There is an Igbo saying that: “A tree that signals its falling does not kill anyone.”
In this write-up, there is no room to sugar coat my intention, rather, I want to be as blunt as possible. It is reported that the remains of Ikemba Nnewi is getting ready to depart London for Nigeria on January 30, 2012, after a requiem mass at the St. Georges Cathedral. It was also reported that remains of former Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of Biafra Armed Forces, is scheduled to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, where a brief prayer session and reception will be held by Ohaneze Ndi Igbo. This is where my words of caution come in.
No Igbo leader could be of any illusion of what Boko Haram is planning at this very occasion, that is, to embarrass the Igbo race. The Ohaneze cannot and should not let their guards down to believing that the Federal Government would provide the necessary security needed to guard the venue for Ikemba’s posthumous reception, the symbol of Igbo race. Not only that the venue is a marked target by Boko Haram operatives, the route from the airport must be thoroughly examined for planting of IED’s – Improvised Explosive Device, commonly used by terrorist groups to attack their targets. The triumphant return of the remains of Ikemba is a palatable target for bombing. May God Almighty grant his dear soul to rest in harmony with His Maker, Amen!
The Ohaneze must not take anything for granted and must deploy other private security entities with concealed weapons to guard the facility where Igbo leaders would be gathering to honor the remains of Eze Igbo Gburugburu, a dear leader who, at the youthful age of 33 defended the honor of Igbo race. Ohaneze cannot and must not rely on the police and the army to guard them, realizing that even the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, publicly admitted that Boko Haram has infiltrated into his government. Igbos in diaspora shall hold Ohaneze personally responsible if the premises where the remains of Ikemba Nnewi would be received is bombed by Boko Haram. It is the responsibility of Ohaneze to contract with many Igbo groups to guard the premises, identify suspected Boko Haram operatives, remove suspicious trash cans and any object where IED,s could be hidden.
The intentions of Boko Haram are not hidden, and the arrival of the remains of Igbo symbol provides the most attractive target and jackpot for it to display its sworn hatred toward the Igbos. Every precaution must be taken not to give credence to Boko Haram, even if it takes hiring foreign agents like the Israel Mossad to prevent Boko Haram from embarrassing Igbo race. There is no excuse whatsoever to allow Boko Haram to even near the vicinity where the Ohaneze is celebrating the life of General Odumegwu Ojukwu.
There is nothing that could please Boko Haram than to bomb the motorcade that carries the remains of Ikemba Nnewi and Ohaneze; and all Ndi Igbo in Nigeria must do everything humanly possible to ensure that Boko Haram is contained and neutralized whenever it shows it ugly presence during a brief stop at Abuja to honor the former Biafra Leader. Let Ohaneze plan to fly Ikemba’s remains in a helicopter to the venue of the reception because there is no confidence the soldiers and policemen have any patriotic duty to guard the remains of General Ojukwu.
For Ohaneze: Be sure that at Abuja, no police or army personnel are allowed into the premises for fear of suicide bombers. The Boko Haram can pose as police or army personnel in uniform to detonate some hidden bombs during service. Be sure to make plans in such a way that all orderlies and uniformed officers are kept outside the premises. Inform every governor, minister, senator, members of representatives, and of course, with the exception of the president, that there will be no uniformed personnel in the arena. They should keep their orderlies at bay because the Igbos are suspicious of the army and police. If the Federal Government cannot provide screening devices at the gates, it will be suggested without apology that Ikemba be flown directly to Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, or Chief Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, for security precautions.
Folks, this is not an alarm, but a reality. Igbo governors must not leave any stone unturned to secure the integrity of Igbo symbol because Boko Haram has been planning on mechanisms to humiliate and embarrass the Igbos. We must be naive and cynical to believe that all is well in Nigeria. As for me, I am in total cahoots with the president of Nigeria that Boko Haram has infiltrated into Nigerian establishments.
For Ohaneze; remember the slogan of the 1966 through 1970 that, “Onye Ndi Iro gbaragburugburu, n’eche ndu ya nche mgbe nile, Umu Biafra unu arahuna ura (in Owere dialect.) Do not state that you are not warned. Do not underestimate the resolve of Boko Haram to re-visit the genocidal and atrocious mayhem the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy inflicted on the Igbos in 1966. Their behaviors then are the same as of today.
Mazi Henry Otulle Eke-Onyeaku, writes from Austin, Texas, United States.