.Biafra Agitation and Good Governance: The Implications on South East Economic Development
Several books and articles have been written on the subject- Biafra .The name evokes both fears and admiration in Nigeria and in the International community .To many young and old people from Eastern Nigeria ,it evokes hope and an imaginary heaven on earth but to other Nigerians including those who deny their Biafran identity, the name evokes fear,hatred ,death and jealousy .
The name – Biafra is like an intimidating masquerade of the Igbo Nation that keeps corrupt Nigeria Leaders in state of depression . To many people, Biafra represents light ,goodness ,freedom ,equity ,fairness and justice. Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 to Independence in 1960 and thereafter ,Nigeria has never given Nigerians hope to believe in Nigeria system .Upon several transitions from one Government to the other ,the story has remained the same with very few people benefiting from the commonwealth while the majority gnashed their teeth in agony and total submission to destiny. It is the failure of leadership at all levels of our society that created gap for non state actors to emerge in leadership positions .
The agitation of new state of Biafra started in 1999 by Chief Ralph Uwazurike’s Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State Of Biafra( MASSOB) .It should be noted that Uwazurike founded MASSOB to protest against marginalization of Ndigbo in Nigeria especially the outcome of PDP primary election where the most favoured Alex Ekwueme was dumped for Obasanjo who was handpicked by few Northern Leaders. This is the foundation of current agitation for equity ,fairness and justice in Nigeria .
Ndigbo who were disappointed with the outcome of 1999 election took solace with Uwazurike separatist movement to create a new state for South east and south south. Uwazurike being an Indian trained Lawyer told the unsuspecting masses that he has 25 stages to follow before achieving the new state of Biafra . Many believed him and were fanatical about the dream Biafra until the arrival of Indigenous People of Biafra headed by the supreme council of Elders with Late Eze Ozobu as the Chairman of the Customary Government of IPOB ,Late Dr Dozie Ikedife ,the Deputy Chairman and Late Col Joe Achuzia as the Secretary . The philosophical foundation for the formation and existence of IPOB was provided by a London-based solicitor – Barr Emeka Emekesiri with Nnamdi KANU as the Media Director of IPOB using Radio Biafra as the media outlet. Emeka Emekesiri advocated the use of Customary law to organise and govern the Indigenous People of Biafra based on provisions of the Nigerian constitution. He mounted a legal challenge in Nigeria court for the right of self -determination of the remnants of the Indigenous People of Biafra not consumed in the war between Nigeria and Biafra .Emeka Emekesiri’s legal methodology to Biafra agitation was convincing enough to attract professionals from different works of lives including Igbo elder statesmen who constituted the Customary Government Of Indigenous People of Biafra . As at 2013 , the legal battle between Biafra represented by Bilie Human Rights Initiative and Federal Republic of Nigeria was ongoing at Federal High court ,Owerri. The case with suit no FHC/OW/CS/2013 in the Federal High ,Owerri was to determine the following : 1. Whether it is an offence to answer a Biafran in Nigeria .2. Whether Biafrans have right for Self determination.3. To submit executive bill to National Assembly for a law dissolving Nigeria along the compatible ethic regions instead of allowing the Country to break up in bloodshed. The failure of Nigeria government to toe the peaceful path motivated Nnamdi KANU led IPOB to declare war via social media against Nigeria . In 2015 ,Nnamdi KANU was arrested not because of Biafra but because of several threats against Nigeria as a State. Buhari handling of the Biafra agitation when he came to power in 2015 catapulted a once Radio broadcaster – Nnamdi Kanu to national hero and the leader of the ordinary people . Buhari refusal to address the issues of good governance ,equity ,fairness and justice have encouraged armed struggle and bloodshed everywhere in the Country.
One of the leading groups fighting for self determination in Nigeria – Good Governance Ministry being led by Asuzu Chinedu Peters believed that the issues of Indigenous people of Nigeria could be resolved by restructuring the Country into Regions . Good Governance Ministry is solution driven and has since been reaching out to the ordinary people through weekly radio program on the need for the people to fully participate in the political process to elect revolutionary and visionary people into positions of political power. Good Governance Ministry believes that the political elites in Nigeria are in one accord when it comes to the issues of resource allocation and sharing of commonwealth . The problem of agitation will be addressed by good governance in line with international standard. Good governance includes but not limited to putting the right governmental structures in place, operating effective and efficient system,running an inclusive and participatory government and adherence to the rule of law. If Nigeria has a system of government that recognises and respects all indigenous people of Nigeria,agitation for new nations from Nigeria will no longer be attractive .The unitary system we have today in Nigeria is obsolete and rather unsustainable, hence the cause of anger and frustrations from every part of the country. Therefore ,agitation and good governance have inverse relationship .When there is good governance ,the level of agitation will go down .It is on this note that Good Governance Ministry (GGM) recommends good governance to south eastern Governors as this will create an enabling environment for massive economic development .
Ndubuisi Anaenugwu is the Deputy Leader of Good Governance Ministry(GGM)