Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - Biafra: The Thin Line Between A Defender And An Oppressor


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Friday, August 13, 2021

Weekend Arena - Biafra: The Thin Line Between A Defender And An Oppressor

I almost got attacked in a bus, while travelling around the southeast, researching and conducting interviews on my subject for a biography I was commissioned to do.

 I got into an argument.

 It was a consequence of the incessant and irritating presence of security personnel on the roads of the southeast. They had positioned themselves a few metres apart, menacingly extorting money from the drivers. 

My offence was saying that such sieges were very avoidable, if the agitation for secession had not turned violent. Like very hungry lionesses, everyone, mostly the young traders, ‘pounced’ on me. I had reasoned that secession or self-determination was an inalienable right, which must be conducted within the confines of the laws of the land. 

Within the confines of the laws of the land would mean, lobbying to get such enshrined in the Constitution. 

The only alternative would be to make it an armed conflict, which would result in the kind of siege we were witnessing that day. That aggravated more angst, and it took God’s grace that I was not devoured. I was called names-sabo, coward, ofeke. Yes, I was terrified that I forget to tell them that ‘they stay at the compound of the faint-hearted to point at the grave of the brave’.

It was deplorable that I could be termed an enemy for sharing an opinion during a struggle to restore people’s suppressed opinions.

 I have followed the ‘politics and business’ of the struggle for the restoration of Biafra since 1999 and I dare say that none has attracted the sort of attention the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has. 

At the onset of their agitation, they group painted a picture of what the Igbo man needed. You would see the group fixing bad portions of the road, clearing grueling gridlocks and the likes. But things gradually got out of hands with unsavory comments that tended to pitch the Igbo man, living out of the southeast with his neighbours elsewhere. This got exacerbated when many unauthorized mouths got into the fray to speak for IPOB. 

You will notice it when you go online, where so many handles, mostly registered to attract followership, are dishing out conflicting orders, making ridiculous claims with superimposed images to hoodwink the gullible. It is this apparent lack of coordination that the Nigerian state is exploiting to inflict pains on both members of IPOB and hordes of innocent Igbo youths who lose their lives on daily basis.

 I still believe that a lot of those attacks apportioned to IPOB, were done to give them a bad name, but so many handles were online speaking for them.

Diplomacy and tact in managing information are crucial in any struggle. I have often asked the youths to go to YouTube and watch some of the speeches Ojukwu made as the leader of Biafra. He was in his 30s then and knew the importance of words.

 Despite fighting a full blown war, I have never come across any speech where he called for extermination. Most of his speeches always centred on the plight of the Biafran children, the genocide against them, ostensibly to attract sympathy to his cause. That is strategy.

Well, you may not take it away from his high profile training as a commissioned military officer, knowing his limits within a conflict. I am sure, Ojukwu would be sad at what this whole thing has become today. True leaders check the pulse of their people and know when to draw a line between killing them and protecting them. That is why most security policies in the world typically allow criminals to escape than letting the innocent citizen to die.

 Thank God that a group like Ndigbo Royal Heritage, NIROH, led by Dr. Paul Okoye has been preaching peace, urging the youths to reposition the southeast with wisdom and creativity.

Today people in the southeast, known for their enterprise are going through all sorts in the hands of the security agents of the state as well as those situating to be protecting them. Of course, this will be rubbing off negatively on businesses and the economy of the region, because no meaningful commercial activities thrive under intense insecurity as being witnessed today.

 Earlier in the week, students who were preparing to write the school certificate examination were getting conflicting notices, occasioned by a sit-at-home order by IPOB. Should the struggle for liberation endanger the education of our young ones? 

The Igbo man needs peace, he does not want to wake up and hear that there is a threat to his life. He knows he can do better under such circumstances. Many of them applauded the formation of ESN to checkmate the activities of the rampaging herders, but nearly a year after its formation, news of their conflict with Ebubeagu and those opposing the views of IPOB fly more than their resistance to the herders who have continued to attack communities in Ebonyi and Enugu. So what are they doing?

Nobody is happy with the way the Nigerian state is drifting apart, with a leadership that has shown double standards without decorum, but we all know that time plays a role in assuaging pains. Every problem has an expiry date.

*You hit the nail on the head with this writeup. I hope your Igbo brothers reading this will not oppose your opinion...
Beautiful piece!!!!


  1. One reason people insist that you use the proper channels to change things is because they have control of the proper channels and they are confident it won't work.

    1. This write up is for people like you. Try get small sense for the benefit of your family.

    2. Funny but true. Nevertheless, nothing beats peaceful and intelligent strategy.

    3. So you rather use violence then?
      My prayer for everyone supporting the violence on the common man in the SE by whatever enforcers is that they taste the pudding.

  2. God bless Sir, ịkwụ sị go( You have said it all)
    Leave them to keep cutting off their noses to spite the face.

    Kill, exterminate, cut off, these have become their trademarks.

    I just pity all them guible and misguided elements.
    Na them they go dey butcher dey go.

    If you claim that it is either Biafra or die....,then I have no pity for you.

  3. I am a biafran God knows but you see this IPOB I don't support

  4. Thank you very much for this piece Ngozi. I am shocked that our people have taken up arms against themselves to spite the government.

    How does preventing kids writing their exams give you Biafra?

    How does burning and killing your brothers who disobeyed your sit-at-home order give you Biafra?

    Are those thugs wreaking terror by harassing, injuring and killing fellow Igbos under the cloak of IPOB/ESN sit-at-home desirable?

    How does closing your region to economic activities every Monday secure the release of Nnamdi Kalu?
    The foolery!

    Where are your senses ndi Igbo ibe m?

    May God help you all to see the light and adopt more sensible tactics.

  5. Violence is an ill wind that blows no good thing 😥


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