Some weeks ago, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, former Biafra combatant during the civil war, a one-time Federal Minister, cried out in anger and frustration against the activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB. He complained of the activities of members of IPOB in the South East thereby making every effort at the political solution for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kalu a fruitless one. Also, undermining the zone’s infrastructural, economic and political interest a mirage. The South East for years now has been troubled due to the activities of the IPOB members. The zone has witnessed several forced holidays especially since the arrest and arraignment of IPOB’s leader. Every effort to convince this group that the method they have adopted will set the entire zone backward has not yielded any meaningful result. It is on record that the Yoruba self-determination leader, Sunday Adeyemo (Igboho) is in the hands of the authorities of the Republic of Benin on the ‘orders’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Yoruba youths have not grounded the economic interest of the South West region, killed or destroyed property belonging to another Yoruba because they want Igboho freed. They understand the importance of dialogue, political strategy and underground moves at getting favourable results. The Biafra warlords have failed to understand that, while they are engaged in destruction of the zone other regions are advancing their economies and politics. Why the Biafra agitators think that the Igbo nation can succeed through field combat in resolving some political issues hovering around the SE is worrisome. As it is today, several well-meaning Igbo leaders have boycotted the scene and we are now left with no way forward. Many men and women, including this writer have been called names and tagged saboteurs because they kicked against the approach adopted by these youths. We have by these approaches of declaring a forced sit-at-home on the people of the SE and others living and doing businesses in the area, killing and destroying persons and property inviting economic disaster and political impediment on the zone.
The quality of governance, leadership and followership in the South East zone of Nigeria is worthless today. The entire zone is in want of quality leadership, infrastructural and economic development and youth political awareness. The current confusion in the SE have created avenue for the political class to deepen their looting. The Igbo political system is in tatters and, emergency situation need be declared to bring decency back. Clearly, this is not the best of times in Igboland, a part of the country well known to be one of the safest and peaceful in the past has lately become one of the most dangerous places to live in. A zone known for its commercial vibrancy. Onitsha, Aba and Orlu are usually busy cities when it comes to buying and selling, unfortunately that is not the case anymore as the activities of the youths in the area has led to dull moments. Owerri and Enugu, two cities known for its bubbling social life are gradually fading away because of fear for one’s life. What reigns supreme in the South East today is destruction of lives and property. This orgy of violence gained momentum when the IPOB group renewed their agitation for a sovereign country. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking for self-determination, it is an internationally recognized right. But, Nigeria has a constitution that governs our political life. Nigerian government cannot stop the Biafra agitators from seeking for a sovereign state if they abide by the rules. It may be a long process yet, that is the only recognized route.
The police woman that was murdered in the SE by unknown gunmen was a poor Igbo woman, gunned down by the poor, probably Igbo, of course not by the rich. When businesses are shut down, it affects the poor more, not the rich, for the rich will always milk the poor to get richer. There has never been any question or attack on Chief Theodore and Chinedu Orji by the IPOB members for the financial rape they have done to Abia State. Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu will finish his reign with his abysmal performance and perhaps head to senate to continue to amass public funds. When groups like IPOB fail to challenge the political class of the SE region who have and are still marginalizing and impoverishing the people, looting from the public treasury and denying the zone of any development then we are not prepared to take the bull by the horn, deceit is then our middle name.
The reality on ground is that IPOB as it is presently constituted must change their tactics and adopt new ways of popular struggle. You cannot continue to destroy property, kill and shut down businesses of your people and expect same people to identify and give you support. The fight must be taken to the door step of our enemies, those who have indeed denied us of true development, the SE politicians. Mazi Nnamdi Kalu ought to have spoken against the violation of the SE economy, destruction of lives and property by suspected members of his group. As long as these boys remain in this act, his credibility and intentions are subject to scrutiny. His popularity both locally and internationally dwindles. When Kanu and his group began their struggle for a sovereign state, many people in Igbo land supported their anger against the Nigerian state as justified. Many understood the genuineness of their complaints but will not now justify these acts of brigandage associated with it. Violence, especially killings and destroying people’s means of livelihood cannot attract sympathy, more so, when innocent lives are involved.