- Southern Kaduna will go with Biafra, Danfulani tells Kanu.
- AN OPEN -LETTER TO MY BRETHREN IN THE "SOUTH-SOUTH"
- Steps towards Biafra
- Likely scenarios if Biafra goes
- Don’t Go To War With Biafrans Again; They Are Now Too Sophisticated To Be Defeated – Gowon Tells Buhari, Others.
- Let’s beg Biafran agitators – Obasanjo
- Civil war not to wipe out Ndigbo - Obasanjo
- Biafra will not stand, Buhari vows
- Kanu a bigger crowd-puller than Buhari, says Kukah
- Biafra - A creation of northern elite
- MASSOB pleads with UN to conduct referendum
- MASSOB pledges allegiance to Niger Delta Avengers
- IPOB restructures
Southern Kaduna will go with Biafra, Danfulani tells Kanu
Written by Anayo Okoli.
~Vanguard Nigeria. Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
|Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu ( left) , |
with social crusader and advocate of Southern Kaduna people,
Dr. John Danfulani ( right), when the latter paid him solidarity visit
yesterday in Umuahia.
UMUAHIA – DR. John Danfulani, a social crusader and activist from the embattled Southern Kaduna has said that the people of Southern Kaduna would prefer and be comfortable to go with the Biafra Republic rather remain with Nigeria where the people were being killed on daily basis with any adequate protection from the Government.
Danfulani who spoke yesterday in Umuahia, when he paid a solidarity visit to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was quoted to have said that "the people of Southern Kaduna share a lot of values in common with Biafrans”, and would not hesitate to follow them “if Nigeria breaks up”.
The former university teacher bemoaned the fate of minority ethnic nationalities in Southern Kaduna who are mostly Christians and lamented government’s indifference to their ordeals following incessant unprovoked attacks by herdsmen.
"If Nigeria breaks up we won’t go with the North. Certainly we will go with Biafra because we share a lot in common. We can form a confederation based on agreement. It is better for us because we are safer in Biafra. In the North, they don’t like us because we don’t pray like them. So, it is better we follow those who share the same faith and values with us”, Danfulani was quoted to have said.
According to him, if the Federal Government failed to heed the clamour for the restructuring the country before 2019, Nigeria might not remain a single political entity.
It was his opinion that Nigeria was amalgamated for British economic and administrative convenience against the people’s wishes, saying there was need for the country to be restructured.
"Nigeria remains the only country in the world where people were merged together because of the economic interest of their colonial masters without their consent. If we fail to restructure now, it may be late after 2019″, he warned and wondered why some people are considered sacred cows in the country while others are treated as second class citizens.
Danfulani who is the Coordinator of the Centrum Initiative for Development And Fundamental Rights Advocacy, CEDRA, frowned at the inability of the security agencies to arrest the Arewa youths who issued quit notice to Ndigbo to live the North.
“Why is it that until today the leaders of Arewa youths who gave a quit notice to Ndigbo are yet to be arrested despite the warrant of arrest? They are parading the streets and nobody has touched them.
"If it is John Danfulani I would have been arrested because I am John. If it were John Danfulani, Governor El- Rufai would have crammed me into prison", he said and accused Governor El-Rufai of persecuting him because of his faith.
"El- Rufai is after me because I am a Christian and identify with Christian minorities in Southern Kaduna. He is like the White South Africans behind apartheid rule while I am like the indigenous South African people that own the land.
"Is it not a crime to pay terrorists with the state funds? Yet El- Rufai said he is using Kanuda State funds to pay herdsmen massacring Christian minorities in Southern Kaduna and nobody is asking him questions", he lamented.
According to him, the people of Southern Kaduna had suffered so much in the hands of "those who think they own the North", jus the same fate of the people of South East in Nigeria.
"We face the same suppression and oppression that the Igbo face in Nigeria. We are hated in the North and we are the target of barbaric attacks by those who are out to extinguish us", the activist said.
Dr. Danfulani also decried the poor state of infrastructure in the South East particularly roads which he described as the worst in Nigeria. He lamented that Nigeria's unfair treatment to Ndigbo is the reason for the agitation for self determination.
"I plied the roads down to this place and I saw how terrible they are. I never knew we still have this type of road in Nigeria. The Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway is a nightmare", he said.
On his visit to Umuahia, Danfulani said it was to show solidarity to Kanu who he described as a God-sent hero championing a just cause.
"I came to show him support for the travails he has undergone. He is pursuing a legitimate cause that is acceptable and guaranteed by the United Nations charter. That is why I have come to encourage him and assure him of our support in Southern Kaduna.
"While he was in detention, I was among those who organised a protest for government to obey the court order to release him. I came for the groups I represent in Southern Kaduna in solidarity with him", Danfulani said.
In his remarks, Kanu thanked Danfulani for speaking against injustice as well as his efforts in defense of the oppressed and marginalized people of Southern Kaduna and assured him of the full assistance of Biafra to Christian minorities and the oppressed people of Southern Kaduna as well as the Middle Belt.
“Biafra will not abandon Southern Kaduna and Middle Belt”, Kanu promised.
------------------------------------------------ AN OPEN LETTER TO MY BRETHREN IN THE "SOUTH-SOUTH"
By Donald Ekpo, Akwa Ibom State
"For as long as the Old Eastern region remain in disarray and not united, self-determination of the region will remain impossible." ~ An anonymous retired Nigerian Army Chief
The word “South-South,” even though it may sound absurd, is a name we have come to accept as a people. We can’t say exactly how we came about to be identified with the name neither can we say exactly when we were given the name, but we just know it is our name. While growing up back in the days, geography taught us about “the North,” “the South,” “The East” and “The West.” For proper definition of locations, we were also told about “The Northwest, NorthEast, Southwest and SouthEast” I can’t remember anything like the “NorthNorth”, “SouthSouth”, “EastEast” or Westwest , but here I am today, writing a letter to my South-South brethren. That is what happens to a people that are not in control of their Cultural Development or the Political and Economic Future.
That is what happens to a people that are just there for their numbers, that is what happens to people that are just kept for their services, that is what happens to people that are just custodians of wealth for a supposedly superior people, and finally, that is what happens to peoples that are slaves. Any name is suitable for them, they can only get whatever is given to them even if it is originally theirs. If in doubt, please remind me of the meaning of KUNTA KINTE.
