Biafra: The Greatest Tragedy In The Quest For Independence

By: Ike chi-Ukwu Eluigwe

I have never met Nnamdi Kanu in person, but I have had personal chats with him online. There was a time he would always come inbox, anytime between 10pm and 12am. Those days, after a broadcast, he would ask me to listen to it and tell him what I think. I am saying this in the open, in case anyone thinks this is false info. On one occasion, I brought up the issue of his fiery language; and he told me that he has learnt that if he doesn’t sound that way, no one -even Igbos- will listen to him. Some presently think he has been heard and should tone down. I once thought so too, but I am no longer sure.

Before Nnamdi Kanu was MASSOB. I was under pressure by many then to join MASSOB and not by just anybody; by many who were important in MASSOB. I even visited Ralph Uwazurike in his Ijesha Surulere residence. The guy was so busy with many who were there; but I spent quite some time with his wife, who expressed gladness that “my type” believe in the Biafra project.

MOBIN. I know in person a number of the top hierarchy of this organisation. In fact, I have been privileged to attend a meeting of this hierarchy in Enugu. Probably, I might have been an official in the Lagos axis if I had been more available than I was; at least, it was suggested.

Tony Nnadi is another fellow labouring within his own conviction in the LNC vineyard. At a time, he was tagging me to all his posts.

Our involvement in the quest for Biafra has nothing to do with the present politics of Nigeria. In the late 90s, I was talking Biafra. My dad, who admired Ojukwu, contributed to my interest. I have once told here how I boarded a bus in Aba in the late 90s and a beggar came begging. After having gone around other passengers, when he came to my turn, he let out a salute “Papa Biafra!” he kept hailing that till he left. What this unknown beggar saw, I do not know; but at least something told him Biafra was alive. I am talking of more than 20 years ago! That lots of those who are routing for Biafra were only toddlers then, some not even born, tells so much about the unquenchable Biafra spirit.

Some of us cannot remember when we were talked into the Biafra dream. It has been so long with us that if we say, like Paul, that we are apostles of this movement who were not called by any called, we won’t be wrong. Why am I taking time to go through this? Ralph Uwazurike did not get the support of the intellectual class. MOBIN has not gotten the support of the intellectual class; they have had to struggle on their own. Tony Nnadi LNC has not been bought into by the Igbo intellectual class. Billie is struggling alone. Mind you, that a group is founded and led by intellectuals is not same as having the support of intellectuals. Actually, this is a most unfortunate situation!

If any Igbo who considers himself an intellectual or educated tells you that the reason he or she has not bought into Nnamdi Kanu is his style, rhetoric, vitriol, brashness, and all such, be free to burst into laughter. Ask such a one what vitriol and brashness is Ralph Uwazurike known for. Ask such a one what vitriol and brashness is Tony Nnadi known for. Ask such a one what vitriol and brashness is Rita Anigbogu, or the Ofoelue brothers, all of MOBIN, known for. How about Emeka Emekesiri of Billie? Ask such a one to show you the organisation pushing meaningfully for Biafra that they have supported even with just posts on social media?

The lethargy of this class simply made the vitriol of Nnamdi Kanu a necessity to maintain his base of downtrodden and trampled who need to hear the roar of a lion when it appears that everyone else has taken cover in trepidation at the sight of the oppressor. The practical truth is that if Nnamdi Kanu listens to the calls to tone down, he will lose his humongous base of supporters who love the roar -and yet will be left in the lurch by those asking him to tone down. We made Nnamdi Kanu who he is today!

INDEPENDENCE WILL COME! And like Mordecai, I speak to my fellow educated class, that with or without your participation, Igbo emancipation will come. If a war breaks out now, most of you will be so unable to join the trenches; yet, the role you can play, you won’t play. You are waiting for IPOB to first give you an invitational letter. What stops you from joining other initiatives other than IPOB? What stops you from birthing your own initiative as people who have the mental prowess for any undertaking? You think merely boxing IPOB makes you a heavyweight champion?

The greatest tragedy in this quest for Igbo independence is not that it has been taken over by riffraff like me. It is in the reality of dumbness from those who have been created to speak, blindness from those who have been created to see, lameness from those who have been created to run. Was it not the despised ass the King chose to ride on? Did He not say that if you hold your peace stones will arise?

The Igbo shall be free, even if it means stones arising and the King riding into war on a donkey rather than a horse.

Ike chi-Ukwu Eluigwe is a proud OnyeDot and a social commentator

Disclaimer: This article is entirely the opinion of the writer and does not represent the views of NEWSIEEVENTS.

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