By. Uchendu Precious Onuoha
Re. We Are All Biafrans
The book “We Are All Biafrans” by the author, Chido Onumah, was presented to a segment of Canadian audience on November 15, 2019, courtesy of Prof. Nduka Otiono of the University of Carleton, Ottawa Canada. The literary work is, a very subtle metaphor garnished with a good journalism essence. The author, who is a seasoned Journalist, brought his sense of journalism to bear in choosing the title, which was mainly to attract attention. The title of the book is a “Clincher” and timely. No other choice of title would have been more appropriate and better to serve his purpose, at a time when the agitation for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra is in the front burner in Nigeria and globally.
In reality, the caption contradicts the author’s stance in the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria as a nation as opposed to a sovereign state of Biafra. The subtlety is bellied in the fact that the writer is not a disciple or a protagonist of a sovereign state of Biafra. Rather, his argument is that, the inherent causes and problems that are beseeching Nigeria that led to the present agitation for Biafra, are nationwide and is not peculiar only to a particular region or the entity agitating for a sovereign state of Biafra. While he enumerates the consequent problems, he believes only in the Biafra that exists in the mind,
But to be a Biafran is more than identifying the problems and stop there. That would be like a physician diagnosing a sickness without proffering the treatment. Action is required. To be a Biafran means saying NO, resistance and moving away from the things that threaten your existence as a person. It means “NO” to corruption, marginalization and mis-governance among others.
The Biafra that existed was a gateway and a declaration to self determination for a people oppressed, faced with genocide and annihilation. Biafra was an ark of salvation and a sanctuary when the entire Igbo race and nation faced extermination.
The author has a limited perspective on the objective significance, truth and reality of Biafra. And his description of Biafra could be likened to an elephant blind men went to see. Depending on the part that was touched, the elephant resembled and meant a different thing to each blind man. But their varying opinions did not in whole change the reality of the elephant.
We are not yet Biafrans! The day “We are all Biafrans” Nigeria will swim or sink.