| Wednesday, July 05, 2017 | 23:45 CET

Biafra: That Warped Theory From a Defeatist "Biafran" Writer 


I read with disgust a post by my Friend, MR. Ezendiokwere Franklin Nnaemeka on his attempt to give his infantile descriptive understanding of the Biafran concept and his Igbo genealogy on his Facebook wall this evening.

I was particularly irritated with the constant use of the word "Ibo" for his Igbo (a non - Igbo would have been easily forgiven) in his desperate attempt to bamboozle his readers with his postulation that Biafra was just an idea without geographical expression.

Given the undeniable freedom of expression we all enjoy I can only say to my brother that his views are most welcome even as distorted his historical account of the mobile nature of the entrepreneurial Igboman which he summarily alleged to be as a result of the landlocked nature of the southeast.

Sir, in a recent account from the Emir of Kano, the Town Kwankwaso is said to have been founded by an Igbo man known as Okonkwo. That was as far back as 19th century when there was a whole East without boundaries. The land was never seen as a problem then in Igbo land let alone the assumption that Okonkwo's up North movement was as a result of lack of land.

As far back as 1945, Ndigbo had started joining the rail liners to most parts of Nigeria in search of greener pastures. The Igbo man is naturally explorative, daring, inquisitive and determined to dig the spices around him. This can even be seen from their origin which history has shown migrated from Israel. Today, there is nearly no family in Igbo land where you don't have people and their most successful ones living abroad even when they are so rich and have resources to acquire all landed properties in Ala Igbo.

The Igbo man sees his land as a holy and resting home to rest after tilling the land outside his home. That is why they are quick to return home en masse during their various festivities. The Igbo man even in an entire world of openness would still embark on an economic journey to another. That is their nature.

Therefore, it is correct to say that the cliche which has been roundly and faultily used against the legitimate Biafra agitation is a huge fluke. Being landlocked has no political, Economic, social or psychological impact against a restored Biafran nation.

Most countries of the world today who are currently viable and Progressive are landlocked. Australia among others in Europe are, and are doing well. In our own Africa here, one of the fastest growing economies here even with its just ended Civil War is Rwanda. I spent few days in its capital Kigali while on my way to where I am currently writing from.

Rwanda today has a National carrier which boasts of over 100 air buses while our Nigeria has none. Rwandair is becoming a major competitor with the Ethiopian airline and SA Airways. That country is quickly recovering after its war. It is a landlocked nation. In Africa alone, we have a total of 16 landlocked countries that are currently Independent and doing just very well. Statistics show that almost 1/5 (44) countries in the world are landlocked. This shouldn't always be used as reason why a sovereign Biafra nation should not be.

On Biafra coming only via the instrumentality and involvement of the elites and intelligentsia, Ezendiokwere Franklin Nnaemeka is either being economic with the truth of history or that he simply doesn't know that no known nation of the world that fought for Independence actually succeeded mainly with their elites' supports.

As a matter of fact, GEORGE Washington achieved America's freedom with only 3% of America's population and they were mainly the "talk was"  not the Governors and Senators as majority. This was same with Gandhi's India, et al.

How dare an Igbo Writer of the 21st century describe the Biafra agitation as a mirage and impossibility?  What is difficult in Nigeria breaking up when even the almighty Soviet Union (Russia) did and the world did not crash?

While I won't be opposed to a one United Nigeria where equity and equality are enshrined for a general good, staying apart as two best Economic Neighbours where the above are missing is a go for me and better for Ndigbo.

Who are even these elites that must speak for our freedom?  The same ones that have been there for these past 50 years and stealing our common cake while their children are sent abroad and we are regularly crushed?

I laugh and hoot at people who say Nnamdi Kanu is not an Igbo leader simply because they consider him a young man. How old was Ojukwu, Gowon OBJ, Buhari, Mandela, Martin Luther King, etc when they initiated freedom Leadership of their people?  Yet somebody is saying that a 40plus-year old Nnamdi Kanu with millions of unrented followers, a British graduate is not an Igbo leader simply because he does not succumb to Aso Rock biddings? I can't believe this!

Biafra was not and is not a psychological entity, dear Ndiokwere. It was geographical with map and boundaries, and it is still. The struggle is not to actualize it. It is to restore it. And all true Biafrans must join in this struggle instead of this defeatist mentality.

(The author Greg Nwadike writes for Biafra Today)


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