NEEDED: QUANTUM LEAP IN OUR LIFETIME

Nigeria IS a Crisis.

It‘s been almost 50 years since the civil war ended; … and today someone was dejectedly complaining of being without electricity for 24 hours straight – and of just feeling as if she was still in the civil war devasted Biafra zone where everything broke down under the onslaught of war. Sitting in the dark. Feeling unsafe. Not knowing when the Danger will manifest. But you know it’s out there, coming at you, waiting for you. Nervous about the present and the future. All you have is just your resolve to survive, and the depressing certainty that the difficulties are far from over. You struggle to find hope. Only the super rich can afford a more or less uninterrupted self-supply of the basic necessities. Normalcy becomes a luxury. But this is not Biafra 1969. This is Nigeria 2019. On the day on which you should celebrate in exhilaration, you just feel miserable as you see the state of your country.

Almost 50 years after the Civil War. From Gowon to Murtala to Obasanjo to Shagari to Buhari to Babangida to Shonekan to Abacha to Abdulsalami back to Obasanjo on to Yar‘adua on to Jonathan … back to Buhari. It‘s like we have just gone round in a vicious circle back to darkness and hopelessness and sadness. On Independence Day, on Nigeria‘s 59th Independence Day – and in fact a full 121 years after street lights were first installed in Nigeria – millions of people in Nigerian towns and Nigerian villages are sitting in darkness in their homes on Independence Day 2019. This is Nigeria‘s sad and shameful report card.

People, we need a QUANTUM LEAP forward. But this is the question: Who will trigger it? Who will chaperone and manage it? Who will deliver and anchor it, and safeguard it and programme it with the software of the internal logic of self-perpetuation, so that it will keep on leaping forward henceforth? The people who created Nigeria did not design it for the people who live in Nigeria today. We were not on their minds. Nigeria was designed to function as a Colony, not as a self-governing Entity. At so-called Independence in 1960, the White leadership of that Colony was simply replaced by Black leadership. But a Colony by nature it remained and still remains until today.

And because Nigeria, at its heart, in its design, in its internal logic, and in its set-up, is still a Colony and is still wired like a Colony, it thus lends itself most easily to be conquered by and to be subservient to imperial leadership, to ANY imperial Leadership. And that is why any tribe or clique or gang or cabal that is versed and experienced in the ways of Imperialism will always find it easy – both in military and in civilian times – to work their way into the center of government and snatch the power and keep it to themselves, and there will be no mechanisms or dynamics or institutions in place to stop them from doing this. Even Democracy by itself will not stop them. Because Nigeria was designed for just this purpose: to be ruled by an Imperialist. The foundational nature of the animal itself, Nigeria, is that it was designed not to be a free King in the jungle, but to be the broken, driven, crazed and manipulated servant of an Imperator. Always remember this. This will explain to you why power, real power, always keeps returning to or remaining with a certain type of people. This is the DNA of Nigeria. Imperialists understand this. Republicans don‘t.

Until this system is broken up, a new kind of nation-being will not break through from our midst. A new kind of leadership will find no space to emerge. A new philosophy of followership will not be able to manifest itself. The united upbuilding will not take place. We all feel the right way things should be done – but the system just keeps on sabotaging every new attempt to correct Nigeria.

How much longer can Nigeria bear the weight of this chain? The World is galloping ahead. And one day the difference between where Nigeria is and where Nigeria should be, will tear Nigeria apart. If it ever comes to that, which would be the worst catastrophe that would have ever hit Africa, then, from the broken parts left behind, Biafra will strive again to rise again out of the darkness into which war once plunged her, rise again, rise up like the Rising Sun.

And I bet you, others will do the same too. Unless Nigeria can make that Quantum Leap, in our lifetime, away from the imperialism-prone colony-at-heart country she still is, and restructure herself into a balanced continuum that liberates her peoples’ internal powers of invention, organisation, self-correction and equal-footed association which can propel her forward. Forward into that future that is about to leave us behind.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

A SPIRIT YOU CANNOT TOUCH

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign Creation. This might not be clear to many Nigerians today. But one day, way into the future when a critical mass of a more mature and self-aware crop of Africans have arisen in that space today called Nigeria, then the contradiction and the insult embedded in the concept of „founding fathers“ will become clear to them. Especially when they ask: so who exactly was the first, the original Founding Father? Lord Lugard?

He created One-Nigeria, as a concept and a constitutional unit, and pieced and put it together. But what other creative forces lurk behind the pieces of what he put together?

Now, ever since 1914 Africans have tried to usurp Lugard‘s creation, to give life to it according to their understanding of what they feel should be the best way that this creation can work for them – each according to his own idea – and to steer the ship of its destiny. In doing so, however, they often disregard – as though it were unimportant – the very REASON why Nigeria was put together. The assumption of some that this reason is now obsolete or only of historical importance is however very fatal, because it prevents them from understanding why Nigeria still functions today the way she functions and will continue to function – driven by her internal foundational dynamics and aided by her European creators and other foreign friends – unless this raison d‘etre, which translated into her very modus operandi – is substituted or outgrown.

