Recently, Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the ripe old age of 96 having been the head of one of the globally most popular monarchies for 70 years. God rest the Queen.
Sadly, as storied and accomplished as her life was, that isn’t the focus of this article. In her last hours, the world was advised of her fading light, a tweet from a little known individual of Nigerian extraction shook the world.
A female lecturer of Mellon Carnegie University, Uju Anya, tweeted that she wished the Queen excruciating pain in her dying hours and her justification is that the Queen was the ‘ruler’ who supervised the supply of arms to Nigeria during the Civil War which led to the death of her ‘people’
The vileness and vitriol shook every sense of social sensibility. First off, it is un-African to speak bad of the dead; our culture believes each individual will answer for his deeds in the afterlife.
But worse still is to wish another human being excruciating death on her deathbed, on a matter she has little control over. This reveals deep seated hatred spawned out of evil.
Secondly, to imagine that the entire outburst and justification is based on ignorance is an indication of a mentally unstable mind. Do you recall she is lecturer in a University? The university must have felt like disappearing!
Whilst one cannot legislate anyone’s hurt or how they choose to react to a perceived inflicted pain upon their persons, it is important to review the matter for the facts and the conjectures. Ultimately, it would be really helpful to grasp the root causes, extent of damage and influence, as well as suggest opportunities for redress.
This has become important considering the groundswell of support and defense her tweet received. She may have been looking for fame but she courted infamy.
Peculiarly, whilst she was identified by her Nigerian origins, a particular ethnicity within the country rose up in her defense and tried cunningly to justify her ill-advised vituperations.
Before proceeding to the facts of the matter, a little bio brief on the lady protagonist.
Prof. Uju Anya was said born on August 4 1976 to a Nigerian father and Trinidadian and Tobagonian mother. She holds the following qualifications: B.A. Romance Languages, M.A. Brazilian Languages, Ph.D Applied Linguistics. She was married with 2 kids but divorced her husband upon discovering her sexuality.
Now to the facts of the matter.
1). The Queen is not responsible for the administrative running of the government of England.
The monarch takes little direct part in government. The authority to use the sovereign’s formal powers is almost all delegated, either by statute or by convention, to ministers or officers of the Crown, or other public bodies. Thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments, even if personally performed by the monarch, such as the King’s Speech and the State Opening of Parliament, depend upon decisions made elsewhere:
-Legislative power is exercised by the King-in-Parliament, by and with the advice and consent of the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
-Executive power is exercised by His Majesty’s Government, which comprises ministers, primarily the prime minister and the Cabinet, which is technically a committee of the Privy Council. They have the direction of the Armed Forces of the Crown, the Civil Service and other Crown Servants such as the Diplomatic and Secret Services (the Sovereign receives certain foreign intelligence reports before the prime minister does).
-Judicial power is vested in the various judiciaries of the United Kingdom, who by constitution and statute have judicial independence of the Government.
The sovereign’s role as a constitutional monarch is largely limited to non-partisan functions, such as granting honours.
Thus, the Queen never had any of the powers Prof. Uju Anya implied. Her role is ceremonial, her influence on governance is extremely limited.
She did not, and cannot, determine who the UK government will support or trade with. She never had such powers.
Why would a seemingly well read and exposed person drive this misinformation and form opinions based on same? We will arrive at this position shortly.
2). The Queen is not responsible for the massacre of Igbos in Biafra. Prof. Uju Anya accused her, via the UK government, of ‘selling arms to Nigeria to kill her people’. A couple of things quickly come to mind.
Firstly, it is a war, the Biafrans were trying to kill Nigerians as well so let’s not try to paint them as innocent.
In fact, it is on record that the Biafran Army fired the first shot of the war, subjugated the ethnicities within the old Eastern region of Nigeria, invaded the Midwestern Region, raped, killed and pillaged innocent Nigerian civilians on their march to the capital of Nigeria, Lagos. They got as far as Ore. How the instigator of a conflict can be transformed to the victim is delusion on steroids.
Secondly, military hostilities weren’t responsible for the death toll. Many died of starvation. A declassified report of the time revealed that the Nigerian Government, led by Gowon agreed to have food and relief materials airlifted to the citizens trapped in the conflict.
The argument given is that the Biafran Army was getting arms supply under this cover which defeats the objective of a quick cessation of hostilities and end of the war. They asked for transportation of food and relief materials via roads so they can be inspected.
Biafran leader Ojukwu flatly refused.
The reader should reflect on the above a bit. It means that, given the choice of either saving the lives of his people and winning the war, Ojukwu chose to sacrifice the people.
The very same people he claimed to be trying to liberate.
Subsequent to his refusal, the world was awash with horrifying pictures of gaunt and starving Biafra children and women. These pictures shook the soul of the entire world as was the objective of Ojukwu and the Biafran leaders, it would seem.
