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Saturday, 9 July 2016



By Paul Ihechi Alagba

For Family Writers

The sanity of any contemporary society is predominantly the product of the efficiency of 'intellectualism', which in turn is subject to the influence of the 'intelligentsia' prevalent in such a given entity.


  According to the renowned Greek philosopher, Socrates- ‘intellectualism’ portends that "one will do what is right or best just as soon as one understands what is right or best." Therefore, one can rightly say that intellectualism is the ability of one to distinguish between virtue and vice, based on the moral ethics of reasoning and having a primary knowledge of such.

 Intelligentsia on its own can simply be defined as a group or class of intellectuals consisting mainly of social, cultural and political elites who engages in critical analysis or moral discourse focused at guiding or playing a leadership role in modelling the culture and politics of any given society. This includes a wide range of personalities such as writers, academics, journalists, artists and other hommes de letters (men of letters).

 The power of the intelligentsia to make or mar the societal balance, as regards to peace, violence or even a revolutionary dethronement of unorthodox political power brokers and dissolution of any unworkable political structures at any given period of time cannot be underrated.


The structural deficiency of the Nigerian state which has resulted into incessant political instability, ever since the unsolicited and non-consented amalgamation of the protectorates as set aside by the colonial powers is much likely to experience more severe foundational earthquakes, but the tone and process of this revolutionary era will be hugely dependent on the disposition of the intellectuals who make up the present day Nigerian intelligentsia, who are bound to influence government policies and decisions especially in handling secession threats such as that of the Biafrans. Whether the geographical blunder committed by the colonists in merging people of diverse system of government, cultural values and incoherent religious believes in Nigeria will be corrected with the most peaceful approach or through the forceful might of the subjugated people, remains a moral burden to the Nigerian intelligentsia and the international community.

   Also, for the fact that Nigeria, for over a hundred years of its creation has been struggling for cohesion among the different nationalities conjugated inside it simply shows that the country is living on a borrowed time. The resurgence of an overwhelming agitation for the restoration of Biafra independent state is a step in the right direction. Although the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown intolerance towards the right of Biafrans to self determination through the incessant killing and incarceration of activists by his security apparatus, there is every need that he be guided properly lest he plunge the country into a devastating political crisis. The response of the Nigerian government towards in handling Biafra agitation violates the international human rights norms of which Nigeria is signatory to. The most notable of these norms or laws is the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514(XV) on the granting of independence to countries and peoples. Some of the resolutions which was enacted on 14 December 1960 reads as follows-

1. The subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and co-operation.

2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

3. Inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.

4. All armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence and the integrity of their national territory shall be respected.

5. Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories, without any conditions or reservations, in accordance with their freely expressed will and desire, without any distinction as to race, creed or colour, in order to enable them to enjoy complete independence and freedom.

Having seen all these, there is no moral ground for anybody in Nigeria or in the international community to posit or pretend that Biafrans are not worthy of independence. There is no justification for the continued hounding Biafrans are going through at the hand of the Nigerian government just for exercising this sacred right to self determination.

The intelligentsia in Nigeria must stop living in self denial that Nigeria as a country is a failed experiment, and as being signatory to several international treaties on the protection of people's rights to self determination, Nigeria must be prevailed upon to approach the issue of Biafra with caution. The muted stance or hypocrisy of those who should be in the position to speak out on this subject matter can only yield a devastating multiplying effect. There is every need to embrace the peaceful approach that Biafrans brings forth. It will be a whole lot better if this unholy union is dissolved peacefully than with the barrel of gun. What is brewing in Nigeria should be a serious concern to all who can see what the future holds.

1 comment

  1. BIAFRA actualization is achievable. What do you think?


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