Indigenous People of Biafra’s Costly Political Activites.
IPOB is political because of the messages they give out to their followers such as; electoral boycott at the South East, sit at home protest, physical protests at public and private premises, online protests and the call for referendum. Make no mistake, these civil disobedience messages are all political actions . However try to suggest to IPOB leadership or followership to form a political party or join one by proxy and watch them verbally abuse you. May be one day they will realise this truth and adjust. However their political actions mentioned above are rather having more negative consequences on the entire South East zone. Time to speak out or join those that have spoken out. This article will explain those consequences but first the origin of these civil disobedience/political messages.
Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) first came up with the idea of no census in the South East, sit at home protest, no election in the South East, and referendum messages in 2004. Many pro Biafrans complied with these messages. Today population of South East voters are the least in Nigeria. Low voter turn outs at this region are attributable to these messages. This is one of the greatest damage done by MASSOB which IPOB has continued to preach. Ralph Uwazurike the leader of MASSOB has publicly acknowledged this fatal mistake/error. Not sure IPOB has imagined what will happen when there is no election in the region? The answer is that, the federal government will simply appoint any Nigerian as sole administrator(s), and you or your people will have to face the consequences.
Whether South East votes or not, a president will emerge in Nigeria, this is because the president needs to win 25% of votes cast in 24 states in Nigeria. Remember there are 36 states in Nigeria, so if five (5) states of the South East declines to participate in an election, there will be no impact on Nigeria. When you sit at home without opening your shops for businesses, you loose money and business opportunities that would have accrued on the day of the sit at home protest. Mind you, this region survives on self help with little or no federal or state government support. When you sit at home, the federal government might consider it a security risk and therefore deploy police and soldiers in the region. It then means these police officers and soldiers will mount road blocks and start extorting money from innocent poor okada, taxis and bus drivers.
When you protest by raising the Biafran flag, though it’s your right to protest but also remember that raising a flag of another nation is treasonable. The police then kills your innocent members. Over two thousand (2000) MASSOB members have died from 1999 when it was founded till date. Over three hundred (300) IPOB members were killed from 2015 when Nnamdi Kanu was arrested till September 2017 when the solders visited his house at Umuahia. Thousands have been arrested, detained or jailed. These are the likely reasons IPOB was declared a terrorist group. The author condemned the killings and act of declaring IPOB a terror organisation.
The message of referendum at the South East sounds nice to some but it is not in the Nigerian constitution. To insert the referendum clause in the constitution will require a political process. How IPOB hopes to achieve a referendum without political processes baffles me. Scotland wants independence, they had a referendum but they followed political processes. Remember Her Majesty The Queen of England does not want a divided kingdom, so she is also fighting to retain Scotland through political processes. No leader wants his/her country to be divided so they will fight to keep it as one, Nigeria inclusive. This now takes me to how independence can be achieved.
Every ethnic group etc has right to self determination, but the reality is that, it is one thing to have a right and another thing to enforce the rights. First step might be to approach the court to enforce these rights. IPOB/other Pro Biafran groups are also pursuing this route. But we know the politics in the Nigerian judicial processes as well as other judiciaries outside Nigeria. Even when there is judgement against Nigeria, how many have they obeyed? Some will argue about approaching United Nations, but don’t forget this is where the highest level of world politics are played. The five super powers (USA, UK, France, China, and Russia) have to agree to pass a resolution before it sails through. Ask yourself which of these world powers wants a divided Nigeria? Ask yourself how many U.N. resolutions have Israel obeyed about the occupied Palestinian territories? What about Turkey and North Cyprus? Where was the United Nations or the European Union during the Catalan independence referendum in 2017 at Spain? Why didn’t they intervene to grant independence to Catalan? It’s all about political interest of these super powers.
The second method is through political processes, for example by voting in delegates or representatives or senators to raise your case at the National Assembly. You also need to lobby politicians from other tribes/zones. You can’t go it alone. You need tact, strategy, good will and diplomacy. They same processes adopted by Zik, Awo, Tafawa Belewa etc to win independence from the British is a lesson for IPOB. Third method is through a military conquest, meaning that you need to defeat the Nigerian military and then divide the country by force. Anything short of the above is at best sound bits which has severe repercussions on your people.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi) motto was ‘To thyself be true’ meaning tell yourself the truth. IPOB needs to understand that their call for no election is adversely affecting the region “they claim to want to liberate”. Time to change tact, its not late for them. In my video broadcast on youtube titled: “Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB Members Should Follow Ojukwu’s Ideology.” Here is the link https://youtu.be/KW9BHOll8JU The author suggested that Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB members should follow Ojukwu’s ideology , his political ideas as well as hold South East leaders to account for the revenue that accrued to the region during their tenure. There are no short cuts to the points listed therein. Time to tell IPOB the truth and nothing but the truth.