Corruption, Biafra And The Untrue Claim Of Igbo Marginalisation (Part 2 of 3)

In the 16 years of PDP rule, all ethnic groups, including the Igbo, have defrauded Nigerians by claiming to represent their ethnic groups in office when, in fact, they represent their self-interest.

By Guest Writer Salimonu Kadiri

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

The new agitation for Biafra was propelled by the arrest and detention of one Nnamdi Kanu the Director of Radio Biafra and leader of “Indigenous People of Biafra.

He was arraigned before an Abuja Municipal Magistrate Court on October 19, 2015 and charged for Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Intimidation, Managing and Belonging to Unlawful Society contrary to Sections 97, 97b and 397 of the Penal Code.

Before he could fulfil his bail condition, the DSS on the 10th of November 2015 in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/873/2015, obtained an order from the High Court to detain Kanu for ninety days for the purpose of investigating him for terrorism and financing terrorism.

The entire Southeast exploded in demonstration for his release and later, it was reported that bus convoys transported protesters from Aba in Abia state to Port-Harcourt in Rivers State to demonstrate not only for his release but the excise of Biafra out of Nigeria.

Similar protest was staged in Asaba, the Igbo speaking capital of Delta State. But who is Nnamdi Kanu?

I first came across the name Nnamdi Kenny Okwu Kanu, in an article published in the Nigeria Village Square on the 17th of April 2014. The article was written by Uzochukwu Ugbani.

The article was captioned: Brute Noice – Radio Biafra London. Mr. Ugbani who had listened to Kanu’s broadcast wrote, “In his recklessness, we have heard Mr. Nnamdi Kanu call ninety-nine per cent of Igbo women prostitutes on his daily broadcast. He constantly laments the importance of an immediate war in Igboland and will prefer to destroy Nigeria or see her look worse than Somalia, if necessary to actualize Biafra.

According to him (Kanu), as soon as this (Biafra) war is over, he will forcefully subject all Igbo to DNA test and those discovered to possess foreign genes or with mixed parents will be eliminated or face deportation.” Ugbani warned in Igbo thus, “Oji oso agbakwuru ogu, amaghi n’ogu bu onwu,” meaning “Those who run to war with smile on their faces, will certainly be greeted with the miseries of war.”

From the above, it can easily be deduced that Kanu’s Biafra is not only a xenophobic country that hates non-Igbo ethnic goups in Nigeria but a Biafra that celebrates the Nazi-like supremacy of the Igbo tribe and scorns other tribes outside the borders of Biafra.

Concerning Kanu’s Pirate Radio Biafra broadcast over Nigeria’s air space, the Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, Emeka Mba, said at a press conference on Friday, 17 July 2015 that operators of Radio Biafra in the Southeast had been arrested and transmission equipment captured.

He said further that the seditious activities of the illegal ‘Radio Biafra’ in transmitting hate messages are unfortunately designed to create disunity among Nigerians and to mislead young people in a deliberate act of subversion.


Before the arrest of Kanu in October 2015, Nigerian vanguard online reported in September about the clash between pro-Biafra group and the security agents in Anambra, resulting in 3 dead and 20 wounded.

On Thursday, 5th June 2014, a police Sergeant and a civilian were killed when members of a secessionist group, Biafran Zionist Federation (BZF) stormed Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) at 5 am, to declare a State of Biafra.

The leader of the group, Benjamin Igwe Onwuka, who had earlier been declared wanted by the Police for the March 7, 2014, invasion of Enugu State Government House was, however, arrested by the Police along with 12 other suspects while many others escaped. Their trials are still ongoing. (ThisDay Newspaper)

From the accounts rendered above it is obvious that the Biafran agitations precede the coming of Buhari’s Presidency even though the intensity increased after his ascension to power.

According to the President of Eze Ndigbo in diaspora and who is also Eze Ndigbo of Lagos, Eze Nwabueze Ohazulike, the agitatation for a sovereign state of Biafra is due to marginalisation the Igbo have suffered in Nigeria since Independence. (Vanguard Newspaper)

Others have maintained that the marginalisation of the Igbo began after the civil war and added that the Southeast has been treated unjustly because it is the only geographical zone that has five States while others have six or more States.

While directing all Igbo living outside Igboland to start returning home, the National Director of Information of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Mr. Uchenna Madu said, “Nigeria is a state where others are first class citizens but treat the Igbo as second class citizen, a state where others are born to rule but treat the Igbo as perpetual outcasts, a state where State policies deliberately deny Igboland critical developmental infrastructure.” (Vanguard Newspaper)

Whether after Independence or after the civil war, there are concrete evidence that persons of ethnic Igbo have played central roles in governing Nigeria with persons of other ethnic groups in the country.

Let me explain what is meant by ‘persons of ethnic groups.’ In Nigeria, citizens have been indoctrinated to believe that any officer of the Federal government and parastatals, whether appointed, selected, elected or employed, is representing his ethnic group whereas the duty of the officer is to produce goods and services to all Nigerians and not only to the ethnic group of the specific officer.

What Nigerians have always experienced is that, even when the supposedly representative of ethnic group in office has collected salaries and fringe benefits personally, neither his ethnic group nor the entire country received goods and services from the officer.

Any criticism of the officer for not delivering goods and services for which he/she has been paid to produce and deliver is twisted to imply an attack on the ethnic group of the officer.

In the 16 years of PDP rule, all ethnic groups, including the Igbo, have defrauded Nigerians by claiming to represent their ethnic groups in office when, in fact, they represent their self-interest.

At independence, the NCNC formed a coalition government at the centre with the NPC.

Although the Prime Minister was Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the government was dominated by the NCNC. Consequently, Chinua Achebe noted that before the coup of July 29, 1966, “the Igbo led the nation in virtually every sector – politics, education, commerce, and the arts (page 66-67, There Was a Country by ChinuaAchebe).”

(Read part 3 soon)


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