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Monday, November 16, 2015

Nigeria won't be free until Biafra is free - Nnamdi Kanu

On this page:

  • Nigeria won't be free until Biafra is free - Nnamdi Kanu
  • Face to face with Nnamdi Kanu, the man behind Radio Biafra
  • I'll be alive to actualize Biafra -Uwazuruike
  • I don't want another country

Nigeria won't be free until Biafra is free - Nnamdi Kanu
In 2013, Nnamdi Kanu, the detained director of Radio Biafra, visited Nigeria. He granted what could pass for his only interview in Nigeria. The interview conducted by Sam Anokam and which was published by Saturday Sun, in 2013, is hereby reproduced.


Tell us your name and what you do
My name is Nnamdi Kanu, I am the director of Radio Biafra which is based in London but now Radio Biafra is in Nigeria, it is in Biafra land. We have been here broadcasting on FM frequency 88.2 in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Nnewi and Owerri. We have brought Radio Biafra back to Biafra land for the very first time in 43 to 44 years. It is very well in operation in the east.

Why the East?
You know it is FM. It is not enough to propagate round and go round the country but we are working. Sometime in September, October, this year, we will to be able to bring in sufficient power in terms of transmission to allow us access to all areas within Nigeria.

Did you encounter any form of challenge in operating here?
The people that we got challenges from were some people who are obviously agents of the Nigerian government within the Biafran struggle because there are some Biafrans who are full-time paid agents of Nigeria. It is only from them that we got some rumblings but we were sufficiently protected because we are not doing anything illegal. It is free speech. We are basically speaking our minds. That is what is happening which incidentally a lot of people in and around the country bought into. It's not a question of us saying something that is new, we are discussing something that every other part of the country would like to be a part of.

How long have you been running the radio station in Nigeria?
We started running Radio Biafra in Nigeria for the past two and a half weeks, to be precise.

How has the reception been?
It's been very good but initially, the estimate we had was for a 25 mile radius range for the transmitter and the power of the antenna that we had but what we are recording were 18 miles. What we then need to do is to take it back to our people and then be able to make some improvements to it. As I said, we have a bigger transmitter coming in around September, October. We should be able to provide coverage nationally. Wherever you are in Nigeria, you should be able to get Radio Biafra on FM and AM from October of this year.

For now, what is the duration of the broadcast?
It is normally two and three hours. The one we had in Aba, because of the location where we are and the incessant rainfall, it was curtailed to an hour and 49 minutes but we are hoping to bring Radio Biafra to people on a daily basis.

Tell us how you started Radio Biafra in London
We started Radio Biafra in 2009 with the help of the then MASSOB members. They contributed to set up Radio Biafra. When we discovered that the leadership of MASSOB was doing something entirely different from what the people actually wanted, we went on air to tell the people about what we felt the struggle was going and the funding for Radio Biafra was stopped at that point in time. It was moribund for about two years. We then revived Radio Biafra ourselves a year ago. It came back online again on April 13 last year following the death of our people in the North. We decided to revive the radio station to bring hope, enlightenment and knowledge to our people.

How many of you revived Radio Biafra?
Radio Biafra was revived ostensibly by six people. Within the two years that Radio Biafra was off air, we were going to work Monday to Friday, 9-5 everyday, working and saving money to start Radio Biafra again. We neglected our families. We abandoned our commitments to our families both in London and here in Nigeria.

How have you been funding and sustaining it?
We've been sustained by ourselves. We go to work. We know that media for you people is a full-time job. For us, it should be a full-time job but we cannot have any funding because we don't want to go out and be pleading with people all the time because of what happened in the past. Anywhere we go for funding, they always remind us where the previous support they rendered us went to. 
They always use MASSOB and what Uwazuruike is doing as example as reasons not to fund the struggle anymore and we said rather with waiting and pleading with our people we agreed to do it ourselves to show them that we are serious. As long as we are on the path of truth and honesty, they will come round to our way of thinking at some point and we believe that is what they've done. And because the FM that we are talking about was funding only by one individual, Chukwudi Oforma who is based in Australia, he decided to bring out the money to fund the FM project that I came here to execute. That tells you that people are now beginning to come out to put some financial muscle behind what we are doing.

