A phenomenon that has continued to baffle objective watchers of the separatist hatred flowing from Igboland is the extent to which some youths from the area have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to extents where many of them readily chant “give us (the defunct republic of) Biafra or death”. That sense of perplexed has however possibly been resolved with the International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety) coming out with its opus on “Why Igbos don’t trust the Army”.
In the said position, Intersociety delivered a blend of fears, fiction and outright lies in a manner that suggests the intent was never to inform but to confuse the unwary as part of a larger psychological conditioning to see the Nigerian Army as evil and by extension conclude that Nigeria is a country that has no business being in existence on account of having short changed the Igbo. Fortunately, while the information dished out might have set out to damage others, its ultimate achievement was outing Intersociety as the NGO arm of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB that the court recently ordered to be a terrorist group.
Attempting to make the characters behind Intersociety see reason is similar to holding a shouting match with a deaf-mute. Not much is to be gained in attempting to recommend fact-based reasoning to a group of ethnic jingoists that are far gone to an extent where they believe in their own lies and apply them as standards by which they hold others to account. They simply cannot see beyond the limited vision permitted them by the fog of hatred in which they have obscured themselves.
For instance, Intersociety has issues, serious issues with the Arabic inscription on the logo of the Nigerian Army. It concluded that it is this strange and foreign language that was responsible for troops containing Igbo and English-speaking terrorists. By its warped logic, the Army would possibly have allowed IPoB terrorists to continue with their sick plot to destroy Nigeria if its logo had English inscription. Had Intersociety chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Head, Democracy & Good Governance; and Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law bothered to pay attention while in school to truly obtain the education they paid for they would have researched to know that the inscription they dread so much translates into “Victory is from God alone”. They would have also had the initiative to commission their own version of the logo with “Nmeri sitere n’aka Chineke” inscribed where the offensive script exisits.
In case these rabble rousers have forgotten, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika as former Chief of Army Staff under a “Christian” then President Goodluck Jonathan did nothing to change the Arabic script, which Intersociety also conveniently failed to draw their attention to. By the way, it is comical that the sponsors of Intersociety have nothing against stealing and financing the group with naira notes that have inscriptions with the same scripts.
As for the ridiculous, IPoB’s NGO arm has issues with the senior hierarchy of the Armed Forces being Muslims and one wonders whether people deserving their meritorious promotions should be denied what they have laboured for simply on account of being from a particular ethnic stock or religious bent. Who is to be blamed if a particular section of the country prefers academic pursuit, business pursuit, or career progression while others similarly opt for their own preferences. Again, when Ihejirika held sway why did this manner of complain not come from Intersociety.
In Intersociety’s reckoning, the Nigerian Army engaged in “mass killing” of “Igbo Ethnic Nationality stock”. It went further to mislead with the claim that “not less than 400 unarmed and defenseless citizens dominated by the active population of the Igbo ethnic nationality have been shot and killed by the Nigerian army; between 30th of August 2015 and 14th of September 2017”. Interestingly, the same organization had accused the Army of killing 348 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria late 2015, which means that the Igbo share of the “400 unarmed” is less than 52 or that Intersociety is now admitting that the IMN members it once defended were armed. Alternatively, it could also imply that this gang of ethnic jingoists considers 52 to be a majority when dealing with a figure like 400, which would go a long way to provide clarity on the kind of perverted ideology driving IPoB’s Biafra agitation.
Moving to the laughable, Intersociety was bereft sufficiently to refer to that terrorist on the run as “Citizen Nnamdi Kanu”. How can this group force a citizenship their boss has openly repudiated on him? Kanu has declared that he is not a citizen of Nigeria and that Nigeria is a zoo populated by animals. Why would intersociety then refer to their boss and client-in-chief as an animal by identifying him as “Citizen Nnamdi Kanu” except they meant that in the context of Biafra.
The organization must be commended for coming up with the insane on its long list of demented reasoning. To Intersociety, “Nigerian Army may have further designed infanticide by injection or ethnic cleansing”. They had initially blamed suspected cases of Monkey Pox on the Army’s medical outreach in the course of Operation Python Dance II but have become less strident on that with the patients being discovered in other geo-political zones where there are no military operations. This has however not stopped them from circulating messages meant to incite by claiming the military is vaccinating children with killer viruses.
This position is the clearest example yet that a lot of those taking the pro-Biafra stance could benefit from timely psychiatric intervention given the fact they now constitute dangers not just to themselves but to hapless minors, whose only crime would be being born to a given ethnic group. The lie about killer army vaccine or injection might have serve the immediate goal of demonizing the Army but long term, brainwashed and indoctrinated parents would refuse vaccinating their children since some only have access to federal government inoculators. The southeast states must brace up for an epidemic of preventable childhood killer diseases unless they can immediately do enough to stop dangerous groups like Intersociety from indoctrinating people.
A final parting word for Intersociety and the goons running it: trend in recent times clearly indicate that every single strategy evolved in the current bid to revive the mothballed Biafra gig usually work short term only to spectacularly backfire on those implementing such strategy. Drafting IPoB’s NGO wing into the fray would end up in similar fashion as the deployment of hate speech, threats and intimidation, Biafra Secret Service, lying to international organizations and blackmailing political office holders. At the end, it is the will of the true Igbo sons and daughters that will prevail and such people have made it clear that they want no part in the kind of hatred being sown by Intersociety.
Ibekwe is a public affairs commentator and contributed this piece from Enugu, Enugu State.