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Rethink It With Ben Biafra: A dream born out of oppression

The coup plotters had made one mistake and that was to appoint General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi an Igbo man as President

  • Published:
Biafra agitators play

Ohaneze Ndigbo

(Punch)

Nothing's changed. The maimings, killings, political suppression that led Nigeria to its first and only civil war still exists today. Only it's worse.

At least then the Yorubas and Middlebelters were exempted, or so they thought, and the country was not split along a Muslim/Christian divide.

In 1967, the late  Lt. Col. Chukuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, declared the Eastern region of Nigeria an independent state called Biafra. This declaration came shortly after the massacre of thousands of Igbos in the North by the Hausas.

The massacre ostensibly as retaliation for the murder of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in a coup led by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu was actually a plot believed to be instigated by the Northern ruling elite, who were not pleased with the idea of an Igbo president.

Biafra: A dream born out of oppression play

Chukuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu

(Log Baby)

ALSO READ: The Niger Delta Avengers: Heroes or Terrorists?

That the coup plotters also consisted of Hausa soldiers was conveniently overlooked, as they further split a freshly bonded nation along ethnic divides and provided the bedrock for corruption.

The coup plotters who had come together as ‘Nigerians’ to overthrow a corrupt government, had made one mistake, probably due to a naive sense of patriotism, and that was to appoint General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi an Igbo man as President.

Today the entitlement of the Hausas has gotten worse, and can be seen and felt by all, not just the Igbos.

The ransacking herdsmen, religious murders, politically instigated riots, no one is exempt, not even non-Hausa Northerners.

Nnamdi Kanu play

Nnamdi Kanu

(Sahara Reporters)

 

And once again there are calls for the sovereign nation of Biafra. The recent calls spearheaded by Nnamdi Kanu, however, is dead in the water.

The Igbos now unlike then, are no longer a single entity. They have been split along selfish and tribal lines, and the agony of the lost war is still fresh in the minds of the survivors.

Who are not ready to subject their children to the horrors they faced nor are they willing to lose all they possess for a cause they no longer believe in.

A close look at the members of MASSOB will reveal that most of its members have nothing to lose. They are neither wealthy nor well educated, the few who are, are fighting from the safety of the US, London, and other foreign nations.

What I do wonder is, what the outcome of the war would have been if the Yorubas and the middle belters felt then, the way they do today.

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