This is the News Analysis segment of the Voice of Biafra International (VOBI) Broadcasts.
For July 5, 2003
You have heard the news, now the analysis…
We must all join Ikemba in supporting the Labor Strike called against the hike in the price of petrol instituted by General Obasanjo. And more, we must also listen carefully to two other things Ikemba has said. The first is the call to support “any other steps that may be taken by Nigerians to fight against an ‘illegitimate, oppressive and inhuman action and policies’ of the administration of President Obasanjo.” To join in the strike action is of utmost importance. But, to commit to supporting any other measures to be taken by the peoples of Nigeria against the illegitimate and oppressive government of General Obasanjo and PDP is a moral and spiritual duty for all of you, a moral and spiritual duty for all of us.
Let us start with the strike. General Obasanjo, and his PDP party, used to lying to the people and getting away with it, was confident that he could do it again this time. He hiked the price of petrol without the people’s consent. He is asking the peoples living in Nigeria to make more sacrifices…imagine that! What more can the people sacrifice? The peoples’ health is poor, and there is no healthcare plan—thanks to Obasanjo and his government; the peoples’ education is non-existent; there are no jobs and no opportunities—thanks to Obasanjo and his government. The peoples are not even safe: they are constantly robbed and maimed and injured and killed by armed robbers, even in their own homes—in broad daylight—by armed robbers whose brazenness can only be matched by Obasanjo and PDP’s election rigging. Then, they are robbed when they step out of their houses, or while in transit between destinations. The people subsist on less than 1 dollar a week—if they are lucky. Their salaries are regularly withheld for months on end by government officials and so-called leaders—without just cause, and unaccountably so. Their pensions are owed sometimes in years of arrears. These are the peoples that Obasanjo is asking to make more sacrifices? This man is clearly out of his senses!
Let’s turn the question around: what sacrifice has Obasanjo and his friends made? He has asked for and received money for an executive jet so that he can fly around the world with his friends and family, at the expense of the people. And, all his trips have been useless junkets throwing about his empty weight. Did he ever give that up? Has Obasanjo ever given up a month’s pay—not that he needs it, considering the benefits he has carved out for himself. How much money did he and the outgoing politicians take out of Nigeria ’s coffers recently in the name of severance benefits and so-called monetization of benefits? How much are they willing to sacrifice? Where does he get his medical care? Where do his friends get their medical care? Can they sacrifice something?
Consider the members of the so-called Council of State, to whom he goes to get a rubberstamped approval of his insensitive and useless ideas. First, these are persons that were never elected by the people. They are ex-military heads of the State of Nigeria: imagine that. These military persons who ruined Nigeria, destroyed the economy, education, health, politics and opportunities, these persons who stole from the coffers of Nigeria to enrich themselves, their families and their friends—don’t they deserve to be taken out and put on trial for their rape of Nigeria and the dispossession of the peoples living in Nigeria—of their dignity, their freedom, their rights, and their property, in the first place? Yes, it is these unrepentant fat cats that are still on government payroll today, making more money than an entire village would see in a year’s time, nurtured and nourished and supported by their fellow General, Obasanjo, and the PDP party, with the money which is supposed to be for the peoples living in Nigeria . And Obasanjo has the guts to ask impoverished peoples living in Nigeria —impoverished by the policies of Obasanjo building on the visionless and ignorant policies of the then ignorant but pompous military rulers now become members of the Council of State—to sacrifice more? We ask Obasanjo: what have the members of the Council of State sacrificed? They are shuttled around in government vehicles or airplanes, never having to pay for gas; quartered in government-paid houses with government–paid servants and maids—never having to pay rent; and fed by government allowance for food, never having to shop and pay for grocery. Yes, what sacrifice have they made? Did Obasanjo ever ask them to make a sacrifice? Of course, no. It is much easier for him to trample on the hapless impoverished, down-trodden peoples of Nigeria who do not deserve his respect, than to be honest and face himself and his friends.
Fellow Biafrans: have you ever heard a lamer excuse than the one General Obasanjo advanced to justify his dastardly act and unilateral action in hiking of the price of petrol? He says he wants to use the money to improve the education and health of the peoples living in Nigeria . The people have asked him: General Obasanjo, what happened to the extra money you got when you raised the price not once but twice before now? Did we not have worsening healthcare then? Did we not have rotting and rotten education and educational infrastructure then? What did you do with all the extra money? Can you point to any one thing—even one thing—which that money was used for to benefit the people?
