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The trouble with Biafra


Nigeria’s first civil (Biafra) war ended over 40 years ago, which means the vast majority of Nigerians were not even born during the war, including most of those now leading the cause for another war. So where’s all the agitation coming from?

Biafra as a territory existed long before the amalgamation and independence of Nigeria as a republic. The first civil war was instigated by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, in pursuit of a “more agreeable” arrangement for peaceful co-existence of all regions in Nigeria proposed for a confederated Nigeria.
A no-winner no-vanquished verdict was given, though it is obvious that the igbo’s had more casualties in the end (approx. 30,000 killed), Ojukwu was no where to be found, and in the end, it was a baseless war with thousands of lives wasted. Ojukwu re-surphased later when the dust settled.

Enter Nnamdi Kanu: Nnamdi Kanu is a so-called political activist based in the United Kingdom according to his wikipedia profile. Ojukwu was based in Nigeria at least, and could argue a case. Ojukwu was an eloquent speaker, well educated and refined. He only seemed to have fought the wrong war, which he has admitted in different ways. He has also mentioned he didn’t think there was any need for another war. Now what case does Kanu have? Is he really fighting for Biafra, or is he being used by anti-bihari (or pro-Jonathan/PDP) bad losers (as some claim) to cause some trouble; just as Boko Haram were used to start causing trouble in the North during the Jonathan years? So I guess if an Igbo president goes in next, Afenifere, APC etc in the South West will bring something up too.

Perhaps we should go back to the Western, Eastern and Northern Regional style of government and only share the military, currency etc.. Nigerians seem to have more affiliation to their region/ethnicity/religion anyway.

To further complicate matters, the Biafra region has changed. The late territory of Biafra is covered today by the Nigerian states of Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo, Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Now there is no guarantee that the last 5 states listed (this includes Imo) have any interest in the Biafra call. The Igbos in other parts of the country (Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Kaduna etc) are probably more worried than anyone else about any re-occurence of a civil war. What’s more, we have enough on our plates at the moment, we’re stronger together, but perhaps we need to revisit our style of government


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