I write this letter not because it is frustrating to see how we allowed a defrauded propaganda to position our people as the pawns in the Political Chess called Nigeria, but rather, I write this letter in an effort to request that we free ourselves from these propaganda that has lingered for too long. If our grandfathers and fathers did not ask questions, is there any divine law that says we cannot ask? We know we all belonged to the old Eastern Region of Nigeria before the Northern Protectorate took back their power after the gruesome murder of General Aguiyi Ironsi.
Just for the records, let me do us a bit of history here; Major General Ironsi as Head of State was cornered and arrested somewhere in western Nigeria on July 29th of 1966, his hands and feet were tied together, then tied to a Land Rover with a little space in between, and driven on a tarred road, face down for several kilometers. The then highest ranking Northern officer, an acting (Unconfirmed) Lieutenant Colonel was chosen to be the next Head of State ahead of serving Brigadiers, Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels of the Southern Nigeria, followed by the dreadful killings of officers and soldiers of Eastern Nigeria including our so called South South soldiers and officers.
The genocide that followed is what is recorded as the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970. As if that was not enough, the Eastern region was broken apart with the sudden creation of the then South Eastern State (today’s Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom), Rivers State (Today’s Rivers State and Bayelsa). It was during that war that propagandas were designed, created and generated to separate us from the old Eastern Region and make the average Igbo man our potential enemy in an effort to reduce their own presumed enemies. In as much as it is a bitter history, but I find it necessary to do you this preamble.
I write this letter to remind us that our region, known as the South-South today was a creation of the North for the sake of creating the disunity we face today. And moreso, it was not just for the disunity for them to win the war, but to also take away our resources, our manpower and our economic future. In 2014 when President Jonathan, a son of the so called South-South decided to re-contest the 2015 elections, Sheik Junaid Mohammed in an engagement on behalf the Northern Protectorate, reminded us that the so called South-South was a creation of the North for effective management of the Northern interest in Eastern Nigeria. How bad could this be? Can we imagine that? So while we are busy reminding ourselves that we are a different people or that the Igbos are wicked and are trying to kill us, the North is joyously taking over and owning 85% of our oil wells while the West takes over the left overs.
And what do we get? Noise! Even the supposedly football legend, Sunday Okechukwu Oliseh is busy telling us he is not Igbo as if it is a curse to be Igbo. One wonders if the name Okechukwu is of Hausa or Yoruba origin. When you speak Igbo as a language and yet claim you are not Igbo, is that not the saddest thing that can happen to any people of identical culture? Even Major Kaduna Nzeogwu that led the first coup that was said to be an Igbo coup is from Okpanam village in today’s Delta State. Could he have come out to say today like Sunday Oliseh said that he was not Igbo? If the Abakaliki or Nsukka indigene that has a more distant dialect of Igbo is Igbo, how come the Anioma or Okrika indigene that is easily understood is not Igbo? How did a people of the same culture get so separated these far?
I write these letter to speak to those of us regarded as "minority tribes." How can we be minority when in essences we are known to be about 35 million of the said 180 million of the said Nigerian population? How can we be a minority in our own lands if we were not treated as such, or if we did not accept to be such? If those from the alliance that separated us from the West are said to be about 50 million in population, and our brethren in the East are said to be about 40 million, how can we accept we are a minority? Our compatriots from the alleged minorities of the North are said to be another 30 million, who then is the minority? Having run through these figures, we know who the real minorities are.
Be it as it appears, the truth is that our region was broken into two so as to weaken our original strength given that at a combined population strength of 35 million and 40 million people, our economic and entrepreneurial strength put together would be something the alliance will be worried about. So why should we ever think that it is logical to claim we are two different people when in essence, we have always been one and the same people for over 400 years before the arrival of the white man. If what the white man did to us was not bad enough, is it not ridiculous that we allowed a certain minority immigrants to assume control of our economic and political future?
I write these letter to ask my brethren in the South-South these pertinent question; Let us assume the very worst situation in this fracas between us and our Igbo brothers, why are we worried about the Igbos taking over our “natural resources” (assuming they don’t have theirs), ARE WE PRESENTLY IN CONTROL OF OUR “NATURAL RESOURCES”? Does it make more sense that our natural resources is being controlled by some strange people from over 700 miles away? People that kill us at will at a single provocation of their religion? People that even kill us in our land? People that challenge us to the ownership of these our resources? People that show absolute disregard of who we are? People that think it is a privilege for us to be in any position of authority? And finally, people that do not in any way have the kind of entrepreneurial skills that we have?
Why would we allow our imaginary quarrel or fights with our brothers translate to the decision of one of the women in King Solomon’s Judgment that insisted that since she couldn’t have the child, the other woman should not. So are we in essence saying it is better for none of us brethren to own our resources simply because we don’t trust our brothers, yet we do nothing about the stranger that has ripped us apart? Are we logically correct in these senseless quarrel?
Even while we are senselessly worried about how the Igbos will colonize our people because that is what we were told, and that is what some of these alliance are still trying to tell us; can we sincerely tell ourselves that the Igbos are that evil? Evil enough to leave their Natural resources in Abia, Imo, Anambra and Enugu states to come and take ownership of our resources? How will they do that? How possible will it be for a people that barely kill by the sword compared to our present oppressors? Do we honestly see that as a possibility? How and why did we allow these propaganda to go these far? Is these not what the alliance has used to rule us through the divide and rule scheme? Sheik Jumiad Mohammed said it clearly that our separation was a creation of the North for the effective management of our resources while we keep fighting an imaginary enemy.
I write this letter to remind us that we and our Igbo brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers have cultural identities, we uphold the sanctity of life, we do not kill a man like a chicken, we worship the same God, and we have identical looks and reasoning capabilities. Education is a respected virtue to both of us, entrepreneurism is a common love between us. We both respect constituted authorities. Even-though we both have the cultural odds that cannot, and should not be used to castigate an entire people. So how come the Igbo man suddenly became evil shortly before the war if the castigation was not a propaganda tool of the war?
