What is a civil war? A civil war is a war which is fought internally within a nation between differing factions, religious groups, or powers. This fight is usually fought when two sides are in dispute over gained control of territory or power share.

I remember writing to the Punch newspapers early last year on the increased chances of a civil war in Nigeria based on decisions made by our leaders. I inferred that the failure to publish was due to the fear that such a publication might stir up controversy and stir up unrest. I was even asked to fear for my life.  My writings are only to raise questions that deserve answers. I love Nigeria and believe violence is not the answer when it can be helped.

My belief is that our leaders have already created a volatile environment for such an uprising to occur. Some may believe it’s unnecessary, some might think it’s needed. I say at this point it could be unavoidable.

Every single day within the last few weeks our headlines read; Bombs found! Arms intercepted! Army to be at the polls! Don’t use phones during elections! Jonathan must win! If Buhari loses then the elections were rigged! The north to pick consensus candidate! It’s a battle of wits.

People if we are not careful, these are signs of a brewing civil war. The south-south winning the elections will be a huge blow to the North. Not only will the North lose a lot of significance, they will be thrown into this abyss we Igbo find ourselves today. Struggling for power. The Northern ‘leaders’ are master strategists and have foreseen this hence the adoption of the strategy called Zoning. Now that it has failed, a battle is brewing.  The south –south also believe that the turn the waited for has come, and are determined to hold on to it. They feel that they have simply suffered enough, and have seen the development of their community after 50 years. They will fight not to go back to suffering. Though I am not an advocate of the zoning policy, I believe the Northern leaders created/agreed to this power sharing formula to save ‘their’ side from the consequences that evolve from loss of power. It was a foreseen circumstance and I cannot fault them for trying to avert it. We the Igbo suffer today because we have no say in such arrangements. Shame on our Igbo leaders!

On the other hand, the north winning the elections will in turn be a blow on the south-south. For one, all trust has been lost as their zoning formula fell apart. Therefore the north will create a strategy to muscle power away from them for generations to come. There are no second chances. The current northern candidates are stern corruption fighters; they have instilled a fear in the current and past office holders. Democracy has opened the doors to the ability of the judiciary to prosecute past leaders for corrupt practices even with controversy.  Therefore incumbency has a dire need to remain in office at any cost.

People there are arms on the streets, explosives waiting to be detonated and actions set to create a more volatile environment in our society. A match is all it takes to create the fire. Our leaders have created an atmosphere for us to kill ourselves all in the name of religion, ethnicity and choice. It can be argued that it is a fight that is needed to happen.

A question that arises as I refer to my article “A failing ethnicity” (http://www.saharareporters.com/article/failing-ethnicity) is that of the Igbo leadership if such an issue should arise. I foresee us killing ourselves in the bushes for a lack of direction.  Once again there is a fear that in such an uprising we will get lost as a people. Who directs the east? It’s an open question.  I know most of us believe that we should get along and there should be peace but the mistakes have already been made.

 In the last fifty years we have been made to see differences between ethnicities rather than similarities as people and that has grown worse in recent times. Now it’s a power tussle for the ‘different’ sects to rise for strength. I do not believe in violence or incite it in any way, I believe I have a right to interpret happenings as I see it and make inferences where I can.

Again I keep a lot of stones unturned in an effort to help us task our minds and question events that are taking place in Nigeria today. Religious unrest in Jos waiting to spill, bombs targeted at rallies, stoning of candidates, arrest of candidates, rigging, zoning and many more issues that are all pointing in the wrong direction. Have you begun to feel cheated lately? Have you begun to be overly proud of your ethnicity all of a sudden? A civil war brewing? It’s an open question.

p.s in the case of a civil breakout; to any Igbo man that sees me in the bush I say “don’t shoot, my name Is Mbelu and I am from Anambra state. I am proud to be Igbo and have no clue where I should be fighting hence I carry my pen”
Gihan Mbelu
[email protected]

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