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Charly Boy: “Let us pause on the fantasy tagged Biafra for now”

Charly Boy

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I guess it’s about time I break my silence on this matter. From 1967 to 1970 my youth was scandalized with the horrors of the Nigerian civil war. I was never on the front line as a fighting soldier, but I was in the boys brigade transmitting from the naval headquarters then in Oguta. With the daily air raids and the smell of death all around us, we were thankful everyday we managed to stay alive. I remember a sight that has never left me till today at the tail end of the civil war.
I was walking down the street on my way to the stream to fetch water, lo and behold was the sound of death (air raids) as we all ran in different directions looking for a safe place to take cover, I turned around to figure the direction my friends were running in, all of a sudden I saw the head of one of them yanked off the body, as a result of the fighter jets that killed innocent civilians for fun, what a horrible sight for a 17yr old. The words of Plato “only the dead see the end of war” were forever engrained in my thoughts.

I am a proud Igbo man, a homeboy, and a native fowl. No demo. My friends call me Igbotic not because of i’m a nerd or a jewman.  But because I represent and symbolize all the characteristics of a typical Igbo man pre the civil war. The Igbos may have short-circuited their political growth, but it doesn’t take away the fact that we are great Nigerians.  I have learned to be more Igbotic than I ever expected. As an Igbo man, I have learned to be more profitable in the things that I do. I have perfected the art of being tenacious in any dream I chase; to be industrious, consistent and powerfully focused.

All the lessons I learned from my brothers in the tribe have made me dogged, hard-working and exhibiting the ability and capacity to survive in any kind of weather. I am an original Nwa Biafra.

Needless to say that the Igbo man is known to be one of the most entrepreneurial minds in the country. So it is particularly pathetic and unfortunate when some ignorant youths talk about this illusion called Biafra. History should teach us that Nationhood is Bloody, Hard and almost impossible when fantasy is the currency of demand. Even as Nigerians, see how our docility is killing our humanity. Didn’t the fall of Biafra after the genocide and the suffering of my people teach us anything? Haven’t we been marginalized enough? I Believe the Failure of the Igbo nation is the fault of the people elites and decision makers.

Why have we not poured our energy, capacity, and ability into making the South East the Dubai of the Nation as well as the engine room of the Nigerian Economy? Who would be our leaders when the southeast is infested with political power grabbers, 419ers, mindless criminals and looters of our commonwealth and resources? Need I mention names?

See how we have migrated to different parts of Nigeria and the world which is good, made it home and developed our immediate environment. Why are we neglecting our home base, why are we running away from developing the South East?

Our problem may not after all be the man in Aso Rock from Daura or the ordinary Hausa or Yoruba man on the Streets of Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Warri or Ogbomosho. The problem is the lack of men of integrity and a progressive mindset. We lack the right kind of leadership that will fight for the interest of the People. Let it be clear to all that the suffering of the people from the South East is also the suffering of the people from the other geopolitical zones in Nigeria. It is therefore retrospectively insane to begin to think that a people with a problem would suddenly be relieved when they are attached to a tag #BIAFRA; What Nonsense and Insanity!

Now how do you begin to imagine that while the agitation for the state of Biafra is being demanded by the gullible Ibo youths, those who have been or are in a position of authority are either not interested or are continuing their expensive investments in other parts of Nigeria? Who dem dey deceive? They divide us daily with Religion, Tribalism, Ethnicity and Petty Bigotry even among the Tribes and Ethnic composition in the South East there is divisiveness. Why is Nnamdi Kanu yet to realize that the Dreams of Nationhood are lost in the Altar of Deception.