How did we accept that our Igbo brothers were evil while we were saints? How are we saints? Is there any evil that is the monopoly of the Igbos that we are totally clean of? That we don’t have a single man/woman that does same if positioned in the same situation? How did we allow a distant people determine how we leave our lives? If we think we are different and as such we are treated better than the Igbos; have we noticed that the fate of the Onitsha Port is the same fate that befell the Ports in Calabar and Port Harcourt? We from the East are all forced to go to Lagos to pay taxes to those ports. How have we been treated differently by these alliances if we were different from the Igbos? Are we not facing the same fate as our Eastern brethren? How do you think we will fare if we were the only ones to receive these treatment given a circumstance where the Igbos are no more in this contraption called Nigeria?
I write this letter to our brethren to remind us that without a unified stand of the entire region, the self-determination process will be a farce. We need each other in all difficulties. We are the Eastern Region; we are the region of the Lower Niger; we are a common people; we are not different from each other. Starting from the Hills of Ogoja to the rocky soils of Ebonyi, down to the temperate region of Anambra down to the enclaves of Ishekiri and Isoko, we all look alike.
The Akwa Ibom man and the Abia State man are the same people simply divided by boundaries. The Calabar man and the Arochukwu man have identical ancestral masquerades. The Ikwerre man is just an Igbo man that was separated by the North to act as a different people. A British woman, camped somewhere in Kaduna decided to add the “R” consonant to the “U” vowel to totally break the identities of the Igbos in today’s Rivers State. The Ijaws, Kalabaris, Oron, Efik are practically the same people positioned in different locations possibly during the settlement centuries ago. We are all interrelated in the region and as such must not be divided.
We have been used for decades, disregarded at every opportunity, our rights are perceived as privileges if not favors. We do not have control over our future as instructed by the late Ahmadu Bello when he instructed his people not to allow us have control of our future, and should be seen as a conquered territory. Are we a conquered people by some strange people that believe they are born to rule, conquer and kill? These are a people who do not hold as sacrosanct what we revere as one. How can we continue in this Union that was designed to enslave us? How can we allow the lies told by these strangers to pitch us against ourselves?
AN ADDENDUM TO MY IGBO BROTHERS
I write to you to remind you that you can only fight a lie that was imbedded into the hearts of my brethren by putting yourself in his shoes to know how best to respond. We cannot fight evil with evil. Like we know, they say two wrongs don’t make a right. It is your responsibility to subtly ask those accusing you some logical questions that may prick their hearts to realities. We are all in this mess called Nigeria together.
Our Son, Goodluck Jonathan, was treated the same way General Ironsi was treated, they were both rejected. They were both despised. Both of them wanted a united Nigeria that existed beyond tribes and religion, but what did we see? President Goodluck Jonathan was lucky to escape with his life, but the General was not that lucky; He was tied to a Land Rover and driven on the rocky tarred roads between Abeokuta and Ibadan till he died and was shredded to pieces. Based on the Alhaji and Kunle’s phone conversation I believe we all listened to, we know that it could as well have happened to President Jonathan if he was not wise enough to let go of their birthright. But can we continue like this?
Look at what they are doing to Nnamdi Kanu? These are the same people that organized 70 lawyers to represent the Boko Haram suspects that have raped, maimed and Killed Nigerians, yet the one they choose to lead us says Nnamdi is too dangerous to be released because he has dual citizenship. Is these the kind of place we will continue to belong to when we are likely going to be having malicious morons of this magnitude leading us?
I write to you my brothers to remind you that the Gambaris know for certainty that having broken a greater part of you into other states in the "South-South," it may be difficult to successfully secede knowing what we know today. So it is inappropriate for you to remind my own brothers that with or without us, that you will succeed.
We cannot allow the propaganda of these gambaris to keep us apart. We must reject it by all means and efforts. We stand a greater chance to succeed as one region. As the older one of the two broken parts of our region, it is your responsibility to expose the deception that was used to mislead my people. It is you that will tell my people you do not have any intentions to colonize them. We have to collectively put these alliance to shame by consciously keeping our relationship cordial in the region. My dear brethren, I write to request that you take it as a duty to remind us that we are all one people because in truth, WE ARE ONE!
THE LOWER NIGER CONGRESS will not succeed if we do not position ourselves for success. We cannot go to a referendum with a divided house. We have to all agreed that we cannot continue in this contraption called a United Nigeria that was not just built on lies and propaganda, but was designed to fail while it enslaves our people. We have been battered, raped, disregarded, maimed and killed at will for the past 50 years. I am talking about the entire Eastern region. While we are being raped and killed, we are busy seeing each other as our enemy, while the real enemies smiles at our folly. We cannot continue like this. We should all take the opportunity presented to us by the UNITED NATION CHARTER ARTICLES ON SELF-DETERMINATION FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.
The Lower Niger Congress, has so far made presentations to the US Congress on the plight of our people, made a presentation to the United Nations, and have been able to secure a period by which the referendum will take place here in our region. But will we succeed during the electoral process if we are not united? Is it not time we put our swords into plowshare and see how we can take control of our political, economic future and Cultural development?
The Lower Niger Congress having met with traditional and titled leaders in all the corners of the Lower Niger Region believes the project will not be a success if we do not see ourselves as a united body. We cannot afford to go into a referendum that may be sabotaged by the propagandas of the alliance of the North. It is our duty to educate ourselves, educate our relatives, and educate our brethren. It is the best duty we can do for the generations unborn of our region.
This contraption called Nigeria was never designed to succeed, not with the present fraud of Constitution, not with the present mentality that only a section of the country were meant to rule, and finally, not with the present odds that accompany those that make it to the leadership position.
Finally, brethren, I appeal to you all to join hands in actualizing our dream to build a new nation based on principles, agreed morals, agreed terms and absolute regional autonomy to provoke developmental competition. This is what the LOWER NIGER CONGRESS IS WILLING TO OFFER.
For more information about the Lower Niger congress visit www.lnc-usa.org
------------------------------------------ Steps towards Biafra
Written by Obi Nwakanma
~Vanguard Nigeria. Sunday, June 11, 2017.
