The Indigenous People of Biafra, popularly known as IPOB, is moving away from its fringe habitation in Nigeria and morphing into an international anarchic organization in its aggressive dream for Biafran homeland. This militant movement of nascent self-determination which regrouped after the aftermath of the old Biafran valorous mythology, represents the conjunction of the unfinished turbulent events of our civil war and the continued reaffirmation of radical Ndigbo for a Biafran paradise. Today, IPOBians in the diaspora are in a desperate and dangerous race to recapture a Biafran homeland by any means necessary.
The global resurgence of IPOB agitations for a sovereign Biafran motherland represents a failure of all the past emotional paean to reconciliation and integration of the Igbo nation immediately after the civil war. Therefore, caught in a time capsule, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu defiantly announced a collective Igbo frustration and the need to exorcise the humiliation of the past while making a preparation for a new Igbo homeland. There are troubling kernels of questions to be answered. Is IPOB preemptive global amalgam of coalition of forces symbols of hope, freedom and eventual independence for the Ndigbo?
Can we regard IPOB diaspora mobilisations of clannish solidarity as highly durable political strategy designed to reinforce their allegiance to a separate Igbo identity? Is IPOB perpetual wars on both domestic and foreign front symbols of their collective disaffection with their massive exclusion and marginalization in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari?
However, the Fulani cabal that run Nigeria are averse to an active agitators who are politically enlightened. They prefer compliant mugus and passive zombies. President Muhammadu Buhari knows that there are workable alternatives to our forced unity but he has to work assiduously to hide that truth. Consider the deepest agitation of Boko Haram. The Revolution Now movement. The Biafran/IPOBians. The Omo Oduduwa. The Niger Deltans. It is one direction: separate destiny! As I write, Southwest governors are trialling an autonomous security arrangement to protect the Yoruba from the mindless kidnapping and butchery of their people by Fulani herdsmen in their region. One indivisible Nigeria has landed us into chasms of darkness for the past 59 years.
The rising cry for autonomy, dissolution, regionalism, separateness or independence are our best hope of meeting the developmental aspirations of our people. IPOB, Oduduwa and the Ijaw’s strident agitations for self-determination are the answers to Fulani overpowering dominance of other nationalities. This is the crisis of political disengagement in an unwieldy federal structure. Our unity does not encourage mass access to politics except for a stupendously rich few.
Where the Yoruba are passive and cautionary, the IPOBians believe in their invincibility in war. Here, one can detect a bewildering political hyperbole that seems to come so naturally to an average warring Biafran that is fast becoming a neurosis for the tribe.
Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, of blessed memory, created that warrior illusion and the embers of that warring myth are yet to die in the imagination of an average Ndigbo. Yes, the Igbo are courageous and valiant tribe, but must those shining attributes continue to intoxicate the mind of younger generation of IPOBians so forcefully as to lead them to the trenches of Mazi Kanu in his revolutionary awakening?
On the other hand, we must admit that the IPOB hubris and the energetic clamour for a Biafran homeland exemplify the fragile nature of our unity as a nation and exposes the complex and uneasy bonding of different tribes into a contraption called Nigeria, where we eye one another with fatal hatred and uneasy jealousy. It is this mutual tribal dissonances that allows IPOB to proclaim, with eloquent voices, the virtues of a future Republic of Biafra. Biafrans are saying that the enforced ache of unity must be separated by force and not by peaceful means.
On the balance of futuristic projection, we can affirm that IPOB is mapping a new trajectory for all competing nationalities in Nigeria by calling on them to stand up and fight and destroy the yoke of Fulani bondage that had kept Nigeria in perpetual darkness since our independence. IPOBians are saying that as long as we continue to collude in the manufactured consensus of Fulani capricious diktat without challenge or meaningful dissent, then the constituent nationalities that make up Nigeria will forever remained subject to arbitrary injustice, tyranny, harassment, exploitation, irrelevance, backwardness, castration, poverty and frustration.
Therefore, IPOB is fighting a perpetual war with the Fulani internal overlords and their Ndigbo collaborators by carpet bombing their fortresses with drums of resistance, agitations and global protests. In their daily action, the diaspora IPOBians are reinforcing a painfully obvious reality that change, freedom and liberty cannot take place in Nigeria without a combination of unrests, revolution, fights, bullying, resistance, rascality and war. Their mission is seen as a life-or-death fight to the finish against a system that had dissembled other nationalities and reduced them to second class citizens in a fictive ‘One Nigeria’ of Fulani hegemony, domination, brutality and arrogance of power.
Of a truth, agitation will remain a part of the democratic process. Legitimate protests oil democracy and align it toward justice, fairness and equity. Nations break up when there is unequal partnership. Kosovo ceded from Serbia. Yugoslavia broke up. Scottish has had a referendum to exit from the United Kingdom. Southern Sudan is today a sovereign nation.
The fault line of every human is to yearn for freedom and IPOB in its combative posturing is manifesting this trait, however badly executed. Whether we like it or not, self-determination of the nationalities is the politics of the future and the cure for the haemorrhaging nature of our unity. Self-determination by the nationalities will encourage bolder innovations, common touch, faster community and grassroots development, homogeneity and less hidebound than one Nigeria of disparage interests, desperation, dominance, injustice and oppression. Oduduwa Republic is on standby. Biafra is on standby. Boko Haram republic is on standby. Niger Delta republic is on standby.
The aftermath of the proscription of IPOB in Nigeria has led to the establishment of IPOB Diaspora Punishment Squad (Koboko Team) dedicated to humiliating, beating and arresting all visiting Igbo politicians espousing one Nigeria once they are caught in all Western capitals. What is still raw in IPOB’s soul was the murderous suppression of its members during the Umuahia, September 2017 military operation called, Python Dance. IPOB then accused all the South East governors of complicity in the killings of IPOBians by federal forces. Today, the fear of massive beating of these governors when they travel abroad has led to a mass recanting of their involvement in the crime against IPOBians in 2017.
Since Nigeria is covenanted to democratic ideals, President Buhari must handle agitations, protests and dissentions with a democratic spirit, patience, tact and high diplomacy before Nigeria snowballs into bloodbaths. Omoyele Sowore should be released as a gesture of new democratic paradigm.
Arguably, all the incongruous social and political aberrations in Nigeria do not encourage oneness but a determined and urgent separation of destinies from the centre. In fact, unity is promoted by the most unhinged Northerners to further their dominance and advantage in all areas of national assignments. Northerners are overrepresented in all the juicy and important posts in this country. Also, the ongoing narrative among Southern Nigerians is that the weaponisation of Northern Fulani herdsmen against the Nigerian state has become so normal, that, a new nadir was recently reached, howbeit brazenly, when President Buhari mooted the idea of RUGA – the seizure of fertile land for cattle colony!
What we have seen through the repelled RUGA policy was the final provocation in the pantomime of our forced unity and the exposure of President Muhammadu Buhari as a dangerous, devious and tribally-driven leader on a mission to open more tribal fissures among southern states that opposed his colonialism project, aptly called RUGA. In the eyes of our tiny, slave masters, Nigeria should remain a mugudom where the genuine aspirations of 200 million people for freedom is forever denied by clowns who could not survive if we go our separate ways.
In the face of all these national shenanigans, IPOB has to go on a global mutiny and vigorously project a spirit of ownership of Ndigbo land, oneness, respect, dignity and rights. We may all view their modus operandi outside the shores of Nigeria as eccentric, rascally and confrontational, but there is no doubt that their spin, message, sound bites and call to arm are all resonating in the pliable minds of sympathetic, young generation of Ndigbo who, someday, dream of Republic Of Biafra.