Ndi Igbo, Keep Your Nigerian Passports

By Ikenga Chronicles July 14, 2019

Ndi Igbo, Keep Your Nigerian Passports

–Dr. Vitus Ozoke

Some folks make this idea of Biafra sound like a really stupid joke. So this guy here is calling on the Igbo to boycott applications for Nigerian passports, and for those who already hold Nigerian passports to destroy them.

His anger? There’s a picture of the Fulani, one of the major indigenous tribes in Nigeria, on Nigerian passport. For him that is Buhari’s grand scheme to Fulanize and Islamize Nigeria. I guess Igbonize, Yorubaize, Tivize, Christianize and Traditionalize don’t sound as common and sexy as Fulanize and Islamize; otherwise, other pages of the Nigerian passport booklet contain pictures of other Nigerian tribes that are predominantly Christian.

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But let’s assume, for purposes of argument, that there’s an ongoing attempt to Fulanize and Islamize Nigeria, whatever that means, how does the Igbo’s boycott and destruction of their Nigerian passports stop that?

Does this guy even know what an international passport is? Does he know that an international passport is right and power in the holder’s hand? If the Igbo should boycott and destroy their Nigerian passport, which for more than 95 percent of the Igbo is the only passport they hold, how will the Igbo get around?

An Igbo who has traveled out of Nigeria on a Nigerian passport, and who follows this fool’s call and destroys his or her passport, illegally stuck where he is. In the absence of such a passport, you can’t return to Nigeria. And for the Igbo who are in Nigeria, and who either boycott or destroy their Nigerian passport, they are stuck in Nigeria.

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If only this guy were any bit of a strategic thinker and understands what an international passport is, he will be urging the Igbo to acquire as many Nigerian and other countries’ passports as they can. You cannot be calling for an independent State of Biafra at the same time you are telling the Igbo to freeze wherever they are. That is basically what happens when you don’t have an international passport or foolishly destroy the one you have.

If you need a State of Biafra, don’t you need the support of the international community to make it happen? How do you travel to capitals around the world to canvass support? If you are going to fight a war to actualize a State of Biafra, will you not need to arrange for weapons? Oh, I forgot, we produce B-52 Bombers in Mbaise.

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I had wanted to ignore this guy’s very obvious foolery, but I remembered that hundreds of misguided Igbo youth are dead and buried today because they listened and acted on messages like this. If young men and women would march into their own deaths because they were caught up in a cult of personality and followed their dear leader’s call, destroying their passport would be a cakewalk.

Ojukwu’s 1967 Biafra was a great success from a strategic and organizational standpoint. For one ethnic group to withstand the rest of the country and its international allies in sustained exchange of firepower for three long years, it must have done a few things well. But there’s a challenge that exists today that didn’t exist for Ojukwu and his lieutenants back in 1967.

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Would Ojukwu’s Biafran war efforts have been helped or hindered by social media? Would Ojukwu have been able to corral his ducks in a row if everybody had their internet-active cell phones, tablets, and laptops with which they cranked out cyber commands? How much success would Ojukwu have had if some charlatan somewhere in Okija or London were busy making and posting videos calling on the Igbo to destroy their passports? I guess we would never know.

Anyway, I hope no Igbo man or woman destroys his or her Nigerian passport. And I urge those who don’t have an international passport to apply and obtain one immediately. The clearest evidence that the guy in the video has no idea what he is talking about is the Nigerian flag that he knowingly leaves on the background. It would have been a whole lot easier to either remove the flag or focus your camera away from it than to have to destroy your international passport. Bottom-line: keep your passports!