Wednesday, September 14, 2016 9:30 am
By Igbonekwu Ogazimora
“Tell your colleagues agitating for Biafra that they are going nowhere…” President Buhari reportedly told startled Corps Members in Daura.
The ways of jokes of Nigerian leaders:
First, I must say, Your Excellency, Sir, your conclusion that Nigeria is big enough for all of us, and if any person makes honest efforts, he would earn adequate living, is sound. However, same is not the case with a part of your premise that you trekked from Degema to some border towns with Cameroun, an ugly course that witnessed the death of over 2 million souls on both sides.
As a soldier, you were bound to trek, on orders, even against your will. And that you suffered for 30 months, fighting for the unity of Nigeria, is no guarantee that the foundation was properly laid or that a proper foundation may not have been assailed by defective building processes.
This premise looks so much like the previously oft-repeated threat that Nigerian unity is non-negotiable. I have never heard any word more arrogantly shouted across as this.
And what makes it more stunning is that it is often said by the same generation of men who saw the war, saw the tenacity of even the most unarmed man, the determination to press a point, the refusal to be cowed by superior armament and hunger, and the capacity to call the bluff no matter the odd.
Eact time I heard this, I wondered if this was like sticking out the tongue as in taunting, or mere joke made to impress or comfort troops who formed the bulk of the marching “fighters”. What I was sure was that it never really impressed the real people who were bombarded, killed in their thousands, and perhaps, whose children or grand children stood there in Daura, watching the retired gangling General, snarl across as if he had returned to his military command post.
Immediately I read the report, I wondered what IBB or Gowon would have said if they faced the corpers, having the same message in mind. They would not have said it the way of threat as Buhari did. IBB would have joked his way through. Gowon would have soberly said it the other way, pretending as usual that he utterly regretted the deaths.
TY Danjuma and IBM Haruna? It would been like a combat zone.
“You, Heeboo, you too, all Heeboo,
“move to the other side.
“Tell your parents, brothers and sisters that we are turning our Tiv infantry on them soon.
” Just count yourselves lucky that my pistol has not been serviced!”
OBJ would have been milder but very close to PMB.
Abdulsalami Abubakar? Do not ask me how he would have said it. I don’t know!
General Ike Nwachukwu?
“Try to live in peace as we have laid an excellent foundation for you all.
“In the war, we moved peacefully,
“Even as we left Benin, through Asaba to Onitsha,
“We made no contact with human beings,
“We did not even meet lizards on the way.
“As Military Governor of old Imo State, I paid your parents half salary,
“That is the popular Imo Formula”
General Oladipo Diya?
“We did not fight the civil war to hand over Nigeria to the Ibos”.
General Jerry Useni?
“Nigeria is for all of us,
“More especially the women folk,
“Who will all meet with me for special empowerment,
To continue their good works on Nigeria unity.”
Barka da Sallah!