I have thought about writing this article about Nigeria's deadly war against Secessionists many times, and whenever I want to start I get this cold chill, that I will have to drop the idea.
In case you don't know, my name is Elochukwu Ohagi, I am a school Teacher and Activist. I have for many years written on the need for Nigeria and Nigeria politicians to do the right thing. Nigeria has all it takes to be among the world first class countries, but with corruption, nepotism, evil and killing of indigenous people, they didn't just lost their place, they threw themselves into deep dungeon of poverty and hopelessness.
Personally, I found out that it has been a waste of time talking to the consciences of these politicians to do the right thing. I noticed that Nigeria as constituted can never be better. After a careful study of the different people forced together by Britain to become what is today called Nigeria, I realised that the only remedy for the problem ravaging Nigeria is absolute division of the country.
I have been a critique of the evils of Nigeria politicians, and a strong believer in a disintegrated Nigeria. I have written a lot about Nigeria and their evils, so I think I have witnessed a lot regarding to Nigeria's deadly moves against the secessionists agenda of the indigenous people of Biafra.
Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) is a group in the former Eastern Nigeria seeking for the restoration of Biafra. Biafra was declared by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in 1967, after the deadly Pogrom of the Easterners, especially the Igbo in Northern Nigeria. More than 700 Igbo people were killed and littered in the streets of the North. Children, mothers and even pregnant women weren't spared. This forced the Eastern consultative forum to come together and reached a consensus that the East should secede and Ojukwu was mandated to declare Biafra a Republic.
The declaration of Biafra was met with a military action by Nigeria government. Gowon declared war on Biafra. It is still funny that Nigeria declared war against a people they killed more than 700 of them, just to force them back to Nigeria. The war raged, British government backed Nigeria, gave them weapons and in the long run, more than 3.5 million Biafrans lost their lives, especially children.
It is more than 50 years after the war and the youths of the Eastern Region are again demanding for a Biafra state. This call for the disintegration of Nigeria is being championed by IPOB, a movement established by a British citizen Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who is currently held by the Department Of Secret Service in an underground cell in Abuja. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was kidnapped in Kenya by the combination of Kenya and Nigeria agents. It is worthy of note that United Nation's group on arbitrary arrest and Human rights has asked Nigeria to release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally, pay compensation and have those involved in kidnapping him punished. But Nigeria government has been adamant and still holding and torturing him.
IPOB is demanding for referendum as to have the opportunity to decide through plebiscite on where they want to belong, Nigeria or Biafra. They are flag waving peaceful protesting youths demanding for their right to safe determination. But unfortunately, what they are doing has not gone well with the Nigeria government. Nigeria government has done many evil against this group. Thousands of them has been abducted, imprisoned and killed.
Declaration Of IPOB As Terrorist Group
In 2017, the attorney general of the federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami filed an application in Abuja federal high court, pleading them to have Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) declared a terrorist group. IPOB has been in court contesting this court injunction. IPOB has not done anything that can be considered an act of terrorism. For demanding for referendum and peacefully protesting can't be tagged an act of terrorism.
Again, IPOB has presence and is well registered in almost all the counties of the world, and none of these countries have declared IPOB a terrorist group. But Nigeria government thinks branding them a terrorist group will some how stop IPOB from gaining independence from Nigeria.
Operation Python Dance
Since 2017 till date, Nigeria government has declared three operation python dance on IPOB. In these operations carried out by Nigeria Military, many IPOB members were killed. On 14th September 2017, Nigeria Military waged an attack in the little town of Afaraukwu Ibeku in Umuahia, the home town of IPOB leader. That very day, Nigeria Military made an attempt on the life of the IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and ended up killing many people in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu father's compound. About 28 members of IPOB were killed, including Mazi Nnamdi Kanu's cousin sister and their pet dog. Elsewhere in different parts of the East, many youths were killed and bodies dumped in different bushes.
Abductions And Disappearing Of IPOB Members
Also Nigeria government has employed abduction and disappearing of IPOB members as a means of stopping them. To achieve this, it seems that Nigeria government has assumed the place of terrorists terrorising the people, just to stop them from demanding for freedom. Many IPOB members has been abducted by Nigeria security. Many of those abducted has not been seen or heard from till this very day. Idara Gold, a young lady from Akwaibom state who is also an IPOB member was kidnapped by DSS since 8 months ago, without trial. Both her lawyers and family members has not seen her till this very day. Nigeria government has committed lots of atrocities just to stop IPOB. Atrocities that includes murder.
Use Of Banks In Nigeria To Lure IPOB Members Out For Possible Abduction
This new method from Nigeria government to arrest IPOB members and those speaking out against the illegal abduction of IPOB members in Nigeria is very shameful both in the side of Nigeria government and the different commercial banks in Nigeria working with the government to give out their customers for possible abduction and death. More than 50 IPOB members has been abducted in different banks in Nigeria. Recently, I received a message from first bank that my card that supposed to expire in 2025 will stop working in 30th September 2022. That I should go to any of their branch to have it ratified. I am still waiting till 30th September so that first bank will tell me publicly what happened to the card I duly paid for. This is the way many got abducted. Nigeria government has criminalised all form of activism. They want to keep killing IPOB members with no one speaking about it. This same Nigeria government did same to Activists that spoke against their actions against #EndSARS protesters.
Collaboration With Social Media Giants
Nigeria government has been working with Social media giants like Faceb00k and Twîtter in fighting secessionist agenda in Nigeria. They use them to get informations and details of people using these platforms to seek for their right to safe determination. The social media giants also work against those speaking out against the atrocities of the Nigeria government. They hinder and block their accounts recklessly.
Burning Of Villages And Towns
Nigeria government has also used the burning of villages and towns to force the people into rejecting the call for secession. Just on 17th September 2022, Nigeria Military went to Eke Ututu in Orsuihiteokwa, looted the market and burnt the entire market down. Also such has happened in different parts of Imo state including Awommama and Ugwuta.
Today in Nigeria Igbo youths, especially those living in South East and South South has become endangered. Igbo youths are killed at random. In Imo state, any youth caught with a mark on his body will never come home alive. Many has been killed and dumped in many borrow pits by members of Ebubeagu and Nigeria Military. Many villages has been deserted, as security Operatives goes there to murder youths.
Use Of Blackmail And Infiltration
After many years of Nigeria war against IPOB without success, they employed the use of blackmail and infiltration. Lots of people were recruited and paid to infiltrate IPOB pending the kidnap of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. Immediately Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was kidnapped, these people were unleashed on IPOB. They came with lies and blackmail. They worked for the government in making sure that the blackmail against IPOB will stick. These infiltrators worked to disorganise IPOB and make IPOB members to stop taking order from IPOB leadership. With this, IPOB will become a group without order, a group of lawlessness. And in that situation, IPOB can be accused of any crime and it will stick. During this period many individuals were killed, including a military couple and the Nigeria government using Nigeria media accused IPOB members.
Nigeria war against secessionists can best be described as an act of terrorism against innocent people. I will keep saying it that the people working assiduously for the disintegration of Nigeria are those in government and their security counterparts. The activities of these people have left huge scares on the hearts of people that they think of no other think than Nigeria's disintegration. You can't terrorize the people into accepting Nigeria. Your terrorism against the people will rather push them far away from Nigeria. How many will you have to kill, kidnap, disappear, imprison before you understand that what is happening can't be settled with bullets?
Elochukwu Ohagi, Philosopher, Teacher And Activist, 2022.