Osinbajo was also a hero of Biafra at 50

By Editor on 01/06/2017

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Professor Wole Soyinka, in yet another intervention on the nation’s thorny political issues, warned last year that Nigerians must henceforth refrain from electing past military leaders as President.

If anybody understood the drift of the seasoned playwright, foremost activist and erudite statesman, the acuity of that profound statement, was further registered last Tuesday, May 30, during the Sit-at-home declaration to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Biafra, on the same day in 1967.

“I feel very passionate that it’s about time that we eliminated the last vestiges of military control, of military representation. It’s as if there are no brains outside the military,” Soyinka had said in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 1, 1016.

Soyinka did not stretch his thoughts further. But nobody needed go into the wilderness to search for further evidence that military men, especially the Nigerian variants, in governance are bad business, putting the outcome of Tuesday’s event into context.

Whirlwindnews.com, cannot pretend not to notice the import of an event of that colouration and magnitude ending without some sad stories. But most surprisingly and pleasantly too, there was no sound of gunshots anywhere in the country, let alone any record of injury or death.


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In fact, like many others, we could neither ignore the signals nor claim to be immune to the apprehension in the country; not with the noise emanating from reports of lorryloads ferrying military men and other hardware into the South East, prior to the event, which went viral on the social media. The eerie implication was everywhere.

To worsen the situation, the police came up with some totally needless, thoughtless and even infantile hot air against the event and its organisers, which instead of instilling the intended fear into the area, only seemed to inject more resolve and determination into the people.

Though till now, we have no evidence of any direct intervention by Acting President in calling the ostensibly bloodthirsty security operatives – military, police and even the Department of State Services (DSS) to order, yet it is clear that even if he did not do so directly, which is equally unlikely, it would have been a totally different kettle of fish if anybody was harmed during the event. It was clear that a Yemi Osinbajo, would not condone any needless violence on the polity. Everything about him said so, louder than words could convey.

Indeed, there is no doubt that the situation would have been different under President Muhammadu Buhari. The evidence of his pathological hatred for the word Biafra, and the penchant for the military to be averse to any sort of perceived challenge to their authority, could have emboldened some of the bloodhounds in the security apparatuses in the country to show a few examples of this aversion, even if it meant pulling people out from their homes.    

After all, did we not hear gory stories of how youths, wounded during street protests in the previous editions, were practically ferreted out and pulled from their hospital beds and summarily executed by the same security agents?

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Of course, the result after, had always been denials, altercations, and outright abuse by the operatives against the purveyors whenever such reports emerged, even in the face of verifiable evidence, all because they knew that the matter would not go farther than that.

Just like in the years of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, where people were massacred in their hundreds, from Odi in Bayelsa State to Zaki Biam in Benue State, apart from the apparently politically-motivated killings, Nigerians have virtually lost counts of deaths in the hands of security operatives under Buhari, from the Shi’ite killings in Kaduna to the Onitsha, Aba and Port Harcourt killings of youths protesting in support of Biafra.

Obviously, this could not have been anything less than a demonstrable evidence that as ex-military men, they must have probably seen so much blood in their careers that they have practically become benumbed, and developed scant regard for such a sight.

No doubt, that everything seems calm and quiet after the Biafran anniversary, last Tuesday, could naturally lead to the seducing temptation to gloss over the implications of this great feat. But we cannot fall to that enticement, knowing that people did not die could not be only because they elected to stay indoors.

After all, did some of the killings in the past, not take place inside churches and schools, the most unlikely of places, simply because there were clear intents to do harm?

Therefore we cannot shy away from acknowledging and even showering accolades on the Acting President, for his exemplary conduct. We also recall that this is not the first time he has shown what it really means to be a democrat. It is on record that he is the first Nigerian leader at that level to address protesters directly in the history of the country and did not question their rights to protest.

Even last week at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre during the 50th anniversary colloquium to mark the Biafran event, he had also made it clear about the right of Nigerians not only to protest, but even question their existence within the union.

What else could anybody ask to emphasise the direct essence of democracy? What else qualifies him to take his right place in that very edifying congress where democrats who play by the rule congregate?  

Nigeria can certainly do more with the positive vibes currently emitting from Yemi Osinbajo. He certainly shares in the heroism of the Biafran celebration.





Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on June, 1 2017

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