Ordinarily the pro-Biafra groups now resolutely fighting for the emancipation of hitherto enslaved Ndigbo held tight in the mental and occupational slavery of northern hegemony in Nigeria should be regarded as an aberration. The Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Biafra Independent Movement (BIM) and various other such pro-Biafra groups are products of circumstances beyond the control of the highly marginalized, oppressed and suppressed Ndigbo in Nigeria. But surprisingly they have turned into the unelected true representatives of Ndigbo in Nigeria. Instead of vilifying and berating these worthy Ndigbo, they should be amply eulogized.
After the emasculation of Ndigbo and their brothers in the then eastern region, in a senseless war that was preferred by the northern region to peaceful and amicable resolution of political and social differences of the time, the Nigerian government hugely dominated by northern leaders settled for the total enveloping of Nigeria with the absolute exclusion of Ndigbo as their main agenda. This policy of exclusion spread throughout the 1970s through the 1980s to the 1990s and up till 2000s. In virtually all fields of endeavour in Nigeria it became too obvious that there was a premeditated agenda to render Ndigbo irresponsible and irrelevant in every scheme of things in Nigeria. There were all sorts of strange, voodoo policies and programmes that were designed to reduce Ndigbo to nonentities.
There was, for instance, massive tampering of the educational system and curriculum. We suddenly had a change to the useless 6-3-3-4 system of education that failed soon after its introduction. There was this senseless embargo on employment of eligible Nigerians. There were reviews of the retirement age of civil servants and public in the employ of the Nigerian government. All of those have been proved to be a manifestation of the anti-Ndigbo policies and programmes as it was discovered that the north were deploying measures to frustrate the unstoppable progress of Ndigbo in the educational sector of Nigeria. It is an established truth that till today the north is populated by very numbers of illiterates who can gain admission into universities with 2%! The embargo on employment was also found to be targeted at ensuring that the large number of Ndigbo graduates was prevented from getting employed into the Nigerian civil service, while their very less qualified counterparts from the north were not affected by the evil embargo. Retirement was also drastically reduced to 60 years to weed out Ndigbo while replacing them with illiterate northerners.
Of all the worries that were generated by this evil that kept evolving against Ndigbo in Nigeria was that at each point in time there were supposed elected governors, military and civilian, of Ndigbo extraction in Nigeria. This was just as there were elected legislators that were supposed to be representatives of Ndigbo. That has remained till today. Ndigbo have always had governors and legislators. Unfortunately, amid all that Ndigbo suffered in Nigeria, these elected governors and elected lawmakers were only seen and seldom heard. It turned out that they were so intimidated that even when they knew that Ndigbo were under the mercy of the Nigerian government system, the representatives of Ndigbo were either totally bought over or harassed into “sidon look” status. Whenever any matter concerning Ndigbo arose it will be the northern elements that will determine how the representatives of Ndigbo will respond and react. The greater majority of the representatives of Ndigbo were never able to stand up tall and strong to condemn the injustices and unfair treatment Ndigbo suffered in Nigeria.
It was such that if an Ndigbo senator became a senate president it as not purely on his merit or on right of Ndigbo but for a balance of the political equation. That was why within four years of the fourth republic four senate presidents of Ndigbo extraction were disgraced out of office. It was discovered that it was the same Nigerian government that pretended to be carrying Ndigbo along by offering them the senate president office that set those senate presidents up and disgraced them out of office. A number of them were enticed and lured into tainting their image and the image of Ndigbo by acts of malfeasance for which after being harassed for so long they have today joined the ruling party to avoid prosecution and incarceration by the Nigerian government. I choose not mention names but the foregoing are pure truths. This situation was too worrisome because Ndigbo were acutely lacking in true representation.
That was where we were before the pro-Biafra groups, like God-sent prophets, emerged and started raising their voices to speak deliverance for Ndigbo. These were the divine apostles and disciples of the great founder of modern Ndigbo, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. It began with Ralph Uwazurike, who was like John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ that Nnamdi Kanu turned out to be in the freedom struggle for Ndigbo. Indeed, the coming of Kanu with his IPOB injected a surprising unprecedented blood of life to the quest for a voice and stand for Ndigbo. This culminated into the senseless arrest of Kanu by the inglorious Nigerian government. That arrest of Kanu turned out to be the fuel that blew the fire of freedom struggle for Biafra into a big inferno that has been seen by everybody in this world from wherever he is. Since then Biafra has come alive again after an obvious resurrection. And this has not and apparently will not remain the same again both for Biafra and for Nigeria.
Today, even where there are five so-called elected governors and hundreds of so-called elected legislators as supposed representatives of Ndigbo, it is these heroes of Biafran struggle that have become the unelected true representatives of Ndigbo. That is why they can order a sit-at-home on May 30, 2017 and no so-called governor or so-called legislator could issue a counter-order. Instructively, the sit-at-home order was a huge success as Ndigbo at home and abroad obeyed the order. These great unelected true representatives of Ndigbo have succeeded in giving Ndigbo their voices lost in mandates stolen by so-called elected representatives who were in fact traitors and betrayers. The pro-Biafra struggle has even woken Nigerian government up from slumber to face the realities of the true decayed condition of Nigeria. Little wonder Nnamdi Kanu has kept describing Nigeria as a “Zoo” worthy of destruction!
I dedicate this short essay to the praise of all known and unknown active participants in this dispensation of the struggle for the emergence of an independent Biafra. They deserve eulogy and not ridicule or abuse. This is because they are doing what Ndigbo worldwide have always expected from their pseudo-leaders that parade and marauded across Nigeria presenting themselves as leaders of Ndigbo without ability and even capability of telling northern oppressors, enough is enough. Who is the elected governor or elected legislator that has done for Ndigbo what Nnamdi Kanu has done for us? Who among them will dare to take a cue from these heroes of our common struggle to begin to represent Ndigbo in truth and spirit? When the roads in the southeast became death traps, could any governor or legislator open up strong and express displeasure at that? When physical infrastructure in educational and healthcare institutions in the southeast were mere sightseeing centres what did any governor or legislator from the southeast say or do? All we saw were elected people behaving like imbeciles, speaking from both sides of their mouths or with their tongues in their cheeks. But today when Nnamdi Kanu speaks, Ndigbo agree that they have spoken and desired result will be achieved. May the Almighty Chukwuokike Abaeme continue to be with Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra agitators to protect and guide them to lead Ndigbo to the Promised Land of the Rising Sun! Amen!