The past few years hasn’t been easy for us and as most of you can recall, this is my first message to you on a new year since 2015. As we all know, through the past four years, circumstances- ranging from my unlawful arrest and detention by the APC government in Nigeria to the Ohaneze Ndigbo and Igbo governors’ orchestrated attempt to assassinate me which culminated in the deadly military invasion of my home on the 14th of September 2017 that led to the loss of 28 of our gallant men, have over the years prevented me from addressing you the ever resolute and faithful IPOB worldwide family.
Since 2015 and all through to end of 2017, we have faced the worst persecutions and acts of State terror ever unleashed on a people. Ironically and in total defiance of reason and logic, the Nigerian judiciary conspired to label IPOB that has never killed anyone, a terrorist organisation, whereas the bloodthirsty Miyetti Allah a.k.a Fulani Herdsmen, that have been rampaging through swathes of the Middle Belt with the active connivance of the government of Nigeria are feted as celebrities and opinion leaders by the Nigerian media.
In the face of all these hypocrisies and moral contradictions, we Biafrans have exercised uncommon restraint and continue to demonstrate to the world our commitment to peaceful and lawful agitation by avoiding the temptation and all entreaties to resort to armed struggle. We have chosen this path because we trust in a new international order that is committed to helping all oppressed peoples to realize their right to self-determination, as long-recognized by international and municipal statutes and conventions.
Rather than weaken or tear us apart, the hardships we have faced in these years of persecution by the APC government of Nigeria and internal collaborators in Ohaneze Ndigbo have brought us ever together as a people and have motivated us to dig ever deeper into our huge reserves of resilience to keep moving this restoration project forward, to the surprise of our enemies and saboteurs alike.
We have confounded all those that thought that I and IPOB would go the way of those that went before us. Now they know we cannot be bought or sold like a commodity unlike those that shout Biafra during the day only to serve the interest of the government of Nigeria at night. Those that mortgaged their soul and conscience to the demon of avarice and self-enrichment at the expense of the wellbeing of the masses will answer for their sins at the appropriate time.
I reaffirm that we remain whiter than white and whiter than snow. Those who are in the habit of using our agitation for Biafra restoration to endear themselves to politicians in order to obtain financial reward should have no business with freedom fighting. Issuing meaningless press statements designed to pander to the same discredited politicians responsible for our misery will only hasten the demise of such individuals or group. Some of these unknown quantities struggling to remain relevant by rushing off to the press….
If there is something we are certain of in 2019, it is the fact that voting will be boycotted starting with the presidential elections. Okezie Ikpeazu will be removed from office as the governor of Abia State for the role he played in initiating Operation Python Dance that killed hundreds of our men. This same Okezie Ikpeazu is responsible for the illegal detention without trial of Biafran Jews.
A crime for which he will never be forgiven. The order to tear down every poster and disrupt every rally organized by Okezie Ikpeazu still stand and IPOB is under instruction to ensure that he is comprehensively disgraced at the polls. Anybody associating with Okezie Ikpeazu is an enemy of the people. No amount of state sponsored rigging through INEC will save him from the ignominy that awaits him.
Before the emergence of IPOB, there was nothing left of our dignity and self-respect as a people. Now that Chukwu Okike Abiama has determined that we should come, our various ethnic nationalities that constitute the historic and ancient Biafran federation are now more united than ever.
The high level of togetherness, bonding and sense of purpose among the people of Biafra as a result of the activities of IPOB has ensured that Annang, Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Ijaw, Isoko, Itshekiri, Urhobo, Igala, Idoma and Igede are now working with a sense of purpose never witnessed before in the history of our people.
The Biafran dilemma and the tragedy of what Nigeria has been turned into have reached the point where the world can no longer afford to be silent. As the renowned English philosopher Edmund Burke said, and it is often true that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Since time and peaking from 2015, terrorism unleashed from the Nigerian Sahel and the Maghreb has ravaged entire communities, including Biafrans. To make matters worse, the Nigerian presidency has either failed to protect citizens or has itself become complicit and unleashed terror of its own, thus stoking the notion that some groups that control the levers of State power have set out to subjugate others in a Nigeria that was never meant to be this way.
Better yet, in the face of all these tribulations, there’s a solution and it is in plain sight and makes sense, to boot. If truth be told, societies progress when among competing ideas, they choose the most progressive of the lot.
This is even more so when such societies have the benefit of hindsight. Nigeria cannot be an exception to what has worked elsewhere.
We, the Indigenous People of Biafra have proposed and are still proposing the only idea that would halt Nigeria’s spiral towards bloody implosion. Our prescription is clear: Conduct a Referendum on Self-Determination for Biafrans; and indeed any other organized and cohesive group that demands it. That is the only fair way; not “True Federalism” or “Restructuring.”
To drive home our demand, IPOB will ensure that the entire land of Biafra is paralysed on
whatever date they choose to hold the presidential elections. This position is irreversible unless our simple demand is met.