How is the reception in London?
When Radio Biafra came back on air, there were jubilations not only in Nigeria but all over the world. Because people recognise what Radio Biafra represents. At Radio Biafra, we cannot afford to lie. It is not a propaganda machine. We tell you things the way they are. If we are failing, we will tell the people we are failing and these are the reasons we are failing because part of the difficulty we've had in the past is people misrepresenting the truth. At Radio Biafra, we took an oath and we swore never to misrepresent the truth. Any day we lie or represent what is fact, that day, we will shut down and we will not be able to proceed. That is why we have been able to accomplish more than when we received sponsorship from members of MASSOB.

At some point, the funding meant for Radio Biafra was withdrawn by Uwazuruike and we began to enlighten people as to what was going wrong with the movement. And events now have borne us out that we were correct all along and that is why the more people discover how truthful Radio Biafra is, the more they are flocking back to us.

Now tell me what is wrong with MASSOB?
The movement has been flawed because people have started to follow the path of money. They have forgotten what Biafra realisation is all about. Mind you, we are not actualising but realising Biafra because Biafra already existed. You cannot actualize what is already in existence. The movement derailed because of the cult hero worship. When you are in a freedom fighting movement, the leadership of that movement is not very important, what is important is the ideology that underpins the entire movement. When you then embody, encapsulate the entire thinking of a movement in one person, that person becomes a target either for compromise or for assassination. That is what happens and that is what happened in this case. As you can see, we have now abandoned the struggle for Biafra, we are talking about chieftaincy titles. We are talking about working with PDP, we are talking about sewing uniform with Mrs. Jonathan peace ambassador and the rest of it but that was not the intention of the struggle. Biafra is puritanical in the sense that it doesn't like contamination with any other thing and that is why we are suffering today.

And because we took our eyes away from what was important which was the freedom for our people, we started to look at material things like cars, buildings, accolades and wealth. That was how we derailed.

What is the ideology of Biafra?
The ideology of Biafra is the freedom, the emancipation of all the Biafran people which means that all the people bound genetically, culturally and by the same value system. In other words, I am talking about those who understand the history of the Biafran people. I am talking about the Idoma people, the Igbo people, the Efiks, Ibibios, Anangs, Ijaw, Itsekiris, the Urhobos and the Anioma people. All these are Biafran families. If you go to a village or town for instance Oturpko, they have four market days-Eke, Orie, Afor and Nkwo. And when people say that these people are not Igbo people or that they are not related to Igbo people, it becomes a thing of wonder. 

How is it possible that people that have Eke, Orie, Afor and Nkwo as their market days are not related to Igbo people? When you go to Akwa Ibom or Cross River State, what they call God is Abasi, that is what we call God where we come from. The highest fraternity in Igboland where I come from in Abia State is Okonko. Okonko was directly derived from the Ibibio and the Efik cultures, the same thing with Ekpe. When we want to dance Ekpe in my place, we go to Ibibio land to buy the kits for the Ekpe which is a masquerade dance. So, we are all related. We are the same people genetically, in terms of our complexion, in terms of our attitude. I give all your readers a challenge. I want you to go to any market in Warri for instance. Stand back and take a picture of that market, then, go to any Igbo town or village, take a picture of the market of that village and tell me if you can tell the difference. There is no difference. The dressing is the same. Everything we do is the same. The people we call Bonny today are people from Nkwerre. We are all the same people. But due to the difficulties, the hardship, the pain that we have been subjected to, they think it is now fashionable to jettison where you come from and try to be something that you are not which is why we are suffering till today.

