BIAFRAN STRUGGLE: THE CONFUSIONS AND THE SOLUTIONS
1. The Woes
The Biafran freedom project has been characterized by a lot of unpalatable and disgusting maladies. It has been bedeviled by a litany of nauseating stories. It has been virulently bloody and caustic. For over two decades of the struggle, thousands of young Biafran activists have unfortunately been killed on the process. Apart from being bloody, it has equally been enveloped by incomprehensible animosity, infighting and unimaginable rancour within the camps of the pro-Biafrans. This ugly scenario has caused a lot of setbacks and unfathomable calamities to the struggle. Though none appears to be happy with the constant bloodbath and the numerous setbacks, nevertheless, only very few appears to be concerned on the way forward.
2. The Root Causes
We cannot discuss on the way forward without first understanding the root causes of these woes. Certainly, there is always a cause to every catastrophe. The calamities that have befallen the Biafran struggle are without doubt caused by many in the struggle. Equally, some of the woes were perpetrated by our external adversaries. However, our external adversaries were aided by a number of factors which many in the struggle carelessly allowed.
Some of these factors include; skipping due diligence, refusing to follow the due process, refusing to be guided, negligence, none adherence to the rule of law, gross indiscipline, being violent and unruly, spirit of merchandising with the struggle, lack of adequate knowledge, refusing to tread with caution, foolish boldness and adopting unreasonable methods.
i). Refusing to Follow the Due Process
Due process is a requirement that legal matters be resolved according to established rules and principles, and that individuals be treated fairly. It is a fundamental procedural safeguard that ensures that every citizen has the right to have a proper hearing in a court of law before being deprived of any liberty, life or property pursuant to a government decree. Due process is a course of legal proceedings guided according to rules and principles that have been established in a system.
Rights to self-determination is rooted in United Nations declaration. Therefore, every nation or group that is clamouring for self-determination must follow the right process. The process to self-determination is very clear in both national and international law. Everything has a process and if Biafrans are to succeed in the struggle, they must follow the due process.
Unfortunately, many Biafran groups have rejected the due process and preferred the violent approach. It is this violent approach that has exposed our youths to untimely death.
For you to gain independence, it is either by military and violent method or by legal method otherwise known as Due Process. It is certain we don’t have the military might to declare war and succeed. Wjy should we then consider the war option when we know that such could bring a lot of casualty and deaths to our people? War option is therefore dead on arrival.
ii) Despising the Rule of law
Rule of law is a principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced. It is the principle of government by law. The rule of law is fundamental to international political stability; peace and security. Rule of law is fundamental in achieving political, social and economic development. The Rule of Law comprises a number of principles of a formal and procedural character, addressing the way in which a community is governed. The rule of law refers to the idea that everyone in a society agrees to be governed by and follow the laws of a society.
How could we achieve Biafra by refusing to subject ourselves to the rule of law? How could the international community see us as responsible people when we reject the rule of law? How could we achieve meaningful socio-economic development in a society where anarchy and violence reigns supreme? Certainly, confusion, anarchy, assassination, insecurity and criminal activities will reign supreme in a society where there is lawlessness. This is why it is important to uphold the principles of the rule of law in our engagements.
There is no way CG-IPOB could be following the rule of law and then be seen by the security forces as a law breaker.
iii) Lack of Due Diligence
Biafrans have not shown enough due diligence in the way they carry on with the Biafran struggle. Not showing enough due diligence has subjected many Biafran activists to untold hardship and to many tragic deaths.
Due diligence is reasonable steps taken by a person to avoid committing a tort or offence. The term “due diligence” means “required carefulness” or “reasonable care”. It is an investigation or the exercise of care that a reasonable businessman or person is normally expected to take before entering into a new business or before entering into an agreement or contract with another party.
The theory behind due diligence holds that performing this type of careful investigation contributes significantly to informed decision making by enhancing the amount and quality of information available to decision makers and by ensuring that this information is systematically used to deliberate on the decision at hand and on future decisions. Unfortunately, Biafran activists have exhibited a lot of negligence in the struggle. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable or prudent care that an ordinary person would make under the certain circumstances. Biafrans have despised reasonable care. This has resulted in deaths and failure to reasonably execute the Biafran project.
A Latin maxim says, ‘NEGLIGENTIA SEMPER HABET INFORTUNIAM COMITEM,’ meaning, ‘Negligence always has misfortune for a companion’. Our negligence or lack of due diligence is the reason for too many deaths in the struggle. A driver that fails to drive carefully cannot drive safely. Such driver could crash his vehicle and kill the passengers. Until we start to drive carefully, we cannot reach our destinations safely.
Because CG-IPOB is always meticulous in following the principles of DUE DILIGENCE in its approach, it is difficult for them to offer the security forces any opportunity to arrest or attack its subjects.
iv) Playing into the Hands of the Adversary
The word ‘Biafra’ causes a lot of headache to Nigeria. It remains a fact that they don’t want an independent state of Biafra to come to fruition. At such, they would stop at nothing in frustrating any agitation for a state of Biafra. They wouldn’t hesitate in deploying the security forces to halt such agitation and to clampdown on any group protesting or agitating for Biafra. It is a known fact that these security forces hardly exhibit professionalism in carrying out their assignment. Many innocent Biafrans have been wasted by these over zealous, trigger happy security men. It is on this backdrop that it becomes very important for Biafrans to be as wise as a serpent and never give these blood tasty security men the needed opportunity to kill Biafran activists. The blood of any Biafran activist is priceless and should never be allowed to be wasted. It is on this note that it becomes very important to embrace due diligence, due process and adequate knowledge in order to disappoint the Nigerian security forces who enjoys killing Biafrans at slightest opportunity. We don’t have to continue to offer the security forces the opportunity to continue to waste Biafran activists. We have to listen to the preaching of the greatest teacher, we must listen to our Lord Jesus Christ who said that we must be as wise as a serpent.
