Let the civil war begin
When some weeks ago Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu- the ex-Biafra warlord sounded a civil war alarm should the Enugu appeal court justices serve a judgment that insults logic in the Nnamdi Emmanuel Uba’s misguided suit, nearly everyone took notice. There was visible jittery in the land; even those who ordinarily would not take him serious got the import of the threat. Quietly, they weighed their options before offering any response for or against. To many of us here in Anambra, the former war chief may not just have spoken for the fun of it-something, we felt must have informed his outburst. The judgment day was inexplicably shifted. Police tanks and fierce looking military officers overtook the streets of Anambra and Enugu. Ojukwu’s apt condemnation of the speculated cash and carry judicial verdict that would have marked the beginning of another round of needless disastrous leadership to this home of some of the brightest minds that have made immense contribution to modern civilization provoked an interesting debate. Some commentators questioned the suitability or otherwise of the war alarm. Others still, wondered if he would be able to lead another round of war in his seventies after what wasn’t quite a pleasant first experience more than four decades ago. Others pointed him to his many unsuccessful attempts at political adventure. This group of people offered him some free advice: that he devotes his weary bones to something else and spare the youths any form of endless bloodletting.
One point was however not lost in the whole debate and that is this- Ojukwu is one fellow whose voice cannot be ignored. His every word carries immense weight; enough to unsettle those whose specialty is to retail misery. Mr. Ojukwu certainly looms large in the Nigerian consciousness. He carries the burden of an entire race in his shoulders. He has never hidden his desire to see the Igbo person take his due place in the complex Nigerian equation and has for the last four decades since he made his way to national reckoning resisted any attempt to treat the Igbos like second rate citizens. So long as Ikemba is concerned; one can’t afford to be indifferent; those who love him do so with their whole being- same for his haters. In most people’s view, Ojukwu is the true face of the Igbo spirit. We certainly owe him some rich dose of appreciation.
Going straight to the content of his alarm, the jittery response that followed this unusual threat is suggestive of how unsettled the Nigerian elites are. Those who disagreed with him did so, not because he said anything new, they only reacted in sheer panic. Ojukwu said what they dread most. Why not? Another round of civil war simply would mean loss of some of the obscene privileges they have greedily appropriated. Their properties scattered through the breadth and length of this country would go down in quick flames, lives would be lost and certainly theirs cannot be guaranteed. Even running overseas would not offer a certain refuge; don’t forget we have Nigerians in those places who are not ignorant of the present morass in the country. This class of people most of whom have been compelled to live as slaves in various cities in the West and even in some African countries definitely would be delighted to extend some brutal treatments to their former tormentors. Above all, there would be little space to flaunt their misbegotten wealth. In essence, status would be lost and that is too difficult a scenario for Ojukwu’s traducers to contemplate. Throwing slings to shut him up without basically understanding the core of his argument (one embarrassing trait of the office holders here is their disdain for proper reasoning. Hardly do they take out a minute or two to contemplate how to mitigate the misery afflicting those they purport to lead) appears to them like an excellent strategy.
Make no mistake, our thieving elites are no fools. They are truly aware that a serious war is imminent in the country only that they choose to live in shameful denial. They fully appreciate the poor state of affairs in the present day Nigeria which is accounted for by their leadership ineptitude. In their minds, they are quite aware that the crowds of unemployed graduates who roam the streets on empty stomach are rearing for war. It is clear to them; one hopes that the present level of hopelessness reigning supreme in the land is a perfect recipe for war. No thinking person would downplay the excellent correlation between the volumes of anger as we have it presently in the country and a full-blown war. Frustration and dejection are regular denominators in the country; aren’t those necessary ingredients for war?
While it is arguable that the judges who handled the Uba’s case changed their minds out of fear for Ojukwu’s threat, there certainly is no doubt that those weighty statements of Ikemba resonated through the length and breadth of Nigeria- among the masses and a few disenchanted elites. The ruling of last Friday did avert what probably might have sounded death knell on the fragile Nigerian nation. The people rejoiced because the judges elected to ignore the devilish wishes of a certain misguided politician. The present challenge hence is to deploy such Ojukwu-like threat to many of the raging disasters confronting Nigeria presently; posing real danger to her very future. Ojukwu and fellow patriots should sound a civil war alarm to the looming signs of bizarre elections in Anambra in 2010 and 2011 in Nigeria. They ought to alert the misbegotten political elites in the country to expect nothing short of a civil war should anybody make attempts to tamper with the election results. They should be reminded that the people’s tolerance limit has exceeded elastic point and surely would break with any scheme to relegate the people’s choices in the coming elections.
It’s a pity that while the like of Obasanjo and the Ubas (the PDP family) are busy perfecting plans to concoct election results in 2011, not really much is being done to counter such demonic plots by the Ojukwus of this world (one must pay special tributes to the efforts of former governor Tinubu and his CODER colleagues for their commendable efforts at compelling the dormant national assembly to effect sweeping electoral reforms before the next elections; we wish them well). Ojukwu and co ought to deploy their massive popularity and good influence to mobilize the deprived citizens to stand firm against the present run of disaster going on all over the country as leadership- then the God-forsaken schemes these authors of mischief are putting together to perpetually keep the people in darkness by rigging the next elections, those must be strongly resisted.
Let them hear war; let us prove to them we are ready for revolution; for Ojukwu’s threat some weeks ago has given us the insights that those are the type of words they understand quickest; let us seize the moment or miss it forever.
Okafor Dodo Okafor.