Right up to, and through the 1990s, it was anathema to discuss Biafra openly. It all began with the end of the civil war in 1970 and the attempts by the Federal government to suppress and erase every sign of the conflict in the public mind, and revise the causes of the Biafran conflict in the historical records. It seemed like an attempt to decree memory into oblivion - as though talking about it would subvert the very basis of Nigeria.
Perhaps it would have. But military decrees are futile when it comes to reflective and sentient men: you cannot decree pain away when you continue to inflict pain. And the actions of the Federal government continued to inflict pain on former Biafrans, and in both official and unofficial policies continued to treat these Biafrans, particularly the Igbo like pariahs.
But on the question of Biafra, there is the Igbo saying that no matter how it tries, the palms of the hand cannot hide or cover the moon: "Akaekpuchionwa." Biafra has remained a dazzling moon in the Nigerian horizon - romanticized to the point that a new generation has now taken up its cause. But why? Why the resurgence? Why now? Why is it that the gnawing pain of that conflict has been inherited by a new generation that did not even see the war?
People like me who survived on ration milk - infants of that war – and those who came right behind us after the war: these are the new voices of Biafra. The answer is very simple: Biafrans - particularly the Igbo – have felt themselves very mistreated in post-war Nigeria; they feel that they have borne the heaviest burden of injustice in a contemporary Nigerian nation built on the primitive whims of a rent-seeking "elite," who have profited on the triumphalist project of silencing and marginalizing the catalytic Igbo, and who have sustained themselves by a divide-and-conquer program.
By projecting the image of the Igbo as the "problem of Nigeria," they have ignored the true problem of Nigeria, which is poverty, ignorance, disease, and corruption - none of which the hard working Igbo has caused.
The war cry on the federal side, "to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done" was built on the very logic that the central means of keeping Nigeria one was by suppressing the "insurgent" Igbo. The result is the unalterable positioning of the Igbo into a "national enemy" who is not only despised, but must be prevented from enjoying the benefits of contemporary Nigerian citizenship in a country which their fathers helped in large part to establish.
The result of all this is growing and widespread Igbo disaffection. Let me point out an important fact in all these: if the Igbo mean to effect a restructuring of this federation, they will. No threat, nor sanction, nor military action can stop it, and here are the reasons: one, the Igbo have a stubborn and terrifying will once they agree to a course of action. Two, Igbo have the means and the capacity to effect that through their density and network.
It is not only a major ethnic bloc, a nation in itself, it is the most dispersed and linked across the nation. It is like the glue holding Nigeria. Three, the Igbo is the only group of people in modern Nigeria which has mobilized and fought a war, and therefore have a civilian even if aged population with field combat experience that can mobilize, train, and deploy logistically and technically.
The Igbo also fought a sustained anti-colonial resistance by means, sometimes of direct defiance, sometimes of subtle subversion with the mightiest imperial power in the 20th century, and starting with its global diasporic network late in the 18th century (see the writings and activities of Olaudah Equiano) had laid the grounds for a modern West African political consciousness. But the question before the contemporary Igbo is, given their challenges in modern Nigeria, what should the Igbo do? Do the Igbo want Nnamdi Kanu's version of Biafra? I, myself, I do not buy into Nnamdi Kanu's Biafra. I buy into Odumegwu-Ojukwu's version of Biafra, the one he later theorized as "Biafra of the mind" - a more sophisticated, more discrete, more pragmatic conception of nation and national-belonging. And here is why: first, the material factors - domestic and international – that made the first Biafran secession impossible is not only still at play, but has grown even more complex.
Furthermore, the current movement for Biafra proposes to turn Igbo into no more than a "Bantustan" nation or enclave - a glorified native reserve. It would be an apartheid state because it will be unable to resolve its own inherited historical contradictions. Listening to the statements of the IPOB, one is struck by its reflex of what the Igbo Harvard-educated Political scientist, Azinna Nwafor in his introduction to George Padmore's seminal book, Pan-Africanism or Communism, once described as "a conservative totality," referring to Tom Nairn's critique of "black nationalism" in the United States.
This ethos has a consciousness of itself as different and separate; and exploits the misery, poverty, ignorance, and want of a disgruntled population by foreclosing other options. It is a pollution of a revolutionary idea by a polluted offspring. Recovering Nigeria is still possible and restructure is a viable option.
It is important that more serious, strategically-minded Igbo intellectuals begin to redirect the discussion around Biafra, and not leave it in the hands of Nnamdi Kanu and the lumpen. Yet we must equally recognize that Kanu and the great number of those who support the new separatist movement, have justifiable and legitimate grievances: it is the movement of the vast generation of contemporary Igbo deprived of opportunities and a means of livelihood, discriminated against and isolated by sustained Federal Nigerian government policies, and rendered marginal and hopeless by the Nigerian condition in a Nigeria which they have described as a zoo. And yes, Nigeria is a zoo because, it feels like George Orwell's Animal Farm.
But the Igbo are part of that zoo because, when one thinks of it, Sam Mbakwe built the first independent Power stations in Nigeria in Amaraku and Izombe designed to make the old Imo state energy-sufficient. But it was not a Yoruba or Hausa, or Berom, or Ijo that dismantled that project and sold the parts of the Imo state Power stations to the Koreans parts by parts.
It was an Igbo. It was not the Yoruba or the Fulani or Boko Haram that de-industrialized Imo state by stopping or selling off more than 35 industrial and commercial projects at various stages of completion established by Sam Mbakwe, calling them at the time, "white elephant projects," it was an Igbo. It is not the Hausa-Fulani that has refused to conduct local government elections, or seized funds allocated to local governments in Igbo land for grassroots development.
It is not the Hausa or Fulani that has burnt Igbo shrines and sacred groves, and such sites of its communal memory and cultural heritage. It is not the Hausa or Yoruba that has destroyed and refused to re-plan or rebuild once-thriving Igbo cities like Aba or Onitsha. The Igbo must hold itself responsible too for the condition of the people.
