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Nigeria, Biafra, & Niger-Delta: The Purpose of War
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
August 31, 2008

 

 

Many people run and hide when they hear the word “war”.  They feel war means death, violent, destruction, human displacement, widows and orphans, or becoming the slave or the lower class to the victor.  They fail to see that war in the long run may actually be peace, prosperity, and happiness.  According to the Webster dictionary, war could also be a state of hostility, conflict, antagonism, or struggle between opposing forces towards a particular end.  This means that war is not necessary bombs and machines guns, or death and destruction, but it is actually the will to achieve a particular goal for self, family, community, or nation.  If this is so, then war is actually a blessing not a curse.   

 

War therefore, symbolisms the courage, sacrifice, and determination a person or a community is willing to put forth for the economic, political, and social betterment of the society at large.  It is the willingness and the ability of an individual or a group to wage war for the progress of their descendants that increases their relevance, respect, and status even by the standard of others.  War is a state and not a permanent activity to yield a certain result.  We are always at war either with our siblings, coworkers, spouses, children, or extended family.  War may be violent or bloody, if it gets that far, but it is usually and ultimately a battle of wills.  The victor is usually the most prepared and the most determined, and not necessarily the most right or moral.  Nature and God only intervenes after the victor’s established system, which was built on a wrong foundation, eventually wears itself out.   

Contrarily to Christian expectation, I actually believe that the Prophet of the Koran was a prophet of God and I proved it in my book titled “The Political and Spiritual Purpose of the Holy Land” even with Biblical principles.  I appreciate how he used war to bring change and progress to his people, and how till this day, millions of people of non-Arab descent still bring political and economic relevance to Arab lands.  My only concern is how the African Muslims use his teachings to promote Arab interest on African soil instead of using it to enhance indigenous African culture and history economically and politically.  One of the Arab/Kurdish Caliphate I will forever respect and appreciate is Saladin.  He did not only understand the value and purpose for war, he also knew how to undermine the strength of his opponent for the betterment of his people.   

Just 88 years after Europe took control of the Jerusalem region (current Israel or Palestine); Saladin came from the north of Iraq and marched through most of Arabia towards Jerusalem.  He did not have trained fighters.  He recruited farmers and shepherds along the way and trained them to fight.  All he counted on was the Arab will to confront and chase out the European settlers for the sake of their God, their culture, and the happiness of their children.  King Richard I of England, who lead the European Crusade to keep the Holy Land, had the Knight Templar (experience fighters), naval boats (to transports fighters from one battle front to another for surprise attacks), and technology (more advance swords, spears, and shield), but still lost the battle to Saladin.  Yes, there was some violence, and victory went back and forth in terms of captured cities, but the real victory was a psychological one.  King Richard I soon realized that he did not have the population to maintain possession of the land and the resources to transfer fighters between Europe and the Holy Land.  So the Europeans packed up and left.  This ended what we call the Crusades.   

  The Political & Spiritual Purpose of the Holy Land
 
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According to the book titled “The Political and Spiritual Purpose of the Holy Land”, Jesus, an African Israelite and a direct descendant of the original Canaan (Palestine), despite the fact that his ancestor - Abraham originally was a Semite (African/Arab lineage, not European Jew), was a man that fought wars with two nations at the same time.  He waged a political war against the Roman Empire and waged an economic and cultural war against the Jews.  Many Christians choose to see Jesus as a spiritual being and this is because in his last three years, he showed that complete spirituality with God is a stable and viable economy, politics, and social order.  Against the Jews, he healed people on a Sabbath day because people deserved to be free and happy at any and all times.   Unlike majority of the Jews, he learned to read and write in Egypt, and even went up to the temple to preach and read to the people.  Only the Jewish authority could read, write, and preach, but Jesus showed that knowledge and the expression of it was true power and freedom.  Despite the fact that he came from Nazareth, one of the most inferior places in old Israel, he taught the people never to owe or be in debt to anyone, including the almighty Romans by saying that any coin with the inspiration of Caesar must be given to Caesar.  He also made them reason about why they were using Caesar’s coins on Jewish soil.  While many Jews discriminated against non-Jews, Jesus challenged the people to be so proud of their culture and ways of life by taking it to the ends of the earth, which meant to embrace all peoples.  Most importantly, He taught the people to rise above oppression and conquer fear with the courage of love.  He taught that when an oppressor demands your coat that you must give him your scarf as well.  This means that it is not the fear of his strength that made you comply to his wishes, but the courage to disobey even in the supposed state of powerlessness.   You gave, but not what he wanted and his power will be taken from him.  This is the original civil disobedience. 