In Frederick Lugard‘s famous words:

„What we often call the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria today can be better described as the poor husband whilst it’s southern counterpart can be fairly described as the rich wife or the woman of substance and means. A forced union of marriage between the two will undoubtedly result in peace, prosperity and marital bliss for both husband and wife for many years to come. It is my prayer that that union will last forever”.

This well-known colourful quote, however, although it theatrically spells out the economic raison d‘etre of Nigeria (North, keep your wealth; Southern wealth will be used to finance both them and you), it distracts from another – even more vital – piece of information, and that is: the WAY and MANNER in which this coup was to be maintained. Namely, not the southern system of administration was extended north, but – more tellingly – the northern system was extended south. Much to the chagrin of Southern intellectuals, who did all they could to resist it – in vain. It was thus the British who subjugated the South to the North.

The very philosophy and ideology of Nigerian government, from the start, was based on that which the British Colonial authority had devised in harmony with the Northern traditional structure. Basically: in the North, unlike in the South, the British Colonial Power never took away actual sovereignty from the Northern rulership structure. It allowed them to keep it and then ruled the area indirectly through them, allowing them to act as willing agents to the extent that they the Northerners allowed. This is what we learn in school as having been „indirect rule“ in the North. This is why the Northern Protectorate always had a fiscal deficit and was always broke – because the Northern Emirs resisted the British imposed taxes. It is important to understand this: It was not the NORTH itself that was poor; the North was never poor, even though – yes – greater mineral wealth lies South, it seems. But it was the British-created BRITISH PROTECTORATE OF NORTHERN NIGERIA (i.e. the administrative entity) that was poor, because the subjects (Northern traditional rulers and their merchants) refused to fund it, but rather kept their wealth and taxes to themselves. Thus the needed money for running the Protectorate had to come from somewhere else: namely, from the South.

Now we come to the South. Here, in the South – unlike in the North – the indigenous primordial sovereignty of Southern Rulership was broken as a power base and replaced with direct British rule. Thus, here the Colonial Government had direct access, backed by direct force, to the mineral and labour wealth of the South. Thereafter they handpicked mostly malleable agents as their servants in the execution of this direct rule in and direct plunder of the South; a portion of the spoils was used to run the South, a large part of the loot was sent North, and the rest they kept to themselves and Britain. In other words, whereas they had adjusted to accommodate unmalleable Northern Leaders further inland in the North, they crushed the easily accessible Southern Leaders in the South and largely replaced them with malleable stooges. This caused great unrest and created a permanent internal instability in the South that has remained to this day, whereas it was the opposite in the North: Under the frail cloak of pseudo British colonialism, the primordial indigenous sovereignty of the North not only stayed intact, but retained the self-established form that had over a long time concretised mainly under Fulani dominion in those approximate areas.

When decades later in the aftermath of WW2 the independence struggle grew exponentially and it became clear to the Colonising power that some form of visible withdrawal from the driving seat had become inevitable, the question now was: Within which power dynamic should Nigeria, their creation whose modus operandi they understood best, be situated and then left behind. – In the hands of the unstable, wealthier, South into the Heart of whose authority-structures the departing British would have no reliable link or hold? Or in the hands of the stable reliable North with whom they had built up a working relationship perfected around an understanding and a system of joint subjugation and plunder of the South? It was an easy choice to make. Thus one can say: the British conquered the South on behalf of the North, in order to leave the South in the hands of the North and then share the South with the North. It seems the southern woman of means was never meant to be honourably married at all, but simply to be a free-for-all double-penetrated Geisha.

The lack of unity in, and naïvety of, the South after independence played even further into the hands of the North. The squabblings, the distrust, the well-meant coup, the naive constitutional change. Like inadvertently pushing a tiny splinter of wood deeper into the sole of your foot the more you try to remove it.

The question however might then be: WHY did the British find it hard to conquer the North, but easier in the South? Was it just because of the distance inland from the Atlantic Coast? Partly. But there was another, and more fundamental reason, and it‘s this: The North had ALREADY been conquered and was under a uniform authority. Islam had already conquered the North and held it together via its agent of conquest, primarily the Fulani of the Sokoto Caliphate to the North-East, and partly also the north-westerly Bornu Caliphate. It was at its core thus an Islamic resistance of Christianity that took place in Northern Nigeria, in continuation of the thousand year old battle for global supremacy between these two foreign religions. The North had a long memory of Islamic martial wisdom to draw from in their intelligent cohesive strategy behind their resistance to and manipulation of the British.

What this also means, is, the Independence that was achieved decades later in 1960 was simply the attainment of a partial independence from the Christian West, but a remaining subject to the Islamic East. Indeed: Independence from the Islamic East is yet to come to Africa generally.