The Igbo must understand their condition dialectically, and take steps towards redirecting historical Igbo purpose, because the Igbo, whether we like it or not, as Tekena Tamuno did once piquantly suggest are the makers of modern Nigeria. The modern purpose of the Igbo was always to found and help build a great nation and national space. That is the meaning of "Biafra of the mind" - to deploy all the capacity available to the Igbo to redefine the Nigerian enterprise. This is not impossible. This will be the real step towards a greater Biafran enterprise: to turn all of Nigeria into Biafra - a place where Igbo ingenuity, matching the ingenuity of its allies within this state - will create a free and prosperous society of equal citizens, free of fear, religious fundamentalism, bigotry, and hatred.
True justice for the Biafran dead would be for the Igbo to help dismantle the feudal cultures that have held Nigeria captive, stand and fight, and not cede an inch of Nigeria, until the Igbo, working with their natural allies, have established the modern Igbo dream of a coherent West African nation founded on the "ofo" principles of equity and justice. The Igbo must begin tactically to find and create alliances for a new Nigeria, North and South, for there are such allies waiting, and the Igbo are in the most unique position to achieve this, but dare not alienate their possible allies by this isolationist agenda.
Likely scenarios if Biafra goes
Written by Ochereome Nnanna
~Vanguard Nigeria. Monday, June 5, 2017.
MAY 30th 2017 has gone down as a date that the Igbo people showed, with total accord, that they are dead serious about their quest for freedom. The sit-at-home call by the pro-Biafra groups, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, was observed by Ndi Igbo all over the country, with the South East totally locked down.
Streets and highways were empty of commercial or vehicular activities, except for the vehicles of law-enforcement agencies which patrolled to maintain law and order. The skies over major cities such as Aba, Enugu, Onitsha, Owerri and Umuahia were patrolled by military jets and helicopters. Unlike other times when the pro-Biafra groups called for mass actions through peaceful street protests which led to loss of lives as a result of shootings by the army and police, no one was in sight to be shot.
Already, the initial mockery that greeted the Biafra independence campaign about two years ago is giving way to a new template for reality check. When IPOB called its first protests just before its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was arrested in December 2015, former President Olusegun Obasanjo mocked the protesting youth, saying they were "looking for money".
Others said they were unemployed youth given money by some politicians to carry out the protests for undisclosed political gains. In other words they were rented crowds. Already, Obasanjo has changed tones, saying that if the Presidency is given to the Igbo in 2019, the Biafra issue will disappear. The last we heard from him was that the youth should be "begged" to drop their agitations.
Even to the mockers and doubters, it is obvious that if a referendum is allowed today, the "Biafrexit" yes will be overwhelming. Those of us who are still holding out the faint hope that Nigeria can still be amended to correct the inequity flaws that retard it and make its citizens unhappy won't be able to do much. We have become a miserable minority. Unless care is taken and soon, if the masses begin to respond in this manner to calls for boycotts of the civic activities that make us all Nigerians, such as elections, the forth-coming census and what not, overwhelming pressure might force that referendum to take place. As I said, the result is likely to be an overwhelming "Yes". What are the scenarios that will likely take shape thereafter?
Number one scenario, if the Nigerian State succumbs to a referendum, it is likely to be restricted to the people of the South East. Nigerian is unlikely to concede the former Eastern Region (which is the definitive geo-polity frequently portrayed as Biafra by its promoters) as the breakaway enclave. It will not give up the oil and gas resources that feed its treasury with free rent. It is also unlikely that the non-South Easterners will sign to be included in the Biafra. So, it is far safer for the Biafra activists to scale down their geo-political boundaries to a landlocked South East.
That being so, I dare say that being landlocked is not the end of the world. Switzerland, Austria, Botswana and Rwanda are landlocked, yet they are either developed or rapidly developing countries within their continents. Those who are predicting doom for a landlocked Biafra could be seriously mistaken. During the war, when the population of the defunct Biafra was largely on the run, there was no fuel scarcity. Biafran scientists created machines and technologies to fight the war and keep the system running.
A peaceful, landlocked Biafra, with the sheer power of the Igbo creative might unleashed, can only take-off like a rocket, though the initial stages will be very trying. Biafra might become the first African country to export the type of technologies that we currently buy from Europe, America and Asia to African countries within ten years. People should always remember that it is not natural resources that make a country great but its human resources of which the Igbo boast one of the most premium qualities in Africa. Even at that, the resources (oil, gas, coal, limestone and others) are there in enough quantities to serve the needs of the republic.
On the other hand, Biafra could run into an initial face-off between factions such as IPOB and MASSOB for supremacy. MASSOB might claim it restarted the struggle that won the independence while IPOB which is far more radical could claim to be the group that won the independence. If this is not sorted out amicably, Biafra could face the South Sudan scenario between President Salva Kiir and his estranged Deputy, Riek Machar, though the South Sudan conflict is mostly ethnic-based as opposed to the fact that Biafra will be a country of a homogenous ethnic stock.
Another scenario is that Igbo property left behind in Nigeria will probably be confiscated. States can make laws to appropriate them. That is a sacrifice the Igbos who own property in Nigeria outside the South East must be prepared to make. You cannot eat your cake and have it. Nigerians will likely tell you that "out is out", as the Europeans are telling Britain after Brexit. Igbos who refuse to relocate to their country will be dehumanised as unwanted foreigners. Ndi Igbo, faced with the South East as Biafra, must be ready to start life afresh from the scratch, with the firm determination never to repeat the mistakes that makes Nigeria unworkable.
The break away of Biafra will likely lead to a break-up of the rest of this otherwise blessed nation. With a leg of the Tripod gone, the rest of the superstructure cannot stand for long. With the Igbo people gone to their own country, it is unlikely that the Yoruba people will like to live under the servitude of the North. They will become a very vulnerable junior partner to Arewa, a situation they are unlikely to live with for long. They will also want to go and form their own country. They already have fantastic natural geopolitical advantages which they will simply leverage on and move on with their lives. But will the North also allow them to go in peace?
The Ijaw nation, in particular, is likely to assert its independence. The North will, like Biafra, become landlocked. If Biafra goes, there is no way the rest of the country will continue happily ever after.
Nigeria is like an intricately knitted fabric. Cut the thread at any point and the rest will come undone. At this point, we probably have the last opportunity to sort out the problems militating against genuine unity in our country.
