ISSUES | Araba, Biafra, And ‘Your Land Or Your Blood’ Part 2 – By Femi Fani-Kayode
Yet I wonder how those southern leaders who have sold their glory and heritage for a mess of pottage and who have opted to collaborate with our collective enemies and betray their own people feel about the words of men like Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Gwarzo?
I wonder whether the small handful of pitiful yet identifiable key leaders from the south that joined forces with Buhari, supported him during last year’s election and drank deep from his ‘mai chanji magic potion’ poisoned chalice have read what these two evil men wrote and what those that share their views and disposition have to say?
And if they did I wonder how they can possibly justify or rationalise their positions or their decision to support a Buhari presidency?
I refer to men like Rotimi Amaechi, Rochas Okorocha, Tunde Fashola and so many others. As the south is short-changed, humiliated, marginalised, and brought to her knees in this dispensation and as she continues to suffer violence and death and bleeds, their names will be entrenched and engraved in infamy and shame for future generations to see.
Whether they wish to accept it or not history will record and posterity will testify to the fact that these men handed us all over to a small cabal of ultra-conservative Fulani hegemonists and irredentists who not only have a clear intention to subjugate our people and Islamise our nation but who also secretly have as much contempt for them as they do for us.
I wonder whether they got Adamu Mohammed’s message and whether they understood what he said? I wonder whether they can comprehend the import of Aliyu Gwarzo’s words?
I wonder how they sleep at night knowing all this, seeing what is unfolding in our country and knowing that they have effectively contributed to the enslavement of their own people.
Worst of all is the fact that not one of them can cultivate the courage or dare to publicly condemn the likes of Adamu Mohammed or Aliyu Gwarzo and all that they have said, believe in and stand for.
As a matter of fact they would rather condemn and insult those of us that are prepared to stand up against them and reject and resist their evil intent. What a shame!
If blame were to he apportioned for all the rubbish that is going on in our country today it should start with people like them who have not only sold their souls to the devil but who have also led their people into slavery.
They have lost the privilege to be regarded as or called leaders because these are fellow southerners who simply do not care about the plight of the people of the south.
The Apostle Paul said “Alexander the Coppersmith did me much evil, may the Lord repay him according to his works”.
May it be the same for those southern leaders who have betrayed their own people, who have mortgaged the future of their own children, who have blighted the stars of their own wards and dependents and who have destroyed the destiny of millions of their own southern compatriots.
Given the words and disposition of men like Mr. Mohammed and Mr. Gwarzo there is only one fact that bears any relevance when it comes to the history of our nation and that fact is that the people of the south and the Middle Belt made a monumental mistake by supporting the north and fighting to keep Nigeria one during our civil war.
That is the long and short of it. We owe the late Colonel Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the erstwhile Head of State of Biafra and his entire Igbo race an apology for leaving them in the lurch and not supporting their cause and quest for self-determination when they needed us the most and when they called on us to do so.
Given the fact that so many from the core Muslim north hate us with passion and see us as nothing more than slaves and animals to be ruled over and butchered at will, I believe that we need to go back to the drawing board and divide this country peacefully before we all end up killing ourselves.
I do not believe in restructuring because it is too late for that: I believe in division. I believe that the two zones in the core north should leave Nigeria and go their separate ways whilst the rest of us that constitute the four remaining zones either stay together as one country or break into even smaller units along zonal or ethnic lines.
Self-determination must be the guiding and overriding principle and referendums must be conducted in the various zones to determine precisely what the will of the people really is. That is democracy. That is justice. That is equity. And only that can bring lasting peace to our sad, divided and beleaguered land.
Those that seek to crucify me for suggesting that we should chart this new course should bear in mind the fact that I am not the first to suggest it and neither will I be the last. Those that doubt the veracity of this assertion should consider the following:
In 1953 the north declared their interest to break off from the rest of Nigeria after they rejected Chief Anthony Enahoro’s motion for Nigeria’s independence from Great Britain and walked out of Parliament.
They insisted on secession and it took the intervention of the British authorities to get them to sheath their swords and agree to remain in the same country as those they openly described as “southern devils and infidels”.
Once again in 1966 the north did the same thing and openly demanded for secession from the south after they effected their northern officers revenge coup on July 29th.
On the night of that “revenge coup” they massacred over 300 Igbo officers in one night together with the Igbo Head of State and the Yoruba Military Governor who refused to leave his side and who insisted on protecting him.
After what was undoubtedly one of the most bloody nights in our entire history and after all the butchery was done, the northern officers that carried out the coup loudly declared “araba”, which means “let us share it”, “let us tear it apart” or “let us break it up” in Hausa.
It took three days of frantic appeals by the British High Commissioner and a handful of American diplomats and southern civil servants to stop them from leaving.
They eventually agreed to stay but they gave one condition: that one of their own, a northern officer by the name of Lt. Col. Yakubu Jack Gowon, should be the Head of State of a united Nigeria even though there were at least three southern officers that were senior to him in rank that were still left on the army.
The conditions were accepted, Gowon became Head of State, the north agreed to stay and Nigeria remained one. Yet, sadly, the story did not end there and neither was its end a happy one.
Evidently the cold-blooded murder of three hundred Igbo soldiers was not enough to satisfy their bloodlust.
