Last month, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives likened the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the dreaded Boko Haram terror group.
However, he later took back his statement.
But the reality is, the Speaker just dropped a bitter truth.
Each day that passes by, the Southeast region is descending into the level of the North East; with IPOB seemingly doing its best to outdo Boko Haram.
Indeed, on careful consideration, IPOB is similar to the Taliban in Afghanistan, except for the religious aspect. Between 2001 and 2021, the Taliban used every available option to foment chaos; ranging from suicide bombing, killings and others, until it took over Kabul.
Is IPOB not on the same path of the end justifying the means?
Are we still in any doubt as to the capacity of IPOB to wreak havoc?
Are we still going to pretend that unknown gunmen are the ones perpetrating the killings in the Southeast? Or maybe we will adopt the conspiracy theory that operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and herdsmen are the ones going about killing people and trying to frame the benevolent IPOB?
All denials are allowed.
We can even blame Lord Lugard, Queen Elizabeth, Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari. Why not. However, the heat of the carnage is getting everywhere, although, we can still forge ahead; but not by cowering away from the bitter truth.
That bitter truth is that IPOB is no different from the Taliban.
While the style and modus operandi may differ, the reality is that they both terrorize the people. In the aftermath of the ill-advised sit-at-home order, the Southeast is a place to carefully avoid. The impact of the order on the economy of the region will soon manifest. Also, the senseless loss of lives and properties is currently underreported.
In addition, the November 6th gubernatorial election in Anambra State is in the balance as violence is on the increase. The truth is, the recent killings are perhaps not all carried out by IPOB; but the group provided the ground and environment for insecurity to thrive.
While self-determination is a legitimate struggle, however, the people must be considered. Did the people of the Southeast agree to have a weekly sit-at-home? Or the planned state of Biafra will not consider democracy? Or it is not all about the greatest good for the greatest number?
The burning question is, what is the threshold? What is the limit? The gruesome murder of Chike Akunyili comes to mind. He is not the only victim. In the past couple of weeks, several others have been gruesomely executed in the East. What’s more, the governors of the region appear powerless and there appears to be no end in sight to the madness.
No doubt, the Biafra agitation is popular. But unfortunately, most people do not understand the cost is it going to take to actualize it. The death, destruction and other unplanned consequences. Also, those running the movement are not Mandela. Their strategies have been absolutely stupid.
As things stand, they are now losing popular support. The Federal Government (FG) appears to understand this and has left them to press the self-destruct button. It is no surprise that the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has sounded out the region on the option of a state of emergency.
The bitter truth is, this path will not yield the much-desired Biafra. It can only produce destruction. Soon, the FG will deploy troops to the region.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives resolved that the National Security Adviser, Babangana Monguno should deploy all necessary machinery to end the violence in Anambra. That resolution followed a motion by Rep. Chris Azubogu.
Even Obinna Chidoka, a pro-Biafra lawmaker joined in calling for drastic measures. Hon Chidoka’s elder brother, Osita Chidoka, drove the vehicle that transported Nnamdi Kanu from prison in 2017. While speaking on Azubogu’s motion, he called on the police to fight back.
Clashes between the army and agitators in the little Southeast will only lead to one outcome: destruction.
The strategy of IPOB is not working, or has rather failed, making them appear more and more like the Taliban.