But, back to Southern Nigeria. One common Religion – this overarching glue – was missing in the South, whose additional proximity to the Coast as well as possession of stupendous mineral wealth, made its conquest by the British almost inevitable. Indeed and ironically it was now British Colonialism that gave to the South, via Christianity and wide-spread western education, a semblance of the bond which the North – in the form of Islam and Arab-Islamic schooling – already long had. The difference being that in the North this religion-based bond was and is also entrenched in a traditional system of government which survived western colonialism. The South has only the religion, but not the uniformity of traditional authority. Nevertheless, this shared Christianity – especially in the South-East/South-South – even without political authority, still provides a sufficient bulwark of resistance against the imperious Islamisation attempt of the Fulani in this last region of true resistance in Nigeria. This is the Spirit of Biafra. Fuelled by primordial indigenous indignation. Again what we are seeing here – parallel to the meaningless ethnic scuffle and jostle for power – is the over-arching continuation of the millennium-old battle for global supremacy between Judeo-Christianity on one hand and Islam on the other. Situated within the theater of unfortunate and meaningless African inter-tribal conflicts. The Fulanis are experiencing in Biafra Land the same stubborn resistance that the British experienced in Arewa Land over a hundred years ago. Africans never really surrender. They survive and thrive. Islam is experiencing in Biafra Land the same resistance that Christianity experienced during the crusades against the Moslems. A refusal to be conquered and converted by cunning or by force. The Crusades are reversed in Nigeria today.

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign creation – in so many ways. Much more complex than the few contexts touched upon in this write-up can throw up. The socio-political salvation for the Africans in this region of the continent lies in two things that might seem contradictory, but which are only two complimentary sides of the same golden coin. One: to re-identity with their own original African indigenous ethnic nationalities and consciousness, free from all the brain-wash of foreign religions and an acquired Nigerian identity. Two (and even more importantly): to NOT let these actual African ethnic identities participate in Tribalism against each other. That is: Be your true self and then unite with each other as your true selves. Say yes to Africa. Yes to Intertribal Love. No to tribal hatred and Tribalism.

Tribalism is the death of Africa. Not the Tribalism of love of one‘s ethnic group, but the Tribalism of hating, or feeling superior to, or not wanting the progress of other ethnic groups. It‘s just the greatest Smallness on earth today. If Africans – educated and non-educated – can really conquer Tribalism in their hearts, no foreign-come religions or colonially manufactured identities would be powerful enough to divide them and make them fight against each other. The day Panafricanism is based on pan-tribal-unity, and not on shifty talks in the amorphous halls of the AU, from that day Africa will start to progress.

The day the internal workings of Nigeria become based on inter-ethnic love and Cooperation – free of attempts at ethnic or religious conquest – and based on Inter-tribal Cooperation, accommodation, respect, love and unity, that is the day Nigeria will start to progress. Until then, BIAFRA will continue to live – more than a call for a state, more than a resistance movement; above all, an undying dream of freedom, indigenous development and sovereign identity. Biafra is the code word for Survival. Indigenous Survival. Black Survival. And it is anchored deep in the hearts of millions and millions of Africans. Survival.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
www.facebook.com/686560623/posts/10162562156620624

ALLES WAS GLÄNZT

Sie gaben uns eine geschriebene Verfassung
Haben selber aber keine

Sie verhinderten den Austritt Biafras
Wollen aber selbst ihren eigenen Brexit aus der EU

Sie labbern uns ständig Demokratie an
Schließen aber selbst ihr eigenes Parlament

Sie brachten uns ihre Religion
Treten selber scharenweise aus ihr heraus

Wer sind hier die Dummen?
Sie oder wir?
Wer die dunklen krummen?

Wir glauben alles
Schlucken alles
Folgen alles
Ahmen allem nach –
Wir armen.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije
2019: Das Jahr der deutschen Dichtung

NIGERIA: IN NEED OF LEADERSHIP

It’s serious. More serious than we think. Nigeria is a rudderless ship out on a stormy sea. Forget all the rhetoric; in truth most people do not want Nigeria to break up. But we need new Leadership. Intelligent Leadership. Dynamic Leadership. Progressive and vision-filled Leadership. Above all, fair Leadership that does not want any one part of Nigeria or any ethnic group or any demography to suffer or be left behind. We need the Spirit of Panafricanism in our Leaders.

It is the absence of all this that brokers the separatist volition. Nigerians are survivalists by nature. If they feel Nigeria is not working, they immediately start looking for an alternative. Either outside the country or within the country. It is the same impetus which makes people run away to distant countries that also makes them long for secession or, at least, restructuring. One way or the other, we all want to live in a new country, to hail from a new country, to belong to a new country, different from this Nigeria the way it is today and the way it has been going – getting ever worse – since independence. People want a new home, a real home, preferably in Africa. You think Biafra is a cry of war? You err. Biafra is a cry of help. A cry of desperation. A cry of despair about the state of Nigeria. A search for a better Africa. Biafra is a safety plan, in case the ship sinks – and I‘m sure Arewa and Oduduwa are exactly the same thing. It all depends on Nigeria.

Nigeria needs new Leadership. Badly! Leadership that really cares about ALL its people. Leadership that really understands the psychology behind the process and mechanism of growth. The growth of a society. Of a nation. Of its morals. Of its union. Of its capacity. The growth of its peoples. A Leadership that will champion a FAIR AND EQUITY-BASED AND GROWTH-FOSTERING CONSTITUTION. In the end, everything comes down to the Constitution.

