Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Biafra vs Mumu Don Do: the Rascality of Charly Boy



BY NKEM EKEOPARA

Charles Oputa a.k.a. Charly Boy, the Oguta-born
BNW: Charly Boy
Charly Boy
entertainer and son of the late revered Justice of Supreme Court, Chukwudifu Oputa, was in the news recently. I dare say for the wrong reason, considering the possible consequences that his actions could have on his kinsmen, the Igbo.

On Monday, August 7, 2017, Charly Boy and Deji Adeyanju started protesting under the banner “Our Mumu Don Do and Resume or Resign.” He and his supporters were asking Nigeria’s President Mohammed Buhari to resume or resign. Buhari has been on medical tourism in London for more than 90 days for an undisclosed illness as at the time they started the protest. Their protest was largely conducted around “Unity” Fountain, Abuja. On Friday, August 11, 2017, a pro-Buhari mob attacked and chased Charly Boy away.  A few days earlier during the first Mumu Don Do protest, Charly Boy was attacked by a combined team of Nigerian Police and a pro-Buhari mob and Charly boy collapsed after inhaling teargas from the police.  Also, on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, Charly Boy was nearly lynched by a mob at Wuse market. The mob was said to have been made up of pro-Buhari protesters.

By Wednesday, August 16, 2017, it was déjà vu all over again,
a la the "Nzeogwu led Igbo coup," as a protest organized by Deji Adeyanju  and Charly Boy was now being referred to in the press as the Charly Boy led protest just so that the Igbo would bear the consequences. The same day, Charly Boy whom the media now calls the leader of the protest, instead of the co-convener, announced that they’ve suspended their protest. According to media reports, he said they did this, because the government wanted to unleash hoodlums against them. He (Charly Boy) said they would announce their next line of action in due course. It’s good that he has beaten a retreat, and

that Buhari is now back to the country he left 104 days ago. Buhari has even addressed Nigerians on Monday, August 21, 2017, in a speech most Nigerians have criticised as full of threats and lacking in unifying spirit, but which Charly Boy has hailed. On the protest, what Charly Boy did in the first place was insensitive and lacking in wisdom. While I condemn those who teargased him and those that tried to lynch him for exercising his right of peaceful protest guaranteed under the military baked Nigerian Constitution, I strongly believe that Charly Boy is old enough to know that even if his action was altruistic, it’ll be misconstrued by those who think they own Nigeria. At a time there is a quit notice hanging on the heads of Nd’Igbo in the North, and anti-Igbo songs for genocide circulating there, what is needed from every Igbo is entreatment of the Igbo resident in the North, especially the core North, to return home.

I can understand the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and their struggle. They’re seeking for self-determination for the Igbo. In a country where they and their people are treated like serfs, and all manner of injustice is visited on them by those the British bequeathed the country to at independence, their quest for a separate country cannot be faulted. And as long as they remain peaceful, they’ll continue to have the support of many Igbo people, especially the young people.

But what’s Charly Boy fighting for? He’s fighting for Buhari to resume or resign, and for the status quo to be maintained. He’s not even fighting for the restructuring of the Nigerian state like his fellow Igbo one Nigeria advocates. He knows that Nigeria as currently configured is skewed against the Igbo. He glosses over the many injustices inherent in the Igbo experience in Nigeria. How many times has Charly Boy protested against the killing of the Igbo in the North or even the killing of his kinsmen in Oguta by Fulani herdsmen? Who remembers what Charly Boy did or said when Mrs. Bridget Agbahime was killed in Kano and her killers discharged and acquitted?

Charly Boy should know that when an Igbo does something that affects the Nigerian state, he/she is not viewed as an individual acting of his/her own conviction, but seen as acting on behalf of the Igbo. When Maj. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and his Yoruba and Hausa group wanted to bring to a halt the killings and destruction in the then Western Nigeria and Tivland through a military coup, they were fired by patriotic and nationalistic feelings. He never consulted Nd’Igbo. But the coup was branded an Igbo coup and the Igbo paid, and are still paying dearly for it. It didn’t matter that a Maj. Adewale Ademoyega, a Yoruba, an Atom Kpera, a Tiv and Nigerians of other ethnic groups were part of the coup. It didn’t even matter to other Nigerians that the beneficiary of the coup if it had succeeded was going to be Chief Obafemi Awolowo according to the plans of the plotters. One is sure that these hard facts are well known to Charly Boy. So, he should have thought through these facts before embarking on his now suspended protest.

Charly Boy embarked on a mission whose success as well as failure bodes ill for Nd'Igbo; it's heads, Igbo loses, and tails, Igbo loses. The average Hausa-Fulani man has got to find this dancing with the mumu charade to be more detestable than MASSOB or IPOB membership and activism. Because Charly Boy's mumu activism looks so bizarre, even to non-Hausa/Fulanis, it is also more likely to enrage and stir the Northern mob to violence and murder of Nd'Igbo. If Buhari resigns as a result of Charly Boy's misplaced patriotism/activism, Yoruba Osinbajo who stands to benefit therefrom considers himself to be Buhari's son and does not need help from an Igbo to assume his father's throne. Nd'igbo lose. Yet, here we have an Igbo man trying to start a fight between father and son. If Buhari resumes as they say he now has, his northern constituents stand to gain. Again, Nd'Igbo lose.

Nigeria as it’s today does not require political correctness in expression or action. Igbo elites must know this. They should learn to speak truth to power on the marginalization of their people, which is fuelling agitation among their youths. And if they cannot because of their vested interest in one Nigeria, they should stay off issues that they know can endanger the collective interest of their people.