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Monday, 25 July 2016



By Okonkwo Isaac Somto
For Family Writers

"Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier, allowing Fear to stop you from Growing, Evolving, and Progressing."-Mandy Hale-

Note: The above quote has nothing to do with the so-called "Change" APC offered Nigerians, neither does any of the "Change" mentioned in this article.

Some group of people have described the Igbo-Biafrans living in Nigeria as landlords of Nigeria, sighting that seeking secession from Nigeria would be a bad idea considering the amount of investments Igbo-Biafrans have in Nigeria. Some are scared of losing their Investments and properties, which of course is an issue of concern considering that these properties and investments are worth trillions of dollars. We can't deny the fact that Biafrans calling for a break-up from Nigeria would also be frightened at the prospect of losing their investments. Some gave examples of how the Nigeria-Biafra war lead to the theft, looting and deprivation of Biafran properties but this would no longer be the case if Nigeria breaks-up. For the record when I say Biafrans am not talking of just the Igbos, Biafra is not an Igbo agenda because Igbos are a part of Biafra not the owners of Biafra, as some would like to put it

Biafra consists of the Igbos, the Ibibio- Efiks, the Ijaws, the Ogojas etc and the modern-day states that make up Biafra from the eastern region and Midwest are: Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta, Rivers and Cross River, Igbanke in Edo state and southern part of Benue state. Edo.  This is not the first time I have written an article to address the matter that keeps rising about the circumstances that's surrounds the issue of investments owned by Biafrans in Nigeria when a  break-up finally happens. There’s certain to become several implications, when Nigeria divides.

Several of those penalties cannot be predicted ahead of time but others, such as what happens to Igbo-Biafrans ventures outside their Homeland are the one that might be addressed.  Its very scary to undergo such transition. Change is scary, but it is constant in our lives. We have to be open to it. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. So what happens to Biafrans investments when Nigeria breaks-up?

This question just keeps popping up whenever the issue of "Biafra-Nigeria" is brought up and I think its time to bury the hatchet. I really can't blame anyone for asking, come to think of it, the Igbo-Biafrans properties are largely scattered throughout the landscape of Nigeria. Take Abuja and Lagos for example, the value of Igbo- Biafrans properties is said to be more than those other tribes in Nigeria. Some fundamental estimates have put Igbo/Biafrans’ properties and investments outside their Homeland at a value of over five hundred(500)billion dollars.

So I totally understand the frustration of some arguments when it comes to their hard earn cash been put on the line. Such large size of wealth  can't be ignored or abandoned. Also No-one should pretend that these dimensions of wealth should be disregarded or forgotten at the toss of a coin. Most Biafrans are always quick to point out to the Nigeria-Biafra civil, how their investments worth billions of dollars was seized and frozen away by the federal government of Nigeria only for them to be given only £20 after the war. But that won't be the case if Nigeria and Biafra were to separate this time around. If a peaceful secession were to be conducted between Nigeria and Biafra, everyone gets to retain his\her investment in whatever part it’s located. It’s doesn't matter if you a Biafran, Yoruba, Hausa, everyone gets to keep hold of their vested interests and belongings.

That's why most people have been calling for a referendum in Nigeria to enable a more peaceful transition if after the vote the majority still wants to leave. Also The Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS), an international governmental organization that promotes self-determination and  the end to colonial era boundaries in Africa noted that if there is a secession, all “Property of the federal government within the borders of Biafra will become  property of Biafra.

The Nigerian government however will retain all national debts. Biafra will then release the Nigerian government from any obligation to pay reparations for crimes committed during the war of independence 1967-1970.” Also you can designate to remain as a Nigerian citizen or plump to become a Biafran citizen once the parting is completed.

Above all, the fact is that no matter how big the investments of Biafrans in Nigeria, it will never becloud them from thinking of a lasting solution, in separating, towards the incessant Islamic killings, constant decimation, political marginalisation, destruction of Biafran properties by state governments, continuous assassination of Biafrans by the Nigeria armed forces. This has to stop and the only to put an end to all this, is secession from Nigeria. We can still create greater and larger wealth when we have Biafra.

You know we Biafrans are not just hard-working and successful, but we are blessed by God almighty, to be dominate and progressive, that's why whatever we do prospers, even after the £20 they gave to us after the civil war, look at today, we are still the most power and successful ethic group in Nigeria. No matter what happens, we shall overcome. Greatness is part of our DNA.

All Biafrans who have one or two investments outside the shores of their homeland have nothing to worry about as regards to their investments. Once a peaceful transition is conducted, then the choice is yours, that's if you choose to remain a Nigerian or Biafran either ways, your properties and investments are in safe hands. So no worries at the end, we must win.

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