The Titanic, unsinkable, sank. Rome, unconquerable, fell apart. The Dinosaurs, top of the food chain, went extinct. The sun set on the global British Empire. Never ever make the mistake of thinking that a country cannot fail and cannot break up. History has proven over and over again that it can. People need to wake up and take things seriously. Nigeria, the most populous Black Nation in the World, is in bad shape and needs a complete redesign, recalibration and re-orientation.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

BIAFRA IS A STATE OF BEING

Biafra is a state of being.

Until we have achieved that state of being, the desired geopolitical region remains at risk. So we must pursue both tasks together.

And the State of Being is as follows:

We have to do as the Catalonians do in Spain.
When they realized that the Castelianos (Madrid) will never voluntarily or easily give them Independencia, the Catalonians (Barcelona) decided to turn inwards and develop their region Technologically, Economically and Infrastructurally – and now they are the economic powerhouse of Spain.

The same thing is with Bayern in Germany. When Germany was declaring itself as a nation, Bayern (Bavaria) had the choice to stay out and be a country on its own (like Austria did) . Instead it opted to stay within a greater Germany and become it’s best part. Today Bavaria is the most technologically and economically powerful region in Germany – and it has the whole of Germany now as its primary and biggest market.

The same thing is with California in the USA.
It’s not only the biggest economy WITHIN the US, it’s also the 6th largest economy in the World! However, this is only because it is within the US and can leverage on all the synergies that come with that, that it can be so powerful. If it were suddenly to try to break away overnight to stand alone, as a competitor against the rest of the US, things would not be so easy.

Nigeria does not fear IPOB as it is. In fact, they WANT IPOB to challenge them, so they can militarily wage war on the Igbos. IPOB at present is not the Biafra that Nigeria fears. They fear the Biafra that becomes like Catalonia, like Bavaria, like California. That’s the Biafra they fear. So they NEED this militant IPOB to give them an excuse to come and reduce Ala-Igbo to a wasteland again and turn back the hands of our clock once more to Zero, like they did in the last Civil War. Even if we don’t want and don’t start any hostilities, they will use the slightest excuse or provocation or accident to send in their troops. Britain will support them and in the end USA will establish a military base in Igbo Land, to keep the peace. And that is how we will become occupied territory.

We have to be smart, and shift the battle to the field where we can win.

What I am saying is this: yes we will continue to ask for Referendum, like Catalonia does in Spain, like Scotland does in Great Britain.
But it is not Referendum that will give us the Biafra we need. And of course It is not guns that will give us Biafra, that we know. As Igbos, we have to conquer our chronic INDIVIDUALISM – and we have to pool our wealth, intelligence and efforts together to turn Ala-Igbo into a First World region, right here and now. But this is the most difficult thing for us because we are individualists! It is easier to protest.

The second point is: Our Governors. As much as we don’t like them, we have to work on them and with them.

If IPOB mobilises the people against the Governors, the same way it is mobilising them against the Federal Govt, you will see how fast things will change. What will the governors do? Start shooting their own people? If any governor does that, where will that governor run to hide from the people’s revenge? They have nowhere to hide. Your State is your home – so they MUST listen to the people. If the people are united, (and IPOB can unite the people because IPOB is very powerful), they MUST start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY from EVERY elected official in the South East.

Demand that they invest in INFRASTRUCTURES. Roads and transportation. Potable water. Drainage systems. Housing. Health. Education. Tax breaks for small businesses. Regional economic integration. Constitute expert groups accross every field from within and the diaspora to develop and advice on the framework for regional development.

Instead of going to Abuja, the Governors should come together, put money together from their budget and start building a second Niger Bridge. Start dredging the River Niger at Onitsha. Start developing the dry port at Abia. Start NOW and make it mandatory that EVERY South East governor prioritize regional integration. Taxes and tarrifs for business MUST come down to encourage investors.

Computer Village in Lagos is full of Igbos.
The governors and leadership should put their moneys together and build TECHNOLOGY TOWN in Aba. Follow up on the likes of the Geometrics power project in Aba, with a view to completely electrifying Ala-Igbo. And many more of such things.

Put their money together and elevate Enugu Airport to a level HIGHER than Lagos or Abuja airport. Things like that. Developing the Owerri Airport to a full international cargo airport and take advantage of the central location of Owerri in the South East.

Quality educational institutions are lacking in the East even though we constantly produce the highest number of applicants to universities. Let us build more by collaboration with our foreign diaspora. They’re the best in many parts of the world. Lets harness this advantage.

We need a world class Stock Exchange in Ala-Igbo. We can achieve that without the Federal government, because we own trading. Encourage our diaspora to work with government to establish and run QUALITY WORLD CLASS HEALTH CARE institutions in Ala-Igbo.

IPOB has already come up with a blueprint for an Igbo-wide democratic customary government, the people’s government, very republican in nature, and this is good. THIS IS POWER. Ironically, it might even be in accordance with the Nigerian constitution. If peacefully achieved, this can be the leverage with which to control the elected executive and legislative levels, if Nigeria stays together. And if Nigeria falls apart, then automatically we already have a framework state in operation.

