Rules of engagement are not cast in iron when it comes to dealing with security threats. It is instructive to make proper assessment, analysis of a situation before government deploy troops to a place no matter how annoying, destructive or provocative the situation is to corporate existence of a country like Nigeria. The unfortunate clash between Nigerian army and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is all what Nnamdi kanu and his co-travellers need to advertise the republic of Biafra to the world.
Now the Kanu led IPOB will have none Nigerians queuing in support. With exaggerated figures and senseless, unprofessional torture tactics deployed by our military, a gory vision of a hapless people under annihilation is presented to the world. Fueled by sympathy of new recruits within and outside Nigeria, there is no going back for the secessionists. Some have made daring attempts to get the Hausas out of their communities with ricocheting effect on law abiding Igbos in other parts of the North like Plateau. The game is on and its all about provocation towards a pogrom.
The president Muhammadu Buhari led administration gave Kanu his present status as “ leader” of the Igbos when they responded to his bait. Kanu knew he would be arrested, but chose to come to Nigeria to drink from the chalice of fame. Now he is basking in unprecedented glory while Nigerian government gropes in the dust of his chariot ride to glory. For the brainwashed, Kanu is a God worth dying for, hence the growing number of casualties recorded in the much criticized operation python dance. Sadly, even those staying aloof have been coerced into having sympathy for the secessionists.
Kanu has been offered a gift of deity among the poor, oppressed Igbo class of people largely youths. He must therefore be accorded his rights as an ethnic leader, no matter how renegade they are. Show of force in the heart of the “Biafran” enclave is simply a misdirected approach. Already they have given the army a bloody nose just throwing pebbles in defiance to their heavy armory. The southeastern governors were already discussing with Kanu. Their peace meeting may be slow but that would have eventually culminated into a workable direction towards resolving the brewing crisis.
It is the duty of the federal government of Nigeria to look into the issues agitating the minds of the Biafrans, no matter how puerile it may seem. The matter on group is of importance to the south easterners. They have alleged marginalization, which is evident in appointments and political relevance. They have alleged attacks by Fulani herders, which has become a recurring decimal. They have alleged how the “north” pounce on them each time there is civil disturbance. They have called for restructuring, a reversal to 1960 constitution for true federalism. There are more issues, which gives their agitation enough credence for dialogue. They were allowed to be guided by hate speech and demons of their fears when a parley from federal government would have sufficed.
The odds are stacked against president Buhari. Already many elites from other regions have tagged him a regional leader. Sustained action in the southeast will definitely be misconstrued. The war against Boko Haram which was one of the cardinal campaign focus of the incumbent has refused to go away, in fact they have outdone last year attacks already – meaning terror in the North is pretty much active. Allowing provocation create another security breakdown in the southeast with resultant spread in parts of the north is not a wise decision.
Nigeria is a country pretty much established along ethno religious underpinnings. We are first where we come from before accepting identification as Nigerians. Under such a perfect division of interest, a national conference is instructive to analyze important issues that agitate the minds of people across the six(6) geopolitical zones. Sadly, the same ethno religious cleavages have prevented implementation of all conferences convened.
We must bear in mind that so long as Nigerian government allow the so called python to dance in the south east, the stronger Kanu gets and the Biafran agitation will continue to gain unprecedented recognition. After desperately reducing the federal government to an ethno religious administrative command center, dialogue will be useless. We are in a world of propaganda, where distorted audios, videos, images can tell a thousand lies. Already the Hausa’s and Igbos are producing gory images to curry sympathy. All what these sabre rattling’s points at is towards a pogrom. It is not too late for dialogue.