What is the way out?
The way out is total freedom for Biafra because Nigeria will not be free unless Biafra is free. We are not against Nigeria. That is the problem. We must make it abundantly clear that Biafra is not the antithesis of Nigeria. We want Nigeria to be one should they feel to engage in the exercise but what we are saying is that you are keeping us in bondage. To tell me that Imo State allocation is a paltry N3.4b every month, this is the reason our governors could not work before. We have been at the forefront of castigating South eastern governors of not doing enough. It is now that it is beginning to occur to us that they don't even have the money to do anything in the first place. There is no money available. How do we rectify all these problems? I challenge anybody to go to Igbo land and not be able to weep. 

You will see misery upon misery. We are not marginalised, we are enslaved. We are encased in a plaster of deprivation unheard of ever before. We are asking people to leave Lagos, leave where you are in Europe, in America, in Asia, wherever you may be, travel to the village, if you come back the same person, then you know something is wrong with you because where we come from is decaying. Biafra land is in absolute and unimaginable poverty which nobody can cure unless we have Biafra.

Does Radio Biafra have any link or campaigning for Biafra republic?
Yes, we do. Radio Biafra is the most listened to indigenous broadcast out of sub Saharan Africa. We have every evening nothing less than two million people tuned in all around the world. We have on average every blessed day nothing less than 100,000 people visit Radio Biafra website so the message we propagate is getting through or else people will not be coming. Our message is resonating with the people and we are working with a lot of groups ostensibly Bilie Human Rights Initiatives, Biafra Liberation Council, we are also working with other groups across the Niger Delta areas to make sure we bring about Biafra of justice and equality, not Biafra of domination because a lot of people are afraid that if we have Biafra, there is going to be domination by the Igbo people and our question to them is very simple: before Nigeria, before the whiteman came, did the Igbos conquer anybody? 
The answer is no. We are larger than the Ibibios, Efiks, Ijaws, did we go to the Ijaws and say you must speak Igbo language or else we kill you? Or you must adopt our culture or else we kill you? The ironic thing is that we ended up absorbing these other cultures to the Igbo way of life. That goes to show how versatile we are. We are not a domineering people. 

The fact that if you open up your shop to trade and you are blessed and become wealthy means that you are domineering? That is a slightly false perception of what dominance is. It is not dominance, it is people actually doing well. And you will know even in Igboland today, there is a traditional ruler that has converted to Islam-Eze Dumuna of Mbaitoli. He is now Musa Dimuna, a traditional titled ruler in Igboland! He's not been killed. He's not been chased out or bombed because we believe in tolerance.

What's your take about groups agitating for Biafra?
We welcome every group agitating for Biafra as long as you are doing it in truth and honesty. If you look at the programme of some elements of movement within Biafra land, you would know that they have derailed from that cardinal principal. They are not pursuing Biafra in truth and honesty anymore. What they are doing does not represent freedom fighting anymore. That is why we say to people, there are groups you can join. You can join Bilie Human Rights Initiative which took Nigeria to court which a lot of people don't know about.
A court in Nigeria recognises the word 'Biafra' for the very first time without throwing everybody in jail. The case is coming up on April 30 and we are asking everybody to be in court in Owerri to witness this landmark occasion. It's been going on since last year. 

A lot of people don't know this. Again we are saying join Bilie Human Rights Initiatives, listen to Radio Biafra broadcasting both from London and Biafra land, you can also join Biafra Liberation Council. It is a legitimate group. You can join Lower Niger Congress. These are groups that are legitimate. Any other group you join is involved in criminality and in violence, detrimental to what we are pursuing because you have people with MASSOB for instance who are going about arresting people and handing over to Nigerian police. People agitating for Biafra are being arrested and being handed over to the Nigerian police and these are people claiming to be fighting for the struggle. You have to be consistent. There is no relationship between fighting for the freedom of your people and accumulation of wealth. That is what we are against.

