BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (2) – Chimaobi Eluigwe

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BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (2) - Chimaobi Eluigwe

Yesterday I wrote about the new Biafran quest. I joined the rising voices that are asking for a rigorous and substantive intra-Igbo debate on the issues, devoid of personal attacks and labeling. I voiced my conviction that Biafra i.e. Igbo Biafra, is indeed viable and may be a more effective vehicle in ending poverty for the South East, as well as, the other parts of the country. I tried to explain the reasons for the renewed quest for a Biafran utopia and why it is different from Ojukwu’s survivalist actions 40 years ago.

With all of these possibilities however, I have my doubts about the frontline personalities leading this charge for independence. Like I noted before, a call to violence by soliciting weapons openly is inexplicable. This is because the very concept of Biafra is about moral advantage.

Any objective student of the Biafran war will reach many conclusions, one of which is that the Biafrans had the upper hand morally speaking. The loss of that war unleashed widespread disillusionment amongst most Igbos at the time and even now, because it seemed like a classic can of evil triumphing over good.

A hated and slaughtered people sought refuge by exercising a God-given, UN sanctioned right of independence but a strange coalition of powerful nations help Nigeria destroy that refuge. And to make things worse, they had their way by breaking every known rule of engagement in warfare.
Igbos have always taken solace from these facts. They had the triumph of being victims who were actually the moral victors. They lost a military fight but ended up winning a moral one.

The world seared its conscience with Biafra and would carry that debt until the appointed time. Attempts at creating a moral equivalence between both sides of the war by insisting mistakes were made by both sides and other such arguments, further deadens the conscience and darkens the soul. There is no equivalence between killing a dozen political leaders (by a misguided few) as terrible as it was, and killing 50,000 defenseless citizens and a further 1 million later.

It is this moral high ground that Ndi-Igbo risk losing if these war-mongering elements are allowed to take the driver’s seat in this movement. We cannot afford to lose the moral narrative about Biafra. It would be a disaster. Even if Biafran independence is never formalized, it’d remain a moral and cultural reference point that we need to leave to our children.

A tale of courage in the face of inhuman suffering; of ingenuity and resourcefulness in lack; of injustice and oppression in the world, but also of goodness and compassion from hitherto unknown friends; of the indomitable spirit of Ndi-Igbo and their rebound on the global scene; of quiet confidence and deafening resolve; and that the ultimate answer to envy is success – win and win again. My father taught me these, and I will teach my children these also.

But my ambivalence goes beyond Nnamdi Kanu’s requests for arms and harsh rhetoric. It is also spiritual in nature. I am a firm believer in the LORD Jesus Christ and one who interprets life through the prism of a literalist understanding of the bible. I am also a firm believer in the Jewish roots of the Igbo race.

There are studies that throw light on this historical connection and the similarities in both groups’ experiences in contemporary times. While most supporters of Biafra wield this assertion to their advantage, using it as a basis for self-determination, this same assertion undergirds my ambivalence. Here’s why.

First, if Ndi-Igbo are sons of Israel in the flesh (and I believe they are), then an independent and sovereign Biafra would result in a rare phenomenon – the co-existence of 2 nations on earth which have the Abrahamic covenant.

SEE ALSO: BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (1)

Apart from the brief period when the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Judah and Israel (headquartered in Jerusalem and Samaria respectively) existed, there has been no such phenomenon again. I do not have much insight into the theological underpinnings to the insistence that this is God’s plan for the end times. Aik Eluigwe can help here. But until I am clear on this, I will remain neutral.

Secondly, any in-depth study of the epochal prosperity of nations would reveal the place of the migrant Jews, whether Sephardic or Ashkenazi. It seems that historically, when God is pleased with a nation and wishes to prosper them, HE SENDS THEM JEWS.

When the Dutch rose to economic prominence and Amsterdam created the world’s first merchant middle-class, the Jews were dominant there. When England took the baton of economic power (when William was king of both England and Holland), and built an empire in which the sun rose and set in, the Jews were there. When America continued the tradition and became a reluctant world power, the Jews were there. Pro-Semitism often result in economic prosperity and even power. Anti-Semitism results in economic decline. Period.

Could it be that God sent Ndi-Igbo to Nigeria to bless her? In this case, rather than simply migrating to Nigeria and remaining the perpetual outsider (like in the Caucasian Jews case), the Igbo are indigenous in Nigeria. Could it be that Igbos are here to be a blessing and not intended to be separate? Could it be that that Nigeria’s economic woes are spiritually traceable to Nigeria’s attitude to Ndi-Igbo? Governments do not need to unjustly favour the Jews to be pro-Semitic, they simply need to be fair and just to all. When that is the case in a nation with Jews, the Jews excel greatly and the nation becomes great with everyone benefiting.

So it is with the Igbo. Whether in business, sports, entertainment etc., when things are fair, the Igbos excel but the nation does too. Check out the Under 17 team! Therefore, God may have retained Igbos in Nigeria to make it the greatest black nation indeed. But will Nigeria learn?

Since I do not know what God is saying now, I can only trust that He can make His Will known through the voice of the people. Let the people speak through a – REFERENDUM. There are enough Igbos who want to stay in Nigeria, as there are those who want to leave. Let all agitations be geared towards making the government conduct a referendum where both sides will have their voice heard by the world. Until this happens, violence will be defeatist. I reject all calls to violence because it is the anti-thesis of Biafra.

I can only hope my thoughts have added value to the debate. It that’s the case, then it’d have been worth it.

Thank You!

BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (1) - by Chimaobi Eluigwe

BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (1) – by Chimaobi Eluigwe

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Kenneth Igiri
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I do think that there are other tribes across the world with Jewish roots. Such as those in Ethiopia. In fact I once watched a demonstration that showed that almost anyone on earth could trace their roots far back enough and find that they are to some degree related to Israel. I believe the Church supercedes the Jews as the people of God in the current dispensation so my inclination towards Biafra would not really be because I believe God recognizes us as Jews. We look forward to the new Jerusalem coming for above. I do think the age of… Read more »
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