Biafra Protests: Sofri sofri, Mr President

By John Okiyi Kalu on

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So far you have handled the pro-Biafra protests well. From my personal reviews you have so far not added to the error of arresting a freedom of speech irritant by clamping down on the protesters as some miscreants who call themselves your supporters and/or party-men will wish.

Thank you Mr President.

I am writing this note because someone planted a story that you are planning to impose state of emergency in the affected areas. My first instinct was to dismiss the story as another misinformation from disconnected APC online clowns who do not know the legal requirement for such declarations to be made. But knowing that some within the corridors of power cannot reason beyond same pedestrian level, I decided to type this in the hope that my readers who work for you will draw your attention to it.

Permit me to offer you free advice on how to peacefully end the protest without firing any bullet and yet win the heart and mind of Ndigbo.

Simply call Dr Alex Ekwueme, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Eze Ozobu, Prof Ben Nwabueze and Prof ABC Nwosu and hand over Nnamdi Kanu to them. For good effect, invite IBB or Atiku Abubakar to witness the arrangement. Those two northerners have street credibility in the south east. After a week, by which time the protest would have fizzled out, invite Igbo leaders and youths to a meeting at Aso Rock. Just sit and listen to them. I can give you a list of 20 authentic Igbo leaders with 20 authentic Igbo youths genuinely supporting the Biafra agitations. Note carefully sir, those youths are not necessarily seeking territorial Biafra as advertised. They want a real country they can call their own and do not feel Nigeria of today represents that to them.

Listen to them and allow all of them to speak freely. You will be surprised their issue is not so much about territorial Biafra but simply a level playing ground in Nigeria. An acceptance that Ndigbo are co-owners of Nigeria who deserve to be treated with respect and given every opportunity available to every other Nigerian.

While your supporters have created the impression that Ndigbo hate you, I can boldly tell you that Ndigbo do not have capacity to hate anybody, as a people. They respond to love with love and disdain with loathing. Ex President Jonathan did not butter their bread or sugar their tea. He merely gave them a sense of belonging. He made them believe they were indeed Nigerians and they in return loved and honored him as a Nigerian President. It was the same thing they did to IBB. Mr President, my people do not betray or abandon their friends. If you like kill and bury them, they will still like Jonathan and IBB even without pointing at skyscrapers built for them by those men.

The truth sir, is that Ndigbo believe in doing things for themselves and hence do not consider building of skyscrapers as important as being their genuine friend.

If you listen to those urging you to "take action" you would have fallen into a trap twice. Arresting Nnamdi Kanu was a tilapia fish trap that you swallowed hook, line and sinker. But as bad as that was, if you declare emergency rule or shoot people over a peaceful protest that will amount to falling into a grass covered bottomless pit trap.

First, you will lose control of the situation.
Secondly, you will attract unnecessary international odium to yourself. They will send small girls like Malala and Aisha Sashay to you first and then look for a former African President to babysit you until they conclude on who will replace you.
Thirdly, those chanting Biafra on the streets will disappear and later reappear as guerrilla fighters. They will start hawking bombs like xmas bangers at Abuja street corners and at that point you will not know who to hold again.
Igbo leaders and elders will lose control of the situation because by then the guerrilla warriors would have linked up with their Niger Delta neighbors and even dissatisfied Yoruba elements.

Dont let things get out of hand sir.

Take my altruistic advice and hand over Nnamdi to those men I know retain credibility in the eyes of Igbo youths. Most of those who support you from the east lack street credibility in the east and in fact cannot stand at their own village market squares and shout "Igbo Kwenu" without being lynched. That was why you lost the election in the east. Not because of rigging, like they told you. How do you expect our people to vote for politicians who defended the deportation of our people from Lagos? Even you will not defend deportation of northerners from Lagos. Will you sir? They told you Nnamdi and co are miscreants with no following but failed to read the sub-theme that the protesters had other issues beyond Nnamdi's credibility on their mind. Do you know that even your recent appointments and body language helped in mobilizing the protesters? Whereas your Igbo born supporters were busy defending what even you promised to correct because you recognized it as patently wrong.

By handing over Nnamdi to his elders and leaders you would have passed the burden of keeping him away from violent rhetorics to his kinsmen. Of course he will not stop talking about Biafra and it is impossible to stop people from talking about Biafra.

There was a country called Biafra.

That country represents "zion" to every Igbo man. Once you mistreat an Igbo person he crawls back to his Biafra zion where everything is good and wonderful. But if you treat him well he will shout "I love Nigeria" louder than others and truly mean it.

Mr President, get a true Igbo man to advise you on Igbo affairs and in 3 years genuine "Sai Buhari" will echo at Onitsha and Aba. Stop listening to people like Joe the gabber of Lagos State who does not even have a voters card in Igbo land and at his old age is afraid of retiring home because he does not have any real connection to his people. We call people like him "ndi ala wu otu" but our less diplomatic brethren call them "ndi efulefu".

Dont let wrong advisers turn your blues to reggae, Mr President. In this matter you can actually play blues after the reggae of protests.

 

Posted on November, 11 2015

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