The continuous agitation for Biafra breakaway from Nigeria tends to be on the rise, following the recent successful organized sit at home order and also the release on bail of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and 3 others. While there is no doubting the fact that Igbos have been marginalized for a very long time, it is pertinent to know that the indices surrounding the agitations of the Movement of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) shows that it might never actualize.
Even though the Federal government has used the police and other security agents to ward off protests by the Biafran agitators, recent findings and developments in the country backed by certain historical facts,shows that Biafra might be a dream never to be achieved and Nigeria will remain forever united.
Below are 5 five facts that shows that attaining a sovereign Biafra republic may never be realized.
1. Too many captains piloting the ship
Prior to the creation of IPOB, all that existed for the achievement of the Biafran state was a group called the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Now the story has changed with the emergence of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra. One thing about these groups is that although they are all fighting for the same cause, they vary so much in ideology and it is only with time that the varied interests will act as a hindrance to actualising a Republic of Biafra. Lets not forget that there can only be one captain in a ship.
2. Uwazuruike led Biafra vs Kanu led Biafra
Since the late Odumegwu Ojukwu died, different people with different opinions have emerged as to who will captain the ship of Biafra. It is no surprise that there has been a discord between various group leaders of pro-Biafra groups. For example, on Monday, November 30, 2015, MASSOB expelled its national leader Chief Ralph Uwazuruike and elected a new leadership for the Biafra movement.
Chief Uwazuruike on his part went on to create another faction and named it Biafra Independent Movement (BIM). Nnamdi Kanu has then sprang up as the leader of the IPOB and even Uwazurike told press men in an interview that he recruited Kanu to the movement in 1989 to head Radio Biafra.
His words “I recruited Nnamdi Kanu in 1989, when I established Radio Biafra and appointed him the director of the establishment. He started preaching hatred and brainwashing the youths. MASSOB sacked him,” Uwazuruike said.
With various groups springing out from no where, it shows that the so called Biafra leaders are not even united to the cause as they either open a new movement just to fulfill their selfish interest. This shows that the Biafra republic might never be realized.
3. Igbos have no leader
History supports this fact that the Igbos have no king. In fact, there is a saying of the Igbos which states “Igbo enwe eze”, which means that the Igbos have no king. When Dimgba Ojukwu was alive, he was seen as the supreme leader of the Igbo people. Now he is dead, one can’t pin point a leader in Igbo land that will lead them to the promise land.
Some might say that Biafrans have a leader in Nnamdi Kanu, but the fight for power among all these pro-Biafra group speaks other wise. This shows that having a central government might never be possible for the Biafrans. Well, it might sound a bit harsh but the Igbos are known to have the mind of individualistic independence and self-reliance. This too may hinder the progress of actualizing a sovereign state of Biafra.
There are also Igbos who are against the movement. They are termed as saboteurs while others just sit in the middle. In a statement, the pro-Biafra activists, highlighted the activities of certain Igbos deemed to be infidels to the actualization of the cause. The Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, was one person mentioned as he was not spared and also the Igbo group, Ohaneze Ndigbo.
4. Nigeria playing the game in a mature way
The Nigerian federal government has acted carefully when dealing with the Biafra issue. They made sure that security operatives act whenever the movement tries anything to disrupt peace. Recently, the FG issued a stern warning to persons or groups planning to stage protests in the country to do so peacefully. Although, a few of these protests have gone sour, as clash with the army and other security operatives have led to the death or even injury on the part of the pro-Biafra groups.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also shown his readiness to silence whatever group opposed to the unification of Nigeria by condemning the Biafran separatists, noting that Nigeria will always remain one.
5. Bad Timing
Experts on national unity and war believe that the timing for Biafra when the nation has just had a very peaceful transition of the government in May 2015 is ill-timed. Nigeria as a country already has enough problems ranging from economic crises, political, security, social and the list is endless and now the agitating problem.
It is important to stress that 1967 and 2017 are different years entirely as most people of these generation did not experience the war. What most agitators don’t know is that it was the lack of interest of Igbo elites was a key factor which caused Igbos the Biafra war in 1967.
Save for the terrorism spell which the world is facing, the world itself have far moved past the era when bloodshed, killings, genocide become sacrifice for attaining a new country. The blood of the innocent millions slain in the war between 1967 and 1970 should be enough to redeem any cause. Let Biafrans borrow a green leaf from countries like Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro as dialogue will be the only reasonable action that will quell their demands.