This writer did a curious check and failed to find any images or reports of starving Biafran soldiers or even Biafran government officials. Further enquiries and investigations revealed that soldiers commandeered aid and relief materials and these rarely ever get to the intended targets, vulnerable civilians.
Thus, as the blockade wore on, more vulnerable civilians died of starvation. Did this prompt the ‘savior’ of the Igbo ethnicity to call off the now apparently unsustainable war? No.
The Biafran government proceeded on a misinformation and disinformation propaganda grind that eternally scarred subsequent generations. They presented false reports of victories and told their people that the starvation and hunger will soon end. They indoctrinated them with hate and venom that the Nigeria state, led by the evil not and the weak accomplice southwest was killing them.
To a dying man, to his dying children, to mothers with sucklings barely hanging on, to eyes glazed from hunger and bodies ravished by Kwashiorkor, this poison became the only heirloom they could bequeath to the coming generations.
In fact, Ojukwu refused to call for a truce and it took him being bundled away for his second in command, Phillip Effiong, to call for an end to the nightmare. It means if he hadn’t been compelled to leave, Ojukwu would have stayed on as the bodies of his kinsmen piled.
It is estimated that over 3 million children and women died from the stubbornness of Ojukwu and the Biafran leadership.
So I ask the question, who committed the massacre? Who committed genocide? The Biafran dream killed the Igbo people. It’s that simple.
It appears Prof. Uju Anya’s anger and hate is ill directed; the enemy is within…
3). As stated earlier, Prof. Uju Anya was born in 1976, 6+ years after the war had ended. She never had a firsthand experience of the war. So, how did she become so passionate and filled with so much hate?
It has become apparent that she is a victim of the residual psychological propaganda assault the Biafran Army launched against its own people in the effort to curry international pity and favor.
She was bred in the memories of hate such that she could not ‘see’ anything but enemies in practically every other ethnicity in the country and even foreign countries who didn’t abandon all to come to its aid.
This disturbing and debilitating paranoia reduces otherwise intelligent minds to babbling, ethnic jingoist psychopaths when the key words (the North, Hausa/Fulani, massacre, England, purported Yoruba betrayal, genocide, Islam marginalization etc.) are triggered.
A whole ethnicity has been weaponized for hate and can be triggered so easily at the flip of a coin. This explains why it is easy for charlatans like the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, can hold great influence over the collective.
These folks have discovered the holy grail of mind control; subliminal suggestions that trigger predetermined feelings, emotions, responses and actions.
No powers of oratory or sophistry are required when the ‘mark’ is already immersed in the program. And nothing motivates like a struggle for survival. These are the cardinal support for such conmen.
These triggers were activated in Prof Uju Anya and, like a well programmed sequence of codes, she responded as pre-designed.
This is also reflected in the rallying cry from others similarly indoctrinated and brainwashed. They quickly rose to her defense, even conflating with the historical longstanding beef between the Irish and the English as a defense of the vile action of the supposedly erudite protagonist.
The rally around her reveals how deeply and pervasive the damage done is. It is quite saddening to see a group of otherwise intelligent people reduced to such levels. The malicious chicanery not only lives on but it appears to be thriving.
What are the possible consequences of Prof Uju’s reaction and the follow up defense by herself and her cohort?
Well, on reviewing the tenuous relationship the ethnicity has with the Nigeria state, it appears they wish to go international.
Within the country these fellows who are a misrepresentation of the values of the ethnicity have fostered mistrust and deepened ethnic animosity. Do they want to create same at the international stage? Do they want to be denied Visa and access to the global stage?
Their actions do no damage Nigeria as much as it taints the ethnicity as a hate-filled group. It is not out of the bounds of reason that intelligence agencies will keep an eye on related developments and ethnic mapping subsequently.
Is this the identity the ethnic group wants?
How can we break the brainwash?
It is a long and arduous task that also requires the commitment, support and willingness of the leaders of the ethnicity.
First off, the real truth must be told and owned. Nazi Germany ideologies didn’t represent the entire German people but they owned the atrocities of the Nazi leaders in order to break away from the shadows of the past. Thus, Hitler and his cohorts actions have been identified and isolated. This has helped the country to heal and grow.
Secondly, a reorientation and in-grafting program needs to be developed targeted at improving social inclusion and nationalistic alliances and thinking.
The people have to let go of the hate and the past and embrace being Nigerians. The Biafran dream was nothing more than an expression of one man’s ego and ambitions. Even in practical terms, the land-locked 5 igbo states is a heavily unfeasible and unrealistic pipe dream as a nation-state.
Thirdly, I believe the Nigeria nation also needs make a more concerted effort at integration of the ethnicity. One cannot just wish away another’s pain, either real or imagined.
All in all, the recent developments have further revealed the extent of damage and needed work for proper nation building. The task, and its eventual success, is the responsibility of all.
– Orisha writes from New Jersey, United States