BIAFRALAND: The True Price of Land and of a Homeland!
Whenever God wants to establish a nation he gives them land. In the same manner, whenever God wants to abolish a nation he gives their land to another people. If God wants to enrich or empower a people, he blesses their land. God puts his blessings in the land. God uses the land to bless the people or the people to bless the land. He puts the blessing either in the land or in the people. But the blessing in the land is for the good of the people in the land In the same way, the blessing in the people is for the glory of their homeland. God is not confused; he does not put gas in Bayelsa and say it is for the people he put in Kano. Such contradiction cannot come from God! The Igbo people say “Onye nwe ala nwekwa nkwu” meaning that whoever own the lands aloo owns the palm trees in it. The people who own Ijawland, also own the resources in Ijawland. It was God who made it so.
Your identity is in your land. Your glory is in your land. Your blessing is in your land. Your destiny is linked to your land. Your culture is connected to your land. Your language is tied to your land. Your history is hinged on your land. Your freedom is in your land. Your land is your foundation, your root. Your land is the gate of your connection to nature and to the world. Your land is your link with your ancestors. Your land is your place of safety. It is where you are most safe, most at home, most accepted, most understood. That’s why when a people do not value their land or when God wants to punish a people, he would curse their land or drive them away from their land to become exiles or refugees or he would allow other people to come and rule them and make them slaves in their own land and take away their resources. Often — as in the case of the Israelites — this is done to awaken the people.
Next to God, your fatherland is the most sacred thing in the world. Your land is your first temple. It is the resting place of your umbilical cord and your bones, your remains. No wonder, our people even tended to deify the land. Among many traditional peoples, the land is a form of divinity. Among the ancient Igbo, our great ancestors, barely everything is connected to the land: ‘Ala-Igbo’, ‘Ama-ala’, ‘Nwa-ala’, ‘Ihu-ala’, ‘Ome-na-ala’, ‘Odi-na-ala’, ‘Di-ala’, ‘Nwa-di-ala’, ‘Nso-ala’, ‘Eze-ala’, Onye-ishi-ala. When a child becomes a man, his father give him land. What people inherit principally from their progenitors is land, not money; because if you have land, you will have money. When one commits an abomination, he is banished from the land. To own a land is to belong and to have a right. To be deprived of land is to be a slave or a foreigner. Thus, to defend your land is your utmost duty. A proud, peaceful and prosperous homeland is the best asset one can bequeath to those he loves and it is here that lies the imperative of Biafra.
There can be no people without a land. It is an absurdity in nature to say that you own this land, but you do not determine what happens in the land, you have no control over the resources in the land, you depend on other people to protect yourselves or to secure your land, you need permission from other people to provide for the critical infrastructural needs of your people. This is what obtains today for all the ethnic peoples locked up in the Nigerian State. But by the design of God, those who own the land also own he resources in the land, they also govern the land and own the natural right to protect and provide for the people of the land. This is the promise of Biafra: a homeland where the people of Anang, Anioma, Efik, Ibibio, Igbo, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Itsekiri, Ogoja, Ogoni, Urhobo, etc, will live as autonomous peoples and be the masters of their own destiny.
Your Land is Your Honour — Your Country is Your Honour
Once upon a time, St. Paul was speaking at the Temple in Jerusalem, but the Jews rather wanted him dead. The following incident ensued: “As the Jews were shouting … and flinging dust into the air, the commander ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. He directed that Paul be flogged and interrogated in order to find out why the people were shouting at him like this. As they stretched him out to flog him, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?” When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.” The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes, I am,” he answered. Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship.” “But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied. Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.” (Acts 22:22–29) On hearing that Paul was a Roman citizen, they immediately released him and treated him with respect.
If you are British citizen today, even if you are an illiterate or a pauper, people will respect you. If you an American citizen, even terrorists will be afraid harm you because it is more dangerous than drinking a poisonous venom. If you are an Israeli, the Israeli government knows where you are anywhere in the world. If an Israeli inadvertently falls into a cleft in Afghanistan, within 24 hours, Israeli forces will penetrate that pit to rescue you or to exhume your corpse. But If 50 Nigerians are executed today in India, President Buhari will not hear the news. One week after, his spokesman Garba Shehu will criticise Sun Newspapers for reporting it, saying ’People report death as if it has not happened before.” As a Nigerian, you are on your own. You have no value at home or abroad. The best thing to do for yourself is to use your tongue to count your teeth.
Today, all over the world, we suffer disregard and disdain because we are called Nigerians. Even if you are the most honest and honourable person on earth, you remain a ‘suspect’ because you are Nigerian. All the ‘potopoto’ associated with Nigeria are heaped upon you, even if you are innocent. Dear Biafrans, Biafra is your honour! Your land is who you are. Unless you fight and restore Biafra, you will remain marginalised slaves in Nigeria. We must do everything possible to restore Biafra. We must convince everyone and bring everyone into the struggle, because Biafra is our honour!
That’s why scientists ‘enjoy’ sleepless nights to be the first to hoist the flag of their nation on the moon. That’s why athletes starve and strain to write the name of their nation in ‘Olympic’ gold. That’s why soldiers gladly fight and die defending their country. The restoration of Biafra and the chance to build a prosperous and peaceful homeland would be your greatest honour of this generation, and the greatest gift to the beautiful ones to come, and the greatest joy of our millions of fallen heroes.
Michael Richmond Duru
Saturday, 1st May 2021