Friday, July 21, 2017

On Biafra and Nnamdi Kanu by Eddie Iroh

Before glib thinkers and talkers start running loose, let me state my case. I was carrying ON ABURI WE STAND placards in Enugu in 1967 before today's Children of Biafra were born. Gowon unilaterally abrogated the Aburi Accord and launched his famous "Police Action". That led to full blown civil war.

We fought gallantly and lost. For me and most of my generation that was the end of the struggle. But here is where I vigorously disagree with the glib talkers. I fully concede to the Children of Biafra their right to make their own case and validate their own existence as they deem necessary out of their own perception and conviction. Nnamdi Kanu has risen to the challenge of his own generation.

Glibly calling him names -- idiot, mad man, etc etc - is an abysmally puerile resort of the intellectual scoundrel. Insult has never been a substitute for logical argument and indeed says more about the insulter than the insulted. Make your own case and leave us to judge and mutter our insults to whom deserves it.

In offering the surrender of Biafra in January 1970, the mortal General Philip Effiong also offered General Olusegun Obasanjo this immortal advice: TREAT THE SURRENDERING BIAFRANS WELL OR RISK THEIR CHILDREN RISING AGAIN. Before you deride Kanu, it is the duty of every thinking Igbo to determine for him or herself whether Effiong's advice was heeded.

Finally those who are unwilling to concede to Kanu and his generation their right to validate their own existence should stop to consider that their agitation for IPOB has put RESTRUCTURING front and centre of national debate.

From the rigid stand of NOT NEGOTIABLE nearly every group interest and individuals are talking about Restructuring. Before Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB upped the ante with their agitation the only voices were Atiku and Soyinka. Nigeria put an iconic hero's crown on Kanu by putting him in Kuje prison, with echoes of Mandela ringing in the ears of his supporters. A people have no greater hero than a political prisoner.

In other words, it is the FGN that made Kanu the overnight legend he has become in a very short time in his young life. And if and when Restructuring comes to be, I can wager that elements of the Aburi Accord will be part of it.

And that, fellow country men and women, would be a posthumous victory for General Emeka Ojukwu if not for Nnamdi Kanu.

So long a letter!
Eddie Iroh 

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