Jan 28, 2018

Nigeria’s Failure and the Biafran Problem (1)

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How fascism breeds separatism

by Chin Ce

Nigeria’s failure in Africa as a fascist state has been compounded by the problem of growing demands for the restoration of the defunct Biafra ‘republic.’ But the problem with Biafra, just like the Nigerian problem, is the lack of a studied intellectual platform for the harnessing of ideas necessary to inspire wide following from the general component formations that would ensure stability and faith in new nationhood.

The historical necessity that gave rise to the brief thirty months of Biafra’s existence was not followed through by this diligent and rigorous intellectual approach to nationhood prospects. Writ large, the emerging maximum leader of the new nation, Emeka Ojukwu, squandered the opportunity with his militaristic disposition, ignoring reasonable suggestions by the brightest minds of the firmament to avoid a head on collision with federal might.

While Zik, the great Africanist of the time, had advised the necessity to follow through with diplomacy, Ojukwu had opted for braggaddacio. A nation that had yet to come to international acceptance began to announce through its spokesman that no force on earth could stop the coming of the new world power in Africa. His neo socialist utopian document called Ahiara Declaration failed in local impact by turning off the capitalist, land and property grabbing generals of Biafra, while the unimpressed Soviets simply looked away.

Such dauntless confidence, clearly outmatching the oligarchy of the murderous Gowon regime, proved a fiasco for world recognition or assistance, and for the realisation of Ojukwu’s dream nation.

The question till date still stands about why a hated people yet to find some degree of sympathy to their genocidal experience could shock the world with their premature and arrogant declaration of messianic destiny in world dominion. The new nation had taken off on a wrong footing, imitating Jewish and Arabic posturing with their calamitous religions. But the black leaders forgot that this was Africa and that the racism from East and West that blighted the planet and assured its descension in darkness had, since pristine times, been pitched against Africa in spite of the adherence to  imported fanatical religions. In fact it has been the European, nay, world policy, that Africa remains poor, servile, and the under developed dump of the Earth long before Rodney wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

Yet given Gowon’s northern educational backwardness, it is difficult to reason that men of Ojukwu’s intellectual attainment from within the conclave of the new Biafra, then, could dream the delusion of replicating the Middle East scenario of Israeli American- and-British-backed Zionism versus morbid Palestinian irredentism in a war of religious supremacy. Even if such were possible, a Christian-Muslim religious warfare could never have spelt the remotest positivity for any emergent nation of already volatile Africa.

It was clear that Biafra was sacrificed by the powers that be in order for Nigeria, by the elusive gradients of its atomistic composition, to remain perennially in internal strait, hardly proving a powerful force to reckon against European grand designs for continued exploitation of Africa’s resources. The world powers understood, as much as the British had purposed, that a bulbous multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation was only going to end up so fragmented and perpetually divided as never to provide the rallying stream for the liberation of the continent from her complicated economic servitude to the West.

Thus if truly the warlord and his war-mongering following had remembered this basic condition of Africa with the rest of the world, perhaps they could have listened to the Africanist vision of the time in favour of diplomatic resolutions within the African Union, then, OAU. The admirable Biafran leader ought not have squared up to the fight which the blood-thirsty Islamists virtually led by Murtala Mohammed, had sorely wished. Indeed the more pragmatic counsel of Chukwuma Nzeogwu to tackle the federalists via guerilla wars should have prevailed. But without arms, with mere cutlasses and sticks, Ojukwu’s hubris preferred a standing army with all the epaulettes of Commander on Chief!

And two million lives of Biafran men, women and children were wasted.

Fifty years later, the lessons have yet to be learned and applied by a new breed of haters of Nigeria’s exercise in fascism, ala MASSOB and IPOB. The mouthy propaganda and appeal to anarchism is emblematic of past and present fascist syndromes in Nigeria and the separatism that is bred in the minds and hearts of the constituent parts through lack of faith.

It is not in doubt to even the most casual onlooker that the Nigerian state, as presently constituted, will remain an albatross according to colonial intent and local military design. Smaller nations around it seem  contemptuous of the corrupt and inefficient nation dominated by a parasitic horde and barely condoned by more than four hundred other ethnicities. Only the Igbo of the eastern extraction have drawn the courage to ask for their own nation, challenging the rot and depredation which the British deliberately foisted upon a country where, by spurious geographical politics, it teeters to the verge, while beneficiaries of state capture in the armed forces, senate, ministries, and assembly are chanting ‘One Nigeria’ in robotic mindlessness to a determined destiny of ultimate perdition.

Follow the second part of how fascism breeds separatism here

 

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