This is the News Analysis Segment of the Voice of Biafra International (VOBI) broadcasts.
For October 11th, 2003 .
You have heard the news; now, the analysis…
It was reported that General Obasanjo was booed by the peoples of Nigeria at the occasion of the opening of the Africa Games in Abuja last Saturday, right in the presence of dignitaries from all over the world, and from other African countries, including the press. We thank the Nigerian newspaper(s) that reported this event. And, we thank the peoples living in Nigeria more for this candid gesture of disapproval of the dictatorial, anti democratic, visionless, insensitive, cruel and usurped rule of General Obasanjo and PDP party. Such a simple gesture on the part of the hapless peoples, deprived and impoverished by General Obasanjo, should convey the powerful and indelible message to him that the peoples are aware that he has failed, and that the peoples feel the cruelty that he is subjecting all of us to.
Why shouldn’t the people boo General Obasanjo? Consider that the General is fixated on raising the price of petrol—again—in Nigeria , thereby forcing more hardship on the already impoverished peoples living in Nigeria . If he had any sense or even any courage at all, he would have taken the opposite tact of encouraging and financing local processing and refining of locally pumped crude oil rather than importing our own oil taken out and refined elsewhere, for a hefty price. Too bad the General has no understanding of history; if he did, he would know that this is a typical example of colonial economy which was invariably aimed at exploitation of the colonies. The colonialists would come to an African country, commandeer the natural resources; ship the resources out to their own countries, “refine” the commodities there, and force the African country to import-buy the finished product. Remember India and salt? Remember India and textiles? While it would be expecting too much for the General and his illegal administration and government to remember elementary lessons of exploitative colonial economy, one would think that this usurper-government should be able to see that insisting on refining crude oil locally would build up local industry, improve and maintain infrastructure, create jobs, enhance expertise, and improve the economy. The most annoying part of all this is that it is really Biafran resources that are being squandered by this visionless system of General Obasanjo and all those before him. The oil belongs to Biafra —a God-given natural resource.
Why shouldn’t the people boo General Obasanjo? Recently, the General went to Africa Union’s NEPAD to sell “good-governance”—transparent government—to other African countries, and he actually said—yes, he did, too—that the government of Nigeria can be used as a model! Can you imagine the audacity, the joke, or the hypocrisy—depending on how serious you take the General? In the time since he made that offer, let us recount to you some of the things that have happened or surfaced in Nigeria .
it was revealed this week that at least 20 serving State governors own houses in London alone. Take note—not just houses, but “choice houses.” And take note: this is in London alone. Let us not forget that this only deals with the present crop of serving governors, so we have not even considered others, nor have we considered other highly placed government officials. All this has been happening in General Obasanjo’s government. The same report points out that no political office-holder in General Obasanjo’s administration or his PDP party has ever been brought to justice for corruption. And yet, the General is wanting to present the Government of Nigeria as the model for other African countries. This does not just deserve a big and prolonged boo; it calls for sanctions against General Obasanjo for either ignorance and stupidity, or insulting the intelligence of other African countries.
Did you know that the Nigerian Senate is currently hearing testimony from one of the Ministers who is brave enough to reveal that Senators brazenly demanded a bribe as a condition for his confirmation, a practice that is usual and customary for the Senate and appointees? The surprise is not the level of institutionalized corruption and the caliber of the institution, but the prediction that none of Senators will be punished or disciplined when found guilty. But, the annoyance stems from the fact that written into the delinquent and retarded Nigerian Constitution is an immunity-clause which specifically protects the president and vice president, and the National Assembly members, and all the governors and other officers, from prosecution for offenses committed while in office. This is then the type of fraud and “crime” that General Obasanjo will wish on other African countries? Boo to Obasanjo and boo to any other African leader who would even countenance such travesty.
Then, Nigeria got listed in the same position again as one of the world’s most corrupt countries. The predictability and the reality of such consistent status-ranking were such that the monitoring organization declined to call a news conference, because, this organization felt that nothing has changed, and nothing is going to change in Nigeria (except for the worse, of course), and that the peoples living in Nigeria don’t care to extract accountability from their own government. Maybe the people don’t care, but General Obasanjo should be booed by the whole of Africa for trying to push this type of Nigeria as a model for Africa .
What else has happened? Chuba Okadigbo, a prominent politician was targeted and died from complications of injuries received during an ANPP (opposition party) political rally where he was sprayed with gas in the face by members of the Nigerian Police and Security forces. This was done in broad daylight; with tens of thousands in attendance, and yielding eye-witness accounts by responsible citizens. While the Police are busy denying responsibility and discrediting the accounts, the government of General Obasanjo has done nothing to show outrage at yet another politically motivated murder, this time of the once President of the Senate. That the man is Igbo-Biafran is believed to be another contributing factor. Meanwhile, Mr. Nwodo, another Igbo-Biafran prominent in Nigerian politics, has raised alarm about being threatened and targeted by the same murderous machinery; he is helpless, and perhaps, even hopeless, knowing that nobody is going to come to his aid. This is the situation in Nigeria : personal security is not just not guaranteed, but is specifically threatened—openly. And, General Obasanjo is using Nigeria as a model for other African countries to study and adopt? He should be booed.
