5 Reasons FG Should Take Soyinka’s Advice And Be Diplomatic About Biafra

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For couple of weeks now, there has been a spate of protests in the South- Eastern part of the country by some members of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, over the continued detention of the Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and the demand for secession of Biafra state from Nigeria. Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, speaking recently with Channels TV asked the  Federal Government to apply diplomacy in dealing with the issue of Biafra. In lieu of this, INFORMATION NIGERIA has put together five things the Federal government must do, to ensure this issue does not get out of hand…

According to Soyinka, Biafra can not  be defeated because “Once an idea has taken off, you may defeat those behind it in a war but that does not mean the end of the idea.” Therefore the FG should consider these methods:

Dialogue: The government must have a talk with these aggrieved citizens, know the reasons for their agitations and come up with ways of settling such grievances. As Soyinka said “Let’s not take this position of ‘don’t even talk about it’, ‘under my watch this will never happen’, don’t say things like that. Go into that environment and ask ‘what is it that we can do to make you happy and feel part of this entity?’

Dealing decisively with Issues: Neglect and marginalization of the Biafran people have been raised as part of the reasons for their protest. The federal government should set up a committee that would look thoroughly into these issues with the aim of bringing lasting resolve to the problem.

Referendum: There has been suggestions by some people that a referendum be carried out, i.e. everyone of voting age is allowed to vote on the matter of whether they want to stay or go.

Proper Understudy: Some people have argued that the pro-Biafra movement is politically motivated to thwart the effort of the Buhari-led administration, just like what happened with Boko Haram under Goodluck Jonathan. This is enough reason for the Federal Government to take pains to carry out its study, to find out the undertone to the matter and deal with it tactically.

Genuineness: Lastly, there has to be seriousness and sincerity on the part of the government in handling this issue to ensure things are sorted out for good.

Just like Soyinka said, when talks on restructuring Nigeria are carried out properly, no one would want to leave. Don’t you agree???

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  1. I’ve hardly seen anything as insincere as the Nigerian government. The politicians (who are to begin with, lazy and incompetent) deliberately dodge the real issues that dealing with, would help the country fair better. They do so because they think sincerely trying to fix the issues would spell the end of the era of living large from undeserved personal enrichment. The problem of crookedness and corrupt behavior of those in government (at all levels) has become so deep-seated and complex that thinking of any real solution in the present national arrangement would appear very delusional of anyone. I believe Nigeria has crossed the line between hope and damnation in terms of its politicians (and a good number of its regular citizens) changing their beliefs about leadership, hard work, honesty and success. The wicked rule and that’s not meaning just their leadership; the followers now practice wickedness as well because many believe, “If you can’t beat them, then simply join them”. The practical question is, “Would a new Biafra and it’s leadership get rid of the shallow attitude and despicable mentality that existing in a Nigeria imparted to their souls?” Many Ibos have been infused to their very souls with the horrible Nigerian attitude of cheating, rule jumping, thievery and greed; so it would take a miracle to get their mindsets totally renewed and shifted in the event they get a new nation. The sort of names we hear now (non-achieving Ibo leaders) would still lay claim to a major stake in frontline leadership of a new Biafra. Before going fully for a Biafra, Ibos may do well to really think long and hard on how they’ve faired as a united and progressive people in the present Nigeria. Biafra (whether as a nation or a philosophy of progress) won’t work except there is some kind of revolutionary shift in attitude and mindset. The bar has to be highly raised in attempting to approximate progress as seen and known in the developed world. Just mouthing won’t make the cut. For some reason (maybe the scars of war), majority of people in the South-East are too taken up with daily survival to invest in any active campaign for a Biafra. They’ve not shown they really need it and seem to prefer to let life go on. There still seems to be this unintended, inherent belief that the name and symbol of Biafra is synonymous with violent rebellion, suffering and warfare. This means the people of the region need to be re-educated and re-enlightened by the agitating leadership that Biafra means something else in the present dispensation other than the lingering notion of necessitated violent rebellion, suffering and war. Finally, in my opinion, I think if there should be a referendum, the YES camp would win squarely.


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