By Nelson Ofokar Yagazie.
The Indigenous People of Biafra called on the people to sit back home, disengaging from all activities for about twelve hours on the 30th of May as an expression of honour and appreciation to those who died defending them during the genocidal war of Nigeria against Biafra, the estimated one million children starved to death during this frightening period, the adult civilian victims, and the MASSOB and IPOB family members killed by Nigerian agents for no other reason but exercising their constitutional right of self-determination.
In its wake, some disruptive elements have reportedly risen up to oppose the call, pegging their antagonism on some flimsy and ridiculous reasons.
Regrettably, these elements of disruption are either from the political sector or the proscribed Ohaneze Ndigbo – a class of people obsessed with the nomenclature “Igbo leaders” but practically does nothing befitting to truly earn it.
Considering that asides their thugs, personal aids and a few dependents, most of them do not have actual followers, one wonders what manner of leadership they lay claim on. Well, this article does not seek to question their claim on leadership but their sanity instead.
As published by the Punch newspaper on May 5, 2019, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Anambra state government, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council, have all staged opposition to the sit-at-home declaration by IPOB to honour departed Biafran heroes.
In their antagonism, some of them tugged at economic effects of the order, while orders merely questioned the constitutional rights of IPOB as a body to make such call.
Reading through the utterances as published and credited to them, I found myself reeling back into the past. Shortly after the people of Nimbo in Nsukka was massacred by the marauding Fulani herders, the governor of Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, thought it best to bring to the grieving land the Sultan of Sokoto whose foot soldiers unleashed the mayhem.
To receive this Islamic “Lord,” schools were shut down, banks were shut down, the famous Ogige market was shut down, commercial transporters were forced out of the road, and even street markets were all shut down. Life was practically brought to a standstill. The so-called Igbo leaders now sprouting from all corners to express economic concerns over the Heroes’ Day sit-at-home call by IPOB never uttered a word.
They didn’t express any concern over the economic plight of the people. None of them questioned the wisdom in shutting down a city in honour of one Islamic irredentist on visit. But they antagonize IPOB for seeking to honour Biafran fallen heroes, in the same manner, Enugu state government honoured the Sultan.
Not long ago, the enclave was agog with a political tug-of-war. When APC brought their frontman, Jubril, to Onicha for campaign, economic activities were shut down. When they took him to Aba, Enugu, Igwe-ocha (Port Harcourt), Asaba and the rest of the places he went, the respective cities were forcefully shut down.
Commuters were even barred from passing. No Igbo leader, be it political or sociocultural, expressed any concern over the impact of such on the economy of the people. As a matter of fact, they cheered on. Yet they consider twelve hours of sitting back at home in honour of Biafran fallen heroes too much a sacrifice.
As mentioned in paragraph three, some people, notably Ebonyi state government, questioned the constitutional rights of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, as a body to issue such order. One then begins to ask: What constitutional rights have the governors in shutting down a city in honour of a visiting Sultan or a Buhari-impersonating Jubril?
Of course, the disruptive elements in the guise of Igbo leaders have ulterior motive for opposing the sit-at-home call. As have been laid to bare, both the economic plight of the people and the question of constitutional rights advanced by these elements are but a ruse.
The real reason behind their antagonism is to demonstrate to the Northern hegemony their unwavering loyalty to the caliphate.
Of course, the caliphate hates everything pertaining to Biafra, and since after the war has been dictating the political tune in the South East. As such, they install into power those loyal to them and use them to work against Biafra. Igbo political office holders as well as those aspiring to would readily oppose anything Biafran so as to endear themselves to the caliphate.
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