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The Price/Cost of Freedom: Re-evaluating IPOB’s Monday Sit-At-Home Protest

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 The Worth/Value of Freedom: Re-evaluating IPOB’s Monday Sit-At-House Protest By Rev. Fr. Chukwu Emekalum Nwosuh, OP Affiliate Professor, Domi…

 The Worth/Value of Freedom: Re-evaluating IPOB’s Monday Sit-At-House Protest

By Rev. Fr. Chukwu Emekalum Nwosuh, OP

Affiliate Professor, Dominican College, Ibadan

I’ve carefully adopted the discussions concerning IPOB’s Sit-At-House protest. Naturally, there are arguments in favor and in opposition to this order. The argument in opposition to this mode of protest adopted by IPOB is anchored totally on the financial implication for the SE. In accordance with the proponents of this place, the Monday Sit-At-Houses, if sustained will likely be costing the SE billions of Naira allowing for that the SE harbors a number of the largest markets each in Nigeria and West-Africa and even past.

Some describe IPOB’s strategy as a case of slicing off one’s nostril to spite the face. Of their view, IPOB is doing extra damage to the SE in its protest in opposition to the Federal Authorities. The angst in opposition to IPOB’s Sit-At-House order was additional intensified by the truth that college students of the SE had been unable to take part within the examination that was written final Monday within the ongoing WAEC examination. 

This, in accordance with critics of IPOB, was tantamount to robbing these younger Igbo youths of their academic future. Amongst those that had written a stinging assault in opposition to IPOB’s Sit-At-House protest is Ogbu Kalu who, little question, has on a number of events written in favor of IPOB and its chief, Nnamdi Kanu. Ogbu’s article which went viral notably as he’s recognized to be sympathetic to IPOB’s trigger was waved about by staunch opponents of Nnamdi and IPOB as a “biblical textual content proof” that IPOB and its leaders are as much as no good for Ndigbo. 

The arguments superior by opponents of IPOB’s Sit-At-House order, notably the financial argument, seem fairly sound and impugnable. It is not sensible for IPOB to trigger Igbo merchants and businessmen and ladies, whose pursuits they’re supposedly preventing for, to lose billions of Naira all within the title of a protest to get its chief launched. It is not sensible that IPOB will trigger 1000’s of Igbo college students to lose the possibility of gaining admission to greater establishments subsequent yr as a result of they missed writing a number of papers. Though this argument seems intelligible and sounds it’s, nevertheless, facile, fatally flawed, and deceptive. That is normally the case with each argument that’s reductive in nature and never correctly located inside its correct context. 

IPOB’s Sit-At-House order can solely be objectively and pretty evaluated when positioned inside the bigger context of the search for self-determination. And the search for self-determination is a quest for freedom within the gentle of the heightened exclusion of Ndigbo from the Nigeria polity. When correctly located, subsequently, the basic query, which ought to function the criterion for evaluating IPOB’s Sit-At-House order can be:  What’s the value or worth of freedom? Framed in another way, one would ask, how a lot is one keen to pay for one’s freedom? The reply that one provides to the above query underscores the worth such an individual locations on freedom.

The story of the Israelites would assist to throw some gentle to this dialogue. After the individuals of Israel escaped the iron-fisted rule of Pharoah, they sojourned within the harsh desert for years. At some extent, they started to murmur and complain bitterly in opposition to Moses. 

They lamented: If solely we had died by the LORD’s hand within the land of Egypt! There we sat by pots of meat and ate our fill of bread, however you will have introduced us into this desert to starve this entire meeting to demise! We keep in mind the fish we ate freely in Egypt, together with the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic (Ex. 16:4; Num. 11:5). For these Israelites, their freedom was solely definitely worth the bread, meat, cucumber, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic they ate in Egypt. 

In different phrases, they’d not have minded remaining slaves in Egypt so long as they’ve sufficient meals to eat. Their abdomen meant extra to them than their freedom. This seems to me to be the mindset of those that would slightly have retailers and companies open on Mondays even when it meant being handled as third-class residents in a rustic they name their very own.

There are, nevertheless, individuals who place the next premium on their dignity and freedom and are keen to acquire it even at the price of their lives. For these individuals, no quantity of sacrifice is simply too excessive to pay as far as they acquire and safe their dignity and freedom. That is the mindset of all freedom fighters all by means of historical past. They’re keen to spend their lives in jail and even undergo demise. However what’s the sense in spending the remainder of one’s life locked up in jail within the quest for freedom, one might ask? And does it make any sense for one to die in quest for a freedom he/she is not going to reside to train and savor? Seen from a slim utilitarian lens, none of those make any sense. 

