This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcast.
For September 7, 2002
You have heard the news; now, the analysis…
We start this week by continuing on the event of Igbo Landing which we touched on last week. As you recall, this event which took place this past weekend at St Simons Island on the coast of the State of Georgia, USA, celebrates the courage and dignity of Igbo people, who almost two hundred years ago, walked into the sea to drown rather than serve as slaves, an action that gave birth to a still living legend in these and other parts of the US. At the same time, the spirits of these brave ancestors of ours were finally properly laid to rest by proper Igbo rituals performed by Igbo traditionalists in the attendance of fellow Igbo from home and abroad, our brothers and sisters from the Americas . And yet another dimension: this occasion marks the beginning of the recognition by African Americans who were amply represented at the event that it is not just that they have ties to Africa, but that many of them are in fact Igbo by lineage and heritage. By this we come to realize that the seed of the Igbo Nation has sprouted well beyond the physical borders of Igboland. We salute and appreciate our brothers and sisters all over the world, and we pay well deserved homage to our departed people who do us proud by their fearless, principled act. We look forward to future annual re-orientation and remembrance events.
Next we go to the conference of World Igbo Congress or WIC, which took place in Houston , Texas , this past weekend. We salute the Biafrans—and they all must have been who attended that meeting, because, from objective reports, can you guess who was the most popular speaker, the one that received standing ovations? No, it was not the so-called Igbo Nigerian politicians—and we will return to these apologists later. It was not the usual Obasanjo-sent functionaries who invaded, infested and corrupted this occasion in the past. Folks, the most popular attendant and speaker at WIC this year is Ralph Uwazurike, the leader of MASSOB. We cannot speak for some of the leaders of WIC, but we can definitely say that the people who came, the people whose party it is, the people whose convocation it is, the people whose interest is being served—Igbo-Biafrans—they have accepted Biafra and Biafra actualization, personified by MASSOB—the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra—represented there by MASSOB leader, Uwazurike.
This weekend, Igbo-Biafran people in Diaspora cheered on Ralph Uwazurike at the WIC convention. In so doing, they sent a strong message to WIC leadership that the goal is Biafra actualization, not anything less. In so doing, they, on our behalf, sent a clear message to Nigeria : we are Biafrans, and we shall be out of Nigeria to run our own affairs. Ndigbo-Biafrans thus sent a message to MASSOB: we are with you; we know what you are doing, we like it, we are for it, we are behind you. The same message of support to all the organizations at home and abroad working for Biafra Actualization: you are on the right track! Unite, then, people of Biafra ! Unite, then, all the organizations great and small, working in your own ways to actualize Biafra . People of Biafra , wrap your arms around these organizations!
As witnessed and reported by an independent observer, the occasion started with a spectacular keynote speech by a spectacular Biafran: General Madiebo. During all of nine minutes, he reminded Biafrans of what they should know, thus:
For WIC, "Your slogan "Agwo no n' akirika" should in fact be "Agwo ka no n' akirika" because it has been there since. Our problem in Nigeria is not a new problem. In Biafra , we were faced with extermination. If we didn't fight, the question would have been: why didn't you fight?”
”The danger is not that Nigeria is marginalizing us. The Igbos are marginalizing themselves too. Igbo rulers must find a way to solve Igbo problems. Nigeria does not have Igbo interest at heart…”
Our brave and courageous Madiebo reminded WIC and Ndigbo that there is still a problem with Biafrans in Nigeria —the same problem that led to the attempt by Nigeria to exterminate Biafrans 30 years ago or so. For those among Ndigbo who have questioned why we put up a fight, he clearly told them. Of course, this is best coming from him, because we now have armchair quarterbacking Igbos who propose all kinds of different responses than the gallant effort of self-defense put up by Biafrans 30 years ago.
And for those who still do not understand and see it, especially some of those in WIC leadership, Biafran General Madiebo put it succinctly:
Nigeria does not have Igbo interest at heart. Biafrans have to learn where the danger is: it is in Igbos not comprehending, or worse still, pretending not to know, that Nigeria does not have Igbo-Biafran interest or welfare at heart.
Let’s tell that to the Federal Minister of Aviation, an Igbo in General Obasanjo’s administration. At the WIC convention, she was asked about upgrading Enugu airport to an International Airport , a constant plea of Igbos. The North and the West have multiple International Airports. The Minister had the audacity to reply that an International Airport in Enugu will only serve the elite; that the Nigerian administration which employs her is more interested in projects that will help the common people of Nigeria , like roads and railway. What a response; what a blow! Coming from an Igbo, this blow to Ndigbo is more painful than the humiliation visited by General Obasanjo to Ndigbo when they made the same request to him 3 years. Ndigbo had already contributed their own money for this upgrade. A few months ago, General Obasanjo could not dodge the persistent request. This time, his excuse was that it was a matter of supply and demand—implying that there would not be enough passengers to justify the upgrade. What a laugh! Somebody must have pointed out to him that a great majority of the passengers forced to use the other International Airports in other parts of Nigeria are in fact Biafrans. Was it after that that he indoctrinated the Minister of Aviation with this hogwash of an answer?
We ask the Minister of Aviation: if this administration is really more concerned about the common people, why has it taken them more than 3 years to fix and maintain the roads, and for that matter, why are they just finally acknowledging the need to work on the Onitsha road? Why has the administration spent millions of scarce dollars building a state-of-the-art stadium in Abuja knowing fully well that no commoner could afford to get to the stadium, never mind affording the ticket to any event there? Why has it taken 3 years for this administration to look at the railway system? Why is the contract going to the Chinese? Why is this administration doing nothing to rehabilitate coal mining in Enugu , since this will support the railways?
As for the elite using Enugu International Airport , pray, tell us: what are the elite bringing in with them on these flights? Who will benefit from what the elite are bringing in?
The Minister knows that the only reason why the Enugu airport is not being upgraded into an international airport status is because it is in Igbo-Biafraland. General Obasanjo and his Nigeria cannot stand to see anything good come to Biafraland. If the Minister claims that she does not see that, she should be taken back to her compound for a talk with her people. If the minister knows this and is only pretending with her well-rehearsed excuse, then we feel sorry for her. Only God can help her.
The same goes for the so-called Igbo-Biafran politicians serving Nigeria at all levels. Any service rendered to, or in the name of, Nigeria is truly a disservice to Ndigbo-Biafrans, because Nigeria does not mean Biafra well. We do feel sorry, too, for these persons, because they will sit there and watch their colleagues from other parts of Nigeria cheat out Ndigbo-Biafrans when it comes to Revenue Allocation, Resource Control, Islamization of Nigeria, Sharia-incited violence against Igbo-Biafrans in Northern Nigeria , government policies dispossessing and destroying Igbo-Biafran commercial enterprise, Federal Infrastructure allocation, and now, the Presidency of Nigeria.
Not that we pay any mind to the Presidency of Nigeria. First, the elections will in all likelihood not take place. Second, even if the elections were to happen, we know from experience that every President and every administration—yes, even an Igbo one—shall fail given the current structure of Nigeria . The only lasting solution is for Biafra and Biafrans to get out of the structure called one Nigeria .
This is precisely what the Igbo-Biafrans want today. They said so at the WIC convention. This is what the Biafra actualization process shall achieve.
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, http://www.biafraland.com : follow Voice of Biafra link.)