After the order to Igbos to leave the north, then the apprehensions followed. The reactions are generally wild apprehensions. What might happen? Did they merely fly a kite to test the will and resolve of Igbos who believe in one Nigeria, or who may want to die for their property?
I don’t pray that the Igbos decide to defend their belongings and their rights in the north. I advise they evacuate the north and let the federal government go in to curb the excesses of the north, provided it can see the matter as such. The FG should recover Igbo belongings for them and avenge for the people who will be killed in the development.
Thus if the northern wishes were to be horses by October 1, 25 million Igbos living in northern Nigeria will be turned into internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees. Some will come out as corpses for sure. Automatically the north would become a rebel-held area and therefore an expanded war zone in attempt to force them to let others live amongst them and to be under the authority of Abuja in that regard. A shooting war must follow if they refuse. What happened in Biafra will repeat itself in the north. The order that Igbos leave the north is against the Nigerian Constitution and laws. It is meant to cause the disintegration of the country which the government has always fought tooth and nail to prevent.
In defense of Nigeria’s oneness which according to the Constitution must not be tampered with, el-Rufai, Kaduna State governor has ordered the arrest of those who issued the declaration giving the Igbos three months to leave. Days after, acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo also ordered the arrest of those same people. Whether or not that has been done or will be done is not known.
Boko haram which have been shooting and bombing for years to achieve a separate Islamic state in the north east corner Bornu will link up and widen the war with the federal government to make it more un-winnable. There will be many more displaced persons in the north itself who will not know where to run to any more.
There will be refugees in the south-west as well as the south-south, people running for dear life because of disturbances in the north and virtually everywhere. Bitterness will be so much that food from one area to the other will be suspect. This is a conflagration that will have many fronts. The question is if the federal government will be able to contain it in terms of logistics, cost, equipment and manpower, with its dwindling fiscal capacity. If care is not taken the ensuing civil war will be much larger and ferocious than the Nigeria-Biafra war. Its attendant humanitarian crisis will be as bad and surpass whatever the world had known before.
What I am looking at now is the capacity of anyone here to manage the looming chaos, anarchy, lawlessness and rebellion.
Going to war with the north will not be as easy as going to war with the east; whoever will prosecute it as president. The north is preponderant in number in all arms or agencies of government. There will be a problem of loyalty. If the northerners are being killed and defeated, their members in the military must revolt and go to the defense of their people. With this there will be no hope for federal victory to keep Nigeria one. If the federal government is beaten to it, Nigeria will be dissolved in a most chaotic manner never thought of. Being victors, the northern army will try to dictate what happens next and may march on the east in particular undeterred to defeat it as well and try to lord it over them. This will be a long lasting one that will take time to end. It will be like Israel not allowing a Palestinian state. The north would not militarily allow a Biafran state side by side of it. They will regard it as a slight that they could not decisively overwhelm the Igbos in Nigeria. The Igbos would not miss the chance to finally call the bluff of the north, provided the two sides will be left alone to slug it out. The north may feel their grouse with the Igbos is endless until they have thought them a lesson. They want to subdue them in the final analysis if it is possible.
Rather than kill the northerners in an imbroglio like this, the present leaders will be willing to sacrifice one Nigeria. Let’s watch and see.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed. I am writing as a concerned Igbo man. A fowl whose chick the kite has snatched shouts, not for the kite to let go but to be heard. If she is heard, a lot more things can happen: other fowls can be at alert and on the watch out. People may join to howl on the kite which may out of fear let go what it has. The hunter nearby may assist by releasing a shot. The kite will know that raiding that area is not without risk. It would try elsewhere. The predator will respect the fowl and the area another time. It now knows she can put up a fight.
I don’t like the attitude that the northern ultimatum is an idle talk. Rather I think it was seriously meant and should be complied with to avoid violent mass ejection that may be resisted. And if that happens, federal forces would move in to separate two fighting. By this scenario, the north will no longer be the law- breakers. The table could be turned against the Easterners who refused to go only to remain to cause trouble. The military could then join to hound them and to do away with them. By then the defense of the Igbos in the north will be impossible. Subduing them in the north will be very easy.
But if the Igbos evacuate, the north will be isolated and render themselves subject to law enforcement. Telling Igbos to leave the north hands Biafra to them on a platter of gold. In between the two is blood like a river that can only be prevented by human sagacity of unusual measure.
Yet this writer has a stand. I am not neutral. The dislocation breakup will introduce in Nigeria is un- imaginable. Can this be avoided? Please do. But in its place must be peace. If we can have peace through separation and breakup, let’s have it. The two options must be approached with open mind. I don’t know which is better. I was being won over to Nigeria. But I am disappointed. The north of Nigeria has suddenly rejected a united Nigeria too. It decided to walk the Igbos out. One day it will walk another group out too. So the unity of Nigeria has crumbled. There is nobody to defend the cause again. The match is nearly over. It will soon be home ball. We are in injury time in the next 3 months. But let it end in the safety of referee, linesmen, the players and of course us, the innocent spectators. No fighting, sir.