Burying The Ghost OF Biafra


Mohammadu Buhari is a wise man. Like my twelve-year-old son, he has all the answers to all the problems of Nigeria. To unemployment, he intends to pay each unemployed youth five thousand Naira – at least he said so in his campaigns. My son applauds the idea but wants him to pay secondary school and primary school students as well. “Are we not human beings too?’ he asked. Hmmm!

Are you wondering why he has not started paying the money yet? Lie (sorry, I mean “Lai”) Mohammed, Disinformation (you really must forgive me, “Information”) Minister, claims it is because the erstwhile administration of Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan did not include it in the budget. This Goodluck Jonathan was a villain – we have it on good authority that, as a rainmaker, he was responsible for the rain in Edo State for seven years, which stopped one Adams Oshiomole from tarring roads or doing projects.

Hmmm! So? When the promise was made Buhari did not bother to check whether this villain included it in the budget. Much like my son promising me that he would change the course of the Niger River so that we would not have to spend hours in gridlocks on the bridge. I said fine and good. Then he noted that he may not be able to do it again because he did not know that God did not make any provision for sending the water elsewhere.

But hope is not lost, according to Mohammed, youths would soon smile home with five thousand Naira monthly.

Buhari also had it all figured out that he would destroyed Boko Haram in two months. Boko Haram refused to die. Now we have been told December. Okay Oh! In December we will remember.

His most curious answer is to the Peoples Democratic Party, which he has come close to outlawing. There were no elections in states won by the PDP. Elections only held in states won by the APC. Former PDP office holders are “thieves,” while all those who served in the APC are saints. You name them, Saint Rotimi Amaechi and Saint Fashola… to mention a few. The Good Book says that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Not APC they have not sinned. So they have the right to cast the first stone in any situation.

Then came the Biafra uprising. The reaction had been to threated fire and brimstone as usual. One Chief Olusegun Obasanjo claimed that Biafra is dead. He is right, Biafra died but its ghost has been allowed to roam. That is why it is back on the public agenda.

In an interview before his death, Biafra’s number two man, Philip Effiong stated with the kind of brusqueness he was associated with that if he were the leader of Biafra, he would have won the war. He stated that Biafra was outgunned by six guns to one explaining “for each gun Biafra had, Nigeria had six guns.” He claimed that he told Odumegwu Ojukwu not to stop attending dialogues and peace meetings, like he did. “I told him to attend the peace meetings and give us time to buy more weapons, but he kept saying on Aburi we stand,” Effiong lamented, “he lacked patience.”

The entire matter is built around patience. The so-called “Biafrans” lack patience. The Federal Government tested their sinuous patience when they arrested a nonentity by the name of Kanu. Arresting Kanu drove home the reality that this Government does not seem to care about the East. Buhari has done pretty little to provide a counter-narrative that he is sectional leader.

The narrative that he is sectional leader was cast in stone when he initially lambasted Jonathan for sending soldiers to combat Boko Haram. Then he famously stated, “they are sending soldiers to kill our boys (our “boys” here referring to Boko Haram)” He would much latter describe the same event as “anti-North.” That narrative has been strengthened by his lopsided appointments and tendency to replace people in positions of influence with people from the North. As he pushes other regions to the fringes of our national life, the flame of distinctiveness and grievance would be kindled.

Buhari should be worried by the numbers. Says an Igbo friend, “He should, perhaps, check the presidential election results and he would discover that the Igbo’s were the victims of organized disenfranchisement. No Igbo state posted up to twenty-five per cent of its registered voters because the same people who told them to depend on card readers, told the North not to depend on card readers.”

So the numbers do not only indicate dissent, it also indicates frustration. Fancy how the result would have been all the states in the East had up to 90 per cent votes in the elections? Your guess is as good as mine.

But now the push has come to a shove and instead of postponing the evil day, the Federal Government should set up a committee to look into ways of dousing the Biafran fire. Apparently Yakubu Gowon’s three “R’s” (Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation) never worked. It never worked because Gowon did not walk the talk. Perhaps it is not time to walk the talk and bury the ghost of Biafra for ever.

Culled from: http://dailyindependentnig.com/2015/11/burying-the-ghost-of-biafra/


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