By Emmanuel Nnadi, Owerri
My Obsession and indignation with the Nigerian system stems from the prolonged marginalization of Ndigbo. As a child of nine, I witnessed the civil war and also noted the conditions for the truce which culminated in the return of Ndigbo to Nigerian with the refrain ‘no victor, no vanquished’. Within a short while, however, the intent of our oppressor downed on us.
As a seemingly defeated people, we tried to play the balls as they came, hoping that God would touch the minds of the Nigerian Authorities over our plight. But things got unbelievable when Hausa religious leaders under the aegis of religious fundamentalism would instruct their adherents in their Friday Mosque prayers to have their pound of flesh on Ndigbo to appease God. They believe that such would lead them to heaven. As a resulting, scores of Ndigbo would be massacred in parts of the North and their properties looted and destroyed. This became a recurring occurrence as even the securities sent by the Federal Government often took active part in the exercise. Investigations later revealed that Northern Politicians were privy to the instigation of the Alamajiris who they use to settle scores with whoever they had differences with.
To avoid public resentment, the mangled remains of victims were buried in mass graves under the cover of the night. The few lucky escapees would later be apprehended on the way and the same glory treatment meted out on them. In some cases those who managed to find refuge in Police stations were also killed there as was the case of Gideon Akaluka who was beheaded in Kano Central Police Station.
The security of life and property of Ndigbo in Nigeria was no longer guaranteed. The defeated Igbo elites turned the other side to avoid blackmail as supporters of Igbo.
But someone has to carry the cross; someone has to bear the brunt; someone has to make the sacrifice. I decided to do it, not for any other person but for my children. There lives and properties have to be secure in a country they call their own. The person killed in Kano, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Jos or Sokoto, through organised religious riots could be any body’s child, brother, sister, husband, wife or relative. Life is important and highly cherished. Since Nigeria, after thirty-five years of the civil war could not guarantees the security of lives and properties of Ndigbo, the only available option was Biafra. This I did.
The name Biafra is abhorrent to our oppressors. It is a taboo. It is viewed with jaundiced eyes. ‘Who is the rat talking about Biafra? Ralph who?’ they asked. And before the blink of an eye, various raids ensued. Arrests, detentions and murder of Biafran protagonists commenced. But instead of dousing the agitation, it ignited it. Professor Chinua Achebe told me that one with God is Majority. I am guided by that dictum. I am not afraid as God has always fought just wars. Ours is a war anchored on non-violence, it is God’s war.
Culled from #IdealBiafraGovernment