Have we even considered that the population of my people from the southeast outside the Region is twice the population of those in the southeast? How can we who are supposed to be looking at making the South East the centralized Industrial Hub of the Nigeria Nation be the ones who are driving a wedge of unrealistic fantasy between Nigeria and our own people? When President Muhammadu Buhari sings the localization and Nigerianization song; We should be the ones to drive the narrative, because We Can. When you have a willing Partner, who is interested in the Nigerianization of the Nigerian Economy; Why are some of my people busy creating or Poisoning the environment that is ordinarily designed to favor that which will promote the industrialization of the South East. Why have we become the enemy of our own home? Why hasn’t the “think home mentality” arrested every Igbo billionaires and millionaires? Why are we eliminating the chances of Ibonising the Nigerian Economy by Nationalizing the Ibo Thought for a United and Prosperous Nigeria as well as for the benefits of all?

I cannot STAND here and tell you there are no problems of trust in Nigeria. I will be the last to say that the Ibo nation has not undergone persecution. I will be foolish to ignore the hunger that was used as a tool to starve the Ibo Nation during the civil war. I am perfectly in the know about the problems of the Nigeria structure, Abeg make we know our history but use am to work today to perfect tomorrow.

No one can argue the facts, and the facts are clear. The major problem of the Ibo Nation is also the major issue with the Nigeria State. ‘The Mindset’. The Mind must first be liberated, the thoughts must be harmonized and the people of the South East, my dear brothers and sisters must know that the development of the region is horrible because the leaders in the region have failed. Politically, Religiously, Societally and Communally. Over the past decades; where is the Accountability from the leadership with regards;

  1.   FAAC;
  1.   IGR;
  1.   LOCAL BONDS;
  1.   FOREIGN DEVELOPMENTAL LOANS;
  1.   AIDS; GRANTS & BUDGETARY SUPPORT;
  1.   THE MANY FEDERAL PROJECTS IN THE REGION etc

The Failure of Leadership is evident in our agitation for Fairness, Justice, and Equality for every Nigerian not just for every Ibo man. And so the Mind of the typical Ibo Leader Needs a Revolution to be realigned for the Interest of the People rather than the interest of their pockets. Biafra is not the Solution, I truly don’t think so. So, Igbo ndi Oma. Let’s focus on our homeland and begin to demand accountability and responsibility from many of our Scammers, Riffraff’s and Fraudsters in the Ibo Kingdom called leaders. Let’s us pause on the fantasy tagged Biafra for now. Let’s us dutifully work ourselves back into the reckoning, by industrializing our home base.

I know we can, and we should.

I also urge Mr. President to show mercy on our brother Nnamdi Kanu; Him be Pikin.

Biafra, my Igboticness is always on my mind because #OURMUMUDONDO.

Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa aka Charly Boy is a seasoned broadcaster with over thirty years of media, socio-cultural and street experience accrued via ‘the Street University’. He has an outstanding academic background with a diploma from Harvard University, a degree in Suffolk University and a Masters from Emerson University. www.charlyboy.me | Facebook @charlyboy | Instagram @areafada1

25 Comments

  1. Nunulicious

    January 26, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Imagine if we combine the entrepreneurial talents in the east, the education in the west, the agriculture in the middle belt and_________ in the north competitively? Then the Nation called Nigeria would finally emerge. For now, we’re just a bunch of tribemen clamouring for God knows what. Sad.

  2. Sullivan

    January 26, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I think it is a magnificent write up but still, I don’t think the country Nigeria will ever be great without something like restructuring. I am one of those who clamour for the Biafran nation, but at at the back of my mind, I still think about the thousands of Igbo’s who are scattered throughout the country and I always wonder what will become of them. So let us restructure the country and get rid of the thieving politicians that have milked us dry.

  3. ijs

    January 26, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    LOL. No African or all black country has successfully been able to lead itself out of poverty and greed and selfish leaders. No governor of any eastern state has been half successful in developing its state. But Biafra somehow will cure all of these? After Biafra carves itself out (if it ever does) another tribalism will now start among the igbos. Lets stop this tribal rubbish to move forward.

    • nnenne

      January 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      @ijs. … Gov. Sam Mbakwe did a great job.
      Look at the history of Imo state. All those military administrators before him, did absolutely nothing for Imo state, until Sam Mbakwe came along! !! The first indigenous Governor of Imo State, English trained Lawyer. May his soul rest in peace!

