We know who we are. We know we were people living together in peace and harmony before the British came to mess things up. Before the British cobbled together this contraption that expired in 2014, we were Biafrans, and we knew it.
This is why in the profile of Presbyterian Church, you will read this: “Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell, arrived Calabar where they set up the first congregation of what is now known as The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. From Calabar, the Church began to grow.
“In 1858, it was constituted as the Presbytery of Biafra. This Presbytery of Biafra metamorphosed into the Presbyterian Synod of Biafra in 1921. The Church continued to witness remarkable growth until 1945, when the Presbyterian Church of Biafra was constituted, with the Synod as its highest court. In the same year, the white missionaries handed over the Church administration to Nigerians. The Presbyterian Church of Biafra became the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Nigeria in 1952.”
We knew we were Biafrans, even before the Europeans came to our part of the world. That was why when the time came for our people to leave the evil contraption that Britain created, Frank Opigo, former Principal of Okrika High School, who hails from Oporoma in Bayelsa State, did not mince words. He said to His Excellency, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, “We are Biafrans, our name is Biafra”.
So we are Biafrans, and we know how we worked together in peace, harmony and respect for one another; how, though living apart as separate peoples, we confederated with love and understanding; how without Police or Army, we maintained a sane society; and how we did not go to war with each other, just to conquer ourselves and establish empires out of one another. We know we are Biafrans because after seeing the complex but seamless societies we ran, the British describe us as the “Great” people of Biafra in the treaty they signed with leaders of Biafra and Itshekiri.
The above historical account is the major reason why we will no longer be deceived by divide-and-rule. This is why any attack on Ijaw is an attack on Biafra, and so we will do everything to defend Ijaw land. We will no longer be divided again to be conquered.
Buhari and his agents have been threatening Ijaw people, looking for reasons to apprehend Government Ekpemokpolo (popularly known as Tompolo) together with his colleagues, claiming they were the ones that bombed oil pipelines in Bayelsa State. This is in spite of the fact that Tompolo and his colleagues have, severally, distanced themselves from the bombing. But Buhari and his henchmen have been trying to hang it on them just to gain enough reason to arrest them and destroy their communities.
In addition to that, Buhari and his henchmen are threatening Ijaw elders, telling them to apprehend and hand over Tompolo , as well as those who bombed the pipelines to them or face arrest. But we ask, when did Nigerian government threaten Northern leaders and told them to hand over to them Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, and members of his daredevil Islamist group.
Shekau and his Boko Haram have murdered thousands in cold blood, bombed United Nations office; bombed Police Headquarters, churches, market places, motor parks; mosques and even media houses. Nigerian government had never at any time told Northern leaders to produce him or any of his partners in crime, or be arrested. Why then is it asking Biafran leaders in Bayelsa State to do so?
If the Nigerian state, with all the men and arms at its disposals, could not apprehend pipeline vandals, how does it expect wizened old men to apprehend them, with bare hands?
We even heard that one of the school drop-outs – made to join the military in the past – retired Colonel Sabo Hassan, was urging the government to give the Bayelsa community the Odi treatment. Odi, in Bayelsa State was the town where former president Olusegun Obasanjo, sent soldiers to go kill everybody seen in the town, and to pull down every structure they could find. In the final analysis, massive genocide was committed against the people. This is what the drunken Hassan was advocating for communities around where pipelines were bombed.
Biafrans are assuring the likes of blood-thirsty Hassan that it is no longer going to be business as usual. This time around Biafrans are together, hand in hand. Pain on one is pain on all. Attack on Ijaw; Ibibio; Igala; Ibo; Idoma; Efik; Ogoja; et all, is an attack on Biafra. We will stand to defend ourselves. Oppressors should know it that we stand together, and we will fight together.
By Time Tochukwu