Published on Oct 01, 2017 Yusuf Ozi-Usman
The story of John Nnia Nwodo appropriately fits the saying that you can fool some people for sometimes, but can’t fool all the people all the time.
The content of my piece in reaction to Nwodo, the current President General of the Igbo umbrella socio cultural organisation, The Ohanaeze Nd’Igbo, when he first defended Nnandi Kanu, the coward leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a fortnight ago, is still as relevant as it was then.
As a matter of fact, I had had a faint thought then though that the first outing of Nwodo, defending Nnamdi Kanu and his ragtag organisation and condemning the Nigerian military authorities that rose to save Nigeria from his madness, was a mistake for which he (Nwodo) might eventually apologise and retract. But his subsequent consistency in defending the madness of Kanu confirmed to me and the right thinking people that there was more to it than ordinary eyes could see or ordinary ears could hear.
The case of Nwodo, actually symbolises an African adage that says if a witch cries at night and a child dies in the morning, certainly, the witch cannot wash her hands off the death. Meaning that for Nwodo to continue to defend Nnamdi Kanu and his group of misadventurers, it showed that his (Nwodo’s) hand is that of Esau while Nnamdi Kanu was Jacob’s voice.
Indeed, now that President Muhammadu Buhari has come out to openly accuse Igbo leaders, with Nwodo taking the lead, of aiding and abetting Nnamdi Kanu and his group of motor park touts, there is no escaping the fact that he, Nwodo should publicly apologise to Nigerians for allowing his ambition of become the President of Biafra to becloud his sense of history and judgment.
In fact, how would he have thought that Biafra could manifest under President Buhari, who fully participated in the 30-month Nigeria-Biafran war (1967 – 1970), to keep the same Nigeria one? Why did it not occur to Nwodo and his boys, who he used to test the depth of the ‘sea’ that acquiring a new Republic, even if such matter had never been settled in 1970 after the bitter and annihilating war, is not done the way Nnamdi Kanu tried to do it: by insulting Nigerians except Igbos; by calling all Nigerians zoo animals; by referring to President Buhari as an impostor?
Which country would sit by and allow foreigner like Nnamdi Kanu from Britain, to be so freely vulgar, all in the name of enjoying the so-called human rights as if such rights have no limit?
The wall of Soviet Union did not crash from the point of view of unprintable insults on leaders and other parts of the country. When recently, Britain held a prebicite on whether Scotland should go its own way as country, cheap threats and abuses were not thrown around. Even, the Southern and Northern Korea, the Southern and Northern Sudan, as well as other countries of note, did not go through the kind of pathological hateful bitterness which Nwodo’s Nnamdi Kanu displayed in those few months he trode on this blessed country.
I always wonder why Igbo leaders are wont to cry to high heavens about being marginalised, and my question has always been; at what point did they realise that they are being marginalised?
Was it the Buhari government that started it? When did he start it: in 2015 or 2016 or 2017. If it is not his government that started it, why would Nwodo and his boys want the country to be divided in his time? Does he look so cheap or soft for them to penetrate? Did the government of Goodluck Jonathan, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and others treated them better than that of Buhari?
And, what is marginalisation? The often sing-song is the bad roads, dilapidated infrastructures, inadequate representation in government and so on.
Igbos have forgotten that even Kano state, which gave Buhari about 98 percent votes in 2015 election has the worst road networks. The road from Kaduna to Kano, from Kano to Katsina and from Kano to Jigawa are too terrible to recall.
Kano too, as a case study, has the same number of ministers and other appointees in the Buhari government as Anambra, as Enugu, as Imo, as Ebonyi and as Abia which gave him less than 20 percent of the votes cast in 2015 Presidential poll.
In a nutshell, there is certainly no state in Nigeria that has everything going smoothly for it. And marginalisation is not the preserve of any single region, ethnic group and even tribe.
Why would the Igbos not concentrate in making genuine friendship with people of other regions, especially, the North, and specifically, the Hausa Fulanis? Why would Nwodo think that Biafra can become a reality and he becoming its President, even in dream and in this generation.
And finally, when has marginalisation become a yardstick for demanding, not just a state, but a country!!!
If Igbos refuse to integrate in the Nigerian project and instead, continue to pursue Biafra, from whatever angle and with whatever method, they would only succeed in implanting in the mind of other Nigerians, a a sense of cynicism and suspicion.
We are waiting for Nwodo’s apology for his miscalculated thinking of the Presidency of the Republic of a Biafra, whose proponent (his foot soldier), Nnamdi Kanu had jettisoned, just at the sound of simple gunshot outside his father’s house in Abia state, and zoomed off to whence he came – Britain – leaving his trained soldiers back in Nigeria in the cold.
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