The senator representing Bayelsa west constituency, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, has explained the reason behind the prolonged struggle for Biafra actualization and restoration.
The senator, in a video clip went back to history, detailing the psycho-causes of Nigerian Civil war in 1967 and the consequences of ignorance and negligence of the federal government over what he called non-inclusion of the ‘bight of Biafrans’ on the Nigeria map.
Ben Bruce explained that the reason behind the continued agitation was because the Federal Government erased the civil war from the consciousness of Nigerians.
He said, “‘Let’s go back to history to understand why there was civil war in the first place and fifty years later, same people are agitating for independence.
“In 1966 we had the first coup which Igbo were alleged to have wiped out the Northern leaders in the military.
“Second coup Gowon took over and there was lots of bloodshed and killings of ndIgbo. “Igbo were killed in the north and they moved back to the Eastern Nigeria were Ojukwu became head of state and declared a nation called ‘Biafra’.
“War started, we fought for three years, the war was over and the South eastern Nigeria was integrated into Nigeria; that is the background” he said.
Sen. Bruce went further to say, “When the war was over, I asked the vice president of Nigeria two fundamental questions which are: Why did you erase the bight of Biafrans from the map of Nigeria? He answered that ‘at the supreme military council meeting they thought Biafra would rise again.
“And so the federal government at the time did everything possible not to talk about the war in Nigeria.
“So from 1970 to the present generation of Nigerians who were born did not know we had a civil war.
“And I know a lot of young people who do not know Nigeria fought a civil war.
”Proffering solutions to the non inclusive policy of Biafrans bight on the Nigeria map, Sen Bruce said “This policy of being an ostrich and not addressing issues is counterproductive.
“If you live in America you will know they have Vietnam War which happened at the same time as Nigerian civil war, we have the Korean War, we have the first and Second World War and we have all kinds of war.
“If you go to the discovering China you will see all their wars on the wall. And the reason they televise these wars is so that you can learn from the mistakes of others so that you will not become a fool to make the same mistakes and fight again.
“Here we are fifty years later talking about something we could have avoided if the federal government at the time understood the value of history.
“We erase the civil war from our consciousness and so many generations do not know we fought a war and why we fought a war.
However, Sen. Ben Bruce demystified and counter measured a sectional generalization of Biafrans marginalization, unfair treatment and a call for independent.
According to him, “They said they were marginalized, while they fought the war, lost and today they are the most industrious people in the country today. They are the richest Nigerians in the country today. They are the most educated people in Nigeria today yet they feel marginalized.
“If you compare the Igboman to other sections of the society, you will say the Igbo are very privileged because of what they have.
“Yet generations of Igbo say they are marginalized, they want to secede and they want a nation.
“Yes a young generation of people who have never seen bloodshed, people being killed, amputated and families being divided.
“Sure they can think like that but what have we done as a nation to educate them about the destruction of war absolutely nothing.
“We do not teach this in our history books, we do not tell our children what war is all about. How many people have carried a gun he quizzed? Those who talk about war, bloodshed and those creating confusion have never fired a shot, so how would they know how people die.
“Have they seen blood? Yet here we are debating on a subject that we as a nation should understand that the education system does not teach it and our people do not understand it and the federal government of Nigeria do not recognize, he said remorsefully.
“If the federal government could not recognize a fundamental problem in our educational system, a fundamental problem in how television is viewed across the country, then we have a fundamental problem.
“We most address the problem from the source. What is the problem? We are the problem. It could be Biafra today, it could be south- south tomorrow, it could be north-east the other day, it doesn’t matter.
“The problem is: we are not addressing the problem that unite or divide us and this must be addressed. Our educational system is one of the worst system I have ever seen anywhere in the world. It is terrible, our policy of information make no sense of what so ever and here we are talking about an impending crisis.
“How many people remembered December 31, 1983 when there was military coup, a lot of people forget? I was in the office at Punch newspaper Oluwabodinyi; I don’t know he was dying of cancer. Bodinyi said to me ‘Nigeria must change’ and we will do whatever it would took to bring down the Shagari administration.
“He did an editorial three to four days before the military coup, front page, back page and inside front page. Within three days military struck and democracy ended. For the people of this country, who do not pay attention to history, who do not read and watch television and to the government that pretends to be deaf and dumb, the government should pay attention to the least of us, they should pay attention to history, there is a way out but o pretend like when she erased the bights of Biafran from the map of Nigeria. No one has the right to erase a name, bight of Biafra from the map and if it is the bight of Biafrans put it back. You have no right to take the bight of Biafrans from the map let’s fix our problem,” he finally said.