Against the Romans and their Empire, Jesus basically ignored them.  It was like they did not even exist to him.  The best way to treat a bully is not to give him any attention.  Through out the Biblical account of Jesus, he almost never mentioned them in his teachings or in his parables.  It was the Roman officials that came to him for healing or ideas, and when he advised them, he responded from his cultural and social concepts, which were supposed to be inferior to Roman ways (A follower of God cherishes his culture and history).  Jesus bore his name, he spoke his language, wore his traditional attire, observed his tradition except the ones that needed modification, he ate his food, he brought peace and happiness to his people, and told people who he was.  He never adopted the colonized ways of the Romans.  This is what it is to be true to your God and self.  He was free and independent because he used everything God had given him to bless and prosper himself and his community.  He even went as far as telling the Roman Governor during the trial for his death that the Governor had no power over him.  If Jesus had begged, he may have lived, but even in death he was still free and independent for the progress of his community and followers.  Just about 250 years after Jesus’ death, the entire Roman Empire, including the Emperor,  became followers of Jesus, and today, it is the followers of Jesus that are helping Israel to get its land back.  But how does this war issue relate to Biafra and the Niger-Delta in Nigeria? 

So far, war is simply a state of disobedience to a certain circumstance or order that is against the progress or prosperity of an individual or people which may lead to violence and death, but is ultimately the will to see a better tomorrow.  I was asked by my Cultural Anthropology professor in 1997 to specifically do a research on the Nigerian Civil War and give a presentation to the class on it.  Up till that point, all I knew about the war was that the Igbos wanted to break away from Nigeria and Nigeria won the war.   After doing my research, I must thank and congratulate the Igbos for been courageous and determined enough to wage a war that was necessary for their future happiness against all odds.  There is nothing wrong with a people standing up against what they consider as oppression.  The only problem I had with the Igbos that caused them the war was that they were greedy and selfish in their implementation.  Nigeria was supposed to get independence around 1957, but the British wanted to give power to an illiterate North that they could manipulate at will from England.  The British made sure that by 1960, the less sophisticated Northerners, who could not challenge or oppose them mentally got more than majority of the power in all level of government.  After the British left, the Northerners, like they still do, continued British rule and it was not to the benefit of the Nigerian nation.  The North ruled for the North and their colonial masters - Britain.  This made the Igbos and many Nigerians upset.  The Igbo soldier in 1966 took it upon themselves to get rid of the Northern leaders, and I believe a few Yoruba and Igbo leaders (who had little power if any at all).   

 

The Igbos wanted to replace the colonial Northern rule that still exist to the day with a leadership for the Nigeria people without British influence, but the North was already angry by then and started killing igbos in the North and all over.  The Igbos could not take it any more so they declared their independence within a year.  What the Igbos did by trying to correct a British – Northern established government was right, along with their declaration of independence, but their implementation was wrong.  The Igbos, maybe out of greed, fear, or selfishness, started invading their neighbors, killing them, and taking their cities.  I guess they felt that the more land they could control, the weaker the powerful North will be.  The Igbos went through Bendel (Edo and Delta) and reached (or almost reached) Lagos in the far west, when the Nigeria military started beating them back.  By the Igbos invading their neighbors, they turned a godly war even by the standard of the Koran into a situation of distrust.  Neighbors that would have stood for and by them because the Igbo cause was justified began to see the Nigerian military as their liberators.  If the Igbos could hold the Nigerian military with all their less sophisticated weapons for 3 years without support form their neighbors, then they would have succeeded if only they declared independence and defended their ONLY land.  The Igbos ultimately lost because their neighbors and military cut off their food supply.  If the Igbos had not invaded their neighbors, the rest would have ultimately declared independence as well because the North always had nothing to offer till this day except military coups, Islam, and a broken economy.  This is the only reason the British made sure they handed Nigerian power to the Northerners.  The rest of Nigeria had to choose between a better Nigeria for all tomorrow and a new Igbo rule, so they chose the former. 

The Niger-Delta must learn the act of war from Saladin, Jesus, and Biafra.  You do not need to take permission or make deals with your oppressor to be free and happy.  If you want the oil companies out of your land, send their workers out and shut the plants down totally without negotiations.  If you are unhappy with the way Nigeria is accounting for your oil and the revenue percentage you are getting, shut the oil plants down completely.  No drilling, no demands, no negotiations whatsoever.  If you want to declare independence from Nigeria because you feel you can govern yourself better, like Ukraine from Soviet Union, go ahead and declare it.  If you feel that it is necessary to start electing your own presidents and governors without Nigerian interference, then go ahead.  Niger-Delta must be prepared for Nigerian resistance because it is natural.  We produce over 90% of Nigerian revenue, so the will want to fight for it.  The Niger-Delta should be prepared for war even if it has to become violent, or accept their position of being the slaves and prostitutes for the British influenced WAZOBIA system of Nigeria.  Even in heaven, God and Angel Michael fought a war against Lucifer and his evil angels.  In the news, you will hear that Niger-Delta demand this and demand that before they will release hostages.  You will read that the Niger-Delta war leader was arrested on his way to have a meeting with Obasanjo in Abuja.  Only Black people will do such a thing, not Europeans and Arabs, and that is why they rule the world.  What is your business with Abuja and hostages?  If the hostages do not run out, then they may be removed permanently.  Is Abuja the oil plant you should be blowing up?  Is it not better to have no oil plant and be free than to be the slave because you have oil?  War is good only if it is well implemented for a just cause.  A Niger-Delta war will be a godly and justified war only if the people have the courage and will to declare independence and die for the freedom and happiness of their children against Northern or WAZOBIA rule of Nigeria. 

Reference: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saladin