While others are busy pontificating on newspaper pages or selling their soul to the highest bidder in Abuja, we remain on this long walk to a free Biafra, where black people in sub-Saharan Africa will for the first time since colonialism, live under guaranteed freedoms and rights unlike the primitive arrangement people are forced to live under in Nigeria.
We won’t get there overnight.But in this 2019, we will make some of our most significant strides yet to accomplish our stated mission which is to restore Biafra. We must always be guided by the reasoning that underpins our belief that Nigeria as presently constituted in unworkable. By virtue of their orientation and heritage, the dominant ruling Arewa Northern Nigeria, with their feudal societal structure, is not designed to understand or practice democracy.
This is one of the greatest mistakes early thinkers like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe made. The social arrangement they have in Northern Nigeria makes it impossible for their leaders that are thrust upon the people in Nigeria to appreciate and respect democratic values such as respect for the rule of law, freedoms and liberty.
These noble ideals of democracy are incompatible with Sharia.
True Federalism, particularly is evidently unrealistic in a country where twelve states have already adopted Sharia as state religion and code of justice, which denies non-adherents of that religion certain freedoms guaranteed by the military-imposed Nigerian Constitution. Conversely, Restructuring has defied every sensible definition.
Come to think of it, was it not a federal arrangement or True Federation that Nigeria had at independence but which could not survive more than six years? What then is this new true Federalism or Restructuring that will suddenly become workable when it had failed in the past and even led to a war of attrition?
I have nothing against those wishing to live under the Fulanised British colonial contraption called Nigeria as most Yoruba and Hausa people do. What we resent is the inability or the unreasonableness of the chattering class in Nigeria to come to terms the inescapable realization that no country with a myriad of divergent value systems can peacefully exist as a nation state. This is elementary political philosophy.
Meaningful human development in Nigeria is impossible because the Fulani feudal mindset, Yoruba monarchical system and the republican disposition of Biafrans are forever irreconcilable value systems that will ensure the unworkability of Nigeria as a country. It is tantamount to fusing England, Saudi Arabia and United States into one country.
It will never ever work. Imagine transplanting a portion of sword wielding Kandahar province in Afghanistan, a piece of the monarchy supporting East Anglia in England and a part of the republican gun loving libertarian Texas in the United States into a nation state. That will be like returning humanity to some kind of Hobbesian “state of nature” where life will be truly hellish, brutish and short.
These same irreconcilable divergent and often conflicting conditions are what we are being forced to endure in the British artificially created Nigerian today due to a combination of poor education, inability to reason properly and dependency on one natural resource for national economic survival.
Nigeria will never ever be a viable nation because the ethnicities the British cobbled together are not the same people and can never be. Even the British that created Nigeria have respect for ethnic nationalities in their own country.
Scotland and Wales have their own parliaments that make their own laws in their own languages. They retain the right to become independent should they choose to pursue that path. Why are such privileges not extended to ethnicities in Nigeria? Perhaps Nigerians are sub-humans not deserving of such an opportunity.
The way Nigeria and most other similarly backward states in Africa were created is not how nations are formed or created. These unnatural colonial experiments in Africa is the reason why the continent will continue to struggle until an intelligent breed of people like IPOB, rise up to return it to its precolonial borders. Only then will we know peace.
With the benefit of hindsight and history, I make bold, therefore, to say that anything short of a Referendum would be duplicitous and futile. The earlier people stopped deceiving themselves on this sure path to a permanent solution, the better for all oppressors and the oppressed alike.
In my time since this struggle, I have come to the realization that “Biafra” means different things to different people. To Northern Nigerian Muslims, especially the Fulbe elites, it means armed rebellion or a threat thereof, as well as a design to deny them free-will access to the vast hydrocarbon wealth of the former Eastern Nigeria. To the Yoruba, Biafra is a selfish desire by Igbos to control vast oil and gas fields. For the stranded Middle Belt minorities, Biafra signifies abandonment.
They fear the exit of Biafra will precipitate their inevitable annihilation at the hands of their Fulani overlords and who would blame them for habouring such fears. But to we IPOB, Biafra simply means a right to self-determination, self-preservation; and ultimately a right to become autonomous and live in peaceful neighborliness with Nigeria or whatever is left of it, in a new arrangement that will ensure prosperity and fairness to all sides.
The path to what we desire and the non-violent means to achieving it is neither new nor treasonable, as the Nigerian presidency continues to believe. It is the same path that saw to the birth of many new nations around the world, most notably after the end of the Cold War. It is the only path to peace.
We have succeeded in dismantling the colonial divide and rule the British colonial masters introduced to their Southern Nigeria which the Fulani oligarchy perpetuated through their gerrymandering of our borders that divided Igbo towns and turned them against each other. Today it is no longer in dispute that Igbanke (Igbo Akiri) in Edo State, Agbo in Delta State right through to Asaba, Onitsha to Ikwerre and to Opobo in Rivers State are all Igbo speaking people and therefore of the same Biafran family.
This year 2019, we shall begin taking the first tangible steps into nationhood. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure our referendum is conducted this year. The process of extensive referendum consultation was not concluded in good time last year to enable us hold it as planned.
