BIAFRA – Perfect illustration. By Chief Patrick Chidolue.
We kill our selves to protest what others are doing against us. In 1967 good Igbo leaders begged Ojukwu not to declare Biafra, to avoid war, he declared Biafra and we lost 3 million people and all our wealth, including our leadership position in Nigeria. Our youths, our girls, our culture and heritage. All were lost because of that war, which started as a result of declaration of Biafra.
Ojukwu went into exile. Igbos were defeated, humiliated and made second class citizens. Their properties seized as abandoned. All their money were seized and their children abused and brutalized.
In humiliation and humility they started with nothing and from no where to rebuild themselves.
Ojukwu was told that all these may happen if he declares Biafra. His father specifically begged him to wait at least let us find a strong country that can support us before he can declare, if he must. He called all the advisers saboteurs and claimed that his father was selling out because of his wealth that was scattered all over Nigeria.
Three years after, by 1970 all was lost. Three million well trained and our best all wasted.
By 1983 when Ojukwu came back from exile he declared that Biafra was no longer fashionable. He joined a national political party and contested for an elective office in Nigeria. At this time all have been lost. Igbos have lost power, properties, political leadership, values, good men and respect. Yet we hail Ojukwu as our hero.
Compare it to now. We have managed somehow to rebuild part of what we lost in the Biafra war.
Now a new agitation for Biafra was started again by MASSOB, which is now followed by IPOB. By creating insecurity in igbo land alone, every developed human person in that zone will be on the run. Education will suffer set back as well as every other thing.
We are crucifying our selves to shame our oppressors. Like in 1967 they have started calling Igbo leaders saboteurs again. Unfortunately we don’t have the likes of Zik any more to plead our case within the international comnunity, to beg Nigeria to allow relief food in order to reduce 28000 dying children per day. We don’t have Zik to come and negotiate our surrender in order to have no victor no vanquished. Our opponents are already regretting that, they should have taken the remnant of Biafra as slaves and war booty.
The questions are.
- Why must we fight a losing battle to lose everything?
- What do we want to achieve in Biafra that we can’t achieve in Nigeria politically?
- Who will lead Biafra when we eventually get it and where will he come from?
- How do one convince an Anambra man and Enugu man to let Ebonyi man lead him?
- Where can we get the leaders from? The stock of existing Governors or manufactured by IPOB?
- What will constitute the mean economic drive for our development within Biafra? Etc.
Federalism as we have it today in Nigeria, makes every state a country. A quasi sovereignty. That is why we have state courts, states can make their own laws. States can make their budgets and own their properties etc. Governors like Wike have already started applying true federalism by collecting VAT in his state. Let other states go to Supreme Court and ask for powers to secure their people by licensing gun carriers and state police. Also by using available gas in their state to power turbine and provide electricity to their industrial parks in order to employ their work force. Etc
The Biafra we are asking for we already have it in our hand but we don’t know what to do with it. Those who are at the forefront of Biafra agitation today, should know that when the real Biafra emerges, they will not be in a position to determine its leadership. It will be chaos. By then it will be too late to have an opportunity like Nigeria today.
Nigeria is ours to be taken. All we need is to get involved in politics and protect our political interests.
Please stop blaming others for protecting their own political interest. We have all it takes to win in Nigeria.
- We have the largest population and we are united.
- Our people are scattered all over Nigeria and beyond.
- Our political interest is merit, Justic and Rule of law. Which is easy to sell to other good men.
- We have people in diaspora to support our case.
- We have commerce to back up our pursuit.
- Our Nigeria Political leadership will bring development to everyone.
Even if we get Biafra. It will be too small to withstand the pressure from the vast poor and uncontrollable North. Therefore, let’s hold a meeting with all the parties and discuss what we need before we make more mistakes.
The meeting should have representations of,
- Political leadership
- Traditional leadership
- Business leaders
- State representatives.
- Diaspora representatives.
- Religious institutions
- Women representatives
This conference will determine what we need to develop as a people.
If we want Biafra, let it be a collective decision. However, if we want Biafra, there are simple and less dangerous ways to go about it.
- The South East and South South Congress men could sponsor a bill to that effect and call for a referendum. A survey will be conducted to determine the demography and topography. Then referendum will be conducted and on a certain date we will seize to be Nigerians and instead become Biafrans. However, where that is being frustrated by the Northern lead national assembly, a petition an be sent to UN committee in-charge of state creation, who will bring it to the UN assembly. Nigeria as a party, will state their case after which the Assembly will hear the other sides and vote on it. If the vote is in favour of a referendum, it will be conducted and if majority says yes, Biafra will be created as a new member state of the United Nations.
This idea of killing people, burning houses and destroying properties does not in any way address the issues of secession. Instead it gives room for the people to be addressed as criminals and killed.
Who will convene the Confrence of Eastern Nigeria?
May God help us.