I think these youths still need to be spoon-fed about the calamities and destruction that was occasioned by the July 6, 1967’s blind and logger headed agitation by the old but gullible Igbo leaders spearheaded by lateMaj-Gen. Odunmegu Ojukwu. How I wish the present agitators for a sovereign Biafra State knew what 1967 to 1970 looks like in the history of our beloved country Nigeria.
Of course, most of us did not witness the calamitous and destructive incident but a common sense should tell that no good came out in the course of the agitation, it was rather on the reverse side, brutishness, nastiness, social disorder and distemper characterised the epoch.
With the advent of internet facilities, the needed information about this war had been documented, It was recorded by the Wikipedia that not less than 3 million biafra men became refugees during the course of the war, 4.5 million biafra persons were also observed to be displaced internally, almost 100,000 biafran soldiers lost their lives in the battle field, the occurrence was such a terrible one in the history of Nigeria which teaches and enhances the lesson of cultural tolerance and relativity, intolerance was the sole factor that led to this war.
General Muhammad Buhari, a military junta shared his terrible experience during the civil war, he said “As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.
I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there, the consequences of such folly”.
It is important to note that the civil war of 1967 did not start at once, but rather it was triggered gradually. It began like the current one by IPOB, where the Igbos were agitating for a sovereign Biafra State. They were adamant, destructive and conspiratorial along the line. Then the Nigeria government waged war against their erroneous behaviour. This war, which lasted for four years, claimed so many lives, displaced thousands of persons, made the society unsecured.
The present agitation also shares similar qualities with the formal that led to the horrendous civil war, reports have been gathered that IPOB members attacked other tribes and emphatically the Hausa Fulanis, two or more mosques were burnt down by this crazy movement, and Nnamdi Kanu who is their leader has been making derogatory comments on Nigeria and its leaders, he also went further to preach the gospel of hate and war which amounted to the recent attacks on non Igbos in the South Eastern part of the country.
Whoever says the operation python dance going on in the Eastern part of the country is not constitutional should prove how constitutional attacking other people based on ethnic differences is, whoever does not know should know that many people will start a war but few will be able to witness the end part of it, as war is not always condoned with even in the international relations, it is seen as the last resort in all regards, instead of drumming for war a sensible mind should rather go for peaceful dialogue that ensures the settlement of things without wasting lives and properties.
In Nigeria, where we found ourselves, we operate a federal system of government, which presumes that we should learn to tolerate ourselves. A federal state will always consist of tribes and cultural groups of diverse backgrounds but yet we should learn to understand our differences. If by this century a person still hide under the guise of ethnicity to drum for war and some cohorts can embrace that ideology, it really tells how educated and civilised they are.
America’s case should be a big lesson to us. It is a state, which comprises of different cultural groups but still tower high and triumph in all ramifications because their diversity was identified and understood within themselves, All in all, let’s understand our differences.
The fact is that the secessionists will not benefit from their agitation but rather they will be at the losing side, myriads of Igbos are popularly known to be businessmen, who have established gigantic business centres in, not their own indigenous states, but in the states of other cultural groups such as Lagos, Kano, Sokoto and Oyo. So, if eventually the dream of a Biafra sovereign state comes into reality, these Igbo business moguls will eventually become poor because they will have to abandon their resources and leave for their Biafra State to start a new life.
I also see this agitation as somehow baseless and unrealistic because many Igbos, following the rules of exogamy, have their spouses to be Hausas or Yorubas and when the Biafran ideology luckily becomes actualised the question is how do these people manage their condition?
On this basis, therefore, we should learn to tolerate ourselves and understand our differences in order to live a comfortable life. The man spearheading the ideology of actualising a sovereign Biafra State in the recent days existed not during the first civil war, so I doubt if he knows the consequences of this bitter and terrible event.
More over, he owns dual citizenship when he probably achieve his evil aim of disuniting Nigeria, he has a choice of flying to his second country. He is indeed a paid agent for this evil mission to disunite Nigeria.
We Nigerians should tolerate ourselves, thread the path of our fathers in building and progressing the nation collectively, and we should even emphatically act on the advice given to us by one of them (Ahmadu Bello) that we should understand our differences, therefore, the Igbos should rather corroborate and collaborate with other Nigerians to make the country attain a lofty height than being bandwagon supporters to divide Nigeria because united we stand and divided we fall.
By Abdulganiy Abdullah O, a columnist for signalsng.com and the director of Social World.