Again the cost implications made it impossible for us to complete the printing and production of ballot papers but we shall continue to work very hard to ensure its completion. Referendum is a resource intensive exercise and we want to get it right the very first time because the result of that referendum will usher in the new Biafra government even if it has to operate from outside the shores of Biafraland. [Government in Exile]
The whole world knows that Nigeria is a glorified graveyard for talent and aspiration. Too many people have been stopped from attaining their potential in life due to an entrenched culture of mediocrity and impunity that permeate every sphere of human interaction in Nigeria.
Stripped of every shred of honour and dignity, we march into the Mediterranean Sea to drown like Lemmings falling off a cliff, all this after trekking through the unforgiving Sahara desert, where the weak and unfortunate perish. This is the life of your average Nigerian youth, with no hope or future.
In response to the democratisation of poverty and death in Nigeria, IPOB will be launching a social welfare Public Works Scheme across the length and breath of Biafraland in an effort to use our God given talents and skill to develop and improve our land prior to the coming of Biafra because those political office holders we had hoped would do it are more preoccupied with stealing as much as they can from the public purse.
We IPOB are going to do the little we can to stop the harzadous trek from our land to Europe that have resulted in the death of so many young people. This social welfare scheme will equally address the issue of lack of infrastructure as IPOB will embark on minor road repairs, the rehabilitation of dilapidated primary schools, maintenance of drainage systems in areas prone to flooding like Aba, Owerri, Onitsha, Abakaliki and Igweocha.
An outreach team will be created to provide assistance in public places to those who cannot help themselves. There will be massive job creation in those sectors of the economy where raw materials can be sourced locally, to help drive down the rate of unemployment especially among young graduates.
More details of this program will be issued prior to the launch of each phase of the project. Our people, our towns and our villages will be the top priority of IPOB as we begin to demonstrably showcase the mindset that will guide us into the new Biafra. It’s no longer about saying ‘IPOB : One Family’, we are here to demonstrate that we are indeed one family.
We are in discussion with Israeli businessmen to help facilitate the creation of high-tech farm settlements (Kibbutzim) and small scale industrial parks in Cross River, Delta, Imo, Ebonyi and Benue for now. Should the scheme prove successful, we shall roll it out across Biafraland.
“The unmasking of Jubril Aminu Al Sudani the fake Nigerian President will continue unabated.
By the time we are done with him and his handlers, Luggard will become truly ashamed of what he created. I would like to see Nigerians participate in elections where one of the names on the ballot paper is a dead man. This shame and humiliation is one that will never leave Nigeria as it heads ingloriously towards self-destruction.
We understand the enemy has announced yet another round of Fulani military invasion of our land in the name of Operation Python Dance, no doubt to help facilitate the rigging of elections for Jubril Al Sudani and the cronies of Fulani Cabal across Nigeria. What I said previously still stand and there is no going back. Chukwu Okike Abiama is my witness that any reported shooting or killing of any Biafran by this Fulani Janjaweed Army of Nigeria will be avenged.
Those who previously doubted our resolve should ask Okezie Ikpeazu what he’s experiencing in Abia State. I am placing the colonial master Britain on notice that should the government of Theresa May give the go ahead for any innocent Biafran to be killed again on Biafran soil, Nigerian soldiers will face our wrath. Enough of this Fulani intimidation through the Nigerian Army.
This is an army that has refused to engage ISIS in the major theaters of northern Nigeria and the wider Sahel region. They (Nigerian Army) refused to counter the killing spree of Fulani herdsmen across the Middle Belt but the same army that refused to fight Boko Haram can now easily be mobilized in the South to kill non-Muslim populations with impunity.
Policemen are being forcibly deployed to face Boko Haram terrorists whereas the army that prides itself as the defender of Nigeria is running from the battlefield and killing civilians in order to sustain Fulani hegemonic control of Nigeria. Everything in Nigeria is upside down that is why I struggle to understand why there are universities in Nigeria in the first place because people go to school but end up not learning anything.
Is it the job of the police to fight insurgency? The most astonishing thing is that people are going about their normal business pretending all is well in Nigeria when logic is being turned on its head. Can anybody identify any country in the world where the police is sent to the war front and army deployed to do police duties? Only in Nigeria, with her ignorant professors and pseudo intellectuals, all busy scavenging for campaign funds from politicians as impunity reigns supreme and has become the order of the day.
None of this is surprising to us, after all Nigerians cannot differentiate between a dead Buhari and an impostor from Sudan. How can you expect them to interpret or distinguish the constitutional roles of the police and that of the army? What this APC government has succeeded in doing is to democratize ignorance, impunity and cowardice.
Can anybody say precisely why Sheikh El-Zakzaky, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Jewish adherents are still in prison till today? There is nothing about the judiciary in Nigeria that leads me to believe that Nigeria is salvageable.
So, as we take stock of what we have passed through in the past year and the years before it, let us continue to remain committed and faithful to the ideals of Biafra; and prepare ourselves to be the first partakers of a Biafran nation that beckons and shall surely emerge in this generation.
By Nnamdi Kanu
Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.