesus Christ gave the key to the Kingdom of Heaven bears a different name.
Now, Nnamdi Kanu says that Chief Nnia Nwodo should be stoned to death anywhere he is found. Haba! Nnamdi Kanu, please take it easy.
The Biafra we all are clamouring for is where everybody will be free to order his or her life in accordance with the law. It will not be a Biafra of one-man, or of a privileged few, where very few people will have access to power, otherwise, why will we be talking of leaving Nigeria?
In the Biafra of our dream, one man cannot be all-knowing, all-powerful and a Messiah incapable of doing any wrong. The Biafra we want is one of free enterprise and the collective will of the people. It will be a place where everybody will be contributing his or her own quota according to his or her abilities.