Exclusive special report for USAfrica & USAfricaonline.com
By JANE ONYINYE IKEZI, Esq.
First, there is an ongoing crime against humanity occurring in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has shown a reckless disregard for human lives, particularly the lives of the indigenous people of Biafra.
Second, since 1967, the Nigerian governments — especially the current one led by retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari — do not regard us [the Igbo/Biafrans] as equals or treat us as equal citizens of Nigeria, by their actions to date, they have shown that they do not consider us part of Nigeria. Hence, we are not “One Nigeria” as they would like the rest of the world to believe.
Consequently, on Tuesday, 19th of September 2017, in New York City, I joined a big rally, a peaceful protest, at the United Nations Headquarters, during the 72nd General Assembly of the U.N.
The main reason for the protest? Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari whose soldiers brutally killed young, unarmed Igbo/Biafrans/christians in several cities was scheduled to speak at the U.N. The rally successfully highlighted and condemned the massacres and outright human rights violations occurring continuously in Nigeria, against the indigenous people of Biafra, and others
Our brothers and sisters across the world joined us in solidarity to raise their voices in rallies in London, Houston and elsewhere. I was very proud to see that the attendance was overwhelming. That is the true spirit of Biafra. Everyone came in the spirit of brotherhood.
Most carried Biafran flags and placards, exhibiting slogans such as: “We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains,” “Buhari Let the Youths Prosper,” “Stop the Genocide Against the Igbo people of South Eastern Nigeria,” “Biafra, Land of the Rising Sun” and a myriad of other catchy slogans. I displayed a two-sided placard stating on each side, “ONE NIGERIA is an ILLUSION!!! 100 YEARS EXPERIMENT IS OVER!!! FREE BIAFRA!!” and “DESTINY MAY BE DELAYED BUT NEVER DENIED!! ON BIAFRA WE STAND!!”
Despite the rain, people came en masse to support the cause. The solidarity displayed by the indigenous people of Biafra at the rally, created an atmosphere of hope. Some people came from different states. I was greeted by a very young man at the rally who traveled as far as North Carolina for the sole purpose of attending this rally. We were all there in one spirit, under one umbrella. It was a sight to behold.
The Nigerian government cannot silence us with intimidation or purchase us with amnesty. We are close to the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra. We are freedom fighters and our only weapon of choice are our voices and the songs of sorrow from our ancestors to God. These songs could be heard from the voices of fellow Biafrans at the rally, as they sang in unison to Igbo tunes, in their call for self-determination and an end to genocide.
It is said that history is written by the victors and as it were, the Nigerian government not only erased the Bight of Biafra from its map, but from its curricula and from the story of Nigeria. Destiny may be delayed but it can never be denied. Our time has come and we appeal to the International Community and the United Nations, as its representative, to do what is right for the indigenous people of Biafra.
We have the right to self-determination. Only then, can we begin to heal as a people. Only then, will there be a rapprochement. •Ms. Ikezi, attorney-at-law in New York, is an analyst for USAfricaonline.com