Just Before You Say Biafra, By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo,

Just before you say Biafra, know and remember that the ideals of Nigeria have not been tried and found wanting. Instead, they have been found difficult and left untried.

Remember that Nigeria is a failed state that works for those who failed it. And these people who failed Nigeria can be found across every ethnic group in the country – and so are the casualties of this failed state.

Remember that Olusegun Obasanjo, who should have known better, failed to reform Nigeria structurally and permanently and as such set the stage for the failure of other leaders that followed.

Remember that the APC with its intellectual base in the South West again missed an opportunity to restructure Nigeria, so set the stage for many more wasted years of a nation in limbo.

Remember that Igbo people are better off in a united Nigeria that is working for all the people.

Remember that Nigerians of all ethnicities are losing patience with this failed state. Unfortunately, the people who failed Nigeria are lost in their own world, totally unaware of an impending revolt.

Remember that some Igbo youths, aware of Igbo’s chequered history with Nigeria, have run out of patience. They have pivoted to the only default position known to them – Biafra. They are in the driving seat of the search for a new Biafra. Whether you support them or not, they are driving and a part of you is on the bus.

Remember that there is danger in misunderstanding the outcome of the stay-at-home order carried out on May 30th across the South-East and South-South.

Remember that some people stayed at home because they agree with IPOB and MASSOB and other Biafran groups. Some others stayed at home out of fear of IPOB, MASSOB and other Biafran groups. Some stayed at home out of fear of the Nigerian police and other security agencies. And many more stayed at home in remembrance of their loved ones who died in the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War of 1967 – 1970.

Remember that any single interpretation of what happened on the 30th of May is not just false, it is also dangerous. The same way it is dangerous to allow some fantasies being peddled by some pro-Biafran groups about the imminent arrival of Biafra. For instance, the one that said that the U.S. President, Donald Trump, is going to approve Biafra’s Independence and hand the paper over to Nigeria for implementation. In fact, Trump just did the opposite – he just sold arms to Nigeria. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how the arms would be used should war ensue.

Having said all these and knowing that nothing that anyone writes here would deter those determined to fight for “Biafra now now”, here are seven simple steps to get your state of Biafra without firing a single shot. These steps are not dependent on what Nigeria does. Their implementations are solely in the hands of the Igbo. If 100% of Igbo people who stayed home on the 30th wanted Biafra, they can implements these steps easily and in 5 to 10 years Biafra would be theirs.

1.Form a political party with self-determination and self-rule for Igbo people as a platform. United Progressive Party(UPP) may already be positioning itself to be that kind of a party.

2.Elect majority of the region’s local and state government officials from that party. This will solve the problem of who is supporting Biafra and who is not amongst the ethnic minorities around the Igbo area.

3.Have two-third of elected officials sent to Abuja elected from that political party. You will be sending a clear message across Nigeria and the world, and the agenda of these officials in Abuja will not be ambiguous.

4.Once two-third of all elected Igbo officials are from this political party with a platform that says self-governance and self-determination, a pseudo- referendum would have taken place.

5.The party can demand a regional parliament in Enugu to govern themselves, similar to what happened in Scotland and Quebec. At this point, the government in Abuja will concede to demands to devolve power from the center as they do everything to delay the inevitable.

6.After a few years of regional governance, if so desired, then demand a formal referendum from Nigeria. A referendum to leave Nigeria can take place in 6-8 years time.

7.If the referendum passes, Biafra can be a state of its own.

Of course, there are other permutations and combinations that could give birth to Biafra. But those paths are lined with tears, blood, anguish and death.