THE month of May marks the anniversary of the declaration of independence by Eastern Nigerians from Nigeria, and called their new born nation, Biafra.
Easterners did so following the obvious state-sponsored murder of the people of the East, as they were all branded Igbo: Ijaw, Ibibio, Efik, Ogoja, others. By the count of that period, the population of Nigeria was 60 million and 50,000 Igbo were killed in cold blood.
For those who were alive at this time, it was blood-chilling, inhuman, barbaric, reprobate and harrowing, never to be forgotten period in the life of this fumbling and wobbling country still held together not by common good and mutual love but by a strange and uncommon phenomenon, nameless, but akin to uncivilization. Also unforgettable because it marks the beginning of a shadow Nigeria.
Sadly, this anniversary is being marred by, always, the state of Nigeria equivalent to beating a child and asking him not to cry. A convenient silence draws a veil over the mass, countrywide killing of a people who found their back against the wall over 40 years ago, and who survived to the dismay of those who wished or are wishing they did not, and who see them as the wall against their total domination of this land of potentials.
Defilement of the land: Till date, the rest of the 302 languages (nations) of this country find no need or necessity to accept that a people, one of the 302 1anguages of Nigeria deserves to be appeased; rather, appeasement is given to those who lost non-living things, or mere opportunities. Known or unknown to us, the word of God in the scriptures says: murder defiles the land, and unless by the death of the murderer, there is no way to perform the rituals of purification for the land where a man/(people) have been murdered. Blood defiles the land and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it… (Num 35:31-33). This is the word of Him who created Nigeria. In this sense, defilement of a land means that God has forsaken the land until further notice.
Though accusations have been exchanged; it is the Igbo who killed X and Y and did not kill A & B (their own). This piece will not go into this because nothing will justify what was done to the people of the East by their fellow countrymen. Not even the Church has a word against this crime against humanity ever since. But why is the state allergic to the name Biafra? Whenever it is mentioned, Nigeria quakes. How stupid indeed. Can anyone run away from his own shadow? Can history be ignored?
Such anniversaries remind us of our past failures and wickedness, and lead us to resolve not to repeat it. God destroyed the first world by water and seeing how terrible it was, swore not do it again. If God did so, who are we not to walk away from our blood sucking. Again shall we say that tribes, languages, groups, and individuals acted according to the dictates of that time? But, the killing syndrome has not abated because a tacit approval was given by the rest of the countrymen for the reprobate on Igbos, confirming that the standards have not changed one bit, it even has increased and exacerbated, giving birth to groups like the Boko Haram who kill people for the fun of it.
Why would the State interrupt the anniversary of this event by those who fell victim of this action of the State as it was reported in Owerri, May 2011, killing many in the process, and increasing again the number of their dead? Take it or leave it, the people have an inalienable right to commemorate the memory of their dead brothers and sisters, not goats, and must not be inhibited in any way. Whoever is hurt was the killer and wants to do it again. Now, May 2013 is here: shall we witness another killing?
Looking back, we have lost peace; harmony, focus and freedom due to this reprobate action. 1 prophesy that we will remain in this state until the land is cleansed. We must take a cue from countries who acted wickedly in the past and who today have found peace and freedom after redress was made.
Pay back time: Let me start with Germany. They killed the Jews in an orgy of blood, considering themselves powerful and more intelligent than the rest of mankind. But their hidden agenda was to stop the progressiveness of the Jews who were simply too much ahead of them in all spheres for their liking (just as Igbos are seen here). They of course lost their peace and freedom since 1945, the end of the Second World War, until the murderers were brought to book.
It paid off in 1990, almost 50 years later when the East and West Germany re-united. The two parliaments apologized to the Jews before going into extinction. Or as they aptly put it, adjourned parliamentary sitting sine die. Germany is about the most prosperous nation in Europe, till date. They are still paying back to the Jews in cash and kind to express regret.
Mandela’s country found peace and freedom only after the apartheid white government which ruled South Africa for 350 years exclusively, dissolved itself into extinction after apologizing to the blacks for the 350 years of injustices and ceded jurisdiction to them as pay back. In Rwanda, a small country in southern Africa, the story is the same. The Hutus and Tutsis (the two major tribes juggling for influence) went after each others throat and about one million people were killed in cold blood. The new government, in picking up the pieces of what was left of Rwanda, hunted down all who had a hand in the killing, and were killed.
I read about the arrest, trial and condemnation of two Catholic priests. And the late Pope John Paul II, respected worldwide, pleaded for mercy in vain. They were executed; life for life. Also the ex-president who ruled during this pogrom (1996) period was arrested and condemned just early July 2011. The search continues.
Rwanda is today a model of peace and prosperity. They obeyed God’s word. Other countries of America notably Canada, are seeking to redress the injustices previous generations inflicted on their native peoples. There must be restitution for peace to reign. Pax opus justitiae (peace is the work of justice), not only in Nigeria, but all over the globe. People yearn for justice and peace. Nigeria must make the omelet. Then it shall live, though eggs are broken and heavens fall.
A society must be rooted and grounded injustice, at least 3/4 way if it must survive, since society was made for man, and not the reverse. This is because man is the only animal that is born undeveloped. This makes him bound to his fellow country men seeking a perfect order. Where he perceives not these social justices, he seeks to return to his natural society, the family or tribe (same kind) who share common destiny with him. This may be the road we are travelling.
This was, and still is the condition Easterners found themselves in 1966, when suddenly, the society turned against them, like the Germans turned against the Jews.
The Germans and other blood thirsty societies have shown remorse and good justice towards the offended but the Nigerians have not. Now if the Holy Scriptures is taken as the inspired words of God, then it must lay claim to be the objective measure of Truth, since God is the transcendent end to all things. If there’s no good and no evil, then the Christianity of the Bible is a fairy tale. The scriptures have condemned murder and injustice, naked or clothed, political or social, and whoever does it and repents will not stand condemned.
Igbo have shown promise in the continuity, development and progress of this country more than the rest, by being present and on the ground everywhere making important inputs.
Any further attempt to ostracise them will amount to a very deep cut on ourselves, believe it or not.
*Mr. C.M.HANUM, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.