In reality, it seems outrightly silly. However that is what distinguishes the mindset of 1 whose abdomen is of larger premium from one whose locations larger premium on his/her freedom. The previous is a narcissistic particular person whose visible discipline doesn’t lengthen past himself and his/her speedy materialistic positive factors. The latter, however, appears to be like past himself/herself and his /her personal private pursuits. 

On the core of his/her ideas and considerations are these coming after him/her. He/she is keen to put down his/her life to be able to safe the way forward for the approaching generations. He/she is keen to plant a tree of which fruits he/she is aware of absolutely that he/she is not going to eat. To these with tunnel imaginative and prescient, the actions of such people or teams of people who’re keen to just accept some private losses and pains may seem silly. That’s exactly how IPOB’s Sit-At-House order seems to some, particularly those that pleasure themselves as intellectuals or Igbo elites. 

For them, it’s foolish or silly for IPOB to inflict financial pains on the Igbos within the title of a Sit-At-House protest. Nonetheless, these with this mindset don’t perceive that you just can not acquire a very good with out self-sacrifice which oftentimes may even contain the laying down of 1’s life. Freedom, justice, and fairness usually are not obtained on a platter of gold. Freedom is rarely free; you should pay a value for it. 

I want to reply to those that liken IPOB’s motion to 1 who cuts his/her nostril to spite the face by referring to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The black neighborhood of Montgomery determined to boycott town bus following the arrest of Rosa Parks who had refused to surrender her seat to a white man. It was within the context of this mass protest that Martin Luther will emerge as an influential civil rights chief. (You may learn the total story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott on https://www.nps.gov/articles/montgomery-bus-boycott.htm). If one had been to judge the motion of the black neighborhood of Montgomery, their motion would seem silly and self-defeating. 

Whereas it’s true that carpools had been organized to convey some to their locations of labor, it was the case that almost all needed to trek to and from their locations of labor. Wasn’t that foolish of them? Have been they not slicing their very own noses to spite their faces it might appear? It wasn’t the whites who needed to undergo the inconvenience of getting to trek to and from their locations of labor. 

It was they, the black neighborhood. Granted that town misplaced loads of income from the boycott, but there is no such thing as a denying that the black neighborhood needed to bear the inconvenience of getting to trek to and from their respective locations of labor after they may have continued to journey to work even when it meant standing to take action. The impression of that boycott went past the creativeness of those that conceived the boycott. It didn’t solely result in a courtroom judgment that dominated on the unconstitutionality of segregation in public buses however much more considerably created the circumstance for the emergence of the best black civil rights chief, Dr. Martin King, whose actions did win for blacks even larger rights than they ever imagined. 

Now, the Montgomery Bus Boycott will not be an ideal analogy for the IPOB’s Sit-At-House Order, however there’s a parallel, specifically, you need to inconvenience your self and make sacrifices when you want to acquire one thing larger or greater. What’s shedding a day’s revenue in trade for securing one’s dignity and proper to be handled justly? However just like the Israelites of previous, dignity and freedom can go to blazes so long as their stomachs and financial institution accounts are burgeoning. 

The knowledge of IPOB’s motion is definitely encapsulated within the historical Igbo proverb which says that ana ebugoduzo zota ana tupu azoba ute, which means that one should first safe an area earlier than struggling for the mat that will likely be unfold on that house. Of what use will your mat be you probably have nowhere to put it? However you may not less than nonetheless lie on the naked flooring even when you find yourself not securing the mat. If Ndigbo doesn’t safe their dignity, equality, and due rights on this political house, of what use is what you are promoting? A single coverage can wipe out all of your financial actions. 

Ask Ibeto, what occurred to his cement enterprise. And so, whereas the critics of IPOB’s determination usually are not seeing past the tip of their noses, IPOB and their supporters are wanting a lot farther. Whereas the critics of IPOB are struggling over the mat, IPOB is asking Ndigbo to first safe an area. Which of those two approaches is wiser? 

Now, some might ask what outcomes the Sit-At-House protest would obtain aside from hurting the financial fortunes of Ndigbo. Nicely, such a query betrays a way of pondering which may be wealthy in quantitative concerns however is grossly poor in qualitative concerns. However to briefly reply to it, the success of the IPOB Sit-At-House order has lastly revealed the irrelevance of the completely different State governments and non-political Igbo management teams like Ohaneze. 

