Biafra and The National Question

TELL Cover Page

TELL Cover Page

At the beginning of this year, particularly when we moved closer to the general elections, there was fear in the air as Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike feared that the acrimonious exchange during the campaigns would set the country ablaze. The bookmakers were, therefore, confident that the desperation of politicians would stoke the fire to make manifest the prophecy that Nigeria would disintegrate in 2015!

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Over eight months after the elections, Nigeria remains one, though threatened by the extremism of the brains behind Boko Haram. Thank heavens, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to silence the guns and bombs of Boko Haram before we see the dawn of 2016.

However, while he is prosecuting the war in the Northeastern part, the administration appears to be responding to the agitation for Biafra from a position of frustration –– frustration that its attention is being diverted from tackling the myriad issues of statehood. Yet, the chorus for Biafra did not start today. The swarms of protesters on the streets of Igbo towns and Abuja –– with law enforcement officers in tow –– actually remind those advanced in age of memories of the Nigerian Civil War years (1967-1970) and the bitter consequences of the war of brothers. So they shiver at comments of leaders who see the rallies of Biafra agitators as the pasttime of a few jobless youths merely seeking attention. And there are as many theories on the motives of the campaigns as there are groups behind them. What really is the reason for the fresh campaign?

Our Editorial Board asked Associate Editor Emmanuel Obe, a well-tested and experienced journalist but a new member of the TELL family, to go to the Southeast, feel the pulse and speak with people. Obe is not a stranger to that region, having worked there for many years for other publications. What he came back with, sizzling hot, come to you in the story, Biafra and The National Question, which is the cover choice of this edition.

Aliko Dangote, yes, the same shrewd, legendary businessman who is the richest black man in the world, is our man for the alternate cover. But here we are not discussing his wealth or chain of businesses. Rather, we are looking at the humanitarian aspect of the man who loves to help. So Salif Atojoko, deputy general editor, Business and Special Projects does an x-ray of his gestures to scores of people, especially the needy. We invite you to meet the friend of the poor in Dangote’s Heart of Gold.

Do have a blessed week!

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