It remains a foolish boldness to continue to confront trained and armed security personnels with sticks, bottles and bare hands. We must be as wise as serpents. We must equally be as wise as an ant.
v) Neglecting the Power of Judicial immunity
Judicial immunity is that protection granted to persons carrying out judicial functions. This ranges from judges of superior courts of records to Magistrates and members of Tribunals. A similar immunity also extends to Counsel, parties in a lawsuit and their witnesses whilst they are in court (see Egbe v Adfarasin (1985).
The Customary Government (CG-IPOB) filed the case between Biafra and Nigeria in the Federal High Court which has now gone to the Court of Appeal. CG-IPOB therefore enjoys this similar immunity whilst in court.
The Power of this IMMUNITY makes it difficult for the security forces to attack Biafran activists under CG-IPOB. This is being subtle or being as wise as a serpent.
vi) Power of Status Quo Ante Bellum
This means let things be “the way things were before” The term was originally used in treaties to refer to the withdrawal of enemy troops and the restoration of pre-war leadership. When used as such, it means that no side gains or loses territory or economic and political rights. The term refers to court position that the state of affairs that existed prior to a given event should be allowed to remain until proper determination of a particular issue in court.
CG-IPOB having filed the case between Biafra and Nigeria in the court enjoys the power of Status Quo Ante Bellum. This offers CG-IPOB the opportunity to be organizing its house, setting up important structures and establishing a legitimate de facto government for the Biafrans as an alternative government structure without breaking the law or unlawfully opposing the sovereignty of Nigeria.
The Power of Status Quo Ante Bellum also makes it difficult for the security forces to attack Biafran activists under CG-IPOB. This is being subtle or being as wise as a serpent.
3. What to Do
If we are to succeed in the struggle and restore Biafra, we must follow the proper roadmap. We must follow the right process. We must exhibit due diligence, seek adequate information, be submissive to our elders, be disciplined and rulable. War option should never be considered because such could fetch a catastrophic doom to Biafraland. Biafran leaders have to be honest and truthful and do away with lies and propaganda. Biafran freedom is a sacred assignment and should not be for merchandising.
We once again emphasis on the need to follow the right process and adhere strictly to international and national rules on agitation for self-determination and freedom. Process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. A process is a set of activities that interact to produce a desired result. It is a series of progressive and interdependent steps by which an end is achieved.
Following right process is important because it describes how things are to be done and then provides the focus for making them better. How things are done determines how successful the outcomes might be. If you focus on the right processes, in the right way, you can design your way to success. By following the right process and set rules, the work is done in a well-organized manner and the organized work always leads to the realization of set objectives.
We can’t continue to follow unrealistic or outdated methods and believe we can restore Biafra. We can’t continue to adopt confrontational approach without registering casualties. Blood of Biafrans are sacred and priceless. It shouldn’t be wasted for any reason. We must all live to see Biafra.
Emeka Emekesiri (2021) honestly stated, “Biafra will not come like a magical gift that drops from nowhere as the propagandists have made many to believe. There is a process to achieve it. However, the Biafrans must decide on the type of self-determination they want before deciding on the strategies and processes to achieve it. At the moment, there is a cacophony of discordant tunes among the Biafran activists with regard to the type of self-determination they want”.
Emphasising more, Emeka Emekesiri has this to say, “The Biafra Independence Project is a very complex and complicated project. Therefore, it must be undertaken carefully by experts. It is not for charlatans or quacks. For this reason, we conducted the Feasibility & Viability Appraisal of the Biafran Project which formed the basis of the approach we have adopted. We have rejected the military and violent method. We have decided to follow the Due Process consisting of the judicial, political and diplomatic processes. We dragged Nigeria to the Court to decide the issue of self-determination for the Biafrans; we entered into the Nigerian politics to politick for the benefit of Biafra just like the Scottish activists are in the British parliament politicking for the benefit of Scotland. We have engaged the world powers including the British Government in diplomatic discussions over the case of Biafra. We have filed the Biafran Memorandum in the National Assembly for devolution of power to the six Regions in Nigeria so that every Region would govern itself and develop at its own pace. This is the Phase 2 of the Biafran Project. We have reached out to the Governments of various countries and appointed Customary Government Ambassadors to those countries who work in collaboration with the Governments to oversee the affairs of the Biafrans living in those countries. This is the time to build friendships with the Governments of various countries including the Nigerian Government”.
We should remember we have to be very subtle and be as wise as serpent. God by His wisdom, even allowed Moses to be trained in Pharaoh’s palace for a purpose. God allowed Esther to marry the enemy King of the Hebrews for a purpose. Daniel, Meshach and Abadenegp were brought up at the palace of the King of Babylon for a purpose. It is therefore time to be subtle and as wise as serpent as preached by the greatest master.
Finally I leave you with the words of Barr Emeka Emekesiri who said that it is necessary the minds of the people be reset and reorientated properly with good information and delivered from the false propaganda they have been fed with.
He that wants equity must do equity and he that comes to equity must endeavour to come with clean hands. Again, he who comes to justice must do justice. Lets get knowledge for knowledge is power.
We must respect the teachings of Jesus Christ and be as wise as serpent. Our adversaries are looking for opportunity to kill us, so we must not offer them such opportunity. We must all live to see Biafra.
Lets remain as wise as a serpent.
From F.O.O. N.