Thursday, March 1, 2007

Scarecrows and Slave Traders: BIAFRA



From what I've gathered, this video clip is of a group of Biafran Nationalists (MASSOB it seems) staging a very noisy protest, at an event chaired by the Nigerian Information Minister - Frank Nweke, against the arrest of some of its members.

Biola sent us the clip on his very first day as a member of The Afro Beat people! Thank you B-Eazy!! Lol... Sorry if I messed up your stage name :-P

I'd assumed that Biafran-ism died along with the disastrous Civil War. The video clip and the excerpts below, from the Voice of Biafra International (VOBI), addressed to the Women of Biafra in October 2002, suggest that that assumption was rather naive.


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Women of Biafra we salute you.

... We have been telling you that many of the so called Igbo, Ibibio, Ijaw, Ogoja, Ogoni, Annang, Ishan, Isoko, Tiv politicians, leaders, and traditional rulers are nothing but slave traders who are in the process of selling you and your children into slavery to Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba oligarchs. Some of you may have thought that it was a joke. But this document goes to show that our warning to you, the people of Biafra is not an exaggeration. Please take these warnings very seriously because we have been privileged to get information that you will never lay your hands on....

... We wish to restate once again that your salvation and the salvation of your children and your families are in your hands. Women of Biafra you have work to do. Your so-called leaders whether in Annang, Ibibio, Igbo, Tiv, Ijaw, Isoko, Ishan, Itsekiri, Ogoni or Ogoja are fake deceitful people. They don’t care about you. Once they collect their money, they will hand you over as slaves to the Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba feudalists. If you doubt it answer these questions. When Odi was sacked by Obasanjo and over 1000 people were killed how many of your leaders challenged Obasanjo? When more than 1000 people were roasted alive at Jesse and Abubakar insulted the memory of the dead by calling them criminals, what did your leaders say? When Umuechem was destroyed by Abacha, what did the leaders say? When Choba was attacked what did your leaders say? When Nigerian police and army killed several dozen members of MASSOB what did your leaders say? When Obasanjo ordered the killing of hundreds of people at Zaki Biam and other towns how many leaders opened their mouths? Now that Obasanjo is dismantling Bakassi, the security outfit that has made life livable in Abia and Anambra what have your leaders said? You see, they are really not leaders, they are slave traders....

.... The men must now formulate their own answer to the inhuman treatment we have been suffering at the hands of Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba oligarchs. The time to act is now not next year. May God bless you all and the Republic Of Biafra .

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How big a threat are these Biafran Nationalists to the continuity of a unified Nigeria? Does anyone even know what their grievance is? Or why they are being arrested and tortured as they claim?

6 comments:

Olamide said...

Wow

Nkemka said...

Right now, the main issues which caused Biafra are still prevalent in our society. Nothing has been done to address those issues. However, the main reason nigeria fought to get Biafra was because of it's oil producing regions. now this regions have been geo-politcally labelled as South South which is different from the core Biafran agitators hailing from the South East. Will Nigeria be eager to keep that part of the country as one? I'm not so sure but i feel these issues need to be addressed not only for Biafra but for other regions who feel they are being marginalised. Its sad that only when war (Biafra) or violence (Niger Delta) is in the mix, that Light is shed on this marginalisation. It occurs in other parts of Nigeria and this isn't a North vs South issue, its a societal one. The One of the poor being marginalised!!!

Misan said...

Like you said Nkemka, not much has been done to address the main issues that led to the civil war. In any other part of the world, you would have truth and reconciliation committees set up for the healing process, but no such thing (perhaps because it happened so long ago), but as a result, pp still harbour many of those initial grievances, such as the ones in "call to action" above.

We now have groups like MEND calling for the breaking up of the country if it must come to that. That sense of nationalism, pan-africanism, and globalism, is just not there...A nigerian is from his/her family first, then village, then ethnic group, and the rest are social constructions as far as s/he's concerned.

And I completely agree that it's a shame that only when violence is brought into the mix that the rest of the country (and indeed the rest of the world) decides it's time to sit up. The poor being marginailized doesn't affect oil prices (yet) so for now, they'll just have to stay in that category of "problems that would be great to fix but quite frankly don't affect my 401k/$$".



Also in line with what you mentioned a

Kome said...

I agree with both of you...Biafra is not a threat it is an issue that needs to be discussed and an issue that the government needs to take steps to rectify.

I know what their greivances are because i see it everytime i go 'home' to Anambra state...the roads are terrible and the infrastructure in Onitsha is dispicable.

My granfather was a judge and was 'discharged' from his duties because of biafra. He never got his job back and he is one of many who suffered just because he was Igbo.

Just like saying racism does not exist it is as ignorant to say that supporters of the Republic of Biafra do not exist.

I would consider myself to be a MASSOB sympathiser, but not necssarily supporter because i believe there are more effective ways of getting greivances across to the masses and encouraging the government to be more proactively involved in the sitation.

The one big mistake OBJ made was literally eliminating the members of Bakassi this is because such acts only further infuriate people. Despite the fact that their acts were illegal, when the police and your government fails you and a group of unemployed young men (because of the lack of education or jobs) decide to defend their community, who are you to say they have no right to do what they do when you haven't stepped up to the plate to rectify the problem?

Biafra has always been an issue, but it is very telling of the administrations progress when groups such as these keep developing and growing stronger.

Bitchy said...

This is a question for Nkemka really.. When you said "Will Nigeria be eager to keep that part of the country as one?" Do you really think its a possibility that the South East could secede? I'm simply wondering because even though the region doesn't have much that would seem worth fighting for at this moment, will our government be willing to see it become an independent thorn in its backside? I really don't think they would ever consider such a move as it surely couldn't be wise to have an independent country within this country. It could also cause problems with the South South situation.

I also wanted to draw attention to OBJ's alarmingly imbecilic attempt to appease Igbos and secure their vote for PDP's Yar'Adua when he went rallying round in the South East - "Any pikin wey Igbo woman born for me, I take am."
What the $%£!! Does he think that will solve??!

The full article is here - http://allafrica.com/stories/200702150031.html

Thanks for the comments guys! Xxx

Misan said...

I'm stunned!! (to say the least)