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Monday, 24 September 2018

AFRICA: WHY UN MUST LISTEN TO IPOB LEADERSHIP AND HASTEN UP BIAFRA REFERENDUM

AFRICA: WHY UN MUST LISTEN TO IPOB LEADERSHIP AND HASTEN UP BIAFRA REFERENDUM

The people of Biafra first graced the world news in 1967 when the young nation was forced into declaring themselves a Republic. This was precipitated by the massacre of the people of Biafra in Northern Nigeria after Nigeria independence of 1960, an atrocity history recorded as pogrom. Biafrans particularly from the East were rounded up and killed in a most gruesome genocidal orgy of violence, to the extent that the number of those killed was roughly put at 50,000 people.

What the world knew about Biafrans in 1967 was different from what Biafrans truly were. The world called them rebels. A name that described  'a people who violently resist an established authority'. Before the declaration of Biafra as a republic, many efforts were made to enthrone peace and order. The meeting in Ghana known as "Aburi Accord", was convened as means to proffer lasting peace to an already failed state called Nigeria. And the agreement held by both parties was totally reneged by the Nigerian side.

The same Nigeria on the early hours of July 6 1967, advanced towards Nsukka and fired the first shot that triggered the war. It was a war of survival for Biafrans. The people that had their brothers killed in Northern region, returned to their homes and brutal carnage was meted on them. The then British government orchestrated the demonization of Biafrans on the international stage by making the world  to see Biafrans as the villain instead of the victim which they were. They perfectly hid the atrocities committed by the Nigerian military against the people of Biafra and their newly birthed nation.

Since after the 1967/70 atrocious war, Biafrans are still being marginalized till today. 50 years after the civil war, the Nigerian government has refused the region that was once Biafra, any form of development as visually seen. There is virtually no federal government presence within and around the Biafran territory. Biafrans can not jettison their region therefore for whatever reason. They were removed from the current railway construction project across the country and has been subtly sidelined from most of, if not all federal government projects.

President Buhari in one of his international visits, described the area of the country that did not vote for him as 5%ters which Biafrans in a more visible way, did not participate in the election, hence he vowed not to treat Nigerians that fall within that 5% the way he will treat his own people that gave him more than 90℅ votes. Economic blockade is another tool used by the Nigerian government to suppress the people of Biafra. The Nigerian government systematically closed down all sea ports in Biafraland, thereby forcing people to import through Lagos seaports only.

How can one be a slave in a country he calls his own? The persistent killings by Fulani herdsmen are not something to be desired. The rampaging Fulani herdsmen have in Enugu killed hundreds of people. And Biafrans can not continue to bury their own, just because they are in Nigeria.

Today, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), have risen up. They are demanding for their rights to self- determination as enshrined in the United Nations charter of the right of Indigenous People to self-determination. Referendum is what Biafrans are asking for. Many countries of the world have exercised that same process and it averted bloodshed. Even Britain who colonized Nigeria also exercised that right in their "Brexit".
When the Scottish people were protesting peacefully on the streets, the British government did not unleash military venom against them. They offered them a chance to decide their fate. Also Britain offered their citizens the right to decide whether to still belong to European Union (EU) or not hence the Brexit mantra.

For sometime now, the Nigerian military has killed many IPOB members protesting peacefully. They have arrested most of them and tagged them terrorists for demanding for their freedom via referendum.

This is why the United Nations should as a matter of urgency listen to IPOB leadership and quickly conduct an internationally recognized and monitored referendum in Nigeria for Biafrans, to avoid a repeat of the 1967 war that killed more than 3.5 million people. Asking for Biafra referendum is not asking for too much, so that Biafrans can go home and develop their nation at their own pace.

Written by Elochukwu Nicholas Ohagi
Edited by Ebere Okolie
For Family Writers Press

1 comment

  1. God we help us hoping one day this great nation called Biafra most be restored

    ReplyDelete

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