by Chin Ce
The problem of Nigeria’s failure in Africa has been compounded by the problem of growing demands for the restoration of the defunct Biafra Republic. But the problem with Biafra, just like the Nigerian problem, is the lack of a studied intellectual platform for the harnessing of ideas necessary to inspire a wide following from the general component formations that would ensure its stability and prosperity as a nation.
The historical necessity that gave rise to the brief thirty months of its existence was not followed through by this diligent and rigorous intellectual approach to national prospects. Writ large, the emerging maximum leader of the new nation, Emeka Ojukwu, squandered this opportunity with his militaristic side-tracking or ignoring of all reasonable suggestions by the brightest minds of the firmament to avoid a head on collision with federal forces.
While Zik, the greatest Africanist of the time, had advised the necessity to follow through with diplomacy, Ojukwu had opted for braggaddacio and rhetoric. A nation that had yet to come into recognition began to announce through its gregarious spokesman that no force on earth could stop the coming of the new world power of Africa.
The neo socialist utopian document called Ahiara Declaration failed in local impact by turning off the capitalist, land and property grabbing generals of Biafra, while the unimpressed Soviets simply looked away in disinterest.
Such dauntless confidence, clearly outmatching the emerging northern oligarchy of the murderous Gowon regime, proved a fiasco for world recognition or assistance, and for the realisation of Ojukwu’s dream nation.
The question till date still stands about why a hated people yet to find some degree of sympathy to the plight of their genocidal experience could shock the world with their premature and arrogant declaration of messianic destiny of world domination.
The people had taken off on a wrong footing, imitating Jewish and Arabic religious posturing which have seen untold calamity among the major players in the Middle East. But the black leaders forgot that this was Africa and that the merciless racism from East and West that blighted the planet and assured its descension into dark age had, since pristine times, been pitched against Africa.
In fact it is the European, nay, world policy, that Africa remains poor, servile, and the under developed dump of the Earth.
Yet given Gowon’s and the North’s intellectual backwardness, it is difficult to reason that men of Ojukwu’s scholarly attainment in the Eastern conclave of the new Biafra, then, could dream the delusion of replicating in Africa the Middle East scenario between Israeli Zionism backed by US and Britain on one hand, and, on the other hand, the morbidly insane and fanatical Muslim Palestinian species locked in a war of supremacy. Even if such were possible, a Christian-Muslim religious warfare could never have spelt the remotest positivity for emergent new nations of already volatile Africa.
Thus Biafra was simply sacrificed by the powers that be because a disunited Nigeria, by the elusive gradients of its atomistic composition, would remain perennially in internal discord, hardly providing the needed resistance to European imperialism and their grand designs for continued exploitation of Africa’s resources. The World powers understood, as much as the British had purposed, that a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, bulbous nation was only going to end up so fragmented, and perpetually at war with itself, as never to provide any rallying stream for the restoration of Africa from her complicated economic servitude to the West. Thus if truly the warlord and his band of Biafran war-mongering supporters had remembered this simple premise of Africa and the rest of the world, perhaps they could have listened to the enlightened Africanist vision of the time in favour of diplomatic resolution of the conflict within the African Union, then, OAU.
The reverred Biafran leader ought not have squared up to the fight which the blood-thirsty cabal of Northern Islamists and genocidal murderers virtually led by Murtala Mohammed, had sorely wished.
Two million lives of traumatised Biafran men, women and children would not have been wasted on that war.
Indeed the more intelligent, more pragmatic, counsel of Chukwuma Nzeogwu to tackle the federal forces via guerilla tactics should have prevailed. But no. Without arms, with mere cutlasses and sticks, Ojukwu’s hubris preferred a standing army with all the epaulettes of commander on Chief!
Fifty years later, the lessons have yet to be learned and utilised by a legitimate new breed of haters of the Nigerian experiment in failure, ala MASSOB and IPOB.
The loud, mouthy propaganda and appeal to base, anarchist instincts is reminiscent of past and present Nigerian and Biafran leadership syndrome.
That Nigeria, as presently constituted is, and will remain a humongous African albatross, according to colonial intent and design, is not in doubt to even the most casual onlooker. African nations, all over, now seem contemptuous of the corrupt and inefficient nation led and dominated by a parasitic breed of elites and supported by more than four hundred sophisticated alliance of other cowardly ethnicities. The Igbo group of south eastern extraction have witnessed the courage to ask for their own nation, the bravery of challenging the rot and depredation which the British deliberately foisted upon a country where, by spurious geographical politics, the North, still chanting ‘One Nigeria’ like a robotic maniac, is empowered to determine its destiny to ultimate perdition.