I would start by once again acknowledging the commemoration of all who lost their lives in that ill-fated civil war of 1967-1970. But I am not in support of Biafra. I cannot. Never will. That does not mean I do not agree with the fact that a people have a right to secede if they so wish.
That said, there is a rather uncomfortable narrative of the civil war being dished out by many on social media. I call it the social media narrative. The twisted narrative makes it seem as though the civil war was a Nigeria versus Igbo war. For the records, hausas, fulanis, yorubas, ibibios, ijaws, itsekiris, efiks, name them, died in that war. It was not only the igbos who lost their lives, albeit they were more in numbers. My kinsman, General Phillip Effiong, who was abandoned at the war front would have also gone with the war, if he had not taken the wise decision of surrendering. It was therefore a Nigeria versus Nigeria war. Nigerians bombed, raped, massacred and slaughtered fellow Nigerians. Biafrans are Nigerians. This is a more nationalistic war of looking at the civil war.
Having said that, everytime I am asked why I don't support biafra, I retort: 'why should I support biafra?'. Is it the selfish, self-centered biafra of Uwazuruike or the biafra of Nnamdi Kanu that lacks a philosophy, ideology or road map? The first and the last time I tuned in to and listened to Radio Biafra, I almost puked.
Why biafra in the first place?Marginalization right? Yes, I agree the south-south and the south-east have been relatively marginalized in this geographical entity called Nigeria. But would biafra solve this problem? Hell NO. It is thesame looting, thieving and corrupt politicians that would be elected leaders in biafra. Thesame Nigerians that claim a pencil is manufactured in a Nigerian state yet it is labelled 'made in China'. It is no aliens that would be elected leaders in biafra. It is thesame old recycled Nigerian politicians. There would not be a difference. We would still cry corruption, looting and marginalization in biafra.
I would therefore rather advocate a social re-orientation, one that would be make us elect selfless and detribalised leaders, that would champion the growth and development of all parts of Nigeria in equal measure. I would rather advocate a Nigeria where each state/region controls her resources. Where appointments and employments are made purely on merit and not on quota. A Nigeria where corruption is condemned and not celebrated. One Nigeria. If we achieve this, there wouldn't be a need for a Republic of Biafra. Not today. Not tomorrow.
Is it not therefore wiser for us to channel our energies into making Nigeria a more habitable, better and equitable country? All this requires is a willpower. Rather than risk a repeat of a gloomy history. A history that left us maimed, dismembered, killed, mourning and scarred. When we say 'Never Again', we should mean it. We must have to.
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