  4. Prince Charming

    January 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Sometimes I wonder why Igbo people are clamouring for Biafra.Even if they secede from Nigeria, internal division amongs the Igbos won’t make Biafra a viable state. Besides they import virtually everything from the North( beans, onions, tomato, potato, water melon, cows, etc.). Land is ridiculously expensive over there and I was surprised to find out that some Igbo people would rather have dealings with an outsider than with Igbos from certain states. Igbo people are better off in Nigeria. I agree they are marginalized, but they still punch above their weight. Most media personalities are Igbos, 70% of our celebrities are Igbos, most of our prominent writers are Igbos. They have it good in Nigeria despite the marginalization. Buhari has failed to appoint Igbos into key positions and I don’t think this is because of a dearth of suitably qualified Igbos. There are certain things I don’t like about Igbos, but there are a million things I like about them and I’d really feel bad if they break out of Nigeria.

  5. Juste moi

    January 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I had this same conversation with an Oh no Trader I met in Yaba market. Until the Igbos start developing the East and make it an industrial hub like China, their dreams of Biafra might never materialize.

  6. Juste moi

    January 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Igbo* autocorrect ish

  7. Bowl

    January 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Charley Boy, you have spoken as a true elder. All the points raised are carefully noted. I and the generation of my children have sworn to make Anambra something better than Dubai.That being said, I need you and the loud commenters on the issue to note, Biafra cannot be wished away. There was absolutely no reason for that genocide which the west and the north have tried without result to bury.Even if the East gets to the peak of its attainment, the sore of the civil war will still not heal.Lets’s stop handling this issue this way.Generations of Igbo youths would still yearn for a just recompense of that war.Nigeria must / would have to address this war at some point to exorcise its ghost from her history/ foundation.Having said this , I want to announce to you naysayers who must have the Igbo as bond men,with all the reasons stated [email protected] Prince Charming, Biafra is very possible without the south south. You wonder where they wil grow their food. Did you hear the story of Anambra rice?You wonder how they can assess the sea, Look at the Map of Niger Delta, is a canal possible.?You think the land is too small , is it possible to buy up territories beyond the verge of Nigeria.Is it possible to have other peoples come willingly under Biafra.Call these pipeline dreams but consider them.Also remember, the Igbo man has a will of steel ..Everything is possible for him.The civil war reduced the the Igbo man to something less than his worth.Of course I agree Nnamdi Kanu and his supporters do not have full grasp of what they are asking for. But let’s be careful with our speech on this Biafra thing.

    • Limah

      January 27, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      This is me trying to wrap my head around Igbo youths needing a national apology for the Civil War. Have you ever heard of the saying that all is fair in war? Plus, I don’t think that 75 percent of these youths you talk about were around for the civil war. So if they do feel this strongly about it, it must be because of the one sided story they were fed by their parents and grand parents. I mean, people died from both sides of the war. Mind you, I do not mind a Republic of Biafra if that’s what you guys really want. But all the reasons given so far just seem emotional rather than cerebral to me.

    • Peaches77

      January 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      Limah but should it be far fetched or abominable if his reasons are emotional? And guess what? They aren’t even emotional.
      You have been told, this yapping isn’t the way to go about building a united Nigeria.

  8. Bowl

    January 26, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Some day something’s worse than Ojukwu will happen to the Igbos again.

    • nnenne

      January 26, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      @ Bowl… You mean like the burning of Igbo men wealth and loss of lives in far away North periodically ,since after the civil war and before Boko Haram came along?
      Why do Nigerians always pretend these things don’t exist?
      We all want Igbos to stay but find it hard to listen to them and treat them well.
      People say, but Igbos are not doing well. Because they are scattered around the world. What is holding other ethnic groups back?
      They control the common wealth and heaven knows what they would have done if the oil comes from their area.
      They are ruling, sharing resources and still crying! !

