I pride myself on my ability to sniff out a great business opportunity. My father has called me an Igbo man more than once on account of my constant desire to make a dollar out of fifteen cents. But you know what I found out in the last couple of days? Abinibi is different from ability. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB and the renewed agitation for self-determination, has shown me that if e no be Panadol, e no fit be like Panadol. If you do not have that business savvy, you are just playing at being an Igbo man.
In the last week, news emerged that Nnamdi Kanu is set to announce ‘DAY OF RAGE’ where all Ndi Igbo will burn their INEC voter’s cards and Nigerian passports publicly. Uche-Mefor, the IPOB Deputy Director, also announced that Nigerian passports will be replaced with newly issued Biafran Passports.
I will get to the ridiculousness of issuing a diplomatic document for a non-existent entity presently. For now, I just want to talk about the business opportunity here! Could you imagine?! Thousands of new passports needing printing by a Biafran printer Mr Kanu must know quite well, ahem. Passport photographs, coated pages, printing, logistics…all for a passport that can’t take you out of Nnewi at the moment. Won-dah-fuu! Who knew there was so much commercial profit to be had in putting the cart before the horse?
Just goes to show: if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Some years back, Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of MASSOB who recruited Nnamdi Kanu decided to issue some illegal Biafran passports to his followers, making loads of money in the process. Here we go again: another acronym, another money-spinner.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is a staunch British citizen. He’s never so much as burnt a picture of a British passport. The IPOB second in command is currently based in the UK. Uche-Mefor also enjoys dual nationality with Great Britain. Many prominent IPOB leaders have EU nationality too. A lot of the Biafrans that will be most badly hit by this ill-considered idea wouldn’t know what a plane was if it slapped them upside the head. Their loss will not be in the inability to travel out of the country, but the burden of governors and leaders that they did not vote for.
Rochas Okorocha, Ikpeazu, Uguanyi and Obiano are no angels, but the populace voted for them. Imagine how much worse the lot of the common Igbo man will be when he gets a leader he did not vote for. Simply because he lost his ability to vote in a country he is STILL A PART OF!
Listen, you cannot be a Nigerian and try to travel on a Korean passport. Should Biafra become a dream realised, the Nigerian passport will be invalid for citizens of that land. At that point, burn it, drown it, fry it, trample it, draw a skirt on it and give it to your daughters to play with as dolls. That will be entirely your prerogative. But to deny yourself of a single, solitary right in a country like Nigeria, where even actualised rights are taken from you daily, is nothing short of foolhardy.
For those calling this a Machiavellian swoop; a boycott on a state election, I’m hoping they know that in order for a boycott to be successful, it has to be carried out by most if not all of the involved members, right? Otherwise, it’s just a case of “Some people did not vote.”
This boycott is already bound to fail for the simple reason that not every Igbo person is a Biafran, so there will still be voters. I imagine there will be plans for Biafran henchmen to thwart any voters, but I also imagine that the gubernatorial candidate with a lot to gain or lose from the outcome of the elections will meet force with brute force.
And if one candidate has just one vote more than the other, that candidate is the winner. An election is not null because you did not partake. You are not exempt from the whims and caprices of a leader simply because you did not vote for them or because you did not vote at all. And I cannot understand how people can be so filled with blind rage that they cannot see this.
Oh, and for the people who state that the boycott will lead to the international community sitting up and taking note of the Biafran struggle, I will have to ask that they turn on their TVs some time. Trump’s got a wall to build, and he has his hands full with firing everyone he appointed. We’re busy doing Brexit and elections here (yes, we held something, I think it was called A REFERENDUM or something… They take years to organise and one has to go through the proper channels, apparently). Syria has its own issues, the French and their young president are dealing with right wing protesters, and Italy is on the brink of recession. Yes, you guessed right, our girls couldn’t quite turn things around. Yemen is reeling after a cholera outbreak, and Putin is still being gangster in Russia. Believe me when I say that citizens of a state refusing to take part in their gubernatorial election…heck, I doubt it would even be covered by the state!
I believe the Biafrans should be entitled to their right to self-determination should they so wish it. But they have to understand that there are rules to this game and there are levels to this ish. They must understand that even if they get Biafra, they cannot physically move the newly-created entity away from the rest of Nigeria. Which means that they will be surrounded by people on every side that they have made enemies of. Some of them will still be living in a land run and owned by people they called beasts and zoo animals. And because ALL Nigerians are marginalised and frustrated by the inefficacy of our land, we will be unnecessarily petty and have a needlessly long memory.
Follow the process, be politically faultless in your execution, and create a strategy that the people can believe in. Everything else is noise that will get innocent people killed needlessly.
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