This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcast.

For August 31, 2002 

You have heard the news; now, the analysis…

This week, we focus on General Obasanjo’s weekend nationwide address to the nations of Nigeria where he spoke of the House’s ultimatum to him to resign or face impeachment. We will dissect this speech so that you can see for yourself that there is no hope at all for Nigeria .  

Before we go there, please take a moment to reflect on a most historic event which is in progress this weekend, on St Simon’s Island , off the coast of Georgia , USA : The Ibo Landing Celebration. This is a ritual ceremony to bring to rest the spirits of Igbo slaves who chose to drown themselves rather than serve anybody as slaves, thereby generating a very powerful folklore in these parts of the US , and revealing an unforgettable character of the Igbo psyche. The ceremony is therefore also a celebration of Igbo courage and dignity. We salute all the attendants, and we commingle with the spirits of our own--departed and living--in recognition, appreciation and celebration, and with great pride. 

Let us now go to the abomination called Nigeria and the General’s weekend address. First, let us bring up General Obasanjo’s response, in the same address, to the fact that Sharia has once again condemned another citizen of Nigeria to death by stoning, and now, Amina, the hapless woman, awaits the execution of the sentence. In effect, General Obasanjo asked Nigerians to accept the fate—death by stoning—of that hapless woman, as he himself has, implying that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under his leadership, is unable to protect the human and civil rights, and life of a citizen of Nigeria from cruel and unusual torture, punishment, and institution-sponsored murder; Amina’s offense is presumptive evidence of adultery. The General was more concerned about the effect of this whole affair on the image of Nigeria abroad. 

Is this not crazy that the General should be standing there talking of weeping (crocodile tears, no doubt) and wringing his hands in helplessness, while a region of Nigeria gets away with murder, based on that region’s culture and laws, practiced and exercised over and above the laws of the so-called Federal Government of Nigeria, and all he can think of is how this is going to affect the image of Nigeria? Perhaps, the General is not smart enough to understand that it is his reaction—his, the General’s—that will paint Nigeria the evil color that it deserves, well after Amina is forgotten. When it comes to inciting and sending his army to kill unarmed civilians and destroy their villages, the General is at his best! He does not hesitate at all. But to confront Sharia’s wickedness which has resulted in a schism in Nigeria and also, in the unnecessary shedding of innocent blood, under his watch and under the very nose of his government, the General proves that he is indeed without an ounce of courage. The House was right all along—he should resign. 

(Not that we expected much from the General and his government. He has been very predictable.) 

Now, to the impeachment issue. The first act of a dictator—which buttresses the case of the House against him—is truly exemplified by the General’s first reaction when he said: “…that the Federal Government has taken steps to ensure national security is not impaired in any way due to events arising from the House motion…” Yes, the Army formally pledged its loyalty, not to Nigeria nor to the Nigerian Constitution, but to General Obasanjo. Yes, we heard that the Nigerian SSS detained and harassed some members of the House. Then, the House members were accused of meeting with elements of the military--with easily deduced implications. All this because a President—one erring man--is facing impeachment? 

Is this a democracy, anybody? Isn’t this how a dictatorship works? Isn’t it what the House is impeaching the General for? 

Then, like all true dictators, he is almighty and infallible, making light of the impeachment and calling it a joke, and then, implying that it is the House that is errant! Such arrogance! but only as befits a true dictator. Let it be known that the House is doing its duty, and we hope that the House will have the balls to see it through, because they are the only institution that at least tries to read and follow the constitution—flawed as the constitution is. 

On the economy, the General admits that his regime has performed poorly, stressing that his strategy was to use “the effort of foreign investors” to grow the economy. Here again, the ignorance of the General and all his past predecessors—those who ruled and ruined Nigeria; all those who had little or no civic education, not to speak of even a basic understanding of economics—shows. The first true investment and investor in a country’s economy which is designed to grow is THE PEOPLE!!! It is not foreigners, nor foreign investments. All along, successive (mis)rulers of Nigeria, of which the General counts twice, have done everything in their power to destroy and marginalize the common folk  living in Nigeria, destroy their trade and means of self-support and livelihood, destroy the educational and training systems, and successfully target the industrious and entrepreneuring Igbo – Biafrans, while at the same time seizing the latter’s oil wealth for squander and personal enrichment. Of course, when Nigeria has deliberately consumed her human resources due to idiotic rule, inept rulers, and egomania on the part of such rulers, where else can she turn except to foreign investors and hence, to failure? Unfortunately, the General still has no clue. 

