STAND, biafra, prison, bigots, ethnic, names, OLULANA, FASCINATION, ALOFE

This is how I feel about Biafra. My opinion and nothing more.

I am one of those Nigerians with many close friends among the Igbo. Close enough that we see each other as family. My visits to Owerri, Aba, Enugu and other smaller towns in
the East as we called it then have been highlights of my Nigerian experience. So, I do not want a dividing up of Nigeria, with Biafra on its own because of that selfish desire to have my friends still be a part of the country I come from. We are all known as Nigerians. It is an emotionally attachment.

However, I understand the frustration many of my friends have with the entity we call Nigeria and the unequal partnership between its constituent members. We cannot wish away the Igbo experience during the Civil War with the consequent overt and subvert marginalisation caused directly or indirectly by power at the center denied them, with the Igbo feeling they do not have a loud voice in the country.

Anyone who thinks the ‘big role’ played during the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration by Igbos ought to compensate for all the pain and suffering they have experienced as a people must be uninformed or disingenuous.

So, I want the Igbo as a people to be able to decide if they want to remain in Nigeria or not. While I believe the existence of Biafra will only magnify existing problems within because the Igbo represent a microcosm of Nigeria, just as every other major ethnic tribe does (crystallized in them are fractures and fissures which make the Nigerian society susceptible to unequal distribution of resources), marginalization will not suddenly disappear should Biafra come into existence. This is a fact many want to pretend not to be aware of.

It is my opinion that some of the leaders of the Igbo today are deceiving them by claiming once Biafra comes into existence, all will be well. Anyone who has travelled to the Eastern region knows it is not a homogeneous zone with respect to how various sub groups interact with each other.

To exacerbate the issue, if, as many of these overtly ambitious “leaders” keep proclaiming, the Southsouth is part of Biafra, that only increases exponentially the lack of cohesion a new nation of Biafra will immediately be faced with. I see many of the problems they are running away from in Nigeria rearing up their ugly heads within Biafra.

Still, it should be a choice they, the Igbo and other ethnicities which may go along with them get to make and live with. One thing Biafra will do for the Igbo is to break the perceived yoke of the North from its neck. That is the reason many are harping on Biafra. It is about getting away from the North through any means.

Far reaching consequences of achieving separation from Nigerian for that reason are not deeply thought out by the average person who listens to proponents of a breakaway, from what I have read and heard of their messages.
So, I feel profound sadness on several fronts when I think about Biafra and what it may portend for my friends.