ZOON POLITIKON

nigeria’s intra-ethnic wars: half of half of a yellow sun

If you are for Biafra, then you have been jonzing.

In recent times, the violent plea of the south eastern parts of Nigeria for independence and self-determinism has been a song of streets, toddlers and adults. This begs the questions “why won’t Nigeria let them go?” and “why do they feel the need to secede so eagerly?”

Documented in history is a slaughter of 300,000 Igbo people in the northern part of the country and a civil war that resulted in starvation of the peoples that resulted in cannibalism where people ate their children and mass destruction of land, labour, capital and the entrepreneurs.  But after reading through the history books, i blame the Biafrans although i also pity them for having to go through such an ordeal at the hands of the federal government at the time.

In 1966, Nigeria witnessed its first violent transition from civilian government to military regime. This coup saw to the murder of all the northerners in power and conveniently, the only southeasterner in power was away for unavoidable circumstances (i find this very suspicious of course). This led to the genocide which saw 300,000 people murdered in cold blood by the military men in the north.

The straw that broke the camel’s back occurred years after as and when another coup was staged and there were two people qualified for the job of head of state and General Gowon (then a colonel) was given the job ahead of Colonel Ojukwu although he (Gowon) was technically lower in rank than Colonel Ojukwu. To this, Colonel Ojukwu cried outrage and he then led the southerners to declare their independence from the Nigerian state. Of course a military head of state would not allow this and this are some of the immediate remote causes of the Nigerian civil war that took place between 1967 and 1970.

Unfortunately for people, politicians can make selfish causes look like a general problem and spur the people on to a baseless protest but then again, they say history is only recorded by the victors and the Biafrans have been at the losing end of the scenario. The truth is that pre-1967 Colonel Ojukwu could not have become head of state for the same reason a woman can scarcely become the head of a male dominated field; he was simply outnumbered by people from a different tribe who didn’t see him as their brother.

Fast forward to modern day Nigeria, the Biafrans have picked up their flags again and they have hidden their quest behind their new messiah, Nnamadi Kanu, whom i don’t think will succeed any time soon. I am sad for the Igbo nation who has begun to defy federal government orders and act in certain violent manners in protest.

My final submission is this; the Igbo nation cannot secede with their present means of struggle. Historically when Nigeria gained independence it was through the pen and not by the blade. While speaking of the pen, no Igbo Senator or house of assembly has shown their support for such a movement and as such this has wasted their sweat. Finally, the common Igbo man has to know that those leading the fight for Biafra are self-interested individuals who would not be able to perform basic duties of political office and who would engage in corrupt practices even if Nigeria was divided in such a way that every neigbourhood was an independent country.

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