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Why we can’t forget Biafra – Dr. Greg

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We have had a week of serious discussions (and fights) on Biafra. There is no doubt that Biafra is the most evocative topic in Nigerian history. It means something to everybody and so much to so many. The force of the idea of Biafra is the most potent, most feared, most powerful and most alluring at the same time. Yet, it is one of the most misunderstood ideas ever.

Some people want us to stop discussing Biafra, because some of the posts here do not share their own meaning of the concept. To some, Biafra is about a certain geographical territory that is located in the country called Nigeria. To others, it means a people of certain culture and language. To others, it connotes a people of a special relationship with God. To others, it is simply an idea about justice, the permanent quest for survival and justice. Yet to some, Biafra is a reminder of past evil that must be avoided and past injustice to be remedied, just as the word ‘holocaust’ reminds the world of a past injustice and evil that must be avoided and remedied. In sum, Biafra began as a resistance against genocide.

When there has been a great injustice, the world tries to remedy it in various ways. The world has been in the process of finding remedies for the holocaust. The Nuremberg trials were part of the remediation process. The Universal Declaration of rights and many international conventions on human rights are all part of it. The creation of the State of Israel is part if it. It is a continuum. The world shall not rest in the quest for justice and prevention of wars and injustice.

The victims of the continued injustices that led to Biafra must find remedy and justice. But the precise form that remedy takes need not be cast on concrete. The notion that Biafran justice must take the form of a distinct territorial delineation may not be right and may not be adequate.

For those who say we should forget Biafra, we can’t. It is too important for us to forget it. We are all Biafrans, even if you are not a Nigerian, provided you subscribe to the ideals of justice, the ideals of resistance against genocide, you are a Biafran. We will continue on the topic of Biafra, even if we don’t subscribe to the territorial solution. The passion the name Biafra generates merely confirms the importance of the topic and need for its continued relevance. Any dismissive attitude toward the topic of Biafra is wrong and must be discouraged. Some of the dismissive attitude comes from both the Nigerian government and some of the most passionate promoters of Biafra. We need to checkmate those who want to dismiss the universal idea of Biafra, whether they are government or supporters of Biafra.

Dr. Greg

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