In the recent past, General Obasanjo accused the peoples living in Nigeria of not being nationalistic enough; hence Nigeria has not reached its peak. Anyone who has lived or currently lives in Nigeria , even outside of Nigeria with knowledge of what goes on there should boo the General for this hypocritical statement. We can start with the Igbo-Biafrans who have exhibited more nationalism than any other part of Nigeria , yet they are selectively marginalized, suppressed, and repressed, and now killed routinely, in an open policy of punishment for Biafrans for defending themselves against Nigerian vandals in the Biafra War. Come to think of it, since when has Obasanjo shown nationalism? Is he not the arch-tribalist and nepotist although he tries to deny it? Has he not made inflammatory statements directed against Igbo-Biafrans, utterances unbecoming of a nationalistic person, utterances unbecoming of a head of state? Did not the General and his PDP party rig themselves into self-succession at the inconclusive 2003 elections? Where is the nationalism in that? Hypocrisy deserves to be booed.
So, the General went on to say that the peoples living in Nigeria refuse to—get this: refuse to—pray. What type of a liar are we dealing with here? Is there any street in Nigeria that does not boast several churches or Prayer-houses—in some places, any block? Who does not know that it is only prayer that is sustaining the peoples living in Nigeria ? Even though 99.9999% of those prayers go unanswered, the peoples still persist in prayer. In fact, if their most fervent prayer was answered, General Obasanjo and his government would not be around today to give the General the ongoing opportunity to torment the people. And then, who can forget when the General exhorted all the peoples in Nigeria to pray and fast with him in order that he might arrive at a decision on whether to run for a second term or not? All the while, the General had already made up his mind and had concluded firm plans to succeed himself by hook or by crook, come 2003 (prompting his sidekick, Anenih, to declare that “there is no vacancy in Aso Rock” years before the 2003 elections?) And so now, the same General turns around and accuses the peoples living in Nigeria of refusing to pray? Oh God, please convince General Obasanjo about how hard the people have been praying—show him! The peoples can boo him, but that’s not enough for a man who has let power get into his head, a man who, with his illegal government forced on the people, practices hypocrisy as his religion, and then turns around and blames the same victims of his cruelty. Show him, oh Lord
Fellow Biafrans, this week, the peoples living in Nigeria have finally turned the corner with this symbolic gesture of booing at a mean and hypocritical General Obasanjo. It may well turn out that tomorrow, the same peoples will take one step sideways and then, three steps backwards to complete that by now well-known 5-step visionless dance of the doomed, Nigeria, as was well described by no other than the General himself. But today, score one for the peoples; they have made an important statement.
So, we urge you to wake up and do your part. Just think: all the so-called wealth of Nigeria is pumped from right underneath your own soil—your God-given resource. Just think: you have remained on the sideline, silent and suppressed, while the likes of General Obasanjo steal that wealth, and yet, keep you at arm’s length while he squanders the wealth, develops his own region of origin (copying the actions of Northerners when they had the power in Nigeria ) and constantly humiliates and kills you. You can join in booing the General and his government. And, you must do better than that: you must demand an end to this present arrangement.
Fellow Biafrans: do not be fooled by the General’s planned so-called “National Peace Forum” to be held in Abuja later. In the first instance, is there anything which has been planned or has been held in Abuja that has yielded any benefit or positives in your life? Think about it for a moment. Second, if Oputa Commission and findings were not allowed to work, why would you expect this “National Peace Forum” to work? (And guess who squashed the Oputa Commission!). Third, General Obasanjo once again is deliberately refusing to listen to the peoples who have demanded a Sovereign National Conference. Instead, he is going to substitute and push his own typical hare-brained idea. These ideas have never worked before, and will not work now.
Biafra is the only answer to the ailment that is Nigeria . In the instance of Biafra actualization, all other nations living in Nigeria will also find their own liberation and gain their own sovereignty. Then we can be freed to relate one nation to another as the nations see fit. Then we shall have broken the structure that bred and nurtured this level of pathology and cruelty for the nations living in Nigeria , especially Igbo-Biafrans.
Biafra lives! by God’s will.
That’s the news analysis for the week; thank you.
God bless and keep Biafra ; and you, until our next broadcast. Voice of Biafra International (VOBI) broadcast continues. Thank you. (http://www.biafraland.com/vobi.htm)