In other words, your relationship with MASSSOB is sour?
Our relationship with genuine people within MASSOB pursuing Biafra in truth and honesty is sound. What we abhor is the leadership of MASSOB because the leadership of MASSOB is corrupt. Intrinsically corrupt. They were campaigning for PDP during the last elections, everybody knows that. They are running all over the place looking for chieftaincy titles. We asked them: have you seen anywhere in the history of modern freedom fighters where you jettison freedom fighting and start looking for chieftaincy titles? You abandon freedom fighting to start pricing the cost of cement and sand to go and build a house. 

You wait until you get what you are looking for. At that point, the people will honour you. Nelson Mandela doesn't live in a mansion. Mahatma Ghandi never lived in a mansion. Martin Luther King Junior never lived in a mansion. Che Guevara never lived in a mansion. What are you doing with landed properties? What are you doing with wealth if you are a freedom fighter? We work ourselves to put our money in Biafra. We don't expect anything from Biafra. We don't have anything to with money. That is the cardinal rule in Radio Biafra. You can never be rich. You don't need money for anything at all as long as you can feed and cloth and transport yourself, that is enough. The glory of your people being free is your gain. Nothing more, nothing less. If you are lucky the people might give you a three bedroom bungalow to live when you retire but we have role models in the likes of Mandela among others who never amassed any personal wealth, these are genuine freedom fighters and this is what Radio Biafra is modelled on.

The Igbos have been victims of Boko Haram and recently a bus was bombed in Kano with the Igbo people as victims as usual, what is your take on it?
My brother was there, Ikechukwu from Ndagwam from Etiti Nabua in Isiama Afara Ukwu, Ibeku. I cannot marry from that kindred. My brother died in the explosion. What is happening in Nigeria is affecting some of us. I have his picture here on my phone lying in his casket so that people will understand the difficulties we are going through within this country. What Boko Haram is doing to us is not only abominable, it is absolutely unacceptable to us. Ask yourself, why would we start Radio Biafra? Simple, nobody was talking. Have you heard any Igbo governor talk about the bombings in the North or condemn it? The answer is no. Have you heard Ohanaeze, our own fathers that we look up to and respect, say anything about the bombings? The answer is No.
Have you heard anybody else come out to say what Boko Haram is doing is bad and must be matched? The answer is no.

Ask yourself why they are killing Igbo people? They are killing Igbo people because of a man that says he is not Igbo. They are killing Igbo people because of Goodluck Jonathan. We cannot allow this to continue. If people are exchanging the lives of our people for money, for jeep for what they can get, their days are numbered.

How do you think Biafra would be realised?
Biafra will be realised both legally, politically, socially and otherwise. But one thing is for certain, Biafra is coming. Nobody can stop it. No amount of intimidation, arrest, torture, deprivation will stop Biafra from coming. It is already ordained. We are not talking about the Biafra that these new age churches preach asking us to leave everything to God. We are not leaving everything to God, we are asking God to give us the power to be able to do things. When we start, you should tell your readers that the world will not even be able to contain us. What Boko Haram is doing will appear like a tea party when we start our own. The reason being that, we have not done anything in this country to deserve the treatment that we are getting. We have done nothing wrong to people. They say don't break away and be Biafra, we agree to remain in one Nigeria, what are we getting today? Punishment. Death. Disaster upon disaster. You are living in a country you call your own and you are dying every blessed day. Is it a country? If they are killing us in these numbers because somebody who answers an Igbo name is in Aso Rock what do you think will happen when an Igbo man is there? They will slaughter all of us. The first time that this pogrom happened on this scale was when an Igboman was the head of state. They killed Aguiyi Ironsi and from that they massacred everybody. Isn't that enough to tell the Igbo people that you are not wanted in this country?

