Nnamdi Kanu born in 1970, the same year the Nigeria civil war ended. Truth be told how much of the war relic did he see or experienced……your guess is as good as mine. Many who witness the war and who are lucky to be alive now, has continually pray never to witness such war again.
In 1967, just seven years after we gain independence when the war broke out, Nigeria back then can still be describe as a nation still groping , our military institution were very much at it’s infancy, arms, ammunition’s, ballistic missiles and other war fare weapons were still in its dark age compare to the 21st century where we now have nuclear weapons, radioactive weapons and several others, yet the irony of it was that even in 1967 when the war began and in 1970 when the war end, the carnage as a result of the war was massive.
The Nigerian Civil War, better known as the Biafran War, (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government.
The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain’s formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included a military coup, a counter-coup, and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over oil production in the Niger Delta played a vital strategic role.
Within a year, the Federal Military Government surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt. The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to severe famine—accomplished deliberately as a war strategy.
Over the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died from starvation. .
Over a million were homeless, those who made it alive battle with one deformity or the other, is it the several rape, or the loss of a vital part of the body or famine in the land particularly in the eastern part of the country. Imagine if the war was to commenced today, imagine its impact, the implication from an economic or financial point of view to the human point of view, is better imagine than told given modern warfare compare to the like of 1967.
No one recall any of the then war lord, Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu or that of his lieutant Philip Effiong….losing their ward, children or any of their family member in the pogrom and massacre of their fellow ibo’s , as their wards were ferry out of the country before the war. Nigerian’s lost so much in terms of human, resources and the ill effect that the war brought upon us as a nation.
Once upon a time, The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) a secessionist movement in Nigeria, associated with Igbo nationalism, which supports the recreation of an independent state of Biafra, led by an Indian-trained lawyer Ralph Uwazuruike, with headquarters in Okwe, in the Okigwe district of Imo State came up calling for the liberation of the ibo/igbo people calling for an IBO nation, today the likes of Ralph Uwazuruike have gone like a candle in the wind, extinguish beyond recognition, not by federal might but rather because his ideas do not conform with realities of time.
We have had of rumours of war, of war and wars, the Somalia war the DR Congo war, the Gulf war, Cuban revolution, Vietnam war, Kosovo war, bay of pigs invasion, but in all cases unwarranted death, destruction to live and properties were the tell-tale signs, no one live to tell a good story of war and no one will live to say it…..always negative.
Nwannekaenyi “Nnamdi” Kenny Okwu Kanu a British-Nigerian political activist is a leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), today is a leading light in the campaign for a Biafra nation and in recent times says the November 18 governorship election in Anambra state will not hold unless the federal government conducts a referendum on Biafra.
He threatened that members of his group might also boycott the 2019 general election in Biafra land should the government refused to heed to the call for referendum, he said Biafrans were ready to go to prison if the federal government did not grant their request of having a republic.
Today the results are not farfetched, the Arewa youth has made her own pronunciation that the Ibo should live the Northern region, the Niger Delta has asked the Hausa/Fulani to live or face the consequences, something very similar to what happen in 1966 leading to the civil war we experienced as a nation.
Or is Nnamdi looking for cheap popularity, because today, I am sure his name is on google search engine, Wikipedia etc. Or is he just another Nigeria begging for attention and use his ibo men to rise to prominent.
Otherwise agitations comes in various forms, self-governance should start with self-righteousness, we have Ibo men as governors in all of the eastern region, yet I cannot as an average Nigeria point to one major achievement of this governors, Senators, Federal Rep member, state assemblies etc. It is still an everyday life of personal enrichment, poverty in the land, erosion is gradually taken over the eastern part of Nigeria, bad road, no good hospitals, poor infrastructure, the state of the school is appalling, education is not free, the land smell of rots.
One would have expect that for KANU charity should begin at home, called a referendum, bring your people together, show them how the ibo should live collectively, start a message, a message of hope, a message of unity a message of togetherness in that way, you can win a war against the oppress ibo man, the armed and pen robbers, the kidnappers and above all to win the most important of them all, making your leaders a call to service, a call to serve the interest of the ibo land.
Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, but certainly not in the world, take a look at China, a look at India, a look at USA, very diverse, multi religious, multi race yet in their diversity lies their common strength, in brotherhood they stand and brotherhood has kept them collectively together.
Kanu, in my opinion the enemy of Ndigbo is Ndigbo itself. Recall Jonathan regime, how many minister do we have from the South South and South East, choice position, what do they do, they were busy looting our common wealth, diverting billions of naira into their accounts home and abroad, today someone is calling for a Biafra nation. Who is to blame? Who is marginalizing the igbos? If you Kanu becomes Nigeria president tomorrow, will there be any difference I am sure your own people will be further marginalized.
I have a different opinion though, I have followed you for a while, your press conference, the interview sessions and I am not convinced that your agenda is truly for a Biafra interest. Otherwise you won’t make a clarion call asking your own people not to exercise their right to vote or be voted for, you can go about this in a different way altogether, we saw the one day sit at home and it was a huge success, but how sustainable is it, given that your people must eat, must buy and sell and must go to schools………
If you are sincere, call your people together first, the young and the old, here what they collectively want, seek the opinions of the traditional ruler in your kingdom, seek the opinion of the elites, the scholars, the artisans the market women, seek opinion from all works of life, let your own people decide what they want for themselves and not from your selfish point that can plunge this nation into another civil war, wanton destruction of life and properties. Never again must we allow this to ever happen again, if Nigeria will break, it will be a collective decisions by all regions in this country and of course we are sure that this country will not break, it will go forward and make progress in the committee of nations.
God bless our country Nigeria……..and all its inhabitant.
Ogbeide Osa Kennedy
Writes from Lagos Nigeria.