Oct 3, 2017  

After a deep investigation and research; I was convinced that there is a battle in Nigeria and that battle will snowball into a war but a lot of things have been taming what would be Nigeria versus Biafra second conflict. For an average Biafran; they have moved on from 1967 and are ready to execute the war they couldn’t execute then but for the leadership championing the cause of Biafra restoration, they are peaceful and would remain peaceful. They have rather faced armored thanks rolled against them with sticks and pebbles, taken live bullets and buried their people in the thousands. The leader of IPOB believes that civil disobedience and direct confrontation will remain their tools which were deemed ineffective in an uncivilized country like Nigeria by violence prone agitators.

The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra has shown and proven his determination to restoring Biafra and has ultimately rejected any other thing except Biafra. His dedication to the restoration of Biafra has made him priceless; every effort to buy him or pay him off has proved futile. In Africa and Nigeria precisely; bribery or meeting people’s price has been the hallmark of conflict resolution.

When the agitation for the restoration of Biafra started in 1999 by Uwazurike; the Nigeria government was able to court him and paid him off which worked but not without clampdown and subsequent arrest. Nnamdi Kanu has passed that stage and reached the objective of his people; but recently, his home was invaded and till date, nobody has seen him or knows his whereabouts. There are reports that he was murdered while other reports said he was detained but to the general public, Nigerian military remains the prime suspect in Kanu’s disappearance. The people are anticipating what will happen on 17th October when he is supposed to appear before Abuja high court.

Restructure is before Muhammadu Buhari; a factor that is believed could neutralize the agitation for the restoration of Biafra which Buhari has refused to embrace. Buhari on 2017 Nigerian Independence Day said that the call for restructure has been hijacked by secessionists, few hours Britain threw her weight behind restructure. Many opinion makers have found themselves struggling to come to term with the definition or kind of restructuring the country wants. Devaluation of power has been the main point of proponents while oppositions opined that central domination remains while few federal controlled things are forfeited.

 Having invaded the home of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, declared IPOB a terrorist organization and proscription by the governors, it looked like IPOB activities have been affected largely. Though there was a report of protest in Anambra State and Rivers State but not significant enough to draw international attention as usual, IPOB has vowed never to retreat but come back stronger. Nigerians and Muhammadu Buhari’s regime rejoiced that the terrorist label has curtailed the agitation in Nigeria though given it momentum internationally and they have been laughing all the while.

The Nigerian minister of information and culture stated few days after the terrorist label that they have cut IPOB down to size. Laurita Onochie, an aide, also boasted that the Nigerian military has succeeded in saving the people of Biafra by virtue of the unlawful and unprofessional invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home that left 22 citizens dead including two cousins of the leader of IPOB. There seems to be a great support for the military that had the courage to declare IPOB terrorist and started operation codenamed Python Dance in the major part Biafran territory. Muhammadu Buhari in his Independence message urged Nigerian soldiers to defend the country against secessionists which was said to be a hate speech against the people of Biafra and further support to the military to continue offensive against defenseless citizens.

On the other hand; the leader of IPOB has not been heard from after the military denied not having him in their custody. The military swiftly found themselves on the defensive after the invasion; having been faced by International and local condemnations, they suddenly began to deny ever invading Kanu’s home or killing anyone even when a live coverage of the invasion was recorded by the victims. Actions swung against the federal government whom their terrorist label was rejected by the international community and expected to whip up sympathy for Biafra.

Historically; Nelson Mandela was labeled a terrorist and his group took up arms to defend their lives because having been tagged terrorists, it sets the pace for military offensive. Nigerian government has rejected dialogue options and having not heard from IPOB, nobody knows what is cooking behind the scene. The battle is on and it would be foolish of Nigeria to laugh now because until the dust settles, no laugh is the last laugh. IPOB said they would come back stronger; Biafra National Guard a supposed violent group vowed to respond and yet nobody has heard from them. They cannot rightly retreat and what happens after response will decide who laughs last.   Authord by Ifeanyi Chijioke (Journalist, writer and social/political critic

Published /Edited  by : Anyi Kings                    
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