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By Kayode Ogundamisi
Sadly, it isn’t the so called “marginalisation” that may lead to another civil war in Nigeria. It is IGNORANCE. The weapon of FEAR is being deployed across the Nigerian space.
Imaginary enemies are being created from North, South, East and West. The creators of the imaginary enemies are protected from the implosion that will emerge from misleading an IGNORANT mass.
How else can you describe the claim by IPOB’s Nnamdi Kanu and his Biafra travellers of possessing a nuclear weapon? Misleading a couple of young people into untimely death, making them believe they have some spiritual capability to defeat any force in the universe.
I experienced same with the Oodua People’s Congress. When you advise the young cadres not to overestimate or rely on some charm that will turn bullets into water, they laugh you off as the ‘grammar speaking’ Secretary General, sadly several young people did not live to see if the charm worked or not.
The Northern political elites introduced Sharia, they defied then President Olusegun Obasanjo. All the States in the North introduced Sharia, most created private militias to enforce the law. When they were reminded Sharia was already part of the Nigerian constitution, they protested. To them, religion was a convenient political tool deployed for political gains. They claimed they had a right to self-determination, a right most of them later opposed when the OPC and others demanded a Sovereign National Conference.
The move by Northern political leaders emboldened radical elements within the North. They planted the seed for Islamic militias who acted as Sharia police and metamorphosed into hate preachers, that gave birth to Boko Haram. Boko Haram appointed commissioners in Borno State. They got funding from state governments across the North, then the monster started consuming the people. Today, Northern Nigeria is a war zone, a region that can never survive the after-effect of Boko Haram even if the evil group is defeated.
The Frankenstein Monster called IPOB is now claiming to have a private army, performing military drills, displaying ‘photo-shopped’ nuclear missiles, claiming to possess war weapons never imagined, yet one clash with the police the so-called Biafra Secret Police are unable to protect themselves, neither are they able to protect the innocent by stander in South East Nigeria.
I weep for Nigeria.
Newly independent Southern Sudan is exporting over a million refugees to her neighbour after its Independence from Sudan. Will Ndi-Igbo put a leash on its Frankenstein Monster? Or are they pleased they finally have a mad man who can face that imaginary enemy? War is not a tea party, those who survived Biafra should know better. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu also bragged. He told his people they had all the weapons (at least Ojukwu did have some weapons, he deployed the resources of his wealthy father Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, KBE). Ojukwu deployed propaganda, his people bought it. They had reason to, they had legitimate grievances- they had just faced a horrible pogrom. Ojukwu gave them hope, but hope does not win wars, preparation and a long standing strategy does. When the dream failed, Ojukwu set in motion plan B: a plane to take him away from the war zone. He did not forget to go with his Mercedes Benz car, his immediate family and enough foreign currency to give him a comfortable life in exile, he lived in a mansion facing the sea side, but his people are still traumatised till today.
Ojukwu came back from exile and joined the party of the so-called enemy; he joined National Party of Nigeria – a party perceived to be ‘Northern’. He died a Nigerian, buried with the green white green flag wrapped around his casket. Hundreds of wounded Biafra soldiers still litter Enugu-Anambra roads till today begging for alms to at least have one food a day.
Today the new self acclaimed Igbo messiah, self-styled spiritual leader who claims to heal the sick Nnamdi Kanu is going down the same path Ojukwu took. He seems to have studied Ojukwu’s mannerism and use of propaganda and exploitation of genuine grievances and Igbos are watching and relishing the drum beat of war.
When the rain falls, it won’t fall on the roof of Kanu’s fathers compound in Abia State. It will fall on us all. The irony is that most of those playing the drum beats of war have dual nationality, they have their immediate families far removed from ground zero. It is the poor of North, South, East and West who will pay for the madness.
The Nigerian government are also failing in tackling the scourge, they are dismissive of Kanu, they underestimate the power of propaganda, they fail to understand that Nigeria is blessed with an Army of unemployed people, this rejected and oppressed people will fall for anything, in the absence of a responsible government any psychopath who speaks the right language will get the loyalty of millions of vulnerable people, mostly young with a lot of energy.
The Nigerian government must look at the demands of all groups, engage with them, they should also increase the capacity of the security to tackle insurgency with limited violation of the rights of citizens. ALL OPTIONS MUST BE ON THE TABLE.