MasterwebNews 26/3/16: Biafra - Nigeria`s Unresolved Conflict

[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. C. K. Ekeke reports ] - I began writing this piece in the wee hours of Good Friday after seeing the lengthier version of the massacre of Biafra prayer warriors being gunned down by Nigerian soldiers at a High School in Aba city few weeks ago. I could not believe what I was looking at – peaceful prayer warriors being shot at by soldiers for praying and singing to God to give them Biafra, praying out of their frustration of a hopeless situation due to lack of job, infrastructure and basic necessities of life. Even those who sustained bullet wounds were begging for help and the Nigerian soldiers passed them by without offering any help. Then suddenly I saw various military trucks arrive at the massacre scene to pick-up the dead bodies and carted them away. 

What I saw was sacrilege and beyond belief. The perpetrators of Aba High School massacre must be held accountable. They and those who authorized such atrocity must never go free. The blood of innocent children of Almighty God are crying out and God of heaven will never pardon such brutality and massacres. Nigeria is cursed and unless it repents and ask for God’s forgiveness, Nigeria will never be.

These are without doubt perilous times in Nigeria; an era of political gangsters and hooliganism, of violence, killings, massacres, religious ignorance and intolerance, authoritarian and corrupt political leadership, fragmentation, secessionists, and anarchists. Just look at Ekiti and Rivers State.

Nigeria is rapidly falling apart and disintegrating and the rulers, leaders, and elders are doing nothing about it.

The truth of the matter is that Nigeria is faced with problem of nationhood along with many serious socio-economic-political-religious challenges. Moreover, the Nigerian nation is fundamentally flawed and yet, many sections of the country don’t want to hear about it, are not willing to talk about it and not don’t bother to tackle and fix it.

Today, Nigeria is besieged with many convoluted challenges namely – ethnic hatred and strife, religious conflicts, terrorism, bad political leadership, government corruption, lack of infrastructure, public healthcare crisis and disease epidemic among many other socio-economic and moral degradation such as—crime and violence, lawlessness and injustice, poverty, economic inequality, resource control, hunger, joblessness, hopelessness and population growth. 

However, one major crisis facing Nigeria is the issue of Biafra and the on-going agitation for Biafra self-determination as well as young Biafra youths peaceful protesting for the release of Mr. Nnamdi kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and executive director radio Biafra, who is currently in detention. Mr. Kanu was arrested by the Nigerian State (Department of Security Services, President Buhari/APC government) last October for speaking out against gross injustice, marginalization, and oppression of SE region of the country. 

The continued and undemocratic detention of Mr. Kanu and several freedom fighters by DSS, against court order has escalated the call and demand for Biafra Republic and this agitation led by millions of IPOB members worldwide can spell doom for Nigeria, Africa and the world.

We know that conflicts and challenges are inevitable in life. There will be conflicts as long as people dwell together – either within a family, or in community, or within a nation, etc., conflict will occur. Conflict is a normal thing. Conflicts usually occur for variety of reasons – usually due to desire for recognition, power, honor, pleasure, money, and superiority. When selfishness, self-centeredness and selfish ambition and self-desires become the primary focus for people, conflicts will surely occur. Conflict is not a bad thing as long as it can be managed in a healthy way and respectful manner. 

However, when conflicts and disagreements are left unresolved between peoples, or tribes, or races, or nations, etc., it can escalate into unimaginable violence. Unresolved conflict can persist and simmer if left unresolved. No wise person should ever write-off or ignore unresolved conflict – because it festers, multiples and can escalate into unmanageable crisis.

What distinguishes leaders is the ability to take charge to resolve unresolved conflicts. If conflict is not confronted, it will lead to chaos and anarchy. Wise people and thoughtful leaders handle conflict with care, courage, and compassion. Great leaders never ignore or compromise with conflict, rather a great leader confronts conflict and challenges, crises with courage and strength.

Biafra is Nigeria’s major unresolved conflict and for Nigeria to move forward, Biafra must be addressed and resolved once and for all.
This is a great opportunity for President Buhari and his administration to show and exercise leadership rather than write-off Biafra and call it a joke. Biafra is not joke. Biafra is not dead. Biafra has not expired. Instead, Biafra is a genuine dream for millions of us who have never benefited anything being Nigerian even though crude oil flows from my backyard. Biafra will linger, persist, simmer and if not handled correctly this time can explode into monumental proportion.

President Buhari must address the issue of Biafra rather than massacring young and peaceful Biafran protesters and locking up Biafra sympathizers and IPOB leaders. That’s cowardliness. Even acquiring more war weapons from America, Britain, Pakistan and secretly joining the Alliance of Islamic countries can never intimidate Biafra to remain enslaved in Nigeria. Nigeria and the world cannot subjugate a major tribe of 60-70 million people to be their guinea pig. Nigeria must do what is necessary and morally right to resolve Nigeria’s hostility with Biafra in order to live in peace. 

President Buhari and his advisers and supporters must take the case of Biafra seriously and not disdain the cause. Biafra is not an inconsequential tribe or region. The President must rise up to the true purpose of leadership.   The point I trying to make here is, even the ungodly and ruthless rulers have a basic awareness of morality and a love for serene, peaceful and purposeful society, and not to resort
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