This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International Broadcast.
For March 2, 2002.
You have heard the news; now, the analysis…
There is talk of a PEACE FORUM in Nigeria wherein most of the previous and former politicians are to convocate to hash out the problems of Nigeria. The only positive thing about this plan is that at least, the concept of a conference of peoples living in Nigeria to discuss the fate of Nigeria has finally caught on, especially with the Arewa nation who had sworn in the past never to attend such a conference.
But, the rest of it shows once again that there are those who do not want to accept what is wrong with Nigeria. We repeat here once again: the only thing wrong with Nigeria is “one Nigeria.” As long as any arrangement results in, or is aimed at, one Nigeria in any form, it will not work. It has not worked. It has never worked before.
Thus, we shake our head in disbelief and in disgust at the following. The Northern political leaders want to meet first with the Eastern political leaders; then, later, with the Western leaders. Once again, we see the politics of triangulation: the North trying again to divide the South, and subsequently wooing either the East or the West into their camp, so that they can now defeat and marginalize the third, and in so doing, continue to dominate Nigeria. This has worked so well for the North in the past that they want to try it again. We can tell the North: it is not going to work any more. The only conference worth attending is that wherein all the Nations living in Nigeria will be represented, and at the same time. The only topic will be how to separate from one another in peace—how to get away from one Nigeria.
We are not sure whether to laugh or to cry after seeing the list of invitees to this so-called Peace Conference, as reported in the newspapers. It is the same old politicians who have in one way or another contributed to the current state of dying of Nigeria who are thus being invited to solve the problems of Nigeria. So, did we forget that while these men were in power, they ruined Nigeria? Did we forget that for the most part, whatever good intentions they had at one time were snatched away by the monster called one Nigeria?
It is equally telling to look at the organizations to be invited. Glaringly missing is MASSOB. Right there, you can predict that such a conference is not going anywhere, but is a mere whitewash.
We advise that no Igbo / Biafran attend such a conference. Instead, we must continue to demand a Sovereign National Conference wherein ALL the different Nations in Nigeria can participate and together, devise ways and means to separate from Nigeria in peace.
We note the courage of the Arewa Consultative Forum in their new plan to NOT support any previous military coupists should they run for the office of the Presidency of Nigeria. Finally, they have learned that those old military coupists never did any good for the common Arewa person, let alone the rest of Nigeria. If this is designed to improve the attitude of Igbo-Biafrans towards the Arewa nation, it will leave little mark. We do not care who Arewa allows to rule them—it’s none of our business. We do care, though, that we are Biafrans, not part of Nigeria. We do care that Arewa understands that we are not part of Nigeria. We trust that Arewa shall accept this fact. But, we do not much care whether Arewa understands or accepts or not: we are Biafra; we are Biafrans, and we are out of Nigeria. We do not need anybody’s permission to be what and who we are—Biafra, Biafrans.
We have learned that General Obasanjo is planning another junket--again. We would like somebody to tell the people how much each trip costs, and who is paying for these trips. There is no acceptable reason why General Obasanjo should be making all these trips when the money can be used for needy causes among the nations of Nigeria. General Obasanjo will accomplish nothing other than a waste of money and time. Does he really think that his practically living abroad is going to change his hosts’ impression of how he has been ineffective as a leader of the peoples of Nigeria, or of how unstable Nigeria is? Nigerian Press, where are you on this issue?
Go figure this one: General Obasanjo’s government is going to cut the selling price of Oil to the world by 44%. But, the same government raised the price of domestic petroleum and related products by 15% or so, as such increasing the cost to the ordinary peoples living in Nigeria. Go ahead: punish the people some more, General Obasanjo. Too bad that you spend most of your time overseas; you might have understood how the rest of the peoples in Nigeria live.
We continue to hear heady statements from General Obasanjo about how he is going to keep Nigeria one. At the same time, he continues to do those things that will aid the ongoing destruction of Nigeria, and leaves undone the things that might have helped Nigeria, even if temporarily. General Obasanjo now wants to rationalize the Shariarization of Nigeria and even gives himself credit for starting (?) Sharia in the North. He now wants to tell us that Nigeria is a multi-religious country, and in so doing he endorses State government-sponsored religion, a practice common in Sharia states. In so doing, he trivializes the death and destruction wrought on non-Muslims living in the Northern Sharia states, especially on Igbo–Biafrans. In so doing, he conveniently forgets his initial and earlier feeble utterances about the eventual fizzling out of Sharia. And, he is going to force us to stay in one Nigeria?
We laud the courage of Effiong in reminding the Federal Government of Nigeria that all the conditions that led to the Biafran war are with us today, implying that history shall imminently repeat itself in Nigeria. The inequities. The gross insensitivities. The trampling of some parts / regions. The arrogance of Northern Nigeria and the Federal government officials, too.. We laud Effiong’s efforts to once again bring to the attention of the Federal Government the plight of Biafran Veterans and their pension. This is after a spokeswoman for the same government called these veterans names including “traitors.” Since she is too young and too ignorant to understand, we place blame on the federal government of Nigeria, whose attitude she was echoing. Here, the voice of Effiong is once again another voice from the wilderness urging Nigeria to read the handwriting on the wall. Because it is impossible for one Nigeria to show any equitability in dealing with the different Nations that reside in, and that have been forced into one, Nigeria, there is not a chance that Nigeria will exist as one.
Regarding the Police strike, we read about high ranking police officers prancing about and threatening heavy punishments for the striking police. This is gross injustice, and only in Nigeria can that happen. Think about it: they starve the Police all these months; send them out to fight against marauding criminals without adequate protection or training, and with no compensation if they should perish in the line of duty. The hapless police complain for years and nothing is happening. They finally go on strike, and the headmen are now after their heads! It is not unlikely that when one looks closely, one will find that these same high ranking officers that are now threatening repercussions may be involved in the corrupt practices that resulted in the lower ranks not being paid in the first place. Perhaps, these officers’ pay should be withheld for a few months, without any hope of future arrears payment, and we will see how they feel.
We praise the efforts of MASSOB in continuing the peaceful movement towards Biafra actualization. Biafra is our only answer to one Nigeria. Biafra is our salvation. We urge every Biafran to contribute to MASSOB directly or indirectly. At the same time, we want to ask any security or court systems in Nigeria which are holding MASSOB members to release all these our brothers and sisters without any further delay. The charges brought against them—if they have—are a great sham. The MASSOB members are doing what any oppressed and enslaved person will do—sooner or later—and that is to seek their liberation. And, MASSOB is doing it with peaceful means.
By the same token, we extend an invitation to other nations of Nigeria to prepare and congregate for a Sovereign National Conference wherein we can discuss the course of peaceful separation. There is no other way forward. Let’s not leave this conference to politicians who have an agenda of their own, who will try to hijack the concept and process and adulterate it for their own self-serving ends.
That’s all the news analysis for this 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.)