One of the fastest means of resolving a high risk, highly unhealthy political error or issue and a protracted oppressive and suppressive idea or regime is mostly with a double edge sword of violence on one side and diplomacy on the other side. History is replete with old examples, more so, modern day history will not only justify it but condone it.
Those who are averse to human degradation, destruction of infrastructures would vehemently oppose the idea that violence solves problem. It does illicit fear, anger, bitterness and other dangerous human emotions on the inside with a devilish consequent that eventually brings out the beauty of healing. Their position is not misplaced, but the truth is war or violence solves problem quicker than diplomacy. In some cases the threat of violence will push everybody to the table of negotiation. The beauty of violence is it offers opportunities for forces involve to see their weakness, the error of their ways and the defective advise those who claim wisdom offered. It offers new beginning and opportunity to rebuild what is lost or destroyed. It confers on the victor reverence and on the defeated respect.
Napoleon did not listen to the voice of diplomacy. He lost the war, didn’t he? And Europe had peace.
Apartheid regime in South Africa didn’t start to be reasonable until Mandela and co. took the option of violence and declared Yasser Arafat ‘brothers in Arms’. Then, they formed the armed wing of the ANC just like the ESN of IPOB. The issues of the two world wars were resolved by violence. Civil right movement in the USA had first Martin Luther-a non violent preacher of ‘a peaceful way to black Africans and coloured people having the American dream’ and the more radical, violent Malcolm X and the Black Panther movement. Didn’t the white community listen?
When police action turned to a 30 months war the easterners made a point. They have survived the war. They have garnered respect from around the world. They had shown that extended family system is better suited for handling humanitarian crisis which the Arabs couldn’t handle but begged for aid and ran to Europe. North eastern Nigeria grew unmanageable in the middle of Boko Haram insurgency yet the Ibos in 1966-67 solved the worse humanitarian crisis in the world without the help of the world; not until the food blockade.
The religious motivated problem in Sudan could not be solved until violence started. Today we have South Sudan and Sudan, with the former advancing in African as one of the fastest economy.
In the old times, Roman Empire and the British Empire prospered on violence and tricks. Now it has evolved strategically to threats and political pressure.
We understand the need for diplomacy is to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, destruction of properties and infrastructure. However, when all diplomatic channels fails as with Government refusal to dialogue with IPOB, what becomes clear is that history will visit again because the oppressor whose language is violence will soon understand that the oppressed may at any time in his right claim self defense, thus effectively wield violence, and consistently too, without giving ear to anyone. Such is the case with the present Buhari led Government which is enhancing the IPOB case against it.
IPOB CASE AGIANST GOVERNMENT
The right to self determination is an international law which Nigeria assented to and domesticated, in exercising that right IPOB over a decade kept piling up evidence, extra-judicial killing, police and military enabled genocides, comments from state and non- state actors that are pointers to government complacent in the issue raised by IPOB to international communities. Thus making it hard for the international community to believe anything contrary to what IPOB said, because it was documented evidence, authenticated by various independent reporters. So for now what the West is witnessing in IPOB rank is an ‘act of self defense’. That is if it will ever accept responsibility for violence since it is known for non-violent conduct despite all the provocation. A school of thought could argue the West took that present stand because of the American earlier prediction that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015 and perhaps why not now since it serves their interest in Africa.
CAN IGBO AFFORD ANOTHER WAR?
Ibos fought slavery and colonization and they lost. Over a century now both no longer exist. A man would argue that the Ibos know a bad deal which is ‘slavery and colonization’ from a good deal which is ‘freedom and self determination’. When comments about Ibos are made by foreigners who either are commentators or have lived among them one single thing they won’t take away from this people is their determination to be free, to advance, to achieve their goals and to question illegality of any kind or form. This is why Justice is inscribed as one of the mottos of the defunct republic and lions in the coat of arm because they are fearless in that regard. Nobody seems to ask why the map of ‘greater Ibo i.e. before the war’ is like human heart? Obviously, the Ibo is to Nigeria what the human heart is to the human body.
Ibos fought a second war, which many called a third world war because UK, USSR, Egypt, Arab world, Spain, Cameroon, others were involved in that war. America was complacent and the Ibos lost again. Each time they rose phenomenally, in the first lost they overtook other ethnic nationalities and even created the fastest economy as reported by Harvard papers. There are academic arguments in some quarters that Nzeogwu’s coup was to truncate what Dr Michael Okpara was doing in the Eastern region. In the second war, with twenty pounds they rose like the phoenix and today they are controlling most economic terrain of the country. Traces of war were removed except for illegal, questionable carving out of Ibo land, bad roads and poor governance from leaders they no longer trust. Just like Germany who fought two modern wars, lost them and still remains one of the best economies in Europe. Hence war is good and justifiable when it is the only option as proffered by the federal government which invariable necessitates the law of self defense. If self defense is justifiable under the law, a just war is one fought in protection of that right.
When option to back down on secession fails and Buhari’s government is willing to let the Ibos leave as Mazi Nnamdi Kanu alleges Buhari’s government offered him 5 Ibo states and he declined. President Buhari and Nigerians might decide to expel Ibo’s from the union by a vote in plenary session of the national assembly as Kasirim Nwuki proffered ‘the Singaporean experience in Malaysia’, in his diplomatic option outside of war. Since it is agreed theoretically by many that no nation survives double wars it is a ‘reasonable diplomacy’ for government to adopt Singaporean experience that won’t cost them financial burden. This opens up the option of monolithic Ibo nation surviving alone. Another diplomatic problem that thus arises is on what basis did the government arrive at the 5 Ibo states which Mazi Nnamdi Kanu rejected? Of course it is the basis of the unconstitutional geopolitical regions. The request by Northern Elders Forum, Northern women and other lovers of peace that for peace to reign Government should allow the Ibos leave the union. Will the rest of Ibo people in South-South, Benue and Kogi remain in Nigeria and still constitute another Ibo problem in the future or will government conduct referendum for them? By creating a monolithic Ibo nation Osita Ebiem assertion and others with similar view would have been achieved.
If president Buhari who rightly said that his minister of petroleum Mr. Ibe Kachikwu from Delta state is Ibo, and Rotimi Amechi his transport minister from Ikwerre is Ibo, plus the entire north who called Nzeogwu Ibo despite coming from Mid Western region, now Delta state, not appear hypocritical if he only offered only 5 Ibo states to Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and not all Ibo speaking space of the present Nigeria geography?
Will Nnamdi Kanu who declined 5 Ibo states as allegedly offered by Buhari accept a monolithic Ibo states without other tribes in the South South? Osita Ebiem would agree since other tribes are also capable of fighting and speaking for themselves in a matter of self determination. President Goodluck Jonathan in his improper assertion about the Ibo preferred that option. These are issues that without compromise on the part of government might justify the legitimacy of the ‘war of self defense’ as IPOB called it.