The case for pro-Biafra agitators
It is no longer news that ever since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed the mantle of leadership of Nigeria on May 29, 2015, one of his key focuses so far has been the incessant, premeditated and wanton killing of unarmed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). More often, if the killing was not based on the falsehood that the IPOB members were the first to attack members of the Nigerian armed forces and as such had to be killed in return, it would be predicated on the spurious grounds that the hapless and unsuspecting victims of Buhari’s totalitarian and fascist government were obstructing the free flow of traffic and thus needed to be dealt with(which for the military entailed killing them) in order to clear the way for motorists and other road users.
Meanwhile, in all of these killings of peaceful protesters, the Buhari-led government is yet to come out with a single video record showing members of the Nigerian armed forces being attacked by the pro-Biafra agitators. But thus far, the reverse has always been the case in the aftermath of every peaceful protest duly organised by pro-Biafra agitators in Nigeria, all in pursuit of their legitimate demand for a sovereign state of Biafra. And besides the fact that thousands of members of this separatist group have been mowed down in their prime for merely thronging the streets of Nigeria in demand for self-determination as adequately guaranteed by international laws and practices, the Amnesty International (AI) recently had to lend its strong voice in total condemnation of the Nigerian government’s persistent and cruel clampdown and massacre of these unarmed and peaceful protesters.
According to this highly esteemed international body, no less than 150 unarmed civilians belonging to the separatist group were brutally murdered in cold blood using torture, live bullets and other lethal weapons. And further to its graphic report titled, “Bullets Were Raining Everywhere” the AI findings clearly showed that the assertion that the peaceful protesters were the first to attack members of the Nigerian armed forces was neither here nor there. Strangely, as if the killing was not provoking enough, the same soldiers and other security killer forces had to even go the extra mile of invading churches at Onitsha and its environs in Anambra State, Nigeria.
As it stands now, the Christian people of Eastern Nigeria – comprising the Igbo and folks of the Niger Delta region – are obviously not at war with the Nigerian state, unlike the case in the Northern part of Nigeria where the terrorist Boko Haram sect is increasingly having a field day and upper hand in the raging war in the region. Yet, the states within the South Eastern enclave are at the moment more militarised than the region which breeds and harbours terrorists in Nigeria.
And in all of this, nobody seems to be talking. Even most unfortunate of all, the United Nations which ideally is meant to be the conscience of the world on matters of human rights abuse, oppression, subjugation, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and so on that are all rife in Nigeria today, is apparently indifferent. Ditto the African Union. Perhaps, the UN and the AU are waiting for the eventual upsurge in widespread blood-letting in Nigeria before being alive to their global and regional responsibilities. The most appropriate thing for these august (international) bodies would have been to bring their influence, diplomacy and all instruments of coercion at their disposal to bear on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari by impressing it on the latter to quickly organise a referendum on this lingering issue of Biafra and often regional agitations before the bubble bursts.
Meanwhile, if indeed it could be done for the Scots in the United Kingdom out of the volition of the leadership of Britain, why then should it be difficult for the world body (the UN) to do it for Biafrans in Nigeria, especially in the face of the fact of the stiff-necked attitude and blood-sucking propensities of the present leadership in Nigeria?
In Syria, for one, it can be well understood that the ostensible reason which propelled President Barack Obama to embark on arming the Syrian rebels (the vast majority of whom are reportedly members of the opposition political parties in Syria) was not unconnected with President Bashar Al-Saad’s disgusting inclination to killing and bombing anti-government peaceful protesters. Nigeria needs peace. But there will be no peace when there is so much injustice against a people.
Chiduluemije, a journalist, writes from Abuja