After IPOB, what next? – by Frank Ofili121 views
Now that IPOB has been quashed – in a manner speaking, that is – it will be wrong for security agents to start to victimize and persecute real or perceived members and sympathizers of IPOB.
From all indications, IPOB was a business venture of Nnamdi Kanu’s family with him as the CEO. Majority of his followers were mere misguided and ill-educated youth who fell for his cheap propaganda that targeted and touched their emotions.
But there is no doubt that there are many who though do not support Kanu’s brand of agitation, have sympathy for the idea of Biafra because they believe genuine concerns of Ndi Igbo have not been addressed since the civil war ended in 1970. It will be wrong to dismiss those concerns
So rather than hunt and harass IPOB members and sympathizers, it will be more productive to finally put the nail on the idea of Biafra. This can only be achieved through a multi-prong strategy of forgiveness, enlightenment, inclusiveness and constructive engagement.
This should not just be limited to the south east; it should be across the country. Bottomline is to give a lie not only to the notion that violent agitation is the only way to achieve an end in Nigeria, but also to check the rising tide of ethnic nationalism.
But beyond this, the government should pay attention to the issues responsible for reviving the idea of Biafra. Biafra died 47 years ago but the spirit still springs up now and then. This means that something was not done right during the funeral. Perhaps we should have a second look at the post-war 3R policy document of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction to determine whether its implementation was faithful, and if not, what can be done now to address it.
It is sad to note that our political leaders at all levels since the civil war ended in 1970 have all failed to truly unite the country through acts of omission and commission. Now is the time to begin the process of bringing about a truly united nation. Whatever it takes to have a united Nigeria is worthwhile.