The sit-at-home order by IPOB is not new. It has been with the people since 2014 when the Supreme Leader of Indigenous people of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, remarkably hosted the Biafra Hero’s Day at the premises of the then newly erected cenotaph in Enugwu. And contrary to the prevaricating narrative being propelled by Punch Newspaper, the order or celebration is not exclusively to mourn IPOB members killed by agents of the Federal Government on the same date two years ago. The order is to mourn every Biafran who died defending Biafra from the genocidal onslaught of the Nigerian state, whether in the war of 1967-1970 or in activism as is the case with IPOB family members and MASSOB.
Thousands of Biafrans, predominantly IPOB family members have been killed and are still being killed by Nigerian agents. To say the sit-at-home mourning declaration by IPOB is to mourn only those killed on 30th May a couple of years ago is to be economical with the truth and highly prevaricating. But then that’s the specialty of Nigerian media. The date “30th May” is so chosen because it was on that very day in 1967 that The People’s General, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, mandated by the entirety of the then Eastern Region, declared the Sovereignty of Biafra and consequentially began the defense of Biafran territories.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the sit-at-home order, which is actually itemized “Biafra Heroes Day,” has been in schedule since 2014, and has never been anarchical. On the contrary, it has always been peaceful … more peaceful than any festive celebration Nigeria has ever witnessed, be it Christian or Islamic. Biafra Heroes Day has never been associated with any form of violence – molestation, robbery, arson, or what-have-you. It’s therefore nonsensical for anyone or group of persons to oppose the celebration on the pretext of it being anarchical.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, shamelessly stated that the call for Biafrans to honour their dead generates anarchy and disorder. How on earth does someone mourning his dead generate anarchy and disorder? How, oh Mr. Commissioner, does someone sitting back at home create anarchy and disorder? In the past years that Biafrans observed this hallowed day of remembrance, was there any crime linked to the celebration? If not sheer vile exuding from insipid stupidity, why should someone associate morning the dead with anarchy and disorder?
Expressing his own stupidity, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu, queried the rationale behind people sitting back at home on 30th May, arguing that it will impact negatively on the economy of the people. Yet it is the culture of the people to abstain from economic and social activities as a sign of respect to a departed soul. Come to that, how could a single day of self-deprivation in grieving honour to those that laid down their life for you possibly occasion adverse economy? Okechukwu Isiguzoro – the so-called President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council – was no different from Ibegbu in his self-demeaning reaction. In his words, asking the southerners not to go anywhere for 24 hours is not wise economically.
We just returned from May Day celebration – a public holiday in which economic activities were shut down across the country, and notably, that is less than a fortnight of two-day Easter holiday. Ramadan is on the way, and so are Democracy Day and many other economic-paralyzing holidays. It’s quite ironical that those pretending to be concerned about the people’s economy have no problem with these other numerous public rest days but have problem with the single one that seek to honour those that actually died for their sake. Shameful!
The sitting governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi, was also reported as saying, albeit, through his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Uzor, that IPOB has no constitutional right to declare such order. But what has Governor Umahi done for Biafrans with all the constitutional rights bestowed on him? Why hasn’t he used his constitutional rights to call for the honour of Biafran fallen heroes?
Summing up all the dissenting voices and the flimsy reasons they advance, one can’t help but question the reasonability of these folks parading selves as Igbo leaders. It doesn’t seem themselves are convinced on their own reasons, but seeking to appear as worthy servants to their Hausa/Fulani paymasters, they make it a point of duty to oppose whatever programme IPOB initiates. But then, only a stupid man, hopelessly stupid for that matter, will oppose his own people just to please the enemy.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media