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-By John Danfulani,Ph.D
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On Sunday the 23rd of July 2017 I paid a courtesy call to the supreme leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in Umahia, Abia state. The thick mushroom cloud that my visitation engineered is still permeating the political skies of Northern Nigeria. The empire dogs are jeering while lovers of freedom and liberty are cheering. It’s hard to predict when the rumbling cheers and jeers of my solidarity visit to one of the most courageous and foresighted Nigerian and leader of IPOB will cease.
The ultra-conservative elements and oligarchic beneficiaries of a skewed cum dysfunctional unitary system baptized and labeled a federal system are hysterically yet unsuccessfully trying to throw the kitchen on me and divert attention to most mundane issues. Their bait is too pedestrian for me to swallow like brainless turkeys happy for Christmas.
IPOB’s takes are:Nigeria is an unhappy matrimonial home full of ruckus;colonial masters that engineered the political wedlock called amalgamation in 1914 did so for economic and political reasons; and that, Ndigbos be allowed to conduct a United Nation Monitored referendum to decide whether to stay in the marriage or divorce.
IPOB’s mission, strategy and tactics has local,regional,and global protocols and laws backing them under the broad “principle of self-determination”.In post Cold War era,many climes withdrew from the bank of this collective rights without hindrance from the state. It was the spirit of this principle that nationalists in the colonial world(including Nigeria) triggered in sinking colonial rule. Through the magnanimity and global acceptability of this philosophy Nigeria lowered the Union Jack on 1st October 1960.
The political geography called Nigeria was created for heinous reasons by the colonial masters. It is an established realism that economic and administrative reasons guided their decision to amalgamate extreme strange bedfellows in 1914. And refused to demolish the political babel they mischievously constructed before their departure in 1960 despite the knowledge that the amalgams never solicited for it nor showed any interest of staying together. The country’s many constitutional conferences in Nigeria and in United Kingdom, and threats of secession by regional leaders before 1960,was a clear indication of Nigerians unwillingness to glue as an indivisible and indissoluble entity.
In 1967 South East region declared a Biafra Republic.It sparked a 30 months civil war. Fifty years down the lane,we are still getting colliding versions of the quantum of human and material lost. Because history is written by victors, war crimes and other inhuman treatment of the Biafrans have been refused a ventilating space in the narrations of the war.
The 1967-1970 war only suppressed the Biafra mission- a fact the federalists are blatantly refusing to accept for a very protracted moment. The rise of IPOB and its complete acceptance by day-to-day Biafrans is a pointer to that. Solomonic wisdom and sagacity are not required to know that it will take God’s direct intervention to neutralize IPOB’s advocacy of a referendum for Ndigbos.
The state, through its official information channels and sundry propaganda outfits are equating IPOB’s call for a referendum to a call for war. Hell no. We saw how similar calls peaked with peaceful referendums in Eritrea, Kosovo, East Timor, South Sudan,Scotland, and Crimea. All those referendums came to force under the globally acceptable principle of self-determination. Is Nigeria not aware that self-determination cardinal principle of international law? Sheer mischief,right ?
Truth be told,this 1914 Lord Lugard’s political contraption and Apartheid-like state has outlived its usefulness. Its existence is only serving the interest of ethno-religious supremacists whose anachronistic and barbaric ways of life is not in tandem of contemporary socio-cultural cum political order.
This European created upper caste placed their spiritual books above our 1999 constitution- hence their constant chopping-off of peoples heads under the pretext that some basic tenets of their religion had been violated.Or launching of some terrorist groups whose aim is to shove their beliefs down our throats. Or a cattle rearing Militia that keeps destroying peoples villages and running down their farmlands with impunity.
It’s clear that most ethnic nationalities are comfortable with this slave and master political setting,except Ndigbos. As a lover of freedom and liberty,and a hater of dictatorship and other form of discriminations- I support IPOB’s struggle against the evil system and its actors. I support their attempt to pull down the pillars of this satanic political order through a referendum.
This brings me to the question of the geography of the struggle. Yes IPOB is a South East based organization struggling for the emancipation of their people from the yoke of a backward system and actors. But their freedom will also set-free other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Ndigbos going will make-way for others to peal-off from the remaining entity. And stand as independent entities or form a commonwealth of independent states or a confederation.Sequel to that,my support for struggle stems from the positive “unintended consequences” I/we will benefit from it.
Aside what might be our collective decision to also end our existence as a single entity, individuals can migrate to the new nation of Biafra and acquire citizenship. The new nation(like most nations) will permit citizenship by naturalization. It is better to live in a nation where your name and religion is not placing a limit to what you can aspire and potentials.
My prediction:Biafra shall be a shining city on a hill. And a place where the black race shall be proud of.