I am writing this piece strictly as Joe Igbokwe and I am speaking strictly for myself only. I was born in 1956 in Nnewi, Anambra State. It means that I was 10 years old when the crisis that led to the civil war started in 1966. I saw it all and witnessed the evils of civil war. Women became whores, girls became mothers, lizards became meat, every leaf of any plant became vegetables, one meal a day became a luxury, food without salt became the norm etc.
Civil war does not start overnight. It comes as a result of provocation, humiliation and disgrace of fellow human beings. It comes as a result of arrogance, impunity and selfishness.
Now hear this: An Igboman from Adazi Nnukwu in Anambra State was killed by Boko Haram in Mubi and the kinsmen gathered to plan how to take the corpse home. The same Boko Haram people returned and killed 11 of those that gathered to mourn their loved one. As plans were in top gear to move the bodies to the East, government officials seized the bodies to avoid a reprisal attack. Just imagine what would have happened in Onitsha if the 12 bodies were seen as gifts from the North in any of the motor parks. Now what will you call this? Are they telling Igbo that they have monopoly of violence? Are they telling Igbo that they cannot fight? Are they telling all Igbo men that they are all women? Have they forgotten about the civil war they called POLICE ACTION which lasted for three years? This is provocation and anger is choking me.
I want to appeal to Northern leaders to rise up now to avert a civil war. Every bonafide leader in the North must stand up to save the North from itself. The Northern Nigeria is now a war zone soaked with the blood of hundreds of innocent men and women. The Northern Nigeria is now a disaster zone, a no-go area, the land that devours its inhabitants, Thomas Hobbes State of Nature where life is brutish, nasty and short, the land without focus, direction, hope or future, the land of murderers!
I wrote the books: Igbos: 25 Years After Biafra in 1995, Heroes of Democracy in 1999 and jointly wrote 2007: The IBB Option in 2004. They are all war Books just to show you that I have seen it all to know that war means destruction of lives and property. It has led to disintegration of nations. Civil War is imminent in Nigeria but God forbid!
Boko Haram is all about politics not religion and there is a limit to this politics of stupidity. When former President Obasanjo came to power it was Sharia politics and today I do not know what has become of it. As soon as Dr Goodluck Jonathan became the President, the Boko Haram madness came on board. My take is that if General Buhari had won the 2011 Presidential elections, Boko Haram would not have surfaced to continue to terrorize Nigerians today. But the truth remains that if South South crude oil has been good for Nigeria for 62 years, their son, President Goodluck Jonathan should be good for Nigeria as well.