These have constantly betrayed the Igbo trigger both by their deafening silence and even lively connivance with those that are bent on decreasing the Igbos to third-class residents if not slaves. It’s attention-grabbing that the threats by the completely different State Governments of the SE didn’t deter individuals from heeding the decision of IPOB to remain at residence. You may deduce what it means. Consider it or not, the Federal Authorities will likely be very cautious in coping with a bunch that instructions the respect and obedience of tens of millions of individuals. And consequently, they are going to be very cautious in making certain the security of their leaders. Like each civil protest, the total advantages of the Keep-At-House protest lie sooner or later and never within the current. 

However come to think about it, what different authentic avenue of protest is open to IPOB? After they match on the streets peacefully, they’re mowed down by the recent bullets of the Nigerian troopers. The identical armchair critics will accuse them of foolishness and imprudence for having to peacefully protest within the face of the specter of murderous bloodthirsty troopers and safety operatives. And after they ask Biafrans to not march on the streets however keep again in protest, within the consolation of their houses, they’re pilloried and accused of devising the financial wreck of Ndigbo. In reality, the argument of the seemingly destruction of the financial fortunes of the SE by the Sit-At-House order is a spurious argument meant to mislead the undiscerning thoughts. 

It’s a recognized undeniable fact that on nice festivities like Christmas and Easter, most markets are shut down for days and even for an entire week or extra, and but that doesn’t destroy the financial fortunes of the SE. Those that fabricate and propagate this piece of falsehood fail to inform us why the financial fortunes of the SE haven’t collapsed as a result of markets are shut throughout these intervals and each Sunday or why the financial system of Nigeria hasn’t collapsed due to the variety of public holidays which might be declared by the Federal Authorities. 

And what says that the quantity of enterprise actions in SE can’t be intensified from Tuesdays to Saturdays whereas observing Mondays as a protest day? Think about how way more efficient this protest will likely be if Igbo businessmen and ladies in each a part of Nigeria be part of within the Sit-At-House protest! The reality is that there are such a lot of Igbos who’ve both not absolutely understood the diploma to which they’ve been humiliated and diminished to third-class residents or in the event that they did, they’ve merely resigned to this situation and therefore are keen to stay third-class residents so long as they’ve their “cucumber, leeks, onions, melons, pomegranates, bread, and meat.” They’re keen to proceed to serve Pharoah. 

Sadly, loads of Igbo elites and intellectuals fall into this class. They typify Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. And lots of of them undergo from what I can Joe Igbokwe Syndrome (JIS). They concern that IPOB’s protest will snatch away their “honey pot” from their tables, therefore they don’t lose any alternative to assault each of IPOB’s actions. Whereas they’re adept at criticizing each motion of IPOB, they’re nevertheless sterile and impotent relating to providing higher alternate options.

 

Lastly, let me deal with the query of imposing the Sit-At-House order. Some have argued that nobody must be compelled to look at the Sit-At-House order. Once more, that sounds affordable. However let me ask this, when the Federal or State Authorities declares a curfew or for some cause restricts motion, does it implement such restrictions or leaves it to every one to resolve whether or not to look at it or not? Now, you might need to superciliously argue that IPOB lacks the authority of a “constitutionally constituted” authorities just like the State or Federal Authorities. 

Nicely, that’s the place the reasoning of the anti-IPOBs is grossly restricted. So far as the SE is anxious, the varied State Governments have misplaced relevance and therefore the ethical authority over the individuals. They could be in workplace, however they not command the respect and obedience of most Igbos. This explains why the threats of sack or lack of one’s store didn’t deter each authorities employees and businessmen from obeying IPOB’s order. Prefer it or not, IPOB is offering different governance within the face of a grossly poor and ineffective political management in SE. Our State Governors are like emasculated eunuchs who regardless of their stature (equipment of workplace) are pitifully impotent. 

Simply because the Federal and State authorities can implement a curfew and different restrictions of motion for the general advantage of the individuals, so too, can IPOB, by advantage of the arrogance reposed on it by tens of millions of Igbos, each these at residence and in diaspora, analogously implement the Sit-At-House order for the curiosity of the Igbo nation. Prefer it or not, IPOB has develop into a parallel authorities that instructions larger respect and allegiance than the so-called democratically elected authorities or the supreme court-imposed authorities. 

Some have additional argued speciously that many keep residence for concern of being harassed by IPOB members. Nicely, the “concern” that saved Igbos indoors when IPOB declares a Sit-At-House protest, is not any worse than the concern of arrest, harassment 

*EXTREMELY LONG DEBATE … nevertheless there are some superb factors in right here, this text must be dissected and used. 

It is value studying thou we all know readers will not take the time to learn and the final bit is best than starting to me. 

Please let’s use this to it is full profit. Thanks.

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