I lived in Owerri, capital of Imo State as Bureau Chief for The Punch for close to two years. My father is Ibibio from Akwa Ibom, my mother is Ishan from Edo State. I have lived in some of the best nations in the world, and I still live in one today.
I’m not an irredentist, tribal or ethnic jingoist. I am 1000% for self determination.
The Biafra cause is just. It is guaranteed by United Nations Charter. Nobody can force a people to belong to an association that they don’t want to belong.
I tell my close friends about the ‘1966’ mistake, I am actually working on a book with the title. If other ethnic groups in Nigeria had taken the bold step that the Igbos did with Biafra, we won’t be in this chicken republic called Nigeria today. Nigeria is a fraud. Look at our country, look every strata, from appointments to admissions. Only a person with cerebral palsy won’t get it. So, I get it!
Lord Lugard did what he had to do in 1914. If you check the remarks of oligarchs from 1960, you would agree.
I recall my first experience with Radio Biafra. I was waiting for my driver to me to the airport, as I was flipping through radio channels on my TV, I came cross the pirate radio. Though I was excited by what I heard, I was also troubled at Nnamdi Kanu’s rhetoric.
In that broadcast he said, “Any Igbo who pays tithes in a Yoruba church is a bastard and must be eliminated.” I also heard him say, “If you are an Igbo Muslim, leave the East or we hunt you down, and get you killed!”
I do agree that the concept of Biafra is what we need to inspire action to change Nigeria. But, in as much as I love the idea of freedom and self determination, I reject inciting people to murder.
The hideous role Rwanda’s Radio Mille Colline in the genocide that claimed more than 1 million ethnic minorities in the country is still fresh in our memories.
The United Nations that guarantees our right to self determination also abhors incitement to murder, which falls under crimes against humanity.
I don’t hate Igbos. I also hate the notion that any Igbo who disagrees with Kanu’s methods is “a bastard”. We must learn to present our points. We must not be moved by what some deranged bigots from the North are saying about Igbos or other ethnic groups in the South. By all means, stick to your narrative. But, we must pursue our causes with decorum and respect for the law.