General Obasanjo is completely visionless; so are his counselors, the members of the Council of State (no surprise here—we have seen their handwork), his party, PDP which stole, collected and spent more money than the collective peoples living in Nigeria could ever make in 5 years, in buying, intimidating and rigging themselves into usurped power. But he and his cabal and associates are also totally ignorant and incompetent, by thinking that continually raising the cost of petrol on the common person living in Nigeria is going to solve the problems he purports to be working on. To find him and his friends ignorant is to be kind to him and to them; General Obasanjo is plain insensitive to the conditions and the suffering of the peoples living in Nigeria, even though he has done a great deal to contribute to their plight and misery. Do not forget that we have witnessed him exhibit this type of insensitivity to the peoples living in Nigeria in the past.
In the end, we shall give General Obasanjo some credit for prophetic revelations and utterances today, although the true meaning clearly eludes him judging by the context of the statement. We quote a newspaper report: ‘Obasanjo, before the meeting said Nigerians must be ready to make necessary sacrifices, which have not been made since 1960. "If we fail to do them now, if we miss this opportunity, this opportunity may not come again for 100 years," he added.’ Yes, we agree, and the correct interpretation is as follows: The peoples of Nigeria must be willing to sacrifice the illusion of one-Nigeria using this opportunity at this time. If not, it will take longer; the suffering will most certainly continue, and we will only have prolonged the inevitable, perhaps not for another 100 years. For, in the end, one Nigeria shall die, and shall drag with her to her grave anybody still clinging to one Nigeria .
By the time you read this, the strike may well be over. General Obasanjo has experience in fatiguing and defeating the collective will of the peoples living in Nigeria and in getting the peoples of Nigeria to act against their better judgment and swallow Obasanjo’s autocratic plans and dictates. Hopefully, this time around, this will not be the case. But, if it should happen, we must not forget what Ojukwu said about continuing other measures to demonstrate our opposition and rejection of the illegal, oppressive and fraudulent government of Obasanjo who technically usurped power after an open rigging of election results by PDP, INEC and him. This is not just about an unjustified and insensitive fuel price hike. Whether or not the stupid act is reversed, there remains an even larger problem—the first and more basic problem: Obasanjo and PDP stole the elections in Biafraland, (and in the rest of Nigeria ) robbing us of our rights, of our will, and of our choice. We cannot allow this to stand.
Fellow Biafrans: let us throw Obasanjo’s words back at him. We, Biafra , have been aggrieved since 1960. If we fail to do all that it takes now—utilizing the current opportunity right at this time—it may be another 100 years before another favorable opportunity presents itself. Do you have 100 years to wait? We don’t. We don’t think our children and their children do. We don’t think that the mothers and fathers of Biafra are willing to wait another 100 years. Let us therefore join Ikemba and heed his suggestions. We have to get this right this time, with this presenting opportunity.
Fellow Biafrans, recall that a few weeks ago, we had stated that Ohaneze had painted itself into irrelevancy as a viable and virile organization representing the interests of Igbo-Biafrans. This pronouncement followed the deliberate failure of Ohaneze to come together to endorse APGA and Ojukwu as representing Ndigbo-Biafrans prior to the elections, a result of membership having compromised themselves, sold themselves to different highest bidders, and having been wooed away by our enemies, more willing to cater to the interest of well known and sworn Igbo-Biafra enemies and tormentors, than committing to the course of Igbo-Biafra liberation from the choking clutches of Nigeria. We still believe that our assessment was correct then, and is still correct now. Hence, if in fact Ikemba and INA, as reported in the newspapers, have come to the same conclusion, we are not surprised. (This is the second of the two things which we mentioned at the beginning of this segment as being said by Ikemba). We totally agree with Ikemba and INA, and we trust that the people of the nation of Biafra will agree, too. An organization, Ohaneze, which failed to help us in the time of our greatest need, has died—as it should. Ohaneze was found wanting at the time that Ndigbo-Biafrans needed her the most. Nevertheless, it is only an organization which has died, not her members. We encourage erstwhile members to join INA if they are eligible. We ask them to resist the urge to pose a stumbling block to the direction and progress of Ndigbo-Biafra, which is unity and solidarity and the full support of APGA and Ojukwu, leading to Biafra actualization. We are going to make it easy for anyone so tempted to resist that temptation: we are going to ask for his or her cooperation IN THE NAME OF GOD, OUR CHI. It is the same God who created us Biafrans, and placed us in the land of Biafra which He created and He blessed amply.
Biafra lives, by God’s own doing; and by God’s own Will, we are created Biafrans. So it was in the beginning, so it is now, and ever so shall be, because God guarantees it.
That’s the news analysis. Thank you.
God bless and keep Biafra ; and you, until our next broadcast. Voice of Biafra International broadcast continues. (http://www.biafraland.com; follow “Voice of Biafra ” Link.