The height of ethnic cleansing lasted decades against the indigenous Biafrans in Nigeria, and that is why agitation for freedom has continued to be at the front burner. There has been relentless provocation through series of genocides on the indigenous people by the host country (Nigeria), for merely demanding for the right to live and associate freely according to natural humanitarian laws and acts. The wanton Killing of Biafrans has continued unabated and unreported by various media houses paid off in their coverage of all the political and religious persecutions.
The recent abduction of thirty nine (39) Jewish worshippers in Obigbo, Rivers State, by the Nigerian military, is a total strangulation/ denial of freedom of association and worship and an act of callousiness, which threaten the peaceful co-existence of religious beliefs in the county. The gruesome massacre perpetrated against Obigbo indigenes and the demolition of Jewish worship places, kidnapping of the worshippers and being moved to an unknown destinations by the Nigerian government through the instrumentality of the tyrannical Governor of River State, Nyesom Wike, are yet ongoing.
It has come to public notice that all efforts towards the release of those in detention have proved abortive because the Nigerian government plans to execute them all both men, women and children abducted on that faithful day by the Nigerian Military. It has not happened anywhere in the world before except in Nigeria which claims to be a country with free reglious association entrenched in her constitution. This unfortunately was put together to kill citizens for their choices of religious beliefs or religious associations.
The essence of the killings and molestation may prompt one to question the need of a constitution or even the establishment of the courts. Can it be said that the worshippers who invariably are citizens, have no constitutional right to associate? Why are innocent men, women and children abducted and hidden in the Military barracks for secret execution? If these citizens are found guilty of crimes then they should be taken to the courts to prove their innocence and not to the military confinement camps with grave tortures and extermination plots.
This callous suppression and oppression of the indigenous people of Biafra must be rejected, questioned and condemned by men and women of goodwill, for every person has the right to live, right to freedom and association as lawfully written or embedded in the Nigerian Constitution. It is an inalienable right of all ethnic groups forcefully entrapped in Nigeria through the imposition of unsolicited and unconsented amalgamation of 1914, and not an exclusive benefit of the privileged.
Biafrans demand the right to govern themselves according to their own religious beliefs and cultural norms. The incessant brutality and oppression of the people’s way of life only serve as triggers for war. Jewish adherents have remained law abiding in Biafraland and must not be persecuted by the oppressive state of Nigeria because no one has the monopoly of violence. The world must understand that Biafrans crave for peace in an unjust society and have paid the ultimate prize for demanding to be free.
They have chosen the ultimate stand of freedom by demanding for referendum which is the right of every citizen to choose the society where he or she truly wants to belong. The continued silence of the United Nations and the International Community on the plight of Biafrans is unacceptable and pathetic. Again, is the United Nations oxymoron in handling the plight of Biafrans? The clock is really ticking for a time shall come when Biafrans will do the needful to justify the blood of their innocent fellows murdered unjustly, which can never ever be forgotten.
With the above acts of pointed out callousness, all ethnic groups entrapped within this geographical space called Nigeria must arise and collectively condemn this atrocious oppression, to avoid a repeat of the likes of Lekki Killings, which resulted to more silence killings of Biafrans, arrest of the people who participated or sponsored the #Endsars protest that went peacefully. All this menace, religious persecutions, strangulation and oppression of the masses by the Nigerian government across Biafraland must stop.
Written by Anioke Chukwunonso