However, IPOB must win Igbo people over by championing their welfare with their own governors and officials. Threaten them with no re-election and criminal prosecution if they fail to serve their people. They must also encourage the training, standardization, integration and sharing of information by the different state security groups to stamp out crimes like robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, etc. We are Igbo. We are in the communities and we know those who are into crime. People MUST start explaining their sources of wealth. IPOB can utilize its huge following to ensure crime is wiped out and good governance is entrenched in the South East.

Then IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu would forever be remembered kindly by history.

If we are doing things like all these, Arewa will not need to issue quit notice – NDIGBO will come back in droves to build up Ala-Igbo.

Is it beyond the Igbo to venture into modern and very lucrative cattle rearing and be the leaders in all of Africa? Are we not known to come late into any venture and excel beyond those in it for centuries?

The governors in Ala-Igbo should AS A MATTER OF URGENCY introduce RANCHING across Ala-Igbo for prospective and enterprising IGBO CATTLE FARMERS, after which they will enact, implement and execute ANTI OPEN-GRAZING LAWS in their States, then call on all indigenes and States security groups to participate in monitoring its implementation. This will empower all Igbos and we will rid ourselves of these gun-totting Fulani Herdsmen in no time.

*This is priority. Every passing day is too much.*

Ekiti State did it. Benue State has done it. It’s not impossible. Why cannot the States of the South-East ALL do it as ONE? *Anti Grazing Law.* This will shake the Nigerian Govt more than asking for referendum.

IPOB has power. If they use it wisely they can bring about tremendous change in Ala-Igbo without a single blood shed. They are uniquely positioned at this period in time to use their massive following and break the individualistic Igbo trait to bring about change that will positively shape Igbo history for generations. If they misuse it by going the route of war, that didnt work decades ago, then it would be a great loss indeed.

If Nigeria stays together, Ala-Igbo can become the most advanced region of Nigeria if we START NOW. If Nigeria breaks up, we have to be ready to survive on our own. And at this moment, we are not yet ready. This is where we need to put our eyes into. Because the ball is already rolling.

What we want is for people to come and start investing in Ala-Igbo, from all over the world. They will do this massively if they see the political will and infrastructures being laid down in Ala-Igbo. If that happens, everybody will protect Igbo land. Biafra will grow from within. Let Nnamdi Kanu, all Igbo leaders and thinkers read this and run with it.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije (Ogbuehi)
August 2017.

MITTEL ZUM MEHR

Manchmal blicke ich über
den Teich nach Hause
Mit Sehnsucht in mir
Nach Hause

Nein mit mehr als nur
Sehnsucht
Aber ich glaube, eben
Das ist Sehnsucht

Zwei Herzen beseelen
Ach meine Brust
Aus Lust wird Frust
Aus Frust wird Lust

Je mehr ich hier ankomme
Desto mehr
Fehlt mir ein Land südlich
Vom Mittelmeer.

Saftiges grün
Rote Erde
Akzeptanz
Pflicht es werde.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije
2019: Das Jahr der deutschen Dichtung

IF THE PEOPLE CHANGETH NOT

If you wake up one morning
And hear a bird out there
Sing a song you’ve heard before
But can’t remember where
Close your eyes and remember
The dream you’re waking from
And you’ll find yourself again
In a beautiful kingdom

Where the things you really feel
Are the things that you say
And it’s no big deal
To stand by what you say
And the people passing by
Are exactly as they seem
And they lift their country high
‘Cause they’re true to its dream

Then you wake up from the dream
And go into your world
And meet the opposite
Of what your dreams hold
Join the people, form a line
Queue up in the sun
Cast your votes for someone who
You hope has the wisdom

That the things she really felt
Are the things that she said
And the promises he spelt
Are the path that he’ll tread
And that when she passes by
She will be what she seems
And he’ll lift the country high
By working out her dreams

But the years they slowly pass
And the things hardly change
Sadly sadly ’cause the people
Are all still the same
Truth be told it makes no difference
Which of them the leader be
If the people changeth not
Well neither will their country

So pick your brooms and sweep your streets
And go to work on time
You may laugh at my simple words
But you’d be very surprised
That it’s just such little things
That have tied us down
Oh my people we’re the ones
Who give a face to our town

So the things we really feel
Are the things that we should say
It should be no big deal
To stand by what we say
And the people passing by
Should be just what they seem
And we lift our country high
‘Cause we work out our dream.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BUHARI PUSHING THE BIAFRAN ISSUE INTO THE ONLY FIELD OF BATTLE HE UNDERSTANDS: MILITARY CONFLICT.

A soldier without a war must be a lonely man. So lonely that he feels no shame at taking military conflict into the towns, neighbourhoods, streets and homes of unarmed or poorly armed civilians of even his own supposed country just to assuage his thirst for blood and domination in the only language comprehensible to his one-dimensional soul. It matters not to him that the victims in question are civilians untrained in martial combat and lacking in the sophisticated weapons which he has purchased from foreign countries with the wealth of the very people against a section of whom he has now turned that same military machinery. While other great generals feel militarily fulfilled only when matched in even combat against a worthy and equally trained adversary, the small-minded blood-thirsty little soldier will leave real terrorists undefeated and, instead, withdraw his troops from true battle and send them into the homes of civilians, to intimidate, to brutalize, to maim and to kill, just in order to satisfy his desire for a sense of victory, however cheap and shameful.

