If there was ever any doubt as to the efficacy of IPOB’s sit-at-home order, as a peaceful but powerful means of political protest and defiance, that doubt was effectively erased by the September 9th sit-at-home protest not only by the people of Imo State but other parts of the SE. I must heartily congratulate the people of Imo State, IPOB, and the entire people of the Land of the Rising Sun for speaking out in one powerful voice against the obdurate, autocratic, nepotistic, corrupt, and incompetent misleader residing in Aso Rock. The empty streets of Imo State were, indeed, a resounding victory over Buhari and his political stooge, Uzodinjo. It was an eloquent statement of how ineffectual their leadership is. The people of Imo State, under the direction of IPOB, turned their streets into graveyards and in that way, they silently but powerfully reminded Buhari that leaders and rulers can only lead or rule over people who are alive and thriving. Buhari and his Supreme Court Governor, Uzodinjo, needed to be reminded of this simple truth given that Buhari had unleashed his hound dogs against the people of Imo State and the entire Biafra land with the sole intent of depopulating that region. Thursday, September 9th marked an important day for IPOB following the heavy psychological blow it dealt to Buhari and to all the SE politicians who have continued to sell their miserable souls to the devil for a plate of stale fetid porridge. No blow is as powerful as one dealt to a man’s ego. Buhari will not forget this humiliation for the rest of his life. And typical of him, his implacable hate for Ndigbo and his unbridled thirst for vengeance against Ndigbo would have quadrupled following his humiliation. The empty streets of Imo State made the security hunt dogs ridiculous with their arsenal of weapons and security gadgets deployed against feared attacks against Buhari. They must have gone home deflated since they were unable to quench their murderous bloodthirsty appetite given that not even a single stray dog or cat was on the streets for them to murder.
While IPOB and the rest of Biafrans celebrate the psychological defeat and humiliation of General Buhari, I would like to remind the leadership of IPOB of the enormous task that lies on its shoulder. Accept it or not, IPOB has positioned itself as the legitimate voice that articulates the pains, anguish, hopes, and aspirations of the people of Biafra. This is irrespective of whatever lapses that one may find in their modus operandi. There is no single group, not even Ohaneze, that commands the attention and allegiance that IPOB commands. The political rulers in Igboland are nothing but castrated eunuchs as far as the affairs of Ndigbo are concerned. They are nothing but houseboys and sellouts. IPOB may not speak for every single Igbo man or woman, it nevertheless speaks for millions of Igbos both within and outside of Biafra land. This imposes an enormous responsibility upon the leadership of IPOB. It is to this responsibility that I am calling the attention of the leadership of IPOB.
It is important that the leadership of IPOB goes the extra mile to ensure that it continues to maintain the goodwill it enjoys among the average Ndigbo. It is this goodwill that is largely responsible for the success of the sit-at-home orders. This goodwill should be continually cultivated and promoted through improved and more efficient public relations devoid of any form of propaganda. It must continually build its case for the Biafra cause by properly enlightening the people. To attain this, the IPOB needs to create a strong intellectual wing that can effectively present its case to the rest of the world.
Having established the sit-at-home protest as a powerful and peaceful means of expressing its dissent and opposition to the maladministration of General Buhari, the leadership of IPOB must ensure that this powerful tool is not trivialized or abused. If IPOB allows this to happen, it will end up weakening and even destroying this important tool that has so far successfully galvanized Ndigbo. A powerful tool is not to be used frequently and indiscriminately. It is essential, therefore, that outside the Monday sit-at-homes, any other call for sit-at-home should be targeted and far apart. The Thursday sit-at-home is a good example of a targeted sit-at-home order. I would like to suggest that anytime a targeted sit-at-home is to be observed, the regular Monday sit-at-home for that week should be suspended. For instance, on the next trial date of Nnamdi Kanu, the sit-at-home should be observed on the day of the week it falls, and the regular Monday sit-at-home suspended, that is, if the trial does not fall on a Monday. As I said, it is crucial that an important tool is not used too frequently if it is to maintain its efficacy and it is also even more important that it does not constitute a needless burden or nuisance to the people.
To further increase the effectiveness of the sit-at-home protest as a tool of peaceful protest, IPOB should do all within its ability to also get Igbo businessmen and women in the rest of the country to key into this. I think it would make a much greater impact if all the major markets in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, etc. join the sit-at-home protest until serious attention is given to the Igbo question. Unless we make our voices heard clearly and loudly, no one will ever take us seriously. The economic advantages we think we presently have can only be guaranteed if our survival and dignity as a people are first and foremost secured. Buhari and the lopsided political system are a serious threat to the survival and dignity of the Igbo people. And unless we address this, we may end up even losing whatever economic edge we may have.
Finally, IPOB needs to articulate a peaceful action plan against the political leadership in Igboland. Almost all successive governments in the SE have shown not only to be grossly inept but are willing political stooges that undermine the interest of Igboland. There must be a way of getting these political house boys to understand that they cannot continue to ride Anigbo roughshod. Had Ndigbo collectively opposed the imposition of Uzodinjo on Imo State, a repeat will never take place? But having successfully imposed him on the people of Imo State with little or no resistance, what is to say that such will not happen in Anambra in the coming months. And should it happen, do we have any strategic plan for resisting that?
In conclusion, while acknowledging that Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB may not have done everything perfectly, I still respect them for the courage they have displayed in serving as a rallying point for Ndigbo where every other institution has failed. They have helped bolster the Igbo collective spirit; hence, I have no qualms expressing my sympathies and support for IPOB. I owe no one any apologies for that. To critics of IPOB I have just one answer, namely, provide a better and superior platform that will articulate the Igbo cause. One does not need a good deal of intelligence to come up with a long list of criticisms, but it takes some level of intelligence and courage to articulate a cause and stand by it. Let those who have become experts in anti-IPOB rhetoric expend their energy and time in offering a much better platform that will make IPOB irrelevant.
©️ Rev. Fr. ChukwuEmekalum Nwosuh, OP
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