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Many Nigerians were left stunned last week when the leader of the Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, who is also the former leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Ralph Uwazuruike, shockingly disowned the Igbo presidency project when he declared his support for the Presidential ambition of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello. His action came as a shock to Ndigbo at a time when the continuous push for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction seems to have gathered momentum.
This development came as a rude shock to everyone, particularly the unsuspecting people from the South East who still hold him in high esteem. These people, however, deserve pity because Uwazurike, is a man who was dethroned as MASSOB leader for the same reason-gross betrayal. He has time and time again traded off the struggle for Igbo emancipation in the past and was rewarded for betraying the same course he was pursuing and most often than not, for peanuts.
The truth is that the word Biafra evokes so much emotion whenever and wherever it is mentioned to any Igbo man, and the reason is understandable. However, the reality is that present day ‘agitators’ for the actualisation of Biafra are mostly pure businessmen and con stars who understand how passionate the average Igbo man on the street has grown or remained about the Biafran dream.
Biafra is an ideology that was sealed permanently into the hearts of millions of people from the Eastern region with the blood of their loved ones who were murdered, not just during the genocide of 1967-1970 (which is often referred to as the civil war for political correctness), but who are still dying today, because they are Igbo and they dared to stand out and demand equal treatment in Nigeria. Therefore, no matter how hard one tries, Biafra is not a phenomenon that can easily be erased out of the consciousness of Ndigbo, no matter the force applied.
The reality at the moment is that many wicked and selfish individuals have taken it upon themselves to play despicable games with the emotions of Ndigbo, manipulating them at every given turn. One of these individuals is Ralph Uwazuruike. He clearly understands this and he has sadly made himself relevant by weaving himself into the fabric of discussions on the Igbo question all through tricks and manipulations.
The sad part of the story is that today, Uwazuruike has gone haywire. He no longer hesitates to exploit the innocent and justifiable passion of Easterners to advance his own selfish economic, political, and social aspirations. Today, it is obvious to people that Uwazuruike does not believe in Biafra, nor was he ever genuinely interested in its actualisation. He has never been fully committed to fight to ensure that Igbo are elevated to have their rightful place in the Nigerian union. Endorsing a northern aspirant in Yahaya Bello after the declaration of at least ten people from the South East is the height of it. It is even more nauseating to even think that the beneficiary of the evil endorsement does not measure up to any of the aspirants from the South East in competence, character, and antecedents, so what could be Uwazuruike’s reason if not to sabotage the interests of the very people that he has ridden on their lacerated backs to become who he is today?
Over the last two decades, Uwazuruike led thousands of Igbos to their untimely deaths, destroyed businesses, rendered many incapacitated and homeless, while also receiving billions of Naira from gullible Igbos who were deceived into believing that he was a ‘Liberator’ of some sort for the Igbo race. Uwazuruike, who had nothing tangible to his name many years ago, now sits atop billions of naira worth of real estate across Nigeria and a fleet of cars without any tangible source of living aside from selling the Biafran franchise. As a lawyer, when was the last time Uwazuruike was ever sighted in a courtroom? It is sad, to say the least.
Make no mistake about it, Nigeria as presently constituted is practicing a democracy and every Nigerian citizen is free to exercise their political choices freely but then, it shouldn’t be an Uwazuruike who rose on the back of innocent Igbo youths whom he led to their untimely deaths and had made people believe that he is interested in Igbo’s political liberation. It shouldn’t be Uwazuruike, who has time and time again echoed the notion that Nigeria has expired.
In all honesty, Uwazuruike has lost that right to make political choices against the overriding interests and overwhelming sentiments of Ndigbo, and thus, there is a strong need to condemn him.
Ndigbo, it is time to wake up and say enough is enough to these merchants because when the highly revered Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu (Eze Igbo Gburugburu) used his family’s wealth, spent his youth and lost his blossoming career in the Army while fighting to protect the Igbos from unprovoked genocidal assaults which came from some roguish military and civilian murderers, he never, in his wildest imaginations, imagined that his legacies would be converted to a multi-billion dollar criminal venture, financed with the blood of innocent, genuinely patriotic and able-bodied Igbos who are being sent to their untimely graves everyday.
When our highly gifted scientists and technologists were turning scraps to explosives and turning raw crude to petrol under the harshest of conditions, and sacrificing their rare talents to the protection of their distant kith and kin, as long as they were Igbo, hardly did they know that some hooligans would rise up tomorrow to taunt their memories by hijacking this idea of freedom for personal gains.
When our uncles and fathers left their children and wives behind and took up cudgels and cutlasses to confront the well-armed Nigerian Army, just to stave off their assault and preserve whatever could remain of our beautiful land, they never knew that some criminals would ride to undeserved influence and affluence by desecrating the unknown graves of millions of our brothers who fell to the bullets and missiles, of our little sisters who starved to death, and of our mothers who were rapaciously raped and murdered. Exploiting these tragedies of history to fester their animalistic ego and build mansions and castles from blood money.
It is time to say enough is enough to these marauders and very emphatically too. Uwazurike and his likes can not continue to thrive here. Ala Igbo is screaming for redemption, restitution, and restoration.