The recent angry outburst by Mr. Asari Dokubo, the self-styled Niger Delta Militant, against both the Indigenous People of Biafra and its detained Supreme Leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, over the recurring sit-at-home observance in the Igbo heartland is not just misplaced, but also an utter hogwash. Whatever might have informed such unrestrained polemics, Dokubo’s remarks about the Igbo observance of sit-at-home in solidarity with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu are all simply asinine in their entirety.
In the first place, the argument that Ndigbo do not necessarily cherish Mazi Nnamdi KAnu or the cause of Biafra he has painstakingly elected himself to pursue with vigor is as fallacious as peddling a claim which says that Asari Dokubo is no longer an indigene of Niger Delta. Besides, that the Igbo are not willingly and whole-heartedly observing the IPOB’s sit-at-home orders, but are rather doing so out of sheer fear of being killed, is the most idiotic talk of the century to ever emanate from Asari Dokubo.
Obviously, these remarks do not only betray the fact that Mr. Dokubo is pretty wallowing in the deep sea of ignorance about the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria, but also they portray what seems to be the general perception gap that exists in the minds of many non-Igbo in their daily struggle to fathom the renewed vigor behind the mass movement and sympathy for a sovereign state of Biafra. This perhaps further appears to be the same attitude of the mind that still confuses some global powers as to the universal Igbo determination with respect to their actual yearning for an independent republic of Biafra.
But in any case, for the benefit of the Asari Dokubos of this part of the world and their ilk elsewhere, let it be made known to them here that the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria are not cowards, and neither are they ever known in history to have shared in such antecedents. They are rather famous for their peculiar type of bravery which their daring efforts at realizing the sovereign republic of Biafra in the late 1960s up to early 1970 continues to speak volumes about their intrepidity. Hence, the stupid remark that the vast majority of Igbo obey the sit-at-home orders being issued, supported or favoured by the Kanu-led IPOB principally out of fear of being killed is neither here nor there.
As it were, the truth of the matter in all of this is that the vast majority of people of Igbo extraction appear to have developed enormous degree of liking, trust and confidence in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB. And this is basically because Ndigbo have keenly watched and studied him as he exceptionally continues to wheather different levels of storms and anguish, physically, mentally and otherwise. This is of course accounts for why many now have cause to go the whole hog of sharing in his dreams and aspirations for the actualization of a sovereign state Biafra.
In fact, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unlike all the past charlatans that endeavored to deceive Ndigbo under the guise of demanding for a sovereign state of Biafra, is undoubtedly the only Igbo man in the recent time who has uncompromisingly detached himself from pursuing the cause of Biafra for pecuniary, material and positional interests within the fantastically corrupt entity called Nigeria – at least judging from the public perceptions of his hardline stance on Biafra as of today. Indeed, Kanu’s commendable show of uncommon commitment to the cause of Biafra and its actualization movement is only comparatively next to no other than late Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu – the great Biafra Warlord.
Evidently, before now, many Nigerians were ready to swear that no Igbo man could afford to close his shop for an hour or so in an apparent demonstration of sympathy or support for a cause hitherto wrongly perceived to be as “anachronistic” as Biafra. But today, ironically, many a confused and petrified mind will appear to be so shameless and incredulous to reckon with the bitter reality of a sit-at-home observance for Biafra.
Unfortunately, rather than giving kudos or commendations to the same people often accused of loving money more than their lives, the Igbo are nowadays receiving vilifications and condemnations for merely saying loud and clear by dint of sit-at-home observance that they are tired of their co-existence in Nigeria, and that it is high time there were allowed to decide through referendum whether they still want to live with any other nationality or nationalities under the Nigeria project or not. But then, that the likes of Mr. Asari Dokubo are hell-bent on kicking against this legitimate demand in the guise of launching litany of attacks on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB, is never to alter the intensifying clamour for a republic of Biafra and its emerging novel narratives as being spawned by Nnamdi Kanu’s current legal fireworks.
Arguably, though, the Monday sit-at-home observance could rightly or wrongly be perceived to be hurting the core Southeastern Nigerian economy, and in which case, it is argued, there is an urgent need for a rethink of the approach. But then, for the Asari Dokubos and Senator Enyinnia Abaribe who desire an immediate cancellation of this sit-at-home observance, the key question is, what alternative approach are you people offering that is to serve as constant reminder to Igbo political elite and their Nigerian partners in order to ensure that Mazi Kanu must not be forgotten or be ignored to be languishing unjustly in President Buhari’s dungeon?
While of course it is easy for Igbo and Nigerian politicians to be freely frolicking around the country in the name of politics and governance, and thereby looting our national treasury in the process, it appears quite difficult for them to empathize with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is being unjustly kept incommunicado. What on earth has Nnamdi Kanu done that is worse than the innocent blood the bandits and Boko Haram terrorists have spilled in this damned country? Yet the islamist government gives no tinker’s damn while freeing and absorbing them into Nigerian military and paramilitary organizations.
As important as the calls for immediate cancellation of Monday and other-days’ sit-at-home observation in the Southeastern Nigeria is, the unconditional release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is of paramount importance. It is not enough for any politician or one so-called Niger Delta militant to claim that the recurring sit-at-home observance is killing Igbo economy or that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is not loved by his Igbo brethren. Let it be known that the current wave and stage of agitations for a sovereign state of Biafra in Nigeria is not even something that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu can control while languishing in President Muhammadu Buhari’s dungeon. And not even the misleading words and political platitudes of politicians driven by their political ambitions can stem the rising tide of anger and frustrations among Igbo youths. What needs to be done must therefore be done quickly, rather than making this fuss about Igbo or Nigerian economy suffering as a result of IPOB’s sit-at-home orders. A word is therefore enough for the wise.
Onyiorah Paschal Chiduluemije writes from Awka, Anambra State.