Saturday, August 26, 2017. 21:00GMT
Dr. Paul Unongo Is One Of Nigeria's Educated Illiterates 

 It is disappointing how some Nigerians grow old but never grow up. It is also alarming to see some educated Nigerians who have turned illiterates because of Biafra.

It baffles me to observe that the sound of the word "Biafra" resonates war in the ears of some Nigerians, just because Col Yakubu Gowon went into war of aggression against  Col Chukwuemeka Ojukwu when the later, after treaties on how to stop Hausa-Fulani from slaughtering Igbos proved abortive, declared a separate state of Biafra to guide against the extermination of his people.

Even as Gen Yakubu Gowon has lately regretted going to war with Ojukwu, citing that the war was avoidable but due to youthful idiosyncrasy he saw it as the last resort, many Nigerians, disappointedly, supposed educated ones, are still regurgitating the said youthful blunder of Gowon as if they are oblivious of the century we are in now.

Dr. Paul Unongo, the chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, is one of the schooled illiterates.

He is one of those whose ear drums have turned war drums at the sound of Biafra. He is among those who have refused to go for routine ear check-ups with ENT specialists and have refused to do a personal cleanup.

He is among the remote-controlled brains who have been programmed to respond in an autocratic manner even in a democratic setting.

He is among those programmed to dance with the step of war when Biafra is played even though the beat has been changed.

This is so because, in a comment credited to him, according to Daily Post, he still thinks like a motorist still waiting for a signal to move when the green light is on.

I don't want to bore you with his full rhetoric but in his unschooled reasoning, he said in an interview with The Sun, according to Daily Post:

 “...What kind of country is this? What sort of human beings are we to now prove that man does not learn from history?

“Shall we, Nigerians, start all over again and not move forward. After 50 years, we come back to the same rhetoric to abuse people and heat up the polity with tribal feelings right to the pitch and we fight a war. Last time, we lost 3million people. If we go with Nnamdi Kanu now, how many millions are we ready to part with?

“Maybe 15 million and we wait for another 50 years and the cycle continues..."

I don't want dive into how far they have tried to resolve the ills that led to the declaration of Biafra but I want him to explain how going to a referendum which Kanu has put forth before the federal government of Nigeria can lead to losing millions of lives.

Ojukwu declared Biafra after his request for the resturcturing of Nigeria failed and Gowon responded with war but Kanu has given a better formula that will arrive at a better answer. And from his body language, he wants a state of Biafra that the international community will recognise and he is using internationally recommended civil disobedience to achieve that.

Going by the comment of the said Dr. Paul Onongo,  Biafra sounds like declaring war in the Nigerian battle field. Read his word:

“We that are old have an obligation to tell the young people that we cannot go back to war. The issue of Biafra was sorted out on the battlefield and about 3million Nigerians died in the process. I understand when Buhari talked about it with a little bit of anger. I say it softly; I beg you my brother, Kanu. We do not want another Biafra. We settled the issue of staying together with 3million people. I am 100 per cent with Buhari on that.”

When he said "We do not want another Biafra", what I read in his mind is "we do not want another war".

But this supposed to be an educated man who has seen similar Agitation similar to that of Biafra in other countries of the world. He should not claim to be unaware of Scottish agitation for independence in the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Or the recently conducted referendum that exited Britain from the European Union.

I do not understand how in this digital age, one Nigerianists are still bent on employing analogue mentality.

I don't know if it is fear of survival when Nigeria divides, that makes one-Nigerianists  hold on to that rhetoric.

Do they mean to say that if Nigeria had existed separately from Biafra in that 1967 when Biafra was declared, that Nigeria would not have survived? Of course, Nigeria, as well as Biafra, would have been greater than it is today. There would have been better developments in the two separate states than we have in today's Nigeria.

In fact, going by the good news of Biafra being one of the best growing economies in Africa and the world at large between that 1967-1969, both Biafra and her would-have-been neighbouring country, Nigeria, would have been a place to tour, because there would have been healthy competition among the two.

Please, let Nigerians stop thinking backwards. Let us conduct a referendum to ascertain our collective desire and if it happens that Nigeria will split, it is better because everyone will put his best to the nation he or she loves most. But if we refuse to adhere to this sound reasoning, corruption will continue and worse rhetorics will be continually rehearsed as far as Nigeria remains one against the collective will of the people.

By Mazi Edozie 
For IPOB Writers
Published by Jonas Rafeal

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