And what is the crime of this brave civilian population in question, these Igbos? Only one: self-awareness. They committed the deep, unpardonable, human crime of becoming and articulating their awareness of their own self, their own individual nationality, their own distinct identity as a People. This crime, already problematic as it is on all continents, is most heavily frowned upon and most viciously punished, it seems, on the African continent. The very continent most desperately in need of internal soul-searching and honest appraisal of its own inherent primordial intuiting of what the root of a nation is and what the forms of nations are. The very continent whose peoples most desperately need to redefine all concepts of nationhood foisted on them by colonial intent and later further militarily appropriated by feudal desire. A continent that should today enrich mankind with new schools of thought in the field of the different possibilities for the expressions of human civilization. The very continent that, even generations later, most urgently finds itself still recurrently placed before the need to question the chains, the borders, the constitutions and the conflicts into which, partly splintered and partly moulded, it was birthed through the labour throes of a deliberate colonial curriculum. Yet, this continent is the very same one that most violently and most vehemently refuses to look at itself in the mirror and dialogue with itself as to the best way to create the political and policy spaces that most favour its multi-ethnic nature and further its development. Instead it fights tooth and nail to defend and preserve what other civilizations designed and then forced upon it, without permitting any investigation by its indigenes into how they themselves would have done it if no external force had foisted it on them.

And now it is Nigeria’s turn, on that troubled continent, to fall (again) into conflict with herself over this very issue: of sovereign African ethnic nations – of different languages, of different centres and concepts of power, and of different directions of loyalty – but forced into an artificially conceived and created country by profit-minded non-Africans; and which Africans have now since become no longer at ease as they perpetually run around an irreconcilable puzzle promised them by colonialism and inevitably overtaken by deep-rooted feudalism. The sense of a Non-fit keeps breaking out time and again, embodied in calls for self-determination or restructuring at the one pole, or even by extreme ethnic envies, marginalisation and blood-letting at the other extreme.

The spirit of Ala-Igbo has re-embodied itself, and the dawning recognition begins to settle in, that this is not a Biafran army that can be defeated in battle, or a state-land that can be appropriated by occupation, or an ethnic identity that can be obliterated by marginalisation, nor is it a tribe that can be cleansed by genocide. This is something else entirely. This is a spirit that no matter how many times you kill them, will NEVER GO AWAY. This is a People that has re-become self-aware, conscious of itself as a Unit, as a nation-continuum. This is a People who want Sovereignty in all its depths and ramifications. This is a People that have the clarity and sense of proud adulthood to yearn to be their own Nation, themselves! And if you must give them something else, it must be one in which they feel and know they are represented!

But Nigeria was conceived, and brought together, under the barrel of the gun. And Nigeria, finally, has continued to keep herself together, like a masochist, through the self-inflicted pressure and violence of a forced marriage. It is thus not surprising that Nigeria, bewildered and baffled, bemused, insulted and continually embarrassed by increasingly vitriolic and contentious calls for secession, for restructuring, for self-determination by separate ethnic regions – a natural manifestation of her inability to address and redress the clash of civilizations brought about by her unnatural birth – begins to react in the only way she knows: The way of violence, intimidation and coercion.

It thus becomes imperative for President Buhari, a former coup plotter, a former military head-of-state, a veteran of the genocidal 1967-70 Nigerian war against the Igbo people of Biafra, to concentrate his efforts now on militarising the current Biafran resurgence in order to create the sick impression of a pseudo-justification to send federal troops into the streets and homes of a section of the people, an ethnic group, the Igbos, who have hitherto not launched even ONE ATTACK on the military or on any other ethnic group; a people who’s sole call is for the permission to hold a Referendum on the issue of self-determination, but who now find themselves internally attacked and surrounded by the armed forces of the very country which claims that these same Igbos are a part of her. What an irony of machiavellian proportions!

The contention that a certain individual, Nnamdi Kanu, has been exceedingly vitriolic in his verbal agitations, is a shamelessly lame excuse for a military offensive against an entire ethnic region. All it shows is the inability of this administration, as indeed of the colonially born African complex – compounded by delusions of ethnic superiority – to address complex issues in anything but military and militaristic terms! This is a shame for Africa and the Black race, as well as a mark of dishonour upon every person who supports this military aggression against civilians. In the end, President Buhari remains still General Buhari, a military dictator who criminally uses the organs of State to persecute his opponents, rather than applying and following the rules of the path of judicial law. Africa returns to the past, and time stands still.

