Carlisle Umunnah's article, " The Great State of Biafra Is Strong and Alive" was meant to enlighten his audience about the ÔÇśBiafran Idea' - according to him - but not only has his piece failed at enlightening this commentator [and many others out there, I believe], it also assaulted the reader's sensibilities and left him somewhat confused as to what the author's original intentions were in that article. I will explain how.
First, the author starts off by talking about how the Biafran idea was conceived and executed on
Perhaps you can imagine my expectations of his piece then - and my later suprise, when I reached the second paragraph of his article where he started off thus:
"We all know that 2007 is filled with measures of uncertainties and 1966 issues/concerns are yet to be addressed. Corruption and greed then, corruption and greed today are unprecedented. It has become clear that Obasanjo and his cronies will gamble and heat up yet again the body polity. Third term manipulations will be a child's play considering the contextual theatrical jibes of the actors of this experiment called
Wasn't this supposed to be an enlightening treatise about
So he goes on: "By 1967..one Anthony Ermosele Enahoro..". Wait a minute; did I miss something? I wondered. He had just mentioned the event milestone of
Ok, that definitely doesn't tell me anything new, nor does it touch on the Biafran cause in the remotest way that would make it worthy information that will benefit my "children or grand-children", I thought. Plus Biafra is not Mid-West anyways. But I stubbornly read on, believing that somehow, this writer must have a special message - the type we can share with generations yet unborn. Unfortunately, there will be more disappointments to come.
Here goes Umunnah: "As we celebrate the declaration of the great republic -
Is this an Igbo village-meeting speech to invoke the spirit of Biafran camaraderie or what? This sounds more like some back-slapping, morale-boosting speech than an attempt to "educate" or "enlighten" a diverse audience that include, according to the Carlisle Umunnah, "some writers, detractors and enemies of peoples' survival and existence (who) write tirelessly and meaninglessly with venoms".
No, I thought, I am not giving up on this man too easily. I have to find out that inter-generational enlightenment he hopes to share through his article. And on I read:
"Without the bravery of our men and women who fought gallantly to protect our villages, territorial waters and lands, the likes of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ekwesiliezes and others would not have survived or lived to have their opportunities today. We remember, revere and adore these great men and women, living and fallen heroes today and forever. All hail thee
This is akin to Okonkwo's (from Achebe's "Things Fall Apart") palm wine-inspired, chest-beating speech under a large tree in the Village Square to rally his kin to rise and defend themselves and appreciate the sacrifice of others before them - something which is good for anyone. But so far, this is not what the author promised his audience. So much for enlightenment!
But Carlisle Umunnah was not done yet; he won't limit his treatise to an invocation of his people's gallantry; he would push the boundaries of decorum and civility to insult other tribes' statesmen - living and dead - who have left impressive legacies by their own right for others to emulate. Umunna goes:
"Obafemi Awolowo, an opportunist and other opportunists like him including Anthony Enahoro waged war of treachery, war of criminality and a war of opportunism; they accomplished this criminality by blockading food from international community from entering
Those men Carlisle Umunnah branded are among those who fought for our independence in
Having said that, the least one expected from Carlisle Umunnah was a scientific, analytical and in-depth showcase of the Biafran experiment that can probably appeal to the common-sense of both the supporters and those who oppose the Biafran idea alike. Unfortunately, we are left to grapple with a ping-pong-like jump-about and zig-zag-like meanderings on issues that he couldn't even communicate across to his audience in an efficient and understandable manner.
He touched on everything BUT the enlightenment he boasted he would give - one which, according to him, our children's children will benefit from. Not only will his idea of enlightenment be toxic for adults and children of today, his rhetoric is dangerous for our society because it is nothing but the sowing of seeds of discontent that serves no useful purpose in the development of the cause of the Ndiigbo or
It is an insult to compare MASSOB to anything Oodua or Arewa, which are historically and culturally-inspired representative bodies of the ethnicities they represent. MASSOB is, simply put, an illegal militant group which engage in near-treasonable activities in
Focusing on Mr. Umunnah's article, it is a complete failure of an attempt to enlighten anyone on ÔÇś
The sad truth is, the Ndiigbo are not alone in their sufferings ÔÇô we are all together in the battle for recognition of our rights to life, liberty and justice. A call for secession in
A call for secession in the current scheme of things is unprogressive. There is nothing that the Ndiigbo suffer today that the rest of us don't bare ÔÇô the average Ijaw, Ibo, Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba and all the other tribes that make up the current geographic entity and peoples called
Mr. Carlisle Umunnah should stick to rallying his people to agitate for recognition within the Nigerian polity ÔÇô like the rest of us ÔÇô instead of flogging a dead horse with the hope that the horse will suddenly rise and neigh aloud. And if I may add, next time he wishes to enlighten anyone, he should simply enlighten ÔÇô not prevaricate on issues that have no bearing on whatever he set out to enlighten his audience about in the first instance.