Most at times, you see some of our Ijaw brothers placing demands that Ijaw land be removed from the Biafran map. Some of them insinuate that they were never consulted before such was done while others just simply detest anything, Igbo.
The Biafra nationhood we seek is completely different from what obtains in Nigeria. In Biafra, we have repeatedly said that no one will be forced to belong and this is with every amount of sincerity. This is the reason why the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) maintains and stands on referendum, both internally and externally.
I carried out my one year compulsory service of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Bayelsa State, the very heart of Ijaw nation. During my stay there, I questioned a teacher regarding his feelings about the Biafra project. I really wanted to know if he supports Biafra. He responded that he rather preferred Niger Delta. He told me about late Isaac Boro and his revolution.
I further discovered that even my students have this unfortunate negative notion about the Igbos. Most of them have been fed with tons of poisonous lies and myths about the Igbos, such that most of them hardly freely relate.
What could have been the cause of this stained relationship between these supposed brethren? The Igbos and the Ijaws have never had any record or history of war. They have amicably lived and conducted their businesses together. My grandmother once told me about their long distance trade expeditions in the olden days. She told me about walking on foot to far away Oron in Akwa Ibom State and Igwenga (Opobo) in Rivers State of today. If these healthy interactions took place, why then present misunderstanding? I think the civil war played a major part in this whole issue. Many Ijaw families believed that Biafran soldiers killed their people. This is exactly what the Nigerian government (troops) made them to erroneously believe.
During the Biafra war, the Nigerian government needed to break ranks between the Igbos and their brethren in the coastal areas. So they deceitfully staged a show to that effect. They used Biafra military uniforms to carry out attacks on the villages in the coastal areas of Biafraland and also simultaneously staged rescue missions with soldiers wearing Nigeria military uniforms. These became the game changer adopted.
Biafra military was not solely made up of the Igbos. It was made up of Igbo, Ijaw, Efik, Oron, Ibibio, etcetera. Even the second in command was an Efik man known as Philip Effiong. How then did Biafran soldiers attack their own?
Another important point of note is that during the Biafra/Nigeria war which took place between 1967 and 1970, Biafrans had limited amount of weapons and ammunition. According to the account given by Madiebo, it got to a point that they had to resort to the usage of sports equipment to make sounds of gunshots so as to ward off the enemies until they got supplies or better still, ambush the enemies and took away their weapons. They most of the times, engaged the enemies in a free-for-all physical duel. Such grossly unequipped military cannot waste their little ammunition on their fellow defenseless countrymen. Here is the set time to really kill this Nigerian evil propaganda.
It is true that some were conscripted into the military and it is also true that such happens everywhere under the circumstance.
Nigeria certainly does not offer us as a people, any alternative other than Biafra freedom/restoration. We need each other if we really must free ourselves from the Nigerian contraption. This is the time to widely open our eyes and see what Biafra as an independent State, stands to offer us all. I strongly believe that an Ogoni man needs freedom. He needs to be totally incharge of his God given resources and make decisions on how best to rebuild and develop Ogoniland. Biafra is the only coverage we all have. Biafra cannot offer an Ijaw man amnesty nor give 13% derivation. She allows you the liberty to enact your own laws and govern your own people. This is something that Nigeria cannot give. Instead of fighting against Biafra restoration therefore, it is far better and beneficial to make your input on how best Biafra can be administered so that we can collectively forge ahead in unison.
In as much as we advocate for Biafra, we are also aware that we cannot force unwilling persons into Biafra as all evil indices obtained in Nigeria will never be allowed. We should understand that the current division in Nigeria is a product of the Fulani caliphate. It was simply orchestrated to divide us all the more. Southeast and Southsouth regions created and called are arrant nonsense. The Southsouth region so-called yet accommodates lots of Ndigbo (Igbo people). So it must be understood that even if we must further divide, the pattern can never ever go the way the caliphate designated it.
All the component parts of Biafra are very richly endowed with abundant natural resources both humanly and naturally. The only enemy standing at the door of our progress as a people, is ONE-NIGERIA which must have to be totally done away with. Let us throw away all the lies and deception of the drivers of the unworkable Nigerian State and seriously think about this.
Written by Elochukwu Nicholas Ohagi
Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press