Biafra: I Miss President Umaru Yar’Adua, By Ken Tadaferua
I have watched a video of a motley group of young men numbering no more than a hundred announcing themselves as the battalion of a Biafra Security Services (BSS). They were armed to the teeth with only black t-shirts and trousers, black berets with red Biafra insignia and standing in ungainly rows of fours and threes and even twos, without guns or even bow and arrows.
This piece was written by Ken Tadaferua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.
It is this laughable and even foolhardy comedic attempt at military parade that has become one of the sadist basis of extremist war mongers to justifying the deployment of the mighty Nigerian army, troops, brutality, armoured tanks, guns and possibly bombs on Aba, Abia State.
That BSS group does not even elicit the respect or fear of a marching cult group on university campuses, a common fare in Nigeria. And in terms of ferocity, it is no more than a mewing cat compared to the armed OPC of the South-West, or a squeaking mouse to the machine guns armed militants of the Niger Delta, and no more than an effete whisper compared to the rampaging rumbles of Boko Haram of the North-East.
This is a group that will be sent scampering for safety by a couple of hard grained armed robbers. This is a group that the might of the all conquering Nigerian Army is mobilised by mean war mongers to annihilate with war weaponry. And within a day, the boys of that “brigade” were forced to wallow in mud as sign of the great victory of the outstanding battle strategy codenamed ‘Operation Python Dance’. Elsewhere the action of the army has gotten some miscreants to harass vehicle passengers, including Northern indigenes, thus providing more grist for those stoking and unleashing the dogs of war. Someday, some of these folks will look back at their perfidious contributions to the conflagration they stoke and be ashamed.
Do I support Nnamdi Kanu’s abusive taunting of the Nigerian state? No. Neither will I support the use of the army with its sordid history of execution of disproportionate military brutality on internal citizens. I know not yet where the police or other civil security forces have been deployed and failed in curtailing the IPOB.
Why the army is a first recourse to internal protests, particularly unarmed protests, beats me completely. Obasanjo’s military massacres of Odi and Zaki Biam are ugly reminders. It is not surprising that the same Obasanjo, one of the seven members of the military cabal that has ruined this country since 1967, is satisfied with Buhari’s performance.
Nnamdi Kanu is a fringe by-product of the terrible system of Nigeria. One whose narrative lacks the intellectual and strategic deep thinking of a Ken Saro-Wiwa, who incidentally was murdered by the Nigerian state even for his peaceful approach. One that lacks the communality of decision, particularly of his elder and intelligentsia kinsmen to build advocacy on the groundswell of the critical awareness he has created on the Igbo condition.
One who has centred his message on abuse and alienation, on puffery and hot air, drawing many in ecstatic embrace of the Biafra idea but without an clear winning strategy, without weapons of war. One that de-markets, brews abuses and threatens the lives and businesses of his widely travelled kinsmen in other regions, particularly in the North.
One that is increasingly viewed as a liability than an asset in these regards. It is one that needs to be re-strategised under the umbrella of, say, Ohaneze and with the moderating influence of the urbane John Nwodo for constitutional advocacy for the cause.
I admire the courage of the young man for standing up for his cause even if I am not in accord with his methods. Look at other millions of young Nigerians and intelligentsia sitting on their backsides simpering in misery like efulefus, without balls like serfs, in their poverty and joblessness and ignorance, eking out miserable livelihoods out of heavy yoke and corruption across the country trammelled by a few mean rogues called leaders and elders.
They do not nothing about their horrible station. Indeed Nnamdi Kanu is bold but I think he is endangering himself and his tribe by sticking to a verbally corrosive yet strangely unarmed strategy. That makes him mince meat in this vicious country. He is only one of a few young men bold enough to speak up against an unfair system characterised by elite greed and wanton mismanagement by the Nigerian leadership since 1967.
A leadership whose produce is the over 70 percent of the population or more than 100 million citizens living below the poverty line. One in which the medical, educational system and social systems are decrepit, horrible jokes. One in which endemic corruption and disdain of values have become culture.
One of predator elites and elders who think self and tribe and region and have woefully failed to create shared core values but have applied a divide and rule strategy enforced with military might and suppression. One in which the economy is absolutely stagnated, not diversified and predicated entirely on free oil revenues with no single local industry developed since 1967 across the country.
Of rogues and cutthroats in power, sucking the life blood of millions of citizens, consigning them to the graveyard. This is the country that remains firmly under the control of the evil strategy of the cabal of seven, for whom the Nigerian army and brutal force is the key to suppress the massive disaffections and rage which their greed and impunity have been building over the decades.
But they have cheerleaders in civil society, educated and shameless men who splurge luxuriantly in all the impunity, corruption, tribalism, unfairness, oppression and who scream with murderous lust for military interventions with resultant massacres of the innocent, young men, women and children, as in Odi and Zaki Biam.
The solution to the Nigerian condition is not rolling out military tanks and big guns against a loud young man who orchestrates a clownish video of some 100 unarmed, black clad, young folks called BSS in a nation of 180 million people. It should not be about a whole national army moving on a home in a state to arrest a young citizen and order young folks to lie in and drink muddy water or shooting to kill. It makes a joke of the Nigerian army. It also escalates the popularity of Kanu.
The solution lies in civil approaches that address key issues of the protests, in particular marginalisation. In the past 50 years, this nation has stagnated with productivity at its lowest levels today. Unfortunately one of the solutions, restructuring, is being systematically swept under the carpet by one of the captains of the Cabal with the dangerous and dubious diversion theory of mental restructuring. Meanwhile the nation continues to careen on the cliff edge. Dialogue with Kanu or perhaps more respected elders from the East (to whom in my view Kanu ought submit control) will not kill anybody. Commonsense not war. If the young man, Kanu, is deemed immature, must the entire leadership and elders of Nigeria be more juvenile and rush to war without thinking?
Whereas Obasanjo rolled the tanks and got the troops to level Odi, it took the thinking commonsense of the late President Yar’Adua to de-escalate the growing rebellion of the Niger Delta militancy. The answer lies in brains not brawn, not gore, not blood. Those Igbo intelligentsia who from their comfort zones grumble about the “nuisance value” of Kanu, and the pretentiously empty war lords from other tribes baying for the military option, for blood of the unarmed, should be thoroughly ashamed of their perfidy.
They wallow, like fat eunuchs in the stinking cesspool of greed, corruption, incompetence and wickedness that Nigeria has become in 50 years. They do nothing about the horrors and pains of the huge majority of citizens. As long as they get crumbs from the festering gutters of corruption to buy cars, generators, houses, water pumps with boreholes and build high fences, they bay with unrestrained fury, from the warm comforts of their homes for the army to meet their lust for blood.
How I miss President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, a man with brains and compassion. May God Almighty rest you eternally in Heavenly lights.
Ken Tadaferua is a media and marketing communications consultant. Twitter: @ktadaferua
This piece was written by Ken Tadaferua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com