By Ike A. Offor
The cake is enough for all of us, a statement credited to the former president, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo to the Biafran agitators, is not only a spit on the face of the Biafrans but a classical problem with the elites in Nigeria.
To the elites, Nigeria is indeed about ‘the national cake and sharing of the cake’. This is why the thought pattern since the discovery of oil was discovered has been to seat down in the seat of power and decide how the national cake should be portioned to whoever amongst themselves or whatever region within the country wrongly referred to as a federation.
This is why the unitary government system is desperately maintained by the elites to ensure that the status quo is kept intact for the sharing of the national cake.
What Obasanjo said is the classical expression of how the elites see the country, Nigeria, It is merely a cake that need to be shared from time to time, and reason why these elites are making sure the country do not transform to anything better than a contraption where collective cake is shared.
They are definitely not interested in governance or human rights and social development or myriads of other problems in the country. Do we still wonder why they are desperately against restructuring of the country?
Obasanjo at the conference marking the fifty years since the Biafran-Nigerian civil war ended, did not speak of the injustice, intimidation and marginalisation of the Biafrans and the entire region, which are the bane of the Biafra agitation. But he was interested in sharing of the giant national cake.
It is time to tell Obasanjo that the Biafrans are capable of baking their own cake, which they have done very well without the help of the federal government since the war ended. The Biafrans were not given, except very few lately oil blocks but many have created wealth on their own from their own sweat.
The Biafran man, was only given £20 irrepsective of whatever amount he had in his or her bank account prior to the civil war. They were desperately deprived, destitute and wholly impoverished. But they built from this destitution to a good place of economic success, without being part of the national cake sharing clique.
We expected the former president, who not only took part in this war but made decisions that saw the end of the war and was among those who enacted and signed the no victor no vanquish agreement that brought to the fore the 3Rs, reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, which were never fulfilled up till today. The Second Niger bridge is a stark reminder of the ugly injustice to the region among myriads of others.
He was expected to speak about correcting these wrongs done to the Biafrans, but he chose to cajole or make caricature of the Biafrans on the 50th anniversary of such ugly experience by speaking about sharing of national cake. What an audacity, which is the very same temerity exhibited by all leaders before and after him, which is why nothing has been done to address injustice done to the Biafrans.
This injustice, is what had irked Biafran youths that made them form MASSOB, BIM, BILLIE, IPOB to address the gross injustice, marginalisation, which is the main anger behind their agitation for the restoration of Biafra. If these youths felt part of the country, there wouldn’t have been need for them to agitate.