By Onyema Uche
“Recent calls on re-structuring, quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We cannot and we will not allow such advocacy.
As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.
I am very disappointed that responsible leaders of these communities do not warn their hot-headed youths what the country went through. Those who were there should tell those who were not there, the consequences of such folly.
At all events, proper dialogue and any desired constitutional changes should take place in a rational manner, at the National and State Assemblies. These are the proper and legal fora for National debate, not some lop-sided, un-democratic body with pre-determined set of objectives.
Government is keeping up the momentum of dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to keep the peace. We intend to address genuine grievances of the communities. Government is grateful to the responsible leadership of those communities and will pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta.”
That was Nigerian Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari from his independence speech.
Interestingly, this was all Buhari and his jihadists had to say in response to the growing despondency on Nigeria in the Southeastern region. Is it not interesting that our elders, political pundits, our traditional rulers and our governors who fought so shamelessly to enter into Buhari’s good book were referred to here as foolish and “unfortunate”?
Niger Delta is regarded as peaceful because they have bombed the living hell out of Aso Rock therefore any attempt to be contemptuous on their leaders will lead to more bombing. In southeast, all we have are errand boys and girls whose conscience do not grudge as long as their pockets are stashed.
Would Buhari be this despicable, arrogant and rude in his remark on the agitations in the Southeast if our elders and political class did not compromise? If he has any sense of history as he pretends to have in this speech, he would have known that his operation python dance will not equal the strength of the combined forces of the world powers and Nigeria which Biafra resisted for three years. The courage of the youths who stood the presence of armored cars and were never afraid to die should have taught him that no force can subdue the spirit of Biafra.
This Buhari went to United Nations and declared the right of every indigenous people to be free from any government oppression and right to freedom. He supported Palestinians and here he is vowing to crush those who aspire to have freedom.
If Buhari and his cohorts have any sense of sanity they would have known that a call for a referendum is not a call to war. It is rather a call to dialogue which he claimed his government is pursuing. You do not dialogue with guns and bombs in a region that wants to be heard.
Nepotism is worse than corruption. Nepotism destroys the soul of every community. Nepotism does not allow for reasonable dialogue, it blocks dispensation of justice and very discriminatory in its forms and practice. The man who fights corruption and is guilty of nepotism is worse than a criminal.
I am ashamed to say we have leaders in the South-east; a once regional intellectual power of this doomed nation is now a caricature for half-baked graduates in power. I wish our youths could rise up in one voice and proscribe all our elected leaders. We need to delete them from our history and our daily experience.