Now you tell me as a journalist, when the Yorubas' want to hold meetings, they come to Yoruba land. They go to Ibadan or Awolowo's house and have their meeting. When the northerners, the Hausa Fulani people want to meet, they go to Kaduna, Zaria, Sokoto and meet. Do you know that when Ibos want to meet, we go to Atlanta, Texas, we meet in Lagos, we don't meet in Enugu. Even the Ohanaeze that we are hoping and praying should be constituted in a way to reflect the wishes and aspirations of our people is now dancing to the tune to whoever pays them highest.

If one governor in the South East comes out and say I will develop my state and make it better, they will impeach him and put somebody else in there and we are very docile and doing nothing. Let's make this very clear, if we don't fight for Biafra to come, many more Boko Haram deaths will happen. And the slaughter will intensify and if it gets to the point they know we've been cowed into a corner, they will come in forcibly to islamise us. It is now happening in Imo State. The entrance to the government house has an Islamic symbol there. I challenge anybody to go and have a look. It is happening. A traditional ruler is now a muslim in Imo state. They are building their Islamic centres. I am not against any religion. Islam if practiced very well is a wonderful religion, I have nothing against it but you can see the creeping Islamization we are experiencing and that can't continue.

What is your advice for the Igbo?
It is for everybody to listen to Radio Biafra. Everybody should cultivate and develop the habit of masking sure they have the Biafran consciousness in them, in truth and honesty. We don't want the Biafra of the old of deception deceit and lies. Biafra represents light. We have no mixture with darkness. Anytime you stand upon the name Biafra to lie and to cheat, you are finished. You cannot accomplish anything. What are we doing in Nigeria? What have you gained in Nigeria? Do you know that oil is in Imo State before any other place? Do you know that Shell was in Owerri before any other place in this country? Is it fair that we from Biafra cannot make use of Calaba or Port Harcourt sea ports? Why must I be in Ohaozara and import a car through Lagos, does that make any economic sense to anybody? In a country that claims it is developing? In a country where crude oil comes from the ground, yet, you cant produce electricity and you are telling me you are human beings? I don't want to belong to that country, God forbid!

Face to face with Nnamdi Kanu, the man behind Radio Biafra
Written by BY ONUOHA UKEH - The SUN. 

Nnamdi Kanu
Until last month when Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, director, Radio Biafra, was arrested in Lagos, only a few people knew about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group interested in the actualisation of a separate home state for the Igbo. Today, that hitherto obscured group has come to national limelight, with the "release Nnamdi Kanu" protests across the South East and South South.

Indeed, since Kanu was arrested in a Lagos hotel, a few hours after he arrived the country, members of the IPOB have marched in the streets of Port Harcourt, Aba, Asaba, Enugu, Awka and other cities, to register their anger over his detention. With what is happening, you could wonder how Kanu, who lives in London, was able to have such followership, which is becoming a movement.

When the news of Kanu's arrest broke, I remembered the first time I met him in London, three years ago. It was a chanced meeting made possible by a man I knew in the course of my job and who, incidentally, knows Kanu. He also lives in London as Kanu. I had travelled to Britain on vacation and called Chukwuma to tell him I was in London. He promised to make out time and see me. The meeting did not hold until about one week. It was a cold Sunday afternoon in September 2012. Chukwuma had called me on phone to announce that he was coming to where I lodged. Since I had a shopping programme that day, I told him I would not be in. I had scheduled that Sunday to go to the famous Liverpool "Sunday Market," in London to do some shopping. He volunteered to meet me there in the afternoon, after I would have finished my business.

As promised, my friend was at Liverpool Station, in Central London, our agreed rendezvous. When we met, the first time actually as we had been speaking on phone, he told me he was going to introduce me to somebody I may have heard of, who was in a car parked some metres away. We trekked from the Liverpool Station to the car in that freezing weather. In the car was this young man, handsome, smartly dressed and soft-spoken.

My friend had introduced him as Nnamdi Kanu, director of Radio Biafra. It was a pleasant surprise that I was face-to-face, on a platter of gold, with the man behind Radio Biafra, a station, which, at that time, was becoming popular among Igbo across the world. As a journalist and Editor,Saturday Sun at that time, I saw a big news and considered myself lucky. I had instantly asked for an interview, which Kanu approved, but said it would hold in Nigeria when he visited. He eventually visited at about March/April in 2013 and Saturday Sun, which I edited, interviewed him in Lagos.

