Joseph Afokwalam wrote this in response to a Yoruba One Nigerianist:Dear Omotayo Yusuf, I like your choice of words, “may likely happen”. Permit me to also give a counter narrative why some of these six things may likely not happen and how they can be taken care of if they happen.
KANU AS PRESIDENT
I want to assure you that Dr Nnamdi Kanu is a highly educated man. If you hear him speak and listen to some of the STRESS interviews he granted you will know that he is not only educated but intelligent as well. He is also a very charismatic leader, nobody in the history of Nigeria has been able to bring so much people out on the streets like this man. As you can see many people are willing and ready to die for this man. Nobody in the history of the Igbo race has been able to bring the Igbos together like this man and he is the only man that has been able to close the gap between SS and SE created by Hausa Fulani Yoruba media like you are trying to prop up in your article. His IPOB is still intact despite billions of dollars earmarked by the government to create problems by infiltrating their ranks. I am very sure you know all these, you are just feigning ignorance. Moreover Kanu has said it time without number that as soon as Biafra is restored, his job is done and he will retire to his home.
There is no society without internal strife. We are different individuals as such want different things, see things differently and have different ways to solve problems which is why there are always strife even in our different homes. But the strife we will have can never be compared with what we are passing through in Nigeria. Do you remember the 1966 coup? A coup that was carried out by soldiers of different ethnic groups was tagged an Igbo coup, Igbo soldiers were killed. Do you remember the May and October 1966 pogroms in which more than 100,000 Igbos were killed? Can you remember how many times Igbos were killed in the North for no just cause? Like the cartoon of prophet Mohammed in Denmark and so on, or the numerous religious uprisings that targets mainly Igbos. Or the 2011 election riot that killed Igbo youth corpers. Remember Igbos here refer to people from old eastern region because when the killing starts, we are all Igbo but when you people want our resources you will start talking about minorities as if there are no minorities in the North.
The difference you see among different Biafran groups is because we know that the government is sponsoring some of them to destabilize us. Remember gowon said that if he had known he wouldn’t have gone to war, he would have sponsored an Igbo man to counter Ojukwu. That is part of the strategy of this government against this Biafra agitation. I must tell you that IPOB, MASSOB under Uchenna Madu and LNC are not against each other.
There are IPOB families in Ebonyi state so they are part of the agitation. Even if they are not part of it, they will join when Biafra comes.
Corruption is everywhere, you must have seen what happened in Democrats National Convention in the US, how the DNC who are supposed to be neutral worked against Sanders, you also must have seen the way Clinton investigations were carried out. So corruption is everywhere but it is worst in Africa. Biafra may not be an exemption but the difference is that the situation where every tribe will fight for their tribes man even if he is corrupt will not exist. Present political elites may not be the leaders because this agitation is a grassroots thing and I don’t see them coming to hijack it. They know this, that is why majority of them are not supporting the agitation. The agitation by the masses means that a vote of no confidence has been passed on the political elites. Even if they find themselves in power, they will know that they are answerable to the masses who fought for the freedom.
Like we have been saying, there is nothing like south south in the cardinal points, it is your creation just to divide us. Are there no minorities in the North? Why was there no minority commission in the North or West? Are all in the present day western Nigeria Yorubas? If not because you people have ulterior motive, where is that commission needed, is it in the eastern region that never had a history of war or in the North and West where there were wars of conquest. Your article clearly shows that you are trying to instigate that division your people propagated during and after the war but unfortunately for you, we are now wiser. We know who is dominating who now, we know who wants the oil because we know who has 83% and 15% of the oil blocks. We know who said that Bayelsa oil belong to them and who is claiming ownership of the oil in Bayelsa because of their large land mass. All the same, it will be good to note that Biafra is never by force. If the so called SS want to stay with Nigeria or want their own nation, Biafrans will never force them. Igbo speaking Biafrans are not landlocked as you claim. You mentioned Ndoki port, you forgot that there is a port in Onitsha, you forgot Oguta, Omambala river and many other rivers that can be dredged and developed if need be. You people have abandoned the “we feed you because your land is not fertile” mantra because the hardship in the country now has really shown who is feeding who.
This is another story that is making us believe that Yorubas are afraid of restoration of Biafra. Why must all Biafrans come home when Biafra is restored? Why are there Yorubas in the UK, US and other countries? Three days ago, Kenya clamped down on Nigerians in Kenya and arrested about 40 Nigerians, more than 70% are Yorubas. Why are they not in their country Nigeria? Are there no Nigerians with properties outside Nigeria? My dear brother anybody can live and own properties anywhere in the world. That is the argument you are using to scare our brothers that made some of them afraid of Biafra restoration. Unfortunately for you, times have changed, gone are those days when you have monopoly of the media where you spew all sorts of lies. We now can counter them and put the record straight.
Yes Yorubas are our natural allies because we are both from the south. We have problems because of mistrust that exists amongst us to the advantage of the north. It is unfortunate the Yorubas don’t know they are also marginalized, just that the east are more marginalized than they are. I don’t know if any Yoruba saw sir Ahmadu Bello’s speech that was published on the Parrot newspaper of 12th October 1960. Let me just quote a part of it, “The new nation Nigeria should be an estate of our grandfather Usman Danfodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power, we will use the minorities of the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory and never allow them rule over us or allow them control over their future”. He did not say East as conquered territory, he said South. It is unfortunate that the west think they are ok forgetting that these people not only want to perpetually rule us but do not want us to control our future.
Finally, I will like to tell all Nigerians that Biafra is not a call for war but a call for us to go back to how we were before the British joined us together for their selfish economic interest. We have lived together for more than hundred years and anybody who wants to tell himself the truth will concede that it has not worked. We hate each other, we are different. We have different value system, different religion, different food, different clothes, different languages and so on. Instead of us to wait till war separate us, it is better for us to separate in peace so that we can be happy neighbours where healthy rivalry will help each nation to be better while helping each other to be the best we can.