Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan,former President of Nigeria, 2010 to 2015

By Chima Onyekachi
For BiafraPost

Dr Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, born 16th November 1904, was one of the leading figures of the independence of Nigeria from its British colonial masters in 1960. He served as the second and last Governor-General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and a ‘ceremonial’ President of Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. Nnamdi Azikiwe played a prominent role for the unity of Nigeria and even chose to leave his people(Biafrans) during the Biafra Genocide of 1967-1970. He blamed General Odumegwu Ojukwu for his resignation, as a spokesman for Biafra and his adviser, and then switched allegiance back to Nigeria. He was granted asylum in London by the British government and was on voluntary exile till the genocide ended. 

Azikiwe, while serving the state of Biafra did well by getting the support and recognition of some African leaders for Biafra. He could have consistently used his diplomatic ties to continue to speak for his people, but he rather chooses to preserve the unity of Nigeria. 

I still think Azikiwe had a personal choice to make; Biafra or Nigeria, and he chose Nigeria because he genuinely wanted unity. I am not writing to ridicule Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, but it is evident that his choice failed him. 

After the war, he joined the Nigeria People’s Party in  1978, making unsuccessful bids for the presidency twice, in 1979 and 1983. He left politics involuntarily after the coup d’état by General Muhammadu Buhari, on 31st December 1983. After a protracted illness, on 11 May 1996, Nnamdi Azikiwe died, without seeing any form of preservation of unity in Nigeria. Even his mausoleum is in a bad state and only remembered for renovation by Nigeria politicians during political jamborees.  

Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, ex-president of Nigeria and a Biafran from the Izon clan must learn from the mistake of Nnamdi Azikiwe.  He is being celebrated as the face of democracy in Africa because he peacefully relinquished power after his lost in the presidential election. He chose not to cause chaos and violence like Muhammadu Buhari did in 2011 after he lost the election. 

It is time for Goodluck Jonathan to look beyond himself and get to know the true feelings of his people. His people were strongly against his action to quit without questioning the authenticity of the election result, but they still respected his decision and remained calm. 

Jonathan recently held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, and came out to advocated for a united Nigeria; he said: “if we fragmentize the country into small components, we will be forgotten by the world”. 
This is rather myopic coming from a man widely travelled, several countries like Russia, Eritrea, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bangladesh Venezuela, Ukraine, Croatia, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Macedonia, Namibia, East Timor, Palau, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, South Sudan and many others are not forgotten after their independence. 

He also said that Nigeria’s prominent position on the global map was attributable to its size, diversity and human resources which I agree but wish to ask. In what sector is Nigeria presently prominent? The so-called prominence of Nigeria was made possible because of the crude oil found in Biafraland and the achievements of people of Biafran origin. And there are more countries with lesser size, diversity and human resources that are better and more prominent than Nigeria. 

Forty-six years after forcing the Indigenous People of Biafra to reunite and become Nigerians again, the marginalisation has not stopped but have continued unabated. This injustice and discrimination have proliferated tensions amongst ethnic groups, leading to the calls for the peaceful disintegration of the country. 

Immediately after the war in 1970, a lip-service policy code named 3R which mean Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation was instituted by the leader of that ‘genocide war’ General Yakubu Gowon, but sadly none was implemented; negatives economic policies are formed to deprive Biafrans opportunities.Efforts were also made by the Nigeria government so that generations who did not witness the genocide would not learn or have knowledge why the genocide against their forebears. 

President Muhammadu Buhari has also made known his intention to take care of the 97% that voted him into power as against the 5% that did not vote him, and he has been doing as he spoke with prejudice. 

The atrocities of the Fulani Herdsmen against Biafran has steadily increased without any action taken against them. The lives and properties of Biafrans sojourning in Yorubaland and Hausaland is constantly under threat.  Biafrans do not have the opportunity to exhibit or achieve their potentials in Nigeria. 
The marginalisation of Biafrans has given rise to the various armed group in the creeks of Biafraland seeking for redress because their land is polluted and means of livelihood destroyed. The revenues from the resources in their area are used only for the development of northern and south-western Nigeria while their area remains underdeveloped. 

It is well-known fact that the northerners own 95% of the oil well in Biafraland. Admission into government educational institution and appointments into government parastatals are subjected to ethnicity, favouring mostly the Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba people. The Islamisation of the country is in full swing in every sector of the country, and Christians frustrated from freely practising their faith in northern Nigeria religious groups, govt official and Boko Haram Islamic terrorists combined 

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, before his illegal incarceration had raised a high awareness of this issues bedevilling the Indigenous People of Biafra, the continuous subjugation, the expired amalgamation treaty and the need for the restoration of the sovereign state of Biafra. 

The arrest of Nnamdi Kanu gave rise to protests demanding his release in most parts of Biafraland, which resulted in the shooting and killing of many unarmed Biafran protesters. Biafrans on evangelism were shot, injured, most arrested and still imprisoned by the Nigeria government. Hundreds of Biafrans were also shot and killed on May 30th, 2016 in Nkpor-Onitsha, during a peaceful procession to honour the Heroes of the Biafra Genocide of 1967-1970. 

Since Goodluck Jonathan left office as the president, has he bothered to spend time with his people to know what they want? Is he not aware that the report of the National Sovereign Conference he handed over to Muhammadu Buhari is hidden away in the archive without any implementation? 
Why has everyone who worked under him during his administration being arrested and tossed into detention by various security agencies? Does he think the announcement of his alleged sponsoring of the Avengers does not have a political undertone? 
How long will he pretend that there can be unity in Nigeria? 
How much is more blood needed to enforce the unity of Nigeria which is obviously not attainable? 

Goodluck Jonathan must not forget the acrimony against his administration by the northern oligarchy because of his ethnicity and religion. 

Though he failed Biafrans woefully during his administration, they still stood by him during the election because they saw his genuine intention for unity in Nigeria. He must reasonably use his diplomatic ties to demand a referendum for his people to avoid continuous bloodshed if not he is bound to fail like Nnamdi Azikiwe if he does not jettison his desire for a forced unity of Nigeria.

Edited and Pulished by EmmaNnaji



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