The north still insisted on having its revenge and its pound of flesh for the Igbo coup that took place on January 15, 1966 in which many northern political and military leaders together with a handful of their political and military allies from the west were killed.
Consequently three months after Gowon took power mass murder and genocide was unleashed against the Igbo population that resided in the core north and over 100,000 innocent Igbo civilians, including women and children, were slaughtered in the sanctity of their homes in just a matter of weeks.
Nothing had ever been seen like that before on the African continent. It was brutal, barbaric and horrendous. Innocent civilians, including pregnant women and little babies, were hacked to pieces in shops, hospitals, buses, cars and in their own homes whilst the authorities, and indeed the entire world, stood by silently and did nothing to help them.
This led to a massive exodus of Igbos from the north back to the east and to the declaration of the sovereign State of Biafra (which means “come and join us”).
The result of that declaration was the commencement of the most brutal, savage and bloody civil war that the African continent has ever experienced in which no less than three million Igbos, including at least one million young children, were killed all in the name of “keeping Nigeria one”. That war lasted for three gruelling years: from 1967 until 1970.
Yet, since 1967 when oil was discovered in commercial quantities in a place called Oloibiri in what is now known as the Niger Delta area of southern Nigeria, the north have NEVER called for “araba” or the breaking up of Nigeria again.
Instead they have bullied, intimidated, cheated, killed, maimed and slaughtered others just to keep Nigeria one simply because they are addicted to southern oil. Without the revenues that come from that oil the core north would be probably the poorest, most barren, and most desolate region in the whole of Africa. In view of this it is understandable that we have not heard “araba” from.any core northerner again.
They now view anyone that calls for the breakup of Nigeria with murderous intent and extreme hatred and they label them as dangerous subversives and uninformed miscreants.
They have labelled them as irresponsible criminals, they have denied them the right to determine their own destiny and future and they have resolved to compel them to remain in Nigeria by the force of arms.
The north appear to have forgotten that they themselves called for secession in 1953 and 1966 and at that time no-one threatened, killed or insulted them for doing so. And neither did anyone try to enslave them or keep them in by the force of arms.
The bottomline is as follows: as long as people like Mr. Adamu Mohammed and Mr. Aliyu Gwarzo exist and as long as they say and do the sort of things that they say and do the people of the south will not rule out the possibility of secession.
We will not sit back idly and silently watch our people being marginalised, islamised, conquered, butchered and enslaved.
We cannot be expected to continue to take the tyranny, violence, subjugation and gratuitous insults that are meted out to us on a daily basis by core Muslim northerners who believe that they were born to rule. We will resist it and we will oppose it in every lawful manner and with everything that we have got.
In the final analysis if we are attacked and butchered for saying “enough is enough” and for attempting to exercise our right of self-determination, and if the state refuses to protect us, we will have no hesitation in defending ourselves and protecting our people.
The days of keeping Nigeria one by threats, violence and the force of arms and of sealing and cementing our so-called unity by the shedding of southern and Middle Belt blood are long over. We will not take it anymore.
Thomas Jefferson, one of the great patriots, founding fathers and gallant heroes of America during their war of independence and struggle against their English colonial masters, said the following: “when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes a duty”.
Patrick Henry, another of the great founding fathers and a noble and righteous man, proclaimed the following words before England’s King George 111:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Another by the name of George Washington, who was a deeply courageous man, the Supreme Commander of the rebel forces and the man who was later elected as the first President of the proud, newly born and independent American nation proclaimed “in God we trust” as he entered the field of battle.
He also shouted “victory or death” as he led the cavalry charge and “you cannot rule without God and the Holy Bible” after he became President.
These were were men who refused to compromise with evil and were prepared to offer their lives in their struggle to break the yoke of servitude.
Again Thomas Jefferson said “the tree of liberty is watered by the blood of patriots and tyrants”. There are lessons to be learnt here for us all and particularly by the leaders of the south.
And thankfully it appears that a few southern stars like Ayo Fayose, Ike Ekweremadu, Nyesom Wike, Segun Mimiko, Seriake Dickson, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Willie Obiano, Yinka Odumakin, Femi Aribisala and a handful of others are beginning to learn those lessons, rise up to the occasion and stand up like men.
Yet whatever happens and whether the core Muslim north likes it or not our very own southern “tree of liberty” shall be watered as well and in the end we shall be free.
That same Living God whose name George Washington always invoked before going into battle is with us today and He shall see us through. He shall grant us the strength and power to endure.
He will not forsake us and, at the appointed time, He will grant us victory over our tormentors.
I say this because His name is faithful and Faithful He is. As old as He is, He never changes and He never forsakes His own: that is why they call Him Ancient of Days.
He never loses in battle: that is why they call Him the Man of War and the Lord God of Hosts. He is our strength and our shield, our glory and the lifter of our heads. He is our everything and without Him we are nothing.
In He alone we trust and He will NEVER allow the counsel of ungodly, wicked and bloodthirsty men from the deserts of a distant and barren land called Futa Jallon in modern-day Guinea, like Adamu Mohammed and Aliyu Gwarzo, to stand.
We harbour no fears because in the end we know that shall prevail and our freedom and liberation has been guaranteed.
Their end, and the end of all those that they represent, has already been determined by He that sits above the circles of the earth and that answers by fire and that end will be pitiful: It is just a matter of time.
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