This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcast.
For February 23, 2002.
You have heard the news; now, the analysis…
Finally, some influential Northern Nigerian leaders have begun to acknowledge that a Sovereign National Conference is the only way forward for the peoples of Nigeria. And, whereas some uninformed persons interpret Sovereign National Conference (SNC) within the context of one Nigeria, these Northern leaders recognize SNC for what it truly is: a meeting to discuss how different Nations of Nigeria can relate to one another, and to decide whether to be one country or not .
We know that one Nigeria in any form is the cause of all our problems. "Sovereign" in SNC stands not for (one) Nigeria sovereignty, but actually characterizes the "ethnic" Nations that live in Nigeria as independent nations--each, a sovereign entity. The discussion at the conference will be about inter-national relationships, ways to divvy up old Nigeria obligations, and how to accomplish this in peace. Only irresponsible persons will think otherwise.
Speaking of “irresponsible,” the most irresponsible person of all happens to be General Obasanjo, who is still strutting around touting one Nigeria. Never mind that he cannot do anything right as the President of Nigeria. Never mind that the performance of the General's administration has been ranked lower than even the rapacious, unenlightened and mindless military regimes that have wrecked Nigeria. When hideous problems facing and destroying Nigeria--problems otherwise obvious to even the untrained--are pointed out to him, the General demands statistics, his newly found defense and excuse. What a pity! What a shame! If there were any chance at all that Nigeria could remain one, General Obasanjo has destroyed that chance. Instead of running around trying to force one Nigeria, the General should attempt to solve the problems that wrack the place. But we predict that our advice will fall on deaf ears, because it is given to General Obasanjo who believes in “see no evil, hear no evil.”
While some leaders are being brave and calling a spade a spade, some other Northern leaders are clueless. Wada Nas is trying to bully Nigeria into accepting the clearly understood lie that Northern Nigeria has a majority population in Nigeria. We ask him, based on what? If he is so sure of his facts, why is it that the Northerners are reluctant to have a census conducted today? And if his point is that Northerners have always received the majority votes to rule Nigeria, then,
1) he is ignorant of the fact that the British rigged the very first Nigerian election in 1959, to favor the Northerners, and have continued to do everything within and without the British government's power to keep Northerners in power in Nigeria since then; and
2) how does he explain the fact that it is the Northerners who have refused and rejected voter-registration?
We trust that any person living in Nigeria will not hesitate to challenge this lie about Northern majority. We trust that anybody on whom this lie is imposed will demand the facts: a census and / or voter registration.
And what of the news that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) wants to work with Ohaneze because, according to ACF leaders, Ohaneze is peaceful just as is ACF, in contrast and in opposition to OPC which ACF has condemned as violent. Well, we see the same old "triangulation pendulum" tactics typical of Nigerian politics--especially employed by the North against the South with stunning effectiveness. The North allies itself with either the West or the East so that together, they can defeat the third. Once the Northern goal is accomplished, then it shows its true colors by putting its erstwhile ally-of-convenience in the latter's place: out in the cold, literally.
What is more annoying is that ACF calls itself a peaceful organization. Well, did ACF ever condemn the killings of the Igbo by the Northerners in Jos, Kano or Kaduna, acts which constitute pure ethnic cleansing and genocide, and religious persecution? We never heard a word from them.
And how can an organization which has Gowon as a high official be trusted to work for the benefit of Igbo people? Aren't the retired military and security officers who form the core of ACF persons that made a career out of killing Igbo people, humiliating Igbo people, oppressing and repressing Igbo people, and deliberately mocking and marginalizing Igbos?
For sure, we want all organizations in Nigeria that truly represent each its own Nation to come together and to work together for a peaceful separation of nations and negotiations on international relationships.
The Yorubas have the correct attitude towards any future military coups in Nigeria: secession. We trust that the Yorubas will follow through and secede in the event of another coup. You can be sure that Biafra is done with Nigeria; we shall not wait for a coup, although a coup will most certainly bring about a dramatic and formal end to the entity called (one) Nigeria. We can also hope that the Yorubas do not wait for a coup but will be forthright enough to acknowledge that there truly is no basis for one Nigeria, and implement their secession plans now.
As predicted here recently, the government and some people in Nigeria are now putting the blame for Nigeria's problems on the press (CNN). Next, they will blame the local news media. And next, they will put the blame on the people living in Nigeria--on you! While they are busy assigning blame, they think that we will forget the misery that life has "evolved" to--if evolution is the right term--for the average Nigerian.
Moving on, we note with pity that General Obasanjo is spending a lot of money to build a stadium in Abuja even at the expense of the ministry that is in charge of sports. How is it that the so-called leaders always lose focus and have mixed-up priorities? How is it that General Obasanjo shows poor judgment all the time--for which hapless people living in Nigeria always pay a big price? His government has not been paying the Police. They have not been paying even their Military. Civil servants are not getting their due salaries at the usual intervals. Then, there are endemic health and safety issues; and education--or lack thereof. Yet, General Obasanjo wants to build a huge stadium; nobody can dissuade him.
The Nigerian news media make special efforts not to ascribe responsibility to General Obasanjo for malfeasance and non-feasance. They are quick to blame the sycophants who General Obasanjo has chosen to surround himself with, and yet very slow and reluctant to apportion even a little blame to the General. Guess what? The General picked his own inner circle group--they were not forced upon him. So, even if it is they that serve him poorly, it is still his own fault for picking the wrong group. But, in fact, General Obasanjo --not his advisors and praise-singers--is responsible for his decisions and acts, and the poor management of the affairs of the failing state called Nigeria.
We do not have to remind you that Slobodan Milosevic is on trial today for the crimes which he committed while he was head of state. He believed then that he could do no wrong; and was beyond reproach and counsel, surrounding himself with fellow-wicked men and women. Now, look at him! He may act defiant now, but when international justice is meted to him, he won't be so smug. We ask General Obasanjo and his followers to look at Milosevic and then, look in the mirror. The evil that men and women do today will hang them tomorrow, long after they think that they got away with it.
We leave you with one thought: Lord Luggard created Nigeria, and both he and the colonial empire he was serving knew that it would not work. The British have, since then, sided with the Northern Nigerians, while at the same time showing loathe for the West and East. The British rigged the first election in order to put power in the hands of their Northern friends; they have continued to meddle with Nigerian affairs for the benefit of the Northerners even today. At the end of the day, Britain will not have the moral courage to continue to support Northern Nigeria at the expense of the South; and will not have the resources to continue to force Nigeria to stay one.
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.)