FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, October 24, 2021
eoeke@aol.com
UK
IPOB, STOP THE SIT AT HOME PROTEST NOw

f late, not surprising, the common topics in most Igbo forums are IPOB, the Nigerian military operation in Igboland, the killings in Igboland and the inability of igbo state the governors to govern.

What I read often leaves me drained, despondent, and wondering, if indeed, many of my fellow Igbos have insight into how sovereign states treats insurrection.

I am also saddened that many of those who are supporting the current agitation by IPOB live abroad with their families and untouched by the terror, torture, degradation, devastation and death, which the Nigerian government has unleashed on Igboland, in the name of fighting IPOB.

Many Igbos I have come in contact simply believe what they believe and refuse to factor in the reality in reaching their positions. The reality being:

  1. That Nigeria is still a multiparty democracy even though a corrupt one.

  2. That Nigeria has a constitution, albeit a flawed and unjust one, an executive, a legislator and a judiciary.

  3. That Nigeria at the moment has a government that is in cahoot with Fulani terrorists and placates Boko Haram terrorist group.

  4. That igbo land is under elected governors and has houses of assemblies, which should make laws

  5. That IPOB is a self appointed organisation, which wants to take a legitimate part of the country out of the union on its own terms.

  6. That the government has a case against the IPOB leader and has the leader in custody.

  7. That no people have ever liberated themselves from a county by doing what IPOB is doing.

  8. That at the moment, Nigeria soldiers have licence to kill in igbo land.

  9. That IPOB members became enemy combatant the moment they started using violence and forming armed group.

  10. All these are ignored by those whose strategy simply is to set Igboland on fire and hope that somehow, the federal government of Nigeria will feel responsible and cede to their demands, which are to release Nnamdi Kanu and grant them Biafra.

I do not know wether to cry or scream. I am saddened that we Igbos, have slowly allowed ourselves to be dragged into an existential crisis, which may leave us in a worse situation than we are at the moment.

I cannot understand why some of us do not think that political problem needs political solution.

Few think of maximising the current flawed system to elect the right kind of leaders to lead Igbos in Nigeria.

Many Igbos do not recognise the need to have a representation in Nigeria that reflects the views and aspirations of Igbos. Igbos have simply turned a blind eye to the corruption and inaptitude of elected Igbo leaders.

More worrying is the attempt to muzzle the debate about the future of Igbos in Nigeria by intimidation and forceful imposition of the stance of IPOB on Igboland.

This is in spite of the fact that Igbos have not voted to secede from Nigeria and have elected leaders with democratic legitimacy and political mandate to represent and speak for Igbos in Nigeria.

The fear of being seen as anti Igbo has again stopped our people from speaking out against the attempt by IPOB to stop a moving train by standing in front of it and endangering the security of Igboland and costing the lives of youths.

I am sad. I am drained. I am asking myself, why do I not believe in Nnamdi Kanuís Biafra.

Why do I think it is madness?

Why do I think it will only result in massacre of Igbo youths.

Why do I think nothing will come out of it and that Igbos would not be able to bring the Nigerian government to justice for the crimes against humanity the Nigerian army and police are committing in Igboland.

Why do I think that demand for Biafra under the circumstance is an emotional response with high dose of magical thinking.

I ask my self, is it because I am a coward or because reason tells me agitation for Biafra by IPOB is the wrong treatment for the right disease.

Why have Some Igbos refused to understand that no country ever rolls over for agitators.

Why do I believe that Igbos who want Biafra should first make the best of Nigeria, elected effective representative and ensure good governance in Igboland.

Why I am sad and fearful for my people?

I wish I can believe that things will get better without we Igbos factoring in reality to what we want.

Why is IPOB enforcing sit at home protest, when their leaders are aware that sit at home protest, like boycott and hunger strike are self inflicted actions, which often fails to compel a power to bend to oneís will.

IPOB is hoping that enforcing sit at home in Igboland would compel the Nigerian government to yield to its demands.

Does it mean that IPOB leaders are unaware that their strategy is ineffective as governments, like the present Nigerian government, often lack the kind and honest conscience that are sensitive to the suffering of their opponents.

Does it mean that the leaders of IPOB do not know that peaceful protests through political, economic and legal means are effective, when intelligently used.

In my view, what IPOB is doing in igboland is both wrong and criminal.

Enforcing sit at home by intimidation is criminality.

IPOB actions no longer about liberation. It is now about taking control of a civil society by force, without democratic mandate.

In fact, it is a kind of organised crime. It shows that those behind IPOB have neither feelings nor regards for the welfare and wellbeing of the people they claim they want to liberate from Nigeria.

How can a group which claims to have the interest of the people at heart, choose to pursue a strategy of causing suffering and hardship to the people?

What kind of message does IPOB think it is sending to the federal government by destroying Igboland?

There are people in Igboland who would not eat, if they do not work daily. Why has IPOB refused to consider the suffering sit at home strategy is causing these people?

IPOBís strategy is costing businesses and destroying lives. It is a self defeating and serves no purpose. This madness and criminality must now come to an end.

If IPOB wants independence for Igboland, IPOB should form a political party and elect leaders in Igboland, who will pursue IPOB manifesto through its policies legitimately, instead of trying to gain power by fraud and force.

Worse has been the complete lack of leadership from the governors, who are the chief security officer.

Igbo states governors must now reclaim both their authority and mandate to govern or give way for people who know what to do.

At the moment, IPOB is destroying Igbo land, worsening insecurity and destroying civil society in Igbo land. Since IPOB started its insurrection, things have gone from bad to worse in Igboland.

No government would stand by forever and watch a self appointed group destroy civil society.

Sooner than later, the federal governments will act. We need to bring the Biafra or death mentality of IPOB to an end and return to the path of political process. A wise man does not set his fatherís house on fire to show his anger.

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