By Idoko Ainoko
One Emmanuel Ugwu wrote and published the article “Buhari, Buratai, and the Python Panacea” that has been published on several online platforms. Ugwu should be commended for this piece not because it was a work of art or some remarkable masterpiece but because in that single rant he was able to lay bare what ails the southeast of Nigeria. From this writer it became apparent that the problem of the Igbo nationality is that too many great minds from that ethnic stock have taken the concept of being gentlemen too far to an extent that they have handed their fate and that of the entire geo-political zone over to frothing rabid fellows like the writer and the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
The distortion of facts overseen by such characters take on an hallucinatory quality to an extent that one is constantly having to do double takes to be certain that one has either read or heard aright. While the lies, propaganda and fake news emanating from zealots like these have no impact on other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria it is alarming how the same hogwash is swallowed un-chewed by poorer strata of the southeast people, who have now been whipped into the kind of frenzy that makes group suicide not only possible but also easier to attain.
Ugwu apparently has issues with Operation Python Dance II. He did not say if the first version of that military exercise deprived him of revenue as a bandit or kidnapper, since the disruption of these evil enterprises were major achievements of that drill in 2016. But he vehemently made it known he is not a fan of the ongoing second edition of it. To him the operation is meant to defeat the “Biafra consciousness” even though he could not satisfactorily articulate how a defunct republic is in danger of being defeated.
He also posited that the southeast was a peaceful zone that didn’t require the emptying of the barracks to militarized. Could Ugwu be talking about a southeast that is different from the one where a teenage girl was caught with two human heads, different from one where worshippers where hastened by a hail of bullets to meet their creator during a Sunday church service, different from the one on which a priest was abducted and killed, different from the one where Kanu’s IPOB daily threatened to annihilate the rest of us, different from the one where a ragtag band of cutthroats outed themselves as members of the Biafra Secret Services?
When a group of apparently mentally challenged people announce the formation of their own armed forces and someone thinks it is unconstitutional to send another army to quell them then it is not those that formed the impostor armed forces that are in need of psychiatric intervention. It takes a supreme level of mental incapacitation to expect that the police would be sent in to quell an insurrection in which the insurgents have boasted of having nuclear weapons and their leader had vowed a two week timeline for over running the country.
And if anyone is in doubt as to what pushed Kanu to try burning the entire Igboland they need not look further than pseudo intellectuals and half baked analysts like Ugwu, who wallowed in the self deception that the army cannot use operation Python Dance II to get the Igbo heartland over a barrel. It may interest anyone with such shallow mindset that an enlarged support base for Kanu would make an already bad situation into a disaster, rendering the southeast into a wasteland that will not recover in the lifetime of the present generations. Nobody wants that.
The erroneous impression that the western countries would rush to the rescue cannot be more badly conceived. It will take at least six weeks before useful international discussion would take place if the IPOB terrorists were to be dealt with the way they deserve and it took less than three days for Kanu to become a fugitive despite his Shekau-quality rants. When the western countries do intervene, it would be to send some genetically modified grains and food items with spermicidal quality to guaranty people from that area no longer procreate to breed terrorists. The world is in unison when it comes to the realization that humanity does not need another terror group.
The insults heaped on President Buhari in the piece are consistent with the tempo set by Kanu, so that someone who should know better than the terrorist wrote in such fashion attests to the value they jointly share. It further gives credence to the stereotype held about the ability of a certain people to show respect and courtesy or otherwise. It is therefore pointless to take more out of that.
If it was pointless responding to the insults on President Buhari it becomes even less relevant to bother about the invectives poured of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai. Had he been inefficient then the IPOB terrorists would not have had any reason to be worried. They are bitter only because he maneuvers in a way that perplexed sponsors and IPOB foot soldiers alike.
It seems Ugwu has a morbid aversion for snakes, which is not surprising. Opposites attract while like polarizations repel so the one with the personality of a serpent becomes repulsed by snakes. Now that the writer has made his aversion known perhaps the operation cab be renamed Operation Lion Roar, Operation Eagle Flight, Operation Buffalo Gallops or Operation Snail Crawls so long as the objective of stopping a terror group in its cradle before it goes berserk is achieved.
The operation would rid the area of terrorists and the likes of Ugwu should rethink alluding to civilian casualty when the IPOB militants that got themselves killed had earlier vowed “Biafra or Death”. They should rather be asking why Kanu fled and left them behind as human shield or why Ugwu is hiding behind his keyboard and not joining on the battlefield. At least in this regard the writer was truthful: “Kanu was a source of bombast” so why and how did some people’s brain go mushy to the point where they commit suicide to please him?
It therefore fraudulent trying to sustain the lies of a collective hatred of the Igbos by other Nigerians, who had endured over 24 months of being called “animals” living in the “zoo” by Kanu, IPOB and the Ugwus of this country. The insults might have been tolerated but the nation would not brook the existence of a parallel army. It is called insurrection and countries of the world know how they deal with that.
Kanu and Ugwu, being children of anger, may not understand this just as they are ignorant of where to channel their angst. One of their own, Senator Ike Ekweremadu is effectively the professional chairman of successive constitution review committees in the National Assembly but has never thought it wise to include a clause for referendum in the recommendations to plenary yet he prances around allowing youths from his geopolitical zone to chase shadows. Kanu and his IPOB terrorists have never taken it upon themselves to ask him why he has not done the needful to set the legislative framework in place for the breakaway of Igboland from Nigeria. Ekweremadu even attended the meeting that proscribed the terror group and the terrorists saw no sin on his part. The governors in the zone are “sons of the soil” yet they have not done much to improve the life of their people, IPOB has no issues with this. The leadership of the southeast is the real snake oil and pro-Biafra separatists have nothing against swallowing that bunkum.
The larger population of Igbos, who are great people, should manage the rabble rousers among their people to a point where they will appreciate what the army is doing. Without Operation Python Dance II disparate Igbo groups would have turned on each other by now. The army is on ground to help and Igbos should support it to help stop the guaranteed self-destruction that separatist terrorists are resolute on inflicting.
Idoko, a public affairs commentator sent in this piece from Kaduna, Kaduna State.