It is my submission that the greatest mistake that Nigeria made was to have spared the remnants of the Biafrans alive. If Nigeria had annihilated the Biafrans in 1970 A.D., just as Rome annd Carthage in the third Punic war of 146 B.C., there would not have been any remnants of the Biafrans today to seek for the restoration of their ancient nation. In my book, “Biafra or Nigerian Presidency- What the Ibos Want”, I proved by documentary evidence that Biafra had existed as an ancient country in the Map of Africa for more than 400 years before Nigeria was created in 1914.
Today, we have restored Biafra as a people governed by their Elders under Customary Law but without a territory yet under Statute Law. Perhaps, many people do not know that Biafra has actually come into existence but without a territory. We are a people with defined identity living in a defined country under a defined de facto customary government but without a separate territory delineated by law. We have become a nation-in-waiting.
This has some implications in international human rights law which I shall talk about in due course. I have observed that many Law Enforcement Officers in Nigeria do not understand the law and may make mistakes if not properly guided. It has therefore become expedient for us to explain in detail the philosophy underlying the existence of the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra.
Customary Government under the Nigerian Legal System:
In my previous statement entitled “Customary Government is Lawful in Nigeria”, I cited the provisions of the Nigerian Laws that authorize the use of customary law and sharia law to govern the people within Nigeria. The claimants in the Federal High Court Owerri known as Indigenous People of Biafra are governed under Customary Law by their Elders called the Supreme Council of Elders. The only limitation is that the people governed under customary law and sharia law are not sovereign but remain under the sovereignty of Nigeria. But they have the right to govern themselves as a people within Nigeria. After the war, the Biafrans were scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Their republican and individualistic nature made it more difficult to gather them together. Their political enemies made matters worse by sowing discord among them, creating enmity among them, planting political stooges among them, and empowering traitors to rule over them. The Biafrans became hopeless and helpless in the midst of enemies within and without. Even among the pro-Biafra agitators, they started calling themselves bad names such as traitors and betrayers as nobody could trust anybody again. This was the situation before the lawyers and the elders joined the Biafran national liberation struggle.
The first action taken by the lawyers was to anchor the Biafran independence movement upon the rule of law and diplomacy. As Biafra is not yet a sovereign nation, it can only sue or be sued in a representative capacity. This was why the Indigenous People of Biafra sued Nigeria by the human rights organization known as Bilie Human Rights Initiative. This human rights organization is registered both under the Nigerian Law and in the United Nations as a legal entity. It has been granted the ECOSOC status in the United Nations with three seats in the UN Headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna. This is the organization that champions the Biafran liberation struggle by the rule of law and diplomacy. The human rights organization is different from the people it represents just as an attorney or agent is different from his principal. It is different from the Customary Government of Indigenous People of Biafra and cannot take over the government of the people otherwise its acts would be ultra vires.
BIAFRA PROJECT ,PHASE 2 LECTURE WITH BARR EMEKA EMEKESRI CONTINUES EVERY MONDAY MORNING.