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By Douglas Anele
Even, uninformed misguided indigenes of communities located in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Kogi states that, in fact, speak different dialects of Igbo language or have strong historical and socio-cultural affinities with Igboland disavow their Igbo connections as well.
Emefiena explains this regrettable attitude as follows: “[The defeat of Biafra] has had an enormous psychological impact on some people – defeat disorder – that pushed them to take some extreme measures.
One has, therefore, to appreciate and understand some people’s need for survival that resulted in identity denial. That such phenomenon of denial persists many years after the war seems to suggest that it has become ingrained in [their minds].”
If a referendum or plebiscite is conducted today asking Ndigbo and their immediate neighbours to answer the question “Do you want an independent sovereign nation?” majority will likely answer “Yes.” I have presented reasons why that should be the case.
Millions of people from the defunct eastern region are tired of being part of Nigeria because, among other things, the dominant ruling clique from the north, a region that contributes less than twenty per cent of the country’s income, determines how resources and most powerful official positions at the centre are distributed among the federating units.
Specifically, Biafran agitators want the former eastern region to be independent so that the people themselves would control their resources for optimum development. They believe, correctly, that Nigeria as presently structured and governed is suffocating everybody.
An increasing number of Igbo people across Nigeria and abroad are keen to build a great nation where their innate creativity and single-minded determination for success could flourish without the usual obstacles from Fulani caliphate colonialists and their British remote controllers.
The impressive scientific and technological achievements of defunct Biafra in spite of extremely challenging war situation is a pointer to what an independent Biafran nation would have accomplished had Gowon and his hawkish foreign collaborators allowed her to become a reality.
Of course, the refusal of Gowon and his immediate successors to support Biafran scientists and engineers after the war through the Project Development Institute (PRODA) at Enugu and the tragic case of late Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu who was the first person to design a fully Made-in-Nigeria car prove beyond reasonable doubt that northern caliphate colonialists would rather that Nigeria remained in the morass of underdevelopment than allow Ndigbo transform her into the Japan of Africa.
In other words, exaggerated fear and hatred of the Igbo caused Nigeria’s northern rulers to miss an excellent opportunity to launch the country into the orbit of scientific and technological advancement by harnessing the creative ingenuity of Biafrans.
On the refusal of Fulani ruling cabal and neo-colonialist Britain to allow Biafra emerge, the reasons are not far to seek. As I stated at the very beginning of this series, Britain’s primary motivation for creating Nigeria is to exploit the country economically and save for British treasury the cost of administering northern protectorate.
Also, the north would have been economically impoverished without resources from the south. Judging from the wanton destruction of Biafraland by Nigerian soldiers and their imperialist foreign backers during the civil war, the born-to-rule mentality of the northern establishment and ongoing Fulani expansionism into southern Nigeria,
it is clear that caliphate colonialists are prepared to kill and destroy in order to retain control of the lucrative petroleum deposits domiciled mostly in Biafra to satisfy their insatiable lust for primitive accumulation using suffering almajiris or talakawas as foot soldiers.
Extremely wealthy members of the northern military-civilian elite owe their riches directly or indirectly to lucrative crude oil and natural gas businesses, federal government contracts and concessions together with other financially rewarding activities in selected cities across the south.
That is why they deploy every means necessary to stop the resuscitation of Biafra. For them, Biafra’s emergence would be like removing a breast milk filled feeding-bottle from the mouth of a baby. Again, given the divide-conquer-and-rule taqiyya attitude imbibed from Islamic scriptures, the Fulani will not rest until the whole of Nigeria becomes an Islamic state.
Meanwhile, the British establishment, blinded right from the beginning by opportunistic economic considerations, played a major role in what was essentially a jihad against eastern Nigeria from 1967 to 1970 due to unease about allowing a potentially rich and powerful country (Biafra) to emerge from Africa, a progressive black nation that would blow white supremacist narratives to smithereens.
That was why as the Cold War raged between the West and leading communist countries Britain worked together with a strange ally, Soviet Union, to provide military and logistic support for Nigeria widely acknowledged as the aggressor in the conflict.
Old bad habits, like old soldiers, die-hard: Britain still supports One Nigeria notwithstanding that Nigeria’s history under northern political domination has largely been a heart-wrenching chronicle of false starts, missed opportunities, bloodshed, and egregious leadership failure interspersed with very brief moments of haphazard development.
Thus, it is not surprising that Britain operates a double standard on the issue of Biafra. The same confederal Britain that opposes Biafra allowed Scottish independence referendum and opted out of the European Union (EU).
Moreover, the current British leadership, like others before it, are afraid that an independent Biafra would lead to the loss of multi-billion pound oil and gas businesses by British multinational companies in Nigeria.
But such fear is unwarranted: Britain stands to gain from a well-governed Biafra more than whatever she is getting right now from the fractious corruption-infested contraption called Nigeria.
It is regrettable that the British leadership continues to ignore the looming existential danger posed to the peoples of former eastern region by Muslim Fulani expansionist programme which gathered momentum since Muhammadu Buhari became President in 2015.
In my view, it is one of the sad ironies of history that Britain, the country that produced some of the best theoreticians of liberal democracy and political freedom such as John Locke, J.S. Mill, Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper always joins forces with ultraconservative Fulani caliphate colonialists to suppress the legitimate quest of Ndigbo for political autarky.
Accordingly, Britain lacks the moral authority to champion democracy and human rights worldwide, which implies that Boris Johnson, Tony Blair and the rest should stop grandstanding whenever these issues rear up at the international stage.
Let us now pluck the ripe low hanging fruits from our analysis. From the outset, One Nigeria is not sacrosanct given that it was created by Lord Lugard principally to bolster the economic interests of Britain and the north.
Consequently, Nigeria was not built on a solid psychological and moral foundation. The quest for resuscitating Biafra is legitimate due to decades of exclusion, hate, and violence visited on Ndigbo especially by northerners and successive northern-dominated federal governments.
Although over the years avaricious, selfish and myopic members of Igbo political and business elite have connived with caliphate colonialists to marginalise their own people and Igboland generally because of crumbs they are eating from their Fulani master’s table, nothing justifies the level of oppression Ndigbo have suffered considering their unsurpassed contributions to the political and economic development of Nigeria.
The Igbo and their immediate neighbours would be far better off in an independent Biafran nation where the incredible resources and creativity of the people would be harnessed to build a great nation that would be the pride of black people all over the world.
But make no mistake about it: even if Biafra re-emerges today, building her into a great country would require tremendous hard work, self-sacrifice, and extraordinary ingenuity for several years. Fortunately, the brief incandescence of old Biafra is a source of inspiration that the Biafran miracle can be replicated again.
Resuscitation of Biafra is an idea whose time has come. Those against it now should realise that Biafra could still become a reality sometime in future because, as Chief Obafemi Awolowo boldly proclaimed in his work, Path to Nigerian Freedom, “It is not in the nature of man to put up with subjection for long.”
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Source: Vanguard News.