One can not forget the unmistakable cries of anguish in Biafra, as millions of helpless children and the older people gave up the ghost, due mostly to hunger, starvation and disease, as occasioned by the harsh conditions which the Nigerian policy placed them in. Not to mention the sad and disappointing news of the Biafran surrender . In a similar vein, we can not discombobulate our collective memories from the state of mental delirium in which we found ourselves at the expiration of the said war.
Against this backdrop, we will ever be grateful for the great efforts of the people who to varying extents kept alive the dream of unfettered freedom, even at the cost of their personal comfort , progress and security . Like all great people, they gave the struggle their very, respective best. For that reason, their shortcomings should not detract from the huge impact that their efforts had on the potential success of our joint quest. It is easy to pour recriminations on the gargantuan inroads they have made into the cause, on our collective behalf.
But the great Middleweight champion, Marvellous Marvin Hagler once said that it takes a man to keep standing on the canvas when the going gets all too rough. Ali also said that it is not just a matter of counting the rounds, but making the rounds count. And Sugar Ray Leonard spoke about testing himself-his talent and virility-with each given fight or challenge. All these go to show that the act of standing up or in for others, is not easy. And so, we should all pull our weight behind the latest champions of the cause for the said emancipation. Malignant action or attitude towards them , or their activities, might not put us in good stead for accomplishing the tasks we have set forth to achieve. And so far as life is on, the hope for the realisation of our corporate success will remain aflame.
When the chips are down, putting things in a proper perspective is ever so difficult. In fact, such insuperable difficulties may be lost in the drama of life’s unfolding incidents or circumstances. The two disciples going from Jerusalem to Emmaus ,a seven-mile distance, best illustrate this situation , which expresses the idea that we love only to be on the winning side. Such a most homely and undramatic aspect of walking along a dusty and craggy road does not suggest what we mean or imply. Or a seeming stranger joining the two and asking what they were talking about .The natural simplicity of the responses of the two persons to the questions that the said stranger was asking them, is part of the permanent appeal of the story, for over two thousand years. It smacks of humanity in its most radical and raw form. In their state of delirium and utter devastation, and for people who had previously regarded Yeshua as the saviour in waiting for Israel and the Son of God, all they could say was : Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Which was a Prophet,mighty in deed and word ,before God and all the people.
Even though this was a narrow or limited conception, it was fairly representative of their own expectations or interests. It was no longer the King of the Jews but Jesus of Nazareth. But, as we have said, considering that the official verdict from a reluctant Pontus Pilate was that Yeshua was a criminal, the recognition of the above disciples was fairly generous. However, everything pointed to the fact that they were utterly devastated by what had happened in Jerusalem a couple of days ago. They were even astonished that Yeshua, Who must have been in town for the same length of time, didn’t seem to know what had transpired. But their response illustrates what human beings always look out for in people, especially public figures. They said that Yeshua was mighty in deed and word. So, it simply meant that much of whatever He might have said to them, in the course of His public ministry, did not count for much. But His deeds, which the two disciples highlighted, may have been the ebe ano of the whole package called Jesus, in their reckoning. And in looking sad and downcast when they realised that Jesus was walking along with them, when He spoke, they displayed their frustration, but also patience with His questions, in not telling Him to Shi Ebea Puo ! As an angry Igbo person would certainly do. In their disappointment they saw Him as ordinary and quickly forgot all He had done or stood for. It is no different to the way we dismiss the efforts of a person at resolving certain issues, as soon as they are indicted over an issue. Yet the said two people going to Emmaus were protective of their own person or constituency, just as the other half of the country is sure to be, in any arisen case or matter. When it came to apportioning blame for the killing of Yeshua, these two persons, Cleopas and the other companion, avoided talking about, or including the big part played by Judas Iscariot , but went on to lay the blame at the feet of the chief priests and our rulers. They did this and failed to do that. But was it not Judas who struck the deal to betray Him ? These two disciples did not want to include that fact in the script which a complete stranger was to read about. He would easily upbraid them for playing the bigger part in the said murder. And because they were disappointed, they failed to make out a lot from His fantastic life, so far . Their mindset was that if He had succumbed or submitted to the crucifixion and all the insulting things that came with it, then it argued the case that He was not the expected Messiah.
In consequence, therefore, the Igbo people and the rest of the Biafran family have got to rally their respective people and support around the Ohamadike and pray ceaselessly for him and his mates, so that we might obtain the right amount of freedom that we crave. Indeed, there are various things pending, such as those of respect for the elders and the position of fundamental principles regarding the rights to religious and other associations. But please, let us concentrate on a few plausible things for now. And may God grant all people the enabling environment to thrive in business, spiritual welfare and prosperity. In Jesus’ Name.