On that Sunday, in London, Kanu had offered to give me lunch, in a place where we would sit down and have an informal chat. He drove around Central London, to find a restaurant. It took us some time, owing to parking, which is a problem in Central London. Eventually, we ended at a Spanish restaurant, in a street we were lucky to get parking space. Chukwuma had recommended Paola, a Spanish delicacy, which I could not eat eventually. In the Paola, there is rice and half cooked seafood in shells, which I did not find funny. As I pretended to be eating the Paola, we talked, I had sized Kanu up. He's a smart youngman, well-schooled, likeable and passionate about what he was doing. From the way he spoke, one could see his passion to see that Igbo are better treated and recognised. He spoke of deprivation and marginalisation of Igbo. He was angry with many Nigerians, including Igbo bigwigs, who he said had sold out.

Kanu told me about his relationship with the late Ikemba Nnewi, who led the defunct Republic of Biafra, during the civil war. He spoke of a meeting he and others had with Ojukwu in London, where the late Biafra leader talked about a successor. He boasted how he and his group members made it possible for Ojukwu to appear on BBC'sHard Talk.
I remember him asking no one in particular: "Who has ever organised Ojukwu to appear on BBC's Hard Talk? We did it. Nobody has done that for him before. We in London did it. The fact that we don't shout and come to newspaper all the time doesn't mean we don't know what we are doing."

I must say that before then, the talk about Biafra was synonymous with MASSOB (Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra). Nothing much was heard of IPOB. The other group, which reared its head was Biafran Zionist Movement. However, from what Kanu told me at the meeting, IPOB was getting more global interest than the other groups. He talked about his trips across the world, to meet with Igbo who loved Radio Biafra and wanted to meet one of the men behind it. This had taken him to United States, Canada, Sweden, France, Germany and other nations. He talked about the case IPOB instituted in Owerri against "Nigeria."

The Radio Biafra director made it clear that he was not just angry with the leadership in Nigeria, which he said had neglected the Igbo people and the South East, as bad roads and decrepit infrastructure dot the landscape, but also with Igbo elite, who he said had compromised and, therefore, do not fight for the interest of the Igbo. He said that was why he always attacked them on Radio Biafra.

What's his relationship with MASSOB? Kanu said that he had issues with the group's leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, revealing that he once had a raw deal with MASSOB, whose members kidnapped him during one of his visits to Nigeria. According to him, he had come to Nigeria for his traditional marriage ceremony but ended in MASSOB gulag.

Why would MASSOB or anybody for that matter kidnap Kanu? "I was kidnapped because I told him the truth. I told him that he cannot print Biafran passport and be selling to people when he, as the leader of MASSOB, is travelling with Nigerian passport. You don't deceive your people. I told him that carrying Biafran passport was tantamount to treasonable felony. It is not right as the leader of a group to be amassing wealth when people are poor," he said.
The Radio Biafra director revealed two occasions he invited the MASSOB leader to London, where they talked about working together to help Igbo. Said he: "I told him that the best thing for us to do was to have a movement where we can create jobs for our people. And these are the ways we are going to do it. He never listened to any of those pieces of advice we gave. I advised him personally to turn the Freedom House he built with the money contributed by the people in his father's compound to more or less an open house for the people to come, but that is his private residence."

He expressed anger that MASSOB was infiltrated by the Federal Government, alleging: "It was then that it occurred to us that the powers-that-be, ostensibly the late Umar Yar'Adua, called the five eastern governors and asked them to ask Uwazuruike what he wanted as a sort of settlement so that he can stop what he was doing. That was why they were campaigning for the PDP. They campaigned for Ohakim the last time Ohakim contested in Imo State. I can tell you today even MASSOB members are revolting now because they know that their leadership is fraudulent and decaying. And unless they get away from the scene completely, we can never get Biafra because their own brand is tainted and we cannot have it anymore."

