The Biafra Nations Youth League, BNYL, had threatened to force northerners out of the Southeast and South south. Reasons being that the northerners are safe in the East whereas the Easterners were being threatened in the North and amongst other reasons. The group has stated, with reference to the strategy used during the Biafra war (1967-1970), that they will not be on the defensive side, but will invade the north instead, with heavy machinery.
With threats flying like bullets and cries of support towards neighbouring states from both rival groups, I do not think we have learnt much from Biafra’s lessons. Before Rwanda, there was Biafra and we must remember the genocide. They were not present when vultures were used in hotels as a replacement for chickens. Therefore the true story or rather history of Biafran pogroms and war should be thought in schools— unsuppressed, for the reason that is does not happen again. And for the igbo’s to heal so that we can stand in unity to defend any imminent threat, since no ethnic group is safe with the recent threats from RUGA. We as a nation could face certain terrorist groups rise in violence in the nearest future and a particular ethnic group may be caught in the virtuous circle of violence or every one of us.
Therefore we must speak about the civil war. It happened and it was catastrophic, and we don’t want it to happen again. As a nation, we cannot continue to suppress this past historical memory committed against innocent civilians. To fail to notice the civil war, what we suffered as though it never happened because we survived it, will most likely be to our own detriment and self-destruction. Hence, we must embrace the narrative but change the perspective.
Yes! it was a genocide, but we have to look at it as a mistake. The consequences of our leader’s naivety and blunders. A misunderstanding by leaders who saw war as the only option. To those who have carried this as a burden, heal and forgive. We have to, We are one. Let’s work around finding an everlasting solution to the many unresolved problems, and let us kill this ethnicity crisis, unless it will bury us all. A war so catastrophic that will be documented by foreigners, as most will not be alive to testify.
I believe we were not robbed of our independence when we lost the war. Maybe it was not meant to be at the time. And who said life will be better if a country was formed. There are no facts of a finer life, only speculations which has eaten deep into the hearts of many. However, a referendum is another route to ply instead of a war, as I am highly opposed to the deaths of many for the sake of freedom.
Back to why we are here. Igbos have to heal from the fact that the south- south did not help during the warfare, heal from the way the federal government at the time butchered and starved millions to death and heal from the alliance between the west and the north. Also, they have to forgive the igbo’s who through Radio Biafra’s propaganda fooled many into believing that they were safe in Biafra — winning the war and had nothing to fear, but met their doom through extreme hunger and malnutrition aside from the heavy bombings.
Regrettably, without actions intended on making amends for the wrongful decisions during Biafra, by either providing payments or other assistance to the communities or groups which suffered heavily, the preservation of Nigeria as a country will be farfetched, because the idea of an independent state by the igbo’s will linger on until another civil war finally breaks out, which I am totally against. No more blood! No life is worth taking due to dispute or ego or belief.
Giving the privilege to speak on behalf of my people, I think that what we truly want is a united Nigeria, despite the prevailing circumstances — the pain of social and economic marginalisation, and of narrow sense of reasoning, which has forced many of us through the provokable and dangerous route that we operate today.
In a nutshell, the igbo’s have to recover from this terrible affliction that they constantly wear as garments. And I totally agree that there must be some sort of reconciliation - a ticket to the first steps of healing. How about the federal government compensate’s the igbo's with the next presidential post, by encouraging easterners with political party tickets, including presidential tickets from PDP and APC, to run for the number one seat of the land.
A very good option to consider.