    • nnenne

      January 26, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      *** People say. Igbos are doing well. ….***

  9. NG

    January 26, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Dear Charly Boy, the recent upsurge in the desire for Biafra is not a result of nihilistic tendency of the Igbo man, but a result of the realisation that the other people group in Nigeria are determined to do whatever it takes to keep the Igbo person beggarly. The last election should suffice as an example for you and many in your position if you can be discerning.

    For the singular reason that Jonathan was seen (truly or falsely) to be giving Ndigbo some leverage, Tinubu and co rose up to foist a Buhari on Nigeria, not minding his antecedents as a rabid religious bigot. I deliberately folowed the editorials of The Nation in the days after Buhari’s election to understand stuff, and soon enough, in blatant language, the reason for the wholesale antagonism towards Jonathan became evident.

    You then wonder and ask: After many years of stark marginalisation, even if Jonathan gave the Igbo man a bit of an advantage, should that be so unpalatable to the rest of Nigeria?

    You need understanding that Biafra is nothing but a cry by Ndigbo for leave to live which having been denied especially more blatantly so under this present regime, has become a true aspiration for some space for self-identity from the rest of Nigeria. Make no mistake about it, quite a number of people truly yearn for this space to exhale as a people. Is it possible now? Never say never. If Nigeria continues to deteriorate economically and otherwise, pent up angst can manifest in unimaginable ways.

    You are too privileged to understand what is driving the average Biafran Charly Boy. The privileged class of any people group may not be the best in understanding the pains of their people. With your background, you definitely cannot know what damage has been done to education in the south east by decades of people going to school in the hope of having life opportunities only to be shown they could not, despite superior (oh sorry, let’s not say superior but equal) competencies relative to their peers from other parts. The SW for example, because they hold the reins of private industries and the north the government bureaucracy.

    You see your brothers all over the world as diasporans and you think it’s out of choice? No. It is foisted by lack of opportunities at home.

    If you went to school in Nigeria, say in Lagos, after 5 years check out your classmates from other parts of the country vis-a-vis yourself. Compare situations and draw conclusions. If you are a returnee from diaspora, please do the same after a couple of years.

    I can ‘rant’ on but let me pause here to say Biafra may be at a rudimentary stage today, but hear my prediction, except urgent steps are taken to restructure and make this country more fair and equitable for all, the push for complete severance may just gather such momentum as to leave you more bewildred than you can ever imagine.

    • Diokpa

      January 27, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Nwanne m,, there is enough space for everybody despite the quota system/preferential treatment. Try and be the best you can be. No be Ijaw man wey no get shoe rule us for 6years in the same Nigeria….And now a Pastor is at the verge of becoming our next President in case PMB becomes incapacitated. When it is your time to shine, nobody can stop your shining. We all need to make effort to have good governance whether in Nigeria or Biafra. There is no perfect country in the world.

    • Tee

      January 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      A few reasons Jonathan was kicked out
      1. Wasted our common resource for 6 years
      2.. Could not tackle Boko haram
      3. Saved nothing even though oil prices were at the highest they have ever been
      Please what exactly did Jonathan do for you in terms of actual development of the South east and not the appointment of your sons and daughters?
      If you think Jonathan was kicked out because he threw a few juicy appointments your way: then that I think is the real problem.

    • kwinny

      February 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      nobody is keeping the Igbo man beggarly. from your first paragraph, you’ve missed the point

  10. nnenne

    January 26, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Nigeria is my country but I can’t set up a genuine business in certain parts of Nigeria without being killed, when I become successful, just because I am Igbo?
    How did Mrs Bridget Agbahime die again?
    What kind of one Nigeria is that?
    The moment we stop sweeping things under the carpet, nationhood and brotherhood and the real healing will begin! !!
    Action speaks louder than voice. If we want to remain as one nation, which is a wonderful idea, let’s begin to live as one nation!

  11. Shior

    January 27, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Please let the igbos go.I hope they won’t come back.

  12. Chikka

    January 27, 2017 at 2:56 am

    He is right.

    If you and person wan put leg into ine trouser, digging through the trouser than digging through your rival’s own skin which is easier?