But much deeper than Nigeria is the Igbo Spirit! It is the ROOT. And if it ever needed further proof that it does not belong in this contraption called Nigeria, at least in its present form, it is being furnished this daily in these times. If it ever needed any proof that it will NEVER be snuffed out no matter how many times Biafra is beaten down, it is being birthed daily into this certainty in these times of modern pharaonic oppression to which it is being subjected in broad daylight! Buhari’s desperate attempt to militarize the eternal Igbo issue and the Biafran puzzle, apart from causing untold pain and hardship to many civilians, individuals, communities and families, only serves the purpose of further accelerating the Igbo soul’s abnegation of the Nation that repeatedly wages war against it! Ndi Igbo will stand together, will fall together, will rise together! Ndi Igbo can NEVER BE DEFEATED OR BROKEN!

Once upon a time, Sovereignty was brutally, cunningly and mockingly taken away from Sovereign African ethnic nationalities! In its place they were given arbitrary illogical amalgamations, full of culture clashes, and told that this is the way forward if they want to develop! In Nigeria’s case, this amalgamation – in order to survive – should have submitted itself, in Nigerian hands, to a process of positive metamorphosis that would eventually allow the reawakening and the harmonious, reciprocal and mutually supporting blossoming of that which was taken away: our sense of individual sovereignty as well as the substance of it. Instead it has birthed anomalies and monstrosities and exposed an inconvenient truth that just refuses to go away: African Tribes are the true African Nations. This was why, to place a fundamental impediment before their development, Colonial Design struck them at that core, to hamper the national self and create an illusionary centre that cannot hold. Don’t mind the lie. For, in truth, Igbo world and Bini world and Yoruba world and Ijaw world dwellt side by side for centuries, and got along – and so will their Nations too one day, if it ever comes to that. We know how to do it, when each person is allowed to be himself.

You cannot make Igbos into Nigerians by sending Nigerian soldiers into Ala-Igbo to surround them and occupy their land and forcefully force all of them to vote, and to forswear Biafra, and hail Nigeria, under the barrel of the gun! On the contrary – you thereby make them into non-Nigerians. Infact you cause them to retreat deeper into what they are – Ndi Igbo!

You cannot make Igbos want to be Nigerians by harassing them and brutalizing them and humiliating them and killing them with Nigerian soldiers and Nigerian might! On the contrary you strengthen them in their Sense of Self as Ndi-Igbo, for nothing binds together as tightly as shared persecution. You thereby simply midwife their determination to become one African Nation, either purely as Ala-Igbo or in the family ethnic groups of the Republic of Biafra, that survived persecution and learned and matured through its vicissitudes and mistakes, drew on its strengths, and made it alone into the First World!

You awaken their Inner Igbo Voice which will tell them loudly, proudly: “I AM IGBO! I AM SELF! I AM NATION!” – Maka onye kwe, chi ya e kwe!

IGBO KWENU!

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

Background:
The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in September 2017, sent the Nation’s military into the south-eastern parts of the country where they tortured, humiliated and murdered citizens of largely the christian Igbo ethnic tribe, many of whom for decades have desired to break-away from Nigeria and establish their own country Biafra.

ELOKA

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AFTER THE NIGERIAN Civil War, popularly known as the Biafran War, Eloka could not find his feet anymore. He had run away from home and bluffed his way to the front where he miraculously survived. By the time the war ended however he had learnt all those slippery gripping things which are most dangerous to learn in those teenage years.

A drug addict, possessed of fits of violence and passion, and unable to focus his attention on anything serious for any considerable length of time, he became in the post-war years a source of sorrow and heart-ache to his parents and family. He was the fifth and youngest child of his parents, their baby and most beloved. His mother shed innumerable tears. His proud and stately but gentle father, a high chief of their people, bore it with a grim silence.

And then, somehow, someone hit upon the disastrous idea of sending young Eloka to America; for some reason they indulged in the logic that, at school there, far away from home, Eloka would be moulded into a man, forced to become self-controlled, responsible and mature. – And so, off he went to America.

But even many a stable and level-headed adult has been turned and broken by America, that distant continent, not to talk of this unsettled youth. Reports have it that he indeed at first attended his courses at the university, but with time Eloka gradually eased away from contact and eventually disappeared from sight.

Full of concern and agony, in which was mingled a stab of self-blame, Chief Ogbonna – Eloka’s stately father – contacted all known relatives and friends in that giant continent-of-a-country, pleading with them to help find his Eloka. But look high or look low as these people did – even with the help of police and private detectives – Eloka was nowhere to be found.

Sorrowfully his parents resigned themselves to the certainty that death must have overtaken him. Eloka’s war-torn nature, they lamented, had broken out again and done him in. Oh… that war! – Eloka’s mother’s tears flowed again, night after night, as she called his name into the unresponsive wind. And Eloka’s father again bore these times with a leaden heart of silence.

But then, as life always shows itself to be running differently from what we think it is, Eloka suddenly appeared again, not in America, but back in Nigeria. But when Chief Ogbonna gazed into his son’s eyes he saw, not the son he once knew, but a harassed stranger. And the Chief openly shed tears. And whilst others thought they were tears of joy, in truth they were tears of pain and loss. Now he really knew that his son was gone from him for good.

The others, however, only celebrated his return. His mother, though she sensed the absolute change in him, refused to acknowledge it as she clung unto her love for her returned son, and proceeded to go through the motions of being a happy mother.

