Former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Prof. Pat Utomi, has said that every Nigerian in the current dispensation is a Biafran.
Voice of Ndigbo gathered that Pat Utomi stated that the Federal Government should initiate dialogue with Biafra agitators.
Prof. Utomi, who was speaking in a chat with The Punch, noted that Biafra is a metaphor used to describe the suffering of people in different parts of the country.
He said: “To start with, I have always expressed a view that Biafra is a metaphor for discontent writ large and what has happened in Nigeria is that, in the words of Chido Onumah’s “We Are All Biafrans”, people in the North-East are Biafrans because they are unhappy with Nigeria.
“Many in the North-Central dealing with herdsmen issues are Biafrans because they are unhappy with Nigeria.
“Many in the South-South are Biafrans because they are unhappy in Nigeria, and so on. Across Nigeria, there is a democratisation of discontent. Nigerians are all Biafrans now.
“Until we can purge Nigeria of the sins that breed discontent, every Nigerian is a Biafran.
“The only way that societies that want to move forward have dealt with problems of people expressing dissatisfaction is political engagement.
“I very frequently turn to (former Prime Minister) Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia and his reference to the words of (late US President) Lyndon B. Johnson when he says it is better for everybody to be inside the house urinating out than for some people to be outside the house urinating in.
“The reason Nigeria smells so bad is that there are too many people outside the house urinating in. The biggest leadership failure of the last 50 years in Nigeria is the politics of exclusion.
“The Class of ’66 specialized in excluding: ‘We don’t want these people.’ ‘Oh! It’s those people.’ ‘It’s this group.’ And so, they kept excluding till most Nigerians who could contribute to Nigeria’s development left Nigeria, either physically, as in those ones I ran into at the Atlanta airport and many other places, or mentally.
“There are many people who live in Nigeria but don’t live in Nigeria. They gave up on Nigeria a long time ago.
“What leadership requires now in Nigeria now is to bring people back into the house. That’s the capacity which the current leadership elite that’s come out of the Class of ’66 and their cronies lack. They don t have that capacity.”