When I asked Kanu how he escaped from MASSOB's prison, he talked about how people he did not name, who learnt about his ordeal, gave the MASSOB leader a 24-hour ultimatum to release him or they would bring down his place.
On Radio Biafra, Kanu said it was a way to expose the bad happenings in Nigeria. He regretted that there was no time to take me to Radio Biafra studio, but boasted that it was equipped to international standard.

The Radio Biafra director revealed that Igbo, who believed in what he was doing, were ready to confront "the enemy head on," saying that South-easterners were suffering in Nigeria.
In the course of our discussion, I never knew that time was flying, until I looked at my phone's time and realised that it was 7pm. It was time to go. Kanu and Chukwuma drove me from Central London to Hayes area of London, where I stayed. He promised to get in touch with me any time he visited Nigeria.

In the early part of 2013, he visited and made the first broadcast of Radio Biafra from Nigeria. Using his laptop, Internet and other devices, he hooked onto London studio and broadcast to the world, he later boasted. It was during the visit that Saturday Sun interviewed him in Lagos.

I'll be alive to actualize Biafra -Uwazuruike
~Vanguard, Nigeria

ONITSHA -Leader of the Movement for Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, yesterday, charged members of the movement to remain steadfast and focused in the revolutionary struggle, saying that the non-violent method adopted by MASSOB had become a source of worry to the so-called northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and the Nigerian military.

Uwazuruike insisted that there was no going back in his bid to actualize Biafra now or never, stressing that he was in the struggle for freedom not for any other person but for his own children, who, he said, desire a free country where the security of their lives and properties can be guaranteed.

Special meeting

The MASSOB leader, who spoke through the Deputy National Director for Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, weekend, at a special meeting of Enugu West Senatorial District, in Nachi, Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, lamented that since Nigeria got her independence in 1960, it had never guaranteed security of lives and properties of Ndigbo, a situation, which he claimed, persuaded him to seek independence of Biafra.

He frowned that some Igbo elite had become stooges to our oppressors, who often used them to do odd jobs and also sponsor them to make blatant comments to discredit Biafra in order to win contracts from their masters in Abuja.

He regretted that such elite, because of the peanuts they were getting from the oppressors, would accept to sabotage the Biafra struggle without knowing how much MASSOB had laboured in the past 16 years, insisting that their plans were bound to fail.

According to Uwazuruike, "ACF had asked Allah to give them Boko Haram, he gave to them and they became comfortable with its outcome. Afenifere elders had Oodua People's Congress, OPC, fighting for social justice in Yoruba land.

“I am very happy that Biafra is being talked about all over the world and people are being killed and detained for the sake of Biafra. So, if I fail to get Biafra, then I would have failed to do what Ndigbo expected of me and if I also die for the sake of Biafra, I will be fulfilled."

I don't want another country

Written by Owei Lakemfa - Vanguard, Nigeria. 

SOME days ago, I woke up to find that someone, or group had decided to change my country. It was there on Facebook; a supposed map of a new country called Biafra. I was neither consulted nor my opinion sought. I am not also aware that the Ijaws, who are my parents, our neigbours the Isokos, Itsekiris, Urhobos, Efiks, Ibibios, Orons etcetera, were consulted. Some fellow Nigerians in demonstrating their right to self-determination, decided that I do not have the right to be consulted.

If I were to reincarnate and have power of choice, I would ordinarily, not decide to be a Nigerian. I would prefer to be an African, in that united continent Kwame Nkrumah prophesied, with a single government, currency, economy and citizenship. I will not trade a continent for another small enclave, while industrialised Europe has almost evolved into one entity. That will not be strategic thinking, it will be collective backwardness.