Time is running out on Nigeria as we know it. Already, the hearts of majority of Igbo people have left Nigeria. It will take some earth-shaking measures to bring them back.
It has nothing to do with giving them an "Igbo president". If, for instance, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in a most unlikely scenario, picks any of such individuals as Chris Ngige, Ogbonnaya Onu, Rochas or Okorocha Ken Nnamani to stand as a figurehead president, they will call Sokoto, Katsina or Kaduna every morning to take instructions for their daily work. It will make no difference for the Igbo or Nigeria.
There is no alternative to restructuring Nigeria to allow the federating units the freedom to develop at their respective paces within the overall Nigerian commonwealth. The Nigerian people need freedom. That is the irreducible minimum for real change.
If restructuring will not be possible, then let those who believe Igbo people will die if granted Biafra join hands in granting them independence. Allow them to "go and die" and see if they will actually die or become the toast of the African continent within the lifetime of most of us!
Let’s beg Biafrain agitators – Obasanjo
~vanguard Nigeria. Thursday, May 25, 2017.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has called for dialogue with Biafran agitators.
Obasanjo speaking in Abuja on Thursday at a conference on Biafra said We should beg those agitating for Biafra that there is enough cake to share and that Nigerians must treat the country with care.
He said the country's fundamental problem was that it had lacked a national leader.
"We never had a national leader. Our leaders at the beginning were mindful of their regions. That is our problem till today," he said.
"I have maintained that the young officers who struck in 1966 were naive but there were some element of nationalism in some of them. Be that as it may, it set us back."
He said the war showed the bad side of the country.
"The language used in the war did not help matters, the people on the Biafra side called us vandals and we called them rebels," he said.
"We thought we would end the war in three months, but it took us 30 months, and the federal side nearly lost it.
"Civil war is more difficult than fighting in a foreign land because we are fighting to unite.
"Even a soldier of mine who tried to rape a woman... I had to chase him with a gun. He did not succeed in raping the woman, and I did not have to gun him down."
Obasanjo said some of those agitating for Biafra today, lack an understanding of what it entails.
"Some of the people agitating for Biafra today were not even born then. They don't know what it entails," he said.
"But I think, we should even appeal to those saying they want to go, we should not tell them to go, we should make them understand that there is enough cake to share. We should massage Nigeria just like in a love relationship."
Civil war not to wipe out Ndigbo - Obasanjo
Written by Omeiza Ajayi. Friday, May 26, 2017.
Let’s appeal to Biafran agitators – Obasanjo
ABUJA- FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday appealed to Biafran agitators and other secessionist groups not to leave Nigeria.
He said “we should appeal, if anybody says he wants to go; not that we will say, okay, you can go if you want to go. Do not go. There is enough cake for each of us.”
He added that the 30-month civil war was never meant to exterminate the Igbo, but an altruistic attempt to bring "our brothers and sisters" back to the fold.
He spoke on a day Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, and President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, urged Nigerians to learn from the civil war, adding that disintegration of the country will not be in anyone's interest.
The trio spoke yesterday at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Foundation Lecture titled: “Memory and Nation Building, Biafra: 50 Years After,'' in Abuja.
Civil war not to wipe out Ndigbo - Obasanjo
Tracing the problem of Nigeria to its past leaders who focused more on their regions, making speeches that were tall on freedom and progress but short on unity, Obasanjo said: "We really never had a national leader. We had three leaders at the beginning of our journey as a nation, who were mindful of their different regions and that remains our problem till today.
"Even in the process of our movement towards independence and when you compare with other countries, they were talking about freedom and unity. When you look at the speeches of our leaders, they talked of freedom, they talked of progress but they rarely talked of unity.
"So, the unity they never talked about, and scarcely worked for, has eluded us and that should be our starting point.
"So when, of course, the military for whatever reason, and I have maintained that the young officers, who struck in 1966 were naive but there was an element of nationalism in some of them. But be that as it may, it set us back and we moved from the political instability to military coup and then the pogrom, the separation and the civil war.
"I was one of those who wrote the operation orders for the civil war. We thought we would end it in three months, and then bring our brothers and sisters back; we allowed six months, just for the unexpected. The civil war took us 30 months and the federal side nearly lost it.
"Talking about reconciliation, right from the beginning of the war, reconciliation was on the minds of those of us on the federal side," he said, adding that if the plan was to exterminate the Igbos, the federal troops would not have operated by its own special code of conduct as well as the Geneva Convention, nor would the Federal Government have allowed foreign observers into the country.
His words: "If it was a war to exterminate; a war that did not put reconciliation in mind, then what would foreign observers be doing? We had foreign observers who were filing reports and even empowered to investigate allegations and they did.
"Civil war is more difficult to fight than fighting in a foreign land or to exterminate because we were fighting to unite and if you were fighting to unite, how much did you have to do to prevent annihilation?
"All the people who are agitating for Biafra today were not even born during the war.
"They do not even know what it entailed. Nigeria must be loved and we must treat Nigeria as we treat love affairs. It must be massaged. Nigeria must be massaged by all of us, no exception. It is like husband and wife. If when you have issues, your wife would always say she is fed up and wants to go and everyday that is what you get, one day, you would become fed up and say, 'okay, you can go', but if there is any misunderstanding and you come together to solve it, then you would almost live forever.
"And I will say that we should even appeal, if anybody says he wants to go; not that we will say, okay, you can go if you want to go. Do not go. There is enough cake for each of us. And if what you are asking for is more of the cake, then try to ask in a way that is pleasant, not in a way that could make others feel that you are not entitled to what you are asking for."
No harm in discussing Nigeria's unity - Osinbajo
On his part, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, asked Nigerians to learn from the history of Nigeria's civil war rather than beating the drums of a second civil war, saying while the wise learned from history, experience remained the best teacher for a fool.
Osinbajo, in a keynote address, entitled "Greater Together than Apart," said while it was kinder to learn from history, experience is a harsh teacher.
While Osinbajo said there was no harm in discussing the nation's existence, he urged Nigerians to use the country's diversity to make her great "instead of trying to flee into the lazy comfort of homogeneity" or to focus on the narratives of division.
He said: "Introspection is probably what separates us from making mistakes. That ability to learn from history is perhaps the greatest defence against the avoidable pains of learning from experience because history is a better and kind teacher.