    Fight to take every advantage of the Unity ‘so called’ inside the one trouser that we find ourselves. we successfully did that businesses wise except we forgot that East India company, Toyota, and shell etc has headquarters in their own origin homelands.

    A house with 6 pillar that isn’t yet ready to fall, if you remove your own one pillar, a section of the house would fall on you first and yet rest of building may stilll stand.

    I’m writing a book called irresistible resistance. Yes resistance is irresistible. It was to the Irish (easter day proclamation) whose freedom was followed by mass emigration, it was for French (French revolution) whose freedom brought about napoleon or soviets(Russian revolution leading to animal farm novel) whose freedom brought stalin. I have watched Scotland and quebec say no to such a freedom but yes to power devolution (restructuring).

    Only reason I respect kanu is we must keep future generations reminded of our past. But we are not ready yet. let us go back into Nigeria and live it up and be the husband not a divorce crying wife.

  13. Viv Law

    January 27, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you Sir Charly boy for this write up.

    I truly believe that…

    If tribalism was non existent in our government & all Nigerians were treated equally & fairly regardless of what accent they have or the native language they speak, & there were laws/measures put in place to prosecute anyone guilty of tribalism & marginalization
    then the Igbos would have no desire for Biafra because Nigeria would be one.

    So therefore the focus and the end goal should be on making Nigeria one, we need to come together and work together, and in doing so we would make Nigeria great.
    Then Nigeria would finally live up to it’s name ‘The Giant of Africa’.
    Isn’t this what all Nigerians want?

  14. Dhoney

    January 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    The common enemy in Nigeria are the politicians. I have been privileged to live in the East for 0ver 10yrs and was born and raised in the South West and I can say authoritatively our youths are not only docile but very dumb and shallow. They are only united when they are watching Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona , Arsenal but when it comes to the issues affecting their present and future, they will now begin to see themselves as Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. There is no accountability in governance in Nigeria and nobody is Imagine a Nigerian senator taking home a whopping $2.1m annually ( US president takes home $420k/annum , Canada PM $350k/annum). You would think the youths would have organized a 50 million March to Abuja to chase out all those thieves. Na lie. The solution is not in secession but in the unity. When our politicians are stealing, they don’t see theirselves as Yoruba, ibo or Hausa, they speak same language….steal, steal and steal.. Nigerian youths continue to dance skelewu while these old thieves are stealing your present and future…smh

  15. Dhoney

    January 27, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    The common enemy in Nigeria are the politicians. I have been privileged to live in the East for 0ver 10yrs and was born and raised in the South West and I can say authoritatively our youths are not only docile but very dumb and shallow. They are only united when they are watching Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona , Arsenal but when it comes to the issues affecting their present and future, they will now begin to see themselves as Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. There is no accountability in governance in Nigeria. Imagine a Nigerian senator taking home a whopping $2.1m annually ( US president takes home $420k/annum , Canada PM $350k/annum). You would think the youths would have organized a 50 million March to Abuja to chase out all those thieves. Na lie. The solution is not in secession but in the unity. When our politicians are stealing, they don’t see theirselves as Yoruba, ibo or Hausa, they speak same language….steal, steal and steal.. Nigerian youths continue to dance skelewu while these old thieves are stealing your present and future…smh

    • Lacey

      January 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm

      @Dhoney,your comment is the most reasonable so far! Citizens must march for their rights! Get this miscreants old docile politicians , who have used ethnicity and religion as a tool to hold Nigerians bound for years, who are only there for their selfish interest, to just better themselves and marry their children off to billionaires , while telling the masses to carry the burden of recession!!!

      Buhari should be impeached and Nigerians should ensure that politicians that have recycled themselves and their children are pursued out of power now! 2019 is too far!!!

  16. kwinny

    February 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    chai!! for the first time, I agree with charly boy! I will bookmark this page and read again. Biafra is really a fantasy. Make we work for a better Naija. This is our home. It is well. Nwa nne’m! Chukwu gozie gi!

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