It is quite evident that there has been no real development in Nigeria since the military coups of 1966 terminated the self-determination that the then Regions had. Population has increased, but the quality of life has decreased for the masses, with danger, lack, and decay in every sector. This retardation and insecurity is brought about because indigenous ethnic nationalities have no self-determination to create safe and progressing environments for themselves. Formerly, Military Decrees imposed from 1966 prevented self-determination, but today it is by the equally imposed 1999 Constitution, a fraud, that is Military Decree 24 renamed.
Thus, Ethnic Nations within the Southern Territories or New South (also known as the NINAS Alliance Territory) are seeking to regain their self-determination hijacked by that illegitimate 1999 Constitution. Of the more populous ethnic nations, the Yoruba seem to be racing ahead, having understood what they need to do to retrieve their self-determination. Meanwhile, another populous ethnic nation, the Igbo Nation is being hindered by Biafra groups.
Here is a little history. In 1967, Igbos and other Ethnic Nations neighbouring them were facing a genocidal war from Nigeria. At that time, their vehicle so to speak, to escape being killed and to regain their self-determination was called “Biafra”. They were unsuccessful and the journey in vehicle “Biafra” ended in 1970. Since then, Igbos continued longing for self-determination. Today, because of NOT DOING THE REQUIRED RESEARCH AND READING, groups of differing sizes each claiming that they are freedom fighters who will bring self-determination using the word “Biafra” have sprung up. However, Igbos should accept once and for all, that the word “Biafra” is a NON-STARTER when it comes to obtaining self-determination. “Biafra” will NOT WORK and the reasons can be found in several United Nations or International Law documents but just two will be mentioned here. One is the “Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States”. It lists four criteria for statehood, ie full self-determination, as:
a permanent population, ie there must actually be a mass of people;
a defined territory, ie a PRECISE MAP of the area;
government, ie some kind of governance or political structure;
the capacity to enter into relations with other states.
The word “Biafra” does not meet these requirements. There is NO DEFINED TERRITORY for “Biafra” as it means different things to different peoples. Therefore, who make up the “permanent population”? This rules out having “government” (in an acceptable sense). That also means it cannot meet the requirement of “capacity to enter into relations with other states”.
The “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” (UNDRIP) is another document that shows that using the word “Biafra” when seeking self-determination is futile, and hopeless.
The first major “Biafra” group was MASSOB. As expected, since it used the word “Biafra”, it could not bring about self-determination. After some infighting, one of their members set up his own group called IPOB. Again, it has been unable to bring about self-determination using the word “Biafra”. Going by its activities, this group would actually be classified as a gang or street gang if it was in the UK. (More about this IPOB in Part 2 as some verifiable information reveals that they comprise a significant obstruction to Igbos obtaining their self-determination). A former IPOB leader has since left the gang to set up his own “Biafra” group, and like all of them, will not be able to meet the internationally laid down criteria for obtaining self-determination.
What is certain is that the word “Biafra” represents a cry for freedom. Some Igbos though, are quite strongly tied to that word emotionally. This makes them vulnerable to exploitation from those looking to make a name for themselves and wanting easy money, by promising to get them an unobtainable freedom through using the word “Biafra”. Ironically, what is equally certain is that clinging to the word “Biafra” will simply continue to stop Igbos from getting their freedom and independence. A reasonable person who learns that what he holds onto harms him, and harms his community, would be able to switch to what would bring safety and success to all. Fortunately #1, the Lower Niger Congress (LNC), the self-determination organisation for Igbo land and the South-South area, twenty-one years ago began to do the needed work to bring self-determination to Igbos and the other ethnic nations. LNC’s Strategy is by decommissioning the imposed and sham 1999 Constitution which hijacks the self-determination of ethnic nationalities, by way of the ORDERLY PROCESS of Constitutional Force Majeure being achieved via the NINAS Movement. Fortunately #2, having been successful in all they have done, the LNC Strategy is nearing the end of the journey to self-determination. It is at combined Stage 14 and 15, out of 16 Stages.
What can be done with the word “Biafra”? It can become a club (“an association of people united by a common interest”), just as there are chess clubs, cookery clubs, clubs for those who believe in UFOs, etc. Thus, that passion for “Biafra” would be channelled into something good. A type of Biafra Club could be interested in developing ideas that create a free society, or environmental issues, or SciTech promotion, etc. That would then allow the word “self-determination” to replace the word “Biafra, and thus bring that freedom Igbos have been craving since 1966. The four international law criteria for obtaining self-determination listed above should become known by all teen and adult Igbos, to prevent them from being deceived henceforth.
What about all those who would carry on promising freedom under “Biafra”? They are mostly charlatans who know the word “Biafra” is a barrier when it comes to getting self-determination, yet they use social media, internet radio, and YouTube to manipulate people with lies in order to make gain for self, which is wrong. Resist them. Ignore them. Let them find something useful to do with their lives.
Ndidi Uwechue is a British citizen with Igbo heritage from the Lower Niger Bloc. She is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer, she is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure, and she writes from Abuja.