Then, the General went back to his I-dey-kampke-ism. He said: “…Nigerians have nothing to fear politically, socially or economically…” Wow! Politically the General is facing an ultimatum to resign or be impeached. Elections were postponed as the Electoral Commission itself is embroiled in kickback-bribery scandal, and voter registers were chewed up by termites, There is hardly a State whose government is functioning--some are truly dysfunctional or not functioning at all; the Presidency does not get along with the House and the Senate. Resource Allocation, Resource Control, and Sovereign National Conference—all these are unresolved issues, and the General opines that peoples living in Nigeria have nothing to fear politically? Then, why is Kano is a no-go area for even the General? 

With respect to Nigerians having “nothing to fear socially” the General has just told the world how powerless and timid he is about confronting Sharia, which is burning up what is left of any collective social fabric called Nigeria, along with any image left. He knows of continued inter-ethnic national clashes. Christians cannot live in the North without lethal harassment. Brave Biafran women have left their homes to take over oil plants and demand from the Oil companies what is due them but has been denied them and or stolen from them for decades by the Government.  The police and army and civil service are not paid regularly. There is no personal security. There is no protection from the government. How insensitive can the General be? Do the words he utters connect with his admitted experience? 

What about economically? One minute, he admits his economic policies have not worked (and we have pointed out why earlier)—he doesn’t get it yet. Today, there is higher inflation. There is less locally produced food. The Naira is devalued. There are no jobs for the young or the able-bodied. Bribery is the only industry—sorry, we forgot corruption and looting of the Federal coffers by the General’s peerage. “Abject poverty” is the most heard phrase in the description of the common people living in Nigeria; it is also their most common experience. Yet, General Obasanjo has the nerve to tell the people that there is nothing to fear economically 

As if even nature laughed at the General’s mockery of reality, as soon as he started bragging about how he has made things better for Nigerians and used electricity as an example, the power went out, we are told. For a man who claims he listens to God, it should be obvious Whom he is not listening to. (We expected no different; he has a history of not listening to anybody—including God.) 

Listen to this statement: The crisis, General Obasanjo said, "has also shown that our democracy is firmly established as a government of the people established for the people which will be sustained and defended by the people for the benefit of all the people." 

What democracy? What government by the people? Which people? We understand that many Nigerians are afraid that the impeachment of an erring President would result in loss of democracy. What a pity, and what sheer ignorance! It is this type of crassness that persons like General Obasanjo can count on and exploit to his own personal and political benefit, while the people who know no better than suffering remain suffering. The people of Nigeria do not understand that it is only in a culture of accountability and transparency, without immunity and without exception, of individual officials and collective cadres, institutions and arms of government, and the government itself, can democracy be said to have taken hold, be taking hold, and or to exist. 

Therein lies the hopelessness of Nigeria and in Nigeria: the people do not even know when they have been raped by their leader, but are willing to accept this condition and even defend it. And the leader carries on as if he is God’s gift to the country, speaking of democracy, but acting totally the opposite, yet proud of it. Is it possible that the General does not really understand that his words and actions are totally opposite? Let the House of Representatives teach him that. 

Regardless of the outcome, only a Sovereign National Conference can break this jinx and release the Nations of Nigeria, and do so in relative peace. Biafra is the paradigm: the peaceful actualization and assertion of sovereignty and independence from the awful structure known as Nigeria, a structure that has foisted on the peoples all the evil that men can do to their own people, and all the burden that life has to offer.  

We trust that other Nations in Nigeria can see that this is the only way out and follow the example of Biafra.. We (Biafrans, Biafra) are taking that way! 

Biafra lives!   

That’s the news analysis for the week .


God bless and keep Biafra and you, until next week. VOBI broadcast continues. (Audio version part of weekly VOBI broadcast posted on Biafraland website, : follow Voice of Biafra link.)