By Chidi Obineche
Last Monday, the Biafran struggle for self- determination assumed a preposterous hilarity when the leader of the Biafran Zionist Movement, BZM, one of the motley groups in the vanguard, Mr Benjamin Onwuka announced secession from Nigeria and named members of his “cabinet”. A rundown of the statement of declaration and intent evinced an ugly pack of incipient disorientation, mindless recklessness and a descent into the classical tragi-comic world. It bore the flagrant imprints of one of the world’s biggest and enduring sex symbols, Marilyn Monroe, famous for playing comic “dumb blonde” characters.
Monroe left behind the sensational saying that “It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” The famous actress and model went down the valley and to her death living true to her evergreen words and to the madness of her genius. Onwuka had earlier on March 8, 2014 invaded the Enugu Government House with his rag-tag group comprising men that have passed their prime in a failed bid to declare Biafra as an independent entity.
Also, on June 5, 2014, he led his group to invade the Enugu Broadcasting Service in another failed bid to announce Biafra independence. With nowhere to wrap our heads around on this growing fad, it becomes easy to believe that there is a certain happiness in being silly and ludicrous. He is the flighty man in the clouds, ever dogged, determined and crusingly flimsy.
He is the man on dispatch, dingily impatient, riding the undulating road in senseless speed with Kamikaze spirit. He is the racer that gives no hoot about the perfect spice, the right wing talking point or the inappropriate. Onwuka exemplifies the thoughts of Thomton Wilcher, (1897 – 1975) the famous American playwright who wrote that “Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous.”
Onwuka is saying in situ that he loves his Biafra with a reckless disregard for his own wellbeing; a man of the wild who will miss all the fun if he obeys the rules. For him, and for all that he cares, life is happening now and he must live his dream and take risks, fight for the fairytale because it does exist. With a self- absolved behavior, he is advancing the frontiers of immortal hilarity, of letting the soft animal of his body love what it loves.
The world for all that matters offers itself to his imagination that, perhaps, the early bird gets the worm. He forgets in his dance into the wind that it is only those who become a part of the silence that see birds. He dreams, he dares, but can he fly? Onwuka , for the third time is showing off, but unlike the Robin that sings to show off, can he swing spray of ivy on to the top of the wall? He may do his antics to the moon and back, but if his acts are not wholesome and tidy he will not get the rose of joy. He has a bad habit at laughing …. at serious moments. And who may have known that a freedom activist will turn pain into power?
A lawyer by training, he was born on November 2, 1967 in Item, in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State. He lives in Abakpa – Nike, Enugu, in Enugu State. He did his primary school and part of his secondary school education in the state before leaving for the United States of America, USA. Since his return to the country more than a decade ago, he has declared the state of Biafra thrice, and was incarcerated for three years. He was released from jail on February 15, 2017.