I understand why the agitators need the Southern nationalities; they require their oil and gas resources, and access to the sea. But they are being quixotic by forcing these peoples into a map. They need to consult and persuade. But this will be difficult as the advocates of a new Biafra have not made public any known philosophy, ideology, vision, road map, socio-economic programme or policy, including on peoples and minority rights.

I have read some juvenile Boko Haram Shekarau-like outbursts by the new kid on the bloc, Nnamdi Kalu of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) who vomits words like "If they don't give us Biafra, no human being will remain alone in Nigeria by that time; we shall turn everybody into corpses; you better go and buy your coffin." He reminds me of the quixotic 'uprising' by the Biafra Zionist Federation led by Benjamin Igwe Onwuka who on June 5, 2014 tried to seize the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) ostensibly to declare a Biafra Republic.

Apart from these, I have seen photographs of people in camouflage doing drills in alleged preparation for war to actualise Biafra. I am not sure they know what they are doing. I was six when the civil war broke out. Until this day, I still recall the faces of my play mates like Ngozi Eze, who left for the East and never came back when their families returned. You imagine the trauma the rest of their families went through. I also, still recall the faces of my uncles; Anusi, and Wisdom Fakrogha, who went to that war, and never returned. It is not just about the massive destruction, starvation and early graves. It included injuries that never healed, scars that people carry in their hearts. 
Like John Pepper Clarke wrote, in his poem, The Casualties. "The casualties are not only those who are dead... The casualties are not only those who started A fire and now cannot put out. Thousands are burning that have no say in the matter...We are all casualties"
I read about people on both sides, glorifying the civil war. Yes, it was a glorious war; but not for the two million who lost their lives. It was a heroic war; but not for the children taken to Gabon who never returned. War can be glamorous, but not for the dead. Not for those who become invalid, the widowed and the orphaned. For the true victims, the pain never really go away.

For Kalu and his group who argue that the Igbos are a conquered people in bondage, needing to be free, I say the conquered are not necessarily those who are said to have lost the civil war forty five years ago, but those on either side who lost their lives, income, property and loved ones. The victors are not necessarily those who sing victory songs; but those who smile to the banks having made fortunes selling arms and rice, boots and aircraft, bombs and relief materials to all sides in the conflict.

When during the 1962 Missile Crisis over Cuba, and American President, John .F. Kennedy was toying with the idea of going to war, then Soviet Union leader, Nikita Khrushchev wrote him, warning “I have participated in two world wars and know that war ends only when it has rolled through cities and villages, everywhere sowing death and destruction. For such is the logic of war. If people do not display wisdom, they will clash like blind moles and then, mutual annihilation will commence."

But if we want to persuade our angry compatriots to remain, we must understand why they want out. I turn to Kalu to understand him. First he claims that the operation of the Federal Character provision and development, is lopsided. In other words, Igbos are marginalised. But interestingly, most or all nationalities in the country feel the same way. He says Igbos are killed in parts of the country. Ironically, the 'killing fields' today are in the North East, and Middle Belt where all Nigerians are victims. He argues that Nigeria is an artificial creation. I agree fully with him; but which country is not? Even the Biafra, his group wants to create will also be an artificial one. He laments that while the soldiers on the Federal side were paid, those who fought for Biafra were not. Whatever the arguments; this appears more an administrative issue, and less a reason for secession.

He pointed at corruption, mass unemployment and injustice in what he calls the "Zoological Republic of Nigeria" Doubtlessly, there is injustice; to the poor and powerless; the voiceless and the vulnerable. But the solution cannot be the balkanization of the country; rather, it is to fight these ills.
Even if I am left out of Biafra as I desire, I don't want a passport to go drink from the knowledge of Arthur Nwankwo in Enugu, visit Maxim Uzotu, 'the god of poetry' or share a drink with Anaele Ihuoma in Owerri.
We cannot deny those who clamour for a new country, but the rest of us have the duty and right to propagate our desire for a united Nigeria, and an integrated Africa.

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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