My father has a weird way of keeping in touch. He has his regular routine greeting over the phone. ‘’how are you? ‘’Are you okay? Normal routine check-up. But on this day it was different. I think he sounded erratic, I could sense panic in his voice as he rasped ‘’There is going to be War in this country’’. Let me introduce you to my Father. I doubt he ever got over the War of 1967. He would always argue about how he lost classes, how he ate lizard out of extreme hunger, how he fought at the War front during the War, which my mother would always counter in her high pitched voice as a lie. She never believed he fought during the war!
My father never got over the War, his famous words are ‘’ We are not one’’.
The news everywhere is the northerners have given the Igbo’s till October First, 2017 to leave the North, while the Igbo’s have given the northerners till October 1st, 2017 to leave the East. What is it with the Northerners and the Easterners like seriously?
Biafra is like piled up resentment and rage that has grown into full blown furry! Let my people go! Just like the Egyptians refused to let the Israelites go, Nigeria has refused from time immemorial to let Biafran’s go. But should we really be surprised? I have read a lot of books about Biafra ‘’half of a yellow sun by Chimamander Adiche’’ and ‘’There was a country by Chinua Achebe’’. From the bitter discussions I hear from my parents about Biafra and my little knowledge from reading, I can tell you that War is not a sweet affair, that 1967 was not necessary, the blood shed on mother earth was not necessary and the time lost which we can never get back was not necessary. That there was greed, selfishness and Ego on both sides and this corrupted our minds. That the west was not affected in 1967 does not mean that it would not be affected now! That you feel you would not be affected because you are cocooned in luxury and you are not Igbo but forget that you have a friend/ a relative who is Igbo.
I do not blame the Biafran’s, after all they are industrious, highly intelligent, well Educated and want what is just-fully theirs. A mother cannot show favouritism to one of her children alone, the other children would definitely grow with resentment.
To think that after 1967 nothing was done to amend the constitution to make Nigeria an equal opportunity country for us all. I mean they fought for something right? So why weren’t their needs and wants looked into and granted, instead it was led to fester and become a disease in their mind, hearts prompting them once again to chant the ''song of biafra’’!
My Question truly is, Is Biafra ready? Or are we like the Israelites who wanted to be let go but had no plan. Are we truly one? Our fore fathers were ready then, and they were One. They fought side by side. But are we really ONE now? Are we truly ready to be let go? Who are the Biafran’s? And do they want to be Let go? Let us not hastily compare ourselves to Brexit because we are not as organized or as United as they are. We need to really think!