By: Onuoha E. Onuoha
From time immemorial prior to the illegal illegitimate and unauthorized invasion, balkanization of and Scramble for Africa by 14 European countries in Berlin, Biafra has been an age long area and Ancient Ijaw Kingdom just like The Ancient Kingdom of Arewa and the Ancient Kingdom of Oduduwa.
Bight of Biafra, also called Bight of Bonny, bay of the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Africa, extending east, then south, for 370 miles (600 km) from the Nun outlet of the Niger River (Nigeria) to Cape Lopez (Gabon). The innermost bay of the Gulf of Guinea, it is bounded by southeastern Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and northwestern Gabon and receives portions of the Niger and Ogooué river discharges and also the Cross, Sanaga, and many other rivers. Within the Bight of Biafra are several islands, the largest of which is Bioko, belonging to Equatorial Guinea. Major ports on the bay are Malabo (on Bioko), Port Harcourt and Calabar (Nigeria), Douala (Cameroon), Bata (Equatorial Guinea), and Libreville and Port-Gentil (Gabon).
Between the 16th and the 19th century the Bight of Biafra was the scene of extensive slave-dealing operations, based mainly on the ports of Brass, Bonny, Opobo, and Old Calabar (now Calabar) in Nigeria. By the 1830s the palm oil trade had surpassed slave trading, and it has maintained its importance. Petroleum, discovered in the late 1950s in the Niger River delta, is a major economic resource.
However, in 1967, when the Aburi Accord (Treaty) where it was agreed to restructure Nigeria along Regional lines failed, the Eastern region of Nigeria unanimously adopted Biafra as a name to forge their common Ancestral identity.
Recall that a video of summary arrest and malhandling of a Veteran Nollywood legend of international repute by some some Nigeria Soldiers for wearing a Biafran coloured regalia while sharing Bread to the less privileged have raised widespread negative reactions from Nigerians and have further distanced the masses from the real intention of the lately introduced Exercise Golden Dawn in the southern part of the Country thus further putting the Professionalism of Nigeria soldiers and the objective of Exercise Golden Dawn into question.
The public was sensitized to believe that the purpose of operation Golden Dawn was to quelll the recent security challenges bedeviling the region. The question that begs for answers now is, since the Nigeria Government has suggested Biafra be taken as an ideology and as a region under one United Nigeria, why would they attack and arrest and mal-handle a Nigerian who rocks an attire of Biafran colour? Would Nigerian soldiers attack and arrest a Nigerian of Northern extraction for adorning himself in the colour of Ancient Arewa flag symbol not would that happen when a notable figure from the West (Yoruba) when the name of any proscribed group has not been inscribed on his attire? If I were to be the President of Nigeria, I would personally fly the flag of Arewa, Biafra, Oduduwa and Middle-Belt on all my official visits and broadcasts in order to portray the idea of one country formed by the union of four distinct Indigenous Nations. But since it has become crystal clear that what the Federal Government through her armed Military seek is the total trampling on crushing and obliterating the common identity of one of the notable regions that have been in the forefront of a United Nigeria (pending when it is confirmed the soldiers acted on official instructions or out of over-enthusiasm), then it would not be out of place to say that the Federal Government is fanning the embers of more violence than it came to quench. Hausa people and especially their Emirs have their cloths and palaces designed with the Arewa flag symbols, same goes with the Oduduwas. The Nigeria Army should by all means avoid passing the message already sent by the Foreign Fulani Miyetti Allah Terrorists that Nigeria is their conquered territory that belongs to their Grand Father Uthman Dan Fodio for this may ring unprecedented and outright revolt of the indigenous Aborigenes of Nigeria.
The dehumanization of Veteran Nollywood Actor Chiwetalu Agu, a Biafran of Igbo Extraction is to state in simple terms a message to all Biafrans in Biafran territory that Easterners are a conquered slave to the ‘repentant’ Boko-Haram infested Nigeria Army. It is also a message that if we can humiliate the notable people of Igbo Extraction, Oduduwa region and the Middle-Belt region of Nigeria are inconsequential people. It is a message of subjugation to a region that formed the 61 year old union and a complete rape of our fledgling democracy.
People of Biafra, Arewa, Oduduwa and Middle-Belt has the right to sing the National Anthems, fly their National Flags, answer their National Indigenous names, eat their National Indigenous foods. If these gruesome rights abuses in a democratic dispensation is not put to a stop fought with, it won’t be long before soldiers starts arresting people of various Nations that formed the Union of Nigeria for answering Biafra names, eating Biafra foods, and worshipping Ancient Indigenous Gods of the Ancestors of Biafrans, Oduduwas, Arewas and the Middle-Belt.
Onuoha E. Onuoha [B.Sc(Hons) Ed., Pol. Sc., UNN)
Political Scientist/ Analyst, Rights Activist, Diplomat, Independent And Investigative journalist.
He writes from FCT, Abuja