MAAZI KANU NNAMDI IWOTAGO? BIAFRA, COUNTING THE COST By Deinde Nurudeen Olayiwola
Trending in Nigeria and the world is the agitation for self rule as spearheaded by southeastern part of the nation, with other regions wishing it comes through, though they watching from the sidelines.
Leading this is NNAMDI KANU a supposedly young and promising man from ABIA state, what is being done can best be described as a revisit of old agitation which got truncated, after a loss of many lives, especially on the BIAFRA side.
The reason for the agitation is hinged on the perceived imbalance and or inequality felt in the appropriation, distribution and management of national resources. Another major factor is the growing youth population, with limited opportunities to be involved in the task of building the nation.
In my own view, it is obvious that all areas can never have a fair share in the distribution of our commonwealth. This is its root in many factors.
As much as there is urgent need to look into the perceived injustice, towards its resolution, my difference is the approach.
KANU NNAMDI on several occasions promoted and propagated bad blood among Nigerians of diverse ethnic background. Quoting him might fuel further the seed of discord, he tried to sow. A picture of a situation where the wish and desire of his group are accomplished this will come with a heavy cost, especially to him and his kinsmen.
A peep into the last civil war, my father, a staff or Morison Sons & Jones Limited who newly married my late mother then, was just being transferred to Port Harcourt in 1966, and my late mother his wife just went to join him in Portharcourt while the tension of war was being built all over the nation, she had to resign from Post and Telecommunications Limited to do this. The journey of Lagos to Portharcourt via the rail cost her and my eight months old brother three solid days!
On getting to Portharcourt, she did not spend a whole month before the whole family was forced to return to Lagos while hostilities was becoming rife, my family got the message when my late mother sent her steward to the market, it took the help of my father’s official driver, an indigene of Rivers State to save the life of the poor lady, as she was marked for a brutal attack due to the tribal mark she has on her face. She was being mistaken for a Hausa Fulani person.
If KANU NNAMDI expects all IGBO to return to the east of Nigeria! Or should there be an escalation of hostility from one end which leads to the repeat of the last one, the effect is best imagined than allowed to happen.
IGBO people are the most travelled group in Africa. They are found in all the 774 seven hundred and seventy-four local government of Nigeria, not only that, in all nations of the world, you will find an IGBO man there, that is the extent of their spread.
THE REAL BIAFRA
During the 1966 -1970 episode the proposed nation goes beyond the IGBO nation to include: Efik, Ibibio, Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno and the Ijaws.
Unfortunately, all the listed who form the Niger delta are reluctant to join the present struggle, rather they prefer a unique identity.
This is one major challenge as the present BIAFRA is a landlocked nation of five IGBO states, having to contend with a small Igala tribesmen in Anambra state.
Instead of the old 77,310 Square kilometres, coastal borders with potential for a sec port, the five state of 95 local councils ,leave the new nation with a paltry 30,000 square kilometers of land mass, for a group who spread over the nation, up to the limits of Africa and all parts of the world, how feasible?
IGBO SPREAD IN NIGERIA
Talking of Nigeria, IGBO people engage in trading and small manufacturing in virtually all part of the nation operating within the 923,000 square kilometers which makes up the nation, they are spreading by the day within and outside the shores of naija trying to expand their extent of business empires, , they are patronised by their own kinsmen as well as their host community and all who reside where they operate, the patronage and acceptance in most areas outside IGBOLAND is sign of love, I then find it hard to reconcile what KANU NNAMDI and his gangs propagate that IGBOS are hated by all Nigerians, hence the need to let them have their own independent state.
The several years of business integrate them in all the places to the extent of purchasing landed properties, some even marry from the host community, though the proportion of intertribal marriage is low.
By estimation, the IGBO population in the southwest cannot be less than ten million.
In the whole of the north say eight million. How do KANU NNAMDI and IPOB intend to re-integrate almost twenty million people back into the southeast?
Talk of accommodation not only that, the process of business relocation is not a spontaneous act that can easily be concluded in a short period. This I feel is the reason is flying the Jewish kite, for the people to see the project as a repeat of how Isreal was built after the Second World War! What a move? Sadly all that himself and group is doing to link IGBOS to having a link with the Jews have been put to rest with the recent news that the DNA of JEWS has no direct or indirect link with that of his kinsmen!
OTHER TRIBES IN IGBOLAND
Conversely other tribes are equally visible in the eastern part of Nigeria, but not in a proportion of the IGBOs, they are not so integrated too , as they only come and trade, mostly in camps and return to base afterwards.
THE DEAFENING SILENCE
I am surprised I am not feeling or hearing enough the IGBO voice against what KANU NNAMDI and his gangs are plotting, within and outside the east calling the attention of the agitators to the effect of forced relocation. As the experience of the last civil war ought to last a lifetime in our hearts, and guide how we relate with other tribes.
On a final note: there are better ways towards solving the imbalance without resorting to violence. We have actually gotten to the stage where all regions should manage and administer her resources, ensure safety of the region with local input, have few issues that binds us together as a nation .We can work all this out without beating drums of war as being done by KANU NNAMDI since 2015.
Deinde Nurudeen Olayiwola is a Lagos-based Civil Engineer and a Public Affairs Commentator.