"There is a saying that experience is the best teacher. It is incomplete. The full statement of that adage is that experience is the best teacher for a fool.
"I was 10 years old when my friend in school, Emeka, left school one afternoon. He said his parents had decided to go back to the East. I never saw Emeka again. My aunty, Bunmi, was married to a gentleman that I cannot recall his name again, but I recall when my parents tried to persuade her and her husband not to leave. We never saw again.
"We are better together than apart. No country is perfect," he said, adding that the often quoted statement that 'Nigeria is just a geographical expression', originally applied to Italy."
Nigerians better off united but… - Nwodo
Nwodo said Nigeria, blessed as the richest and the most populous nation in Africa, has enormous potentials.
His words: "Every part of Nigeria can survive as an independent country. The North with its mineral and agricultural potentials can build a strong nation. The West with its cocoa, oil, indomitable intellectual know-how and commerce can build another Britain. The South-South with its oil, notwithstanding its declining economic potency can transform its area before oil ceases to be a major foreign exchange earner. The East with industry, outstanding innovation and little oil may still emerge as the African wonder. But none of these little enclaves will rival the capacity of a united and reconciled Nigeria. We must all rise up and save this nation from a trajectory that will make a break-up a more viable option.
"We must find creative ways to manage a complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious state. History teaches us that no society is static; the status quo cannot endure forever. We must find creative ways to promote political, economic and social justice within a nation and between the people that comprise it. If not, then we are invariably opening the doors to future threats of chaos, disorder and societal dislocation.
"The final challenge of our generation is to show that we learned the right lesson from that sad conflict of 50 years ago. We must bequeath our children with a nation that works for all and one that looks ahead. We want a Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is collectively owned by all Nigerians as opposed to a Federal Republic that will be perceived as the private property of one group or groups of ethnic groups depending on who is in office. The categorical destination is a Nigerian Nigeria under the collective hegemony of the people of Nigeria.
"In order to achieve this, we must have a flexible federation; strong enough to guarantee our collective defence and protect individual rights, agile enough to react to emerging tensions and threats, yet expansive enough to allow each state room to develop at its own pace. We must create a national order whereby each state bears the primary responsibility for its development.
How rehabilitation of Biafra was aborted - Nwodo
"At the end of the war, in spite of a policy of "No victor, No vanquished" by the government of General Yakubu Gowon, an unconscionable policy of impoverishment of Biafrans was unleashed by the Federal Government. Every bank deposit of Biafrans that had encountered a transaction whether by deposit or withdrawal was reduced to £20. Massive savings were completely wiped out. Capacity for investment and recovery from the war was shattered. Whilst this poverty pervaded, the Indigenization Decree was promulgated, enabling other Nigerians, except Biafrans to acquire commanding heights in the indigenized companies, which held at that time the critical and commanding heights of Nigeria's private economy.
"Nevertheless, on the issue of reconciliation, we must give due credit to the resilience of the people from the war-affected areas and the generosity of millions of other Nigerians that opened their hearts and homes to their friends and neighbours that were victims of war. In many ways, it was by these incredible citizen-to-citizen relationships that Nigeria achieved one of the most remarkable post-conflict people-to-people reconciliation and reintegration in modern times.”
Biafra will not stand, Buhari vows
Kanu a bigger crowd-puller than Buhari, says Kukah
Biafra - A creation of northern elite
An engineering consultant based in Abuja.
MASSOB pleads with UN to conduct referendum
By Chidi Nkwopara, Nwabueze Okonkwo and Chinonso Alozie
~Vanguard Nigeria. Tuesday, September 13, 2016.
*As Uwazuruike accuses Britain of masterminding crisis in Nigeria
*BIM observes 17 yrs of agitation today
OWERRI-A passionateappeal has gone to the United Nations, UN, to arrange and conduct a referendum soonest, to ascertain the willingness or otherwise of the people to be part of an independent Biafra.
The Owerri Zonal leader of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and a member of the organization's Elders Council, Chief Canice Anujuru and Chief Okechukwu Nwogu respectively, made the plea during a news conference in Owerri, to mark the 17th anniversary of the birth of MASSOB.
"Conducting this all important referendum for the independence of Biafra is long overdue. Biafrans earnestly await this exercise," Anujuru said.
While recalling that "the UN granted MASSOB observer status since 2000," Chief Anujuru also pointed out that "since then, MASSOB has been conducting its campaign for the independence of Biafra in a non-violent manner,"
He expressed regret that despite the group's non-violent posture, "the Nigerian government and its security agencies had mindlessly killed, maimed, arrested, detained and prosecuted several pro-Biafra agitators over the years."
The MASSOB leaders also warned that "until Biafran people are granted freedom, things will continue to go wrong in Nigeria."
On how MASSOB loyalists would mark the event, Anujuru said there would be rallies in every major town in Biafran territory, stressing that "the celebration will enable members appraise our gains and challenges."
Speaking also, Chief Okechukwu Nwogu regretted that "the bulk of the revenue used in running the affairs of Nigeria comes largely, from the Eastern Region."
While saying that the celebration will commence September 13, 2016, Nwogu however added that Biafra was all about the past and future of the people.
Uwazuruike accuses Britain of masterminding crises
Meantime, leader of Biafra Independence Movement, BIM, and founder of the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike yesterday reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari's statement that Nigeria will remain a united, indivisible entity.
Buhari had in a statement during his recent visit to Benin Crown Prince, Edaiken of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa, declared; "please, sit down, reflect and remember what I said 30 years ago that there is no other nation like Nigeria. We will remain together because no matter where you go, the colour of your skin will be a problem for you."
But in a press statement issued on his behalf byBIM's Director of Information, Mazi Chris Mocha, Uwazuruike noted that although Edo State is not part of Biafran Territory, he disagreed vehemently with Buhari's statement on the ground that no amount of preaching of "One Nigeria" can save the country from breaking up the way the Soviet Union did.
Uwazuruike blamed Britain for the political and economic problems currently plaguing the Nigerian nation, adding that Lord Luggard when he discovered that the Fulanis were lazy people and that the resources being generated from the Niger Delta of Southern Nigeria could be used to administer the two protectorates (North & South), joined the two different entities together without seeking the consent of the people concerned.
