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Power of a joint broomstick: The Biafran issue and lessons for Nigeria

By Anthony Iwuagwu

Having done an apt digest of the article "Biafra and the conflict of rationality'' by Agwu prince, some pernicious intent were smelt hence It became imperative that i lend my voice, experience and thought on the issue.

I have been opportune to co-habit with the northerners for some years giving the compulsory National youth service scheme in taraba state where i served in the capacity of a lecturer at the college of education zing, and second, a post graduate study in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where i bagged a post graduate diploma in education. Thus, i can confidently tell you that truly, the average notherner is very accomodating but this is hardly the case when their kind gestures would be to the detriment of their brothers (fellow notherners). They understand better the word that says charity begins at home and they see onenessness amongst themselves as a virtue. This is lacking among the easterners.

I am also equiped with the requisite knowledge and extell you that, the average notherner is ready to die for whatever course they believe in(rational or irrational). In them, i learnt the true meaning of struggle and perseverance provided posterity remembers their effort in a positive light.

My personal experience
After, the hajj stampede of late 2015, which resulted in the death of a first class king in North East taraba state, zing local government to be precise. The people popularly called the mumuye tribe/kingdom fought earnestly using peaceful demonstration albeit, with diabolic protections via the use of traditional masqurades (popularly know as Dodo) as means to fend off oppressors and imposition of a new king as against their wish by top government officials therein. It was a conflict between the minority muslims taking over the throne of power and converting the community to an emirate as against the majority christians/traditionalist who preferred a certain man called bala. This crisis which lasted for months was that hot as government sent military troops in their hundreds to the small community in the name of peace keeping but with the intention of intimidating the latter group who were the majority and also to impose their political candidate on them. After some months of fierce resistance in a collective manner, the local people won as the man of the people "bala'' ascended the throne. This spurred wide jubilation of triumph.

In them i learnt how much a peaceful resistance even in the face of guns could pay off even though not immediate. In them i saw the practical powers of a joint broom stick.

This saga was witness firsthand with some lives lost, talk little of casualties and infringement on the fundamental human rights to freedom as movement was restricted. Amid all these, no media or dailies carried or spoke on the crisis up till date. Little wonder why malcolm x gave his voice against the media as a destructive and a manipulated tool by some few.

Freedom has never been given
Nobody can give you freedom nor power. If you are a man you take it.... Malcolm x

Some decades ago, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela envisaged the present operation python dance in the eastern region of Nigeria. He posited that It would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders (ipob inclusive) to continue preaching peace and nonviolence at a time when the government met their peaceful demands with force. But he warned that It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred, that the decision should be made to embark on violent forms of political struggle.” This i am certain is running through the minds of Nnamdi kanu and fellow pro-biafra agitators at this current time of great upheaval and man slaughter in the eastern region of the green land. If the manslaughter continues, i see the biafrans following the words of Mandela by picking up arms as a last resort. At that point, the international community should not blame them because self defence is allowed and encouraged locally and internationally.

The above were the Words of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela whom you celebrate today and so revered that he was almost made a religion after his demise simply because of his selfless service and lofty ideas. In the course of his struggle for liberation of South Africa from apartheid he faced heavy criticizm within and outside south Africa, in almost 30years of confinement, he was tagged a losser bereft of logical ideas in his pursuit of freedom both for himself and south Africa as a whole. Even after his discharge from prison, freedom won for the madiba land, ascention to presidency, and host of other achievement cum service to humanity which are crystal clear, visible to the blind and also audible to the deaf, he was again heavily criticized by a BBC reporter as a useless child who has done nothing either for himself nor for his country. In light of such ctiticism, Malcolm x had said "Anyone without critics is unlikely to succeed'' thus, Mr agwu prince and other concerned critics should continue to spur Nnamdi kanu to success with their criticizm. Buhari was his first major critic, he arrested him and fulfilled the prophecy of malcolm x.

Mr. agwu sir, you made reference to the madiba struggle in your recently published article but ignored the fact that it was acheived not solely on peace talks like wise other African nation upon their independence.

Contemporary history has shown that till date, there is no nation that has acheived freedom solely on peace talks. In Africa, Eritrea acheived their freedom after 30 years of civil war with Ethopia. You know better what transpired for years which in no small measures contributed to the referendum cum separation of South Sudan from Sudan. Do i have to remind us of the Algerian war of 1954-1962 which led to their independence? Or is it the Angolan war of Independence between 1961-1974 or the Namimbian war, Mozambiquean war or the kenyan war which led to their respective independence and host of other examples from Africa alone.

Studies have shown that Freedom is not given, it is taken. And you can only take it by speaking the language most understood by your opressors. Speak a different language and you are on your own. This is evidenced in the peaceful demonstration of ipob agitators versus the use of force by the Nigerian government.

ASUU : Hypocrites in desguise
Researchers of peace and conflict and other moral teachers always preach to their students that communication is the key to resolve conflict of any kind, but as soon as they get into conflict with the Nigerian government, strike becomes the next step.

I have for ages tagged our educators "hypocrites and unfaithful angels'' because they find themselves going contrary to the what they teach/preach as regards dialogue as against other measures.

For sometime now, i have so pondered why this is so?

This answer is simple. the Nigerian government only understand the negative language. Strike, agitation, etc. And irrespective of the peaceful nature such action takes, the government finds a way of tagging it a rebellion and implement consequences therein.

The Author is not calling for war or inciting hate of any kind. I have always been on the notion that the worst of peace is better than the best of war. But easterners should learn to synergize like the northerners in pursuit of same goal or give logical way forward and follow it as one. But it should not be born out of fear for loss or lack of concern. Remember, the main cause of poverty is fear as kiyoshaki put it. Anyone who is casual about life, will end up in casualty. You have the moral obligation to look into this issue or face casualty.

I call for unity of Ndigbo and democratic pursuit of peace by the Nigerian government while commending ipob for its non violent measures adopted so far.

In the antecedent of every problem lies the solution. Nigerian government take note.

About the Author
Iwuagwu Anthony obinna is a social analyst, education enthusiast and a social worker with specialty in community organising. He gained prominence with his best selling book on dyslexia:A learning disability.

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Anthony Iwuagwu .