This Biafra Thing, How Many More Will Need To Die?

By Ikenga Chronicles September 11, 2017

This Biafra Thing, How Many More Will Need To Die?

Sunday night, sporadic gunshots were heard around the Afaraukwu axis of Umuahia, the Abia state capital. Aware that Afaraukwu is the hometown and current command headquarters of the leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, those who heard the shots immediately suspected that the gunshots would have something to do with the IPOB. They were not wrong.

Even though the Nigerian army has come out to deny being in any confrontation with any group, videos have shown that at least, IPOB members were confronting the Nigerian military. And that was a very sad and nostalgic sight.It was a sight reminiscent of the civil war days when badly equipped Biafran soldiers were seen bravely trying to fight off a Nigerian army fully equipped with Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC). Last night, it was the comic sight of IPOB members, wielding sticks, stones, matchetes and bottles, and flinging them at the armoured vehicle. One then begins to wonder of what effect those bottles, sticks, matchetes and stones would have on the armoured vehicle!

The problem with Nigerians is that they have short memories.For some reasons,they refuse to learn from past experiences, and use such experiences as guides in making better decisions in the future. That is the only explanation for why a group of people, who either witnessed the civil war, or read the account of it would believe that anger and fearlessness win a war! It was the same mistake made by the Biafrans in 1967. A particular story has it that in 1967, at the thick of the preparation for the civil war, the Ohafia war dancers came out wielding their matchetes, dancing and begging to be unleashed on the Nigerians!One wonders what matchetes, stones, sticks, bottles would be able to do against an Armoured Personnel Carrier, a machine gun, a rocket, etc.

No doubt, Nnamdi Kanu’s hold over a large number of Igbo youths is strong. He is the one leader they listen to, and would not mind laying down thier lives if he so orders it. But the important question remains; would that solve the Igbo problem which Kanu says he has set out to solve? Many believe that violence will not. It is then necessary that Kanu calls his boys to order, and lets them know that openly confronting the Nigerian military is an ill wind that will blow nobody any good. A good leader should first and foremost strive to protect those whom he leads.

It is important to remind all IPOB members that if tomorrow, the Nigerian Army decides to clampdown on them, no foreign government is going to come to defend them. No Israel, no America, no Russia. All of the stories of Western countries being in support of you and willing to fight by your sides are fairytales aimed at deceiving you. It is therefore important that you allow your head guide you, and not your heart.

Too many lives have been lost already on this Biafra thing (from about three million during the civil war, to the hundreds lost during sporadic protests over the years). It is about time an end is put to the continuous loss of life.