BIM observes 17 years of agitation today
Also yesterday,leader of Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, Chief Raplh Uwazuruike warned members against any violent procession as they marks 17 years anniversary/existence of Biafra agitation movement on Tuesday.
Disclosing this to news men in Onitsha, Anambra State, the BIM Religious administrator,Rev. Apostle Great Ezichukwu said that their leader warned that the anniversary should be peaceful, non-violent and should not be sit-at- home and therefore people are free to go about their normal business including traders and civil servants.
"The celebration does not call for violence because we started this struggle 17 years ago without violence."
He expressed satisfaction that the Igbo nation has realized why Chief Uwazuruike vowed to continue in the struggle to ensure the actualization of a sovereign state of Biafra adding "we have been marginalized for years in a country we are part and parcel of"
"Uwazuluikwe is satisfied with the efforts and contribution of the Igbos towards realization of a Biafra republic. Christians who are MASSOB members of the youth wing of BIM will have been observing two day prayer to ensure free celebration".
MASSOB pledges allegiance to Niger Delta Avengers
Written by: Jude Ossai -Enugu
~Nigerian Tribune. Monday, June 6, 2016.
THE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB ) has pledged its total allegiance to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other pro-Biafran groups from the Niger Delta region, saying the militant groups had been consistent in their fight against injustice in the region.
In a statement issued at the weekend and signed by the national leader of MASSOB, Comrade Uchenna Madu, the Igbo group stated that they were overwhelmed by the support they had been receiving from the NDA in the struggle for the liberation of Biafra.
"The consistency, selflessness and pragmatism of these Biafra warriors gladdens our hearts. It shows and proves the positiveness and acceptability of Biafra by our brethren across the Niger. It also rubbished the earlier diversionary, cowardice, stupid and negative comments/statements and position of some leaders of ethnic nationalities of the South-South, who had been brainwashed by Hausa /Fulani /Yoruba oligarchies against Biafra," he said.
The group lamented that the Nigerian government and the international human rights organisations, as well as the Western world "seemed to have turned blind eyes over atrocities being committed against Biafrans, who are agitating for self-autonomy, but posited that time shall come when the Nigerian government will beg Biafrans and the detained Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
"These extra judicial killings of non-violent, unarmed Biafra agitators had gone unchecked by Nigerian government and international watchdogs against human rights abuses, brutalities, genocides and pogroms, including the United Nation.
"The Western world seems not to react against the ethnic cleansing of our people because of economic and diplomatic interest in Biafra natural treasures, which they aligned with Nigeria and kept their hypocritical eyes closed against the fate of over 60 millions Biafrans.
"Our comrades from Niger Delta who are more united and focused than groups from Igbo based hinterland should not relent as the knees of our oppressors shall bow soon. They will beg Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and others," the separatists concluded.
NDA launches new website
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has launched a new website, www.nigerdeltaavengers.org.
The militant group had, in the last one month, promoted its attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta, using its website, Facebook page and Twitter handle, @NDAvengers.
The group, Sunday afternoon, stated via its Twitter handle that its old website was never shutdown, but underwent maintenance.
Written by CHIDI OBINECHE
~The SUN Nigeria. Sunday, September 18, 2016.
- Supreme Council expanded - Red alert over September 22, 2016 Biafra court hearing
In the push to strengthen its struggle, ensure vibrancy, effectiveness, and refocus on its dream of actualising the sovereign state of Biafra, a major reorganisation of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has taken place. In the reorganisation which it dubbed "restructuring", the governing Supreme Council Of Elders has been expanded with defined portfolios allotted to the members. The disbanded Council had only nine members with only the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and General Secretary having job definitions. In the new expanded council, the constituent states will each produce a Deputy Chairman. Sunday Sun learnt that the overriding impetus for the reorganisation is to "make way for openness and oneness of mind in our common pursuits."HRM, His Lordship Justice Eze Ozobu (Rtd) remains the Chairman of the Council while Gen. Joe Achuzia also remains the Secretary General. Other members of the Council include; HRM Eze (Amb.) Iheanyichukwu Nwokenna, PRO; Prof. Chidi Osuagwu Director of Social Media; Engr. Dr. Amadi Innocent, Mobilization / Youth, Chief Chekwas Okorie (Oje-ozi Ndigbo), Political Matters, Bishop Maglorious Enyioha, Religious Matters;and Barr. Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu Security/ Intelligence.
Prof. Evans Anuforo is in charge of International Relations, while HRH Eze Mathew Onweni takes over the office of Tradition /Culture. The new Council, which was recently inaugurated in Owerri, the Imo state capital, was preceded with the inauguration of the Executive Council comprising the leadership of other pro-Biafra groups. They include Mr. Nnamdi Ohiagu representing Biafra Central Council, Prof. Nwakanma representing Biamos, Arua Uduma Idika representing Igbo Hebrew Culturaland other aspiring Pro-Biafra groups with the same vision, aims and objectives. The chairman, HRM, Justice Eze Ozobu charged the officers to remain committed to the struggle as their names would be written in gold for" your selfless sacrifice, courage and vision." He urged them not to be discouraged by the antics of those who derive joy in seeing the Igbo in perpetual misery and marginalisation, adding that " our struggle is unique, just, legal and divine". He expressed optimism that victory was in sight. IPOB is in court with the Federal Government for a sovereign state of Biafra. The case comes up again on September 22, 2016 at the Federal High Court, Owerri. Feelers from Owerri and other major cities in the South East indicate that the pro- Biafra groups are already upbeat and enthusiastic about the court hearing. Amadi, who is in charge of youth and mobilisation, in a short chat with Sunday Sun said: "We are looking forward to the date, after several adjournments. This is the litmus test of a struggle, using the only instruments of the law. It is novel." It was further gathered that mobilisation of members for the court hearing was in full swing in all the states of the South-east and parts of the South-south.
In Asaba, the Delta State capital, and Onitsha the commercial nerve centre of the South-east, arrangements had been concluded for a hitch-free movement of members to and fro Owerri for the court hearing, which had since last week become the topic for discussions.