But, truly, nobody knew the real reason why Eloka had suddenly and miraculously returned. He had simply been on the run from other gangsters who were after his life, and had fled to his native country to wait out the heat.

The heat did cool off, as Eloka established through telephone conversations, and then, just the same way as he had returned, Eloka whisked himself back to America.

Let me not disclose the renewed sorrow that descended upon the Ogbonna family. The years went by. For a long while nobody heard anything from or about Eloka. But then, slowly, pieces of news about him began to painfully filter through: wanted by the police here, fleeing from the law there, etcetera.

To say that all this added to the quickened deterioration of Chief Ogbonna’s health would be an understatement. Slowly he withered mortally away…

Meanwhile, on that strange distant American continent, Eloka began to slowly come to a better understanding of life and himself. The works of great philosophers slid through his fingers and across the canvas of his soul and he discovered his buried I. He began to study and to read and to think. Reading wrought a strange change upon his spirit and suddenly, as though with new eyes, looking about him he found himself surrounded by works and people that had the capacity to inspire him, and all of a sudden the country seemed like a whole different place – a land of opportunity. And then he began to think about his life.

It became clear to him that he had nigh on senselessly wasted over two decades of his life being less than he could be, less than his parents had brought him up to be, less than his father had all along been waiting for him to become. His father. His mentor. His childhood hero. He remembered the gulf that had yawned between both of them when he last saw him that time he fled home fifteen years earlier. Remorse gradually took hold of him and the urge to close this gap that had opened up between his father and himself.

To this purpose at the age of forty, Eloka’s life began anew. He turned away fully from crime and, over the next couple of years, settled his cases with the law, left the bars permanently behind and eventually worked himself into a job as a writer of newspaper articles. He wanted to step before his father as a respectable and capable son. – Once or twice he considered writing a letter home, but never did so.

But this period of transformation had not yet ended when the heavy, fateful news suddenly and abruptly filtered through to Eloka that his father had just died after a protracted bout of illness. A wild pain, laced by regret, tore through Eloka. Suddenly his life lost whatever meaning it had recently and newly found again. His only star, only beckoning light, was gone. What was he to do now? Could anything be done? Eloka was tired. For although he dearly loved his mother, his brothers and his sisters, it was his father who had always been the owner of the deepest love in his heart.

Yet why did he not even now return home? Or communicate, or something, anything, to make the pain in his heart, and in everybody else’s too, go away a little. – But, no. His life was empty now, his destiny altered. There was nothing more to strive for… – wispy thoughts that stung at night.

Yet must credit be given to Eloka however. He did not revert back to crime, nor did he ever contemplate suicide. He simply drifted on in that old new world and completely forgot his old homeland, a stranger in a land of seekers and dreamers.

Unknown to Eloka however his father was still alive and, in fact, hale and hearty. Chief Ogbonna was not dead., neither was his mother. It had been a case of misinformation, accidentally or deliberately. Both his parents lived, resigned to their loss and newly resolved to making the best of the rest of their lives. In this spirit, the Chief had kicked against the dejection that had been slowly killing him, and returned to life.

They lived over ten more happy years together and then the old Chief, in his nineties, was the first to close his eyes to a rich and many-sided earthlife. And, in accordance with the customs of his people, an Igbo village in Eastern Nigeria, though his body was interred immediately, the public funeral ceremony was fixed for a distant month.

Hardly had his body been buried, however, than private investigators in America, constantly hired over the decades to seek out Eloka, found him at last. They communicated this piece of news to other relatives of his who also lived in America and these set out to meet him.

Great, and not to be fastened in words, were the emotions that suddenly surged up in and overwhelmed Eloka when he opened the door of his apartment and gazed into familiar, long unseen, loved faces, gazing back at him.

Tenderly, ever so tenderly, they broke the news to him about the recent death of his beloved father, Chief Obinna Ogbonna. But they did not know the reason why Eloka sat so still after hearing this strange, startling piece of news. Eloka was dumbfounded, perplexed, thunderstruck, silent. Very silent and very still. But his soul was in tumult.

The realization that his father had not died over ten years ago like he had heard, like he had all the while thought, but had been alive all this time! All these years, years in which he, Eloka, had finally, even if almost nonchalantly, achieved that which only the longing to meet his father again had awakened in his heart some fifteen years ago now. To be a respectable son and capable, independent, balanced man. Years in which he could have visited the old man as often as he pleased. Ten years. All gone. For he had believed his father dead all along. Now history.

Why had fate misinformed him years ago? But whose fate? And who’s fate?

Eloka’s thoughts floated back to his childhood, to the time before the war, before that haunting turning point. How many evenings had he lain beside his father, listening to his breathing? During how many meals had he sat by the loving man’s side, pilfering solemnly slices of fish and roasted chicken from his plate? How many times had his father tickled him, made him laugh and then made him proud with tales of their ancestors, and then made his heart tremble by telling him how eager he was to see what his boy would be when he became a man. How many times had he longed again and again for his father, his father for him?…

And so, Eloka, now in his mid-fifties, who did not visit his father while the man yet lived, and longed, boarded an American plane in that distant month to go and visit him at his funeral.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

 

image: 3345408/pixabay