EXPLOSIVE!!! Open Letter To Those Calling For Biafra By Abdulrazaq Magaji
Editor’s note: The agitation for Biafra has reached a very level especially with the incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu, the director of Radio Biafra.
In this opinion by Abdulrazaq Magaji, he points out that the agitators need to understand that their mentality of marginalisation is false.
The arm-chair revolutionaries
Let me begin by reminding you of what some of us think of your agitation. Some of us think, and honestly too, that rather than dissipate energy campaigning for Nigeria’s break-up, it is time you joined hands to end the Osu caste system in Igboland and emancipate the stigmatised members of the caste who, till date, are still victims of hate, discrimination and despising!
You may have succeeded in programming the members of the caste to join your hate campaign of seeing other Nigerians as sub-human but, truth is, in the unlikely event you succeed in your segregationist campaigns, the world will soon have another South Sudan and Burma to contend with. Tell me, what place has the Osu in the Biafra of your imagination? What guarantees are there that Osu will not become the target of ethnic cleansing in your imagined Biafra?
Do you even understand the antics of the arm-chair revolutionaries who claim to be your well-wishers? From their comfort zones, they feed you with so much hate and incite you to carry arms.
It may sound blunt, but the only way to put it is that Nigeria has to remain one, united and prosperous country! Professor Chinua Achebe captured the essence when he said ‘there was a country’ that we all know lasted 30 months! This is a fact we must accept. We have to move on, and to move on is to build a great, united and prosperous Nigeria. As it is, we all have grouses, valid or otherwise, against the fatherland. Even the lecherous Boko Haram bandits reel out grouses!
The IPOB/MASSOB issue
If what I hear is true, there has never been a common ground among the arm-chair revolutionaries who pose as well-wishers, at home and in the Diaspora, in finding real solutions to the problems of Nigeria. Yes! I am referring to the constant deadly clashes between supporters of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB and Ralph Uwazuruike’s MASSOB! Is that right?
You may not believe it but very few people advocate a break-up to redress perceived injustices. See what is happening in South Sudan! In just five short years, the people of ‘Africa’s youngest sovereign country’ have become refugees among former compatriots they were programmed to hate! As I write, thousands of South Sudan refugees say they feel happier and safer in among the Sudanese they were told to regard as mortal enemies! In other words, what the people of South Sudan formerly called a zoo has become their sanctuary! And, the people they were programmed to see as beasts and cannibals are now their protectors!
Truth is, the people of South Sudan were deceived by the elite into believing that the only way to cure a headache was to cut off the head! Just as you and other segregationists are busy deceiving innocent Igbo people of South East Nigeria to hate their compatriots!
While you reflect on the pathetic condition of the people of South Sudan, let me take you down memory lane. If you take a quick look at the recent history of Nigeria and, you wish to be honest with yourself, it is the Yoruba-speaking people of South West Nigeria, more than any other zone, that should complain of marginalisation. You know the South West was home to the candidate who was denied the presidency in 1993! Yes! I am talking about late Chief MKO Abiola and the June 12, 1993 election.
What the South West did and why other Nigerians and indeed the whole world supported their stand was that there was never a time the Yoruba people threatened to pull out of Nigeria over June 12! Never! Of course, misguided roughnecks otherwise known as Area Boys made noise to that effect but no persons of substance in Yorubaland supported the call. The underground Radio Kudirat and NADECO struggled to actualise June 12, but not to pull Yoruba out of Nigeria! That brought about President Olusegun Obasanjo.
You also recall that, as recent as the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, there was no way any politician from the South West could have constitutionally ascended the throne in the event of vacancy. Of course, you know the South West did not feature in the top four positions in that government. In fact, the South West did not feature in the top 10 in the Goodluck Jonathan government! Check the facts! You could not have forgotten that President Goodluck Jonathan literally cleared all the votes in the South West. It was only Osun State that voted for the adopted candidate ( Nuhu Ribadu) of the defunct ACN or Action Congress of Nigeria party in the South West. The South West did not threaten secession!
The case for Yoruba people
It is strange, dear segregator, that the reason you give for your agitation is that Igbo people are marginalised in Nigeria because they do not get to occupy strategic positions in government!
And, let me take you a little back in time! You could not have forgotten that a prominent Igbo, HE Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was elected vice president of Nigeria just nine years after the civil war Now, when Dr. Alex Ekwueme occupied the number two constitutionally recognised slot, no Yoruba politician from the South West featured in the top four positions in the country! The Senate President was Dr. Joseph Wayas while the Speaker of the House of Representatives was Chief Edwin Ume Ezeoke, another Igbo! The only prominent Yoruba politician, Chief Adisa Akinloye, was NPN chairman.
Nobody from the South West complained of marginalisation or threatened to tear up the country!
As you know too well, there is no group that is deliberately targeted for mistreatment in Nigeria!
The arm-chair revolutionaries, the same commissioned agents who pretend to be your well-wishers live in affluence in Europe at the expense of gunrunners. It is from their comfort zone that they sneak into Nigeria to pollute the mind of people with hate campaigns.
Finally, dear segregator! You should realise that IPOB and MASSOB are not being honest with you. The moment to reflect is now!
Prove them wrong. Free your mind! Turn your back to hate and do not allow it to consume you! After all, there is enough room in the sky for all birds to fly in. Remember that the task is to make Nigeria a great and united country. This was the message of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu as it was of Dr. Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe. It has been the message of Ohaneze Ndigbo!
It’s a task that must be done!
This opinion first appeared in The Guardian