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Wednesday 23 June 2021

Biafra: Better Landlocked Than Brainlocked

 Biafra: Better Landlocked Than Brainlocked

Many things have really been said about how Biafrans  are landlocked. And to some, it is a  enough reason for Biafran to remain in Nigeria as entrapped slaves, that will never consider the option of freedom. Interestingly, a landlocked country is that sovereign entity that lacks access to the sea. It is encircled by massive land and has no direct ocean connection. As a result of being cut off from the sea, such is usually unable to participate in international open ocean activities. With all these, people feel justified when they argue that Biafra cannot survive as a separate entity outside Nigeria.

The questions that are beckoning for an answers therefore are: Does being landlocked prevent economic development? Does having access to the sea empower countries or fasten their developments? Of course, if the answer to the second question is yes, Nigeria would not have remained as backward since she is not landlocked. There are forty four (44) generally acknowledged landlocked countries and five (5) partially recognized ones in the world today.

READ HERE Igboland is not landlocked

Resultantly, 475.8 million people or 6.9% of the world's population, live in countries with no access to sea waters. These countries account for 11.4 percent of the total land area on the planet.

Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country at 2,724,900 square kilometers, while Vatican City is the smallest landlocked state at 0.44 square kilometers. Ethiopia, with 101.8 million people, is the world's most populous landlocked country, on the opposite of what Vatican City is, with 820 people.

There are 16 landlocked countries in Europe and Africa respectively. 15 landlocked countries in Asia and just two landlocked countries in America. Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Laos, Paraguay, Rwanda, Uganda, and West Bank amongst these 49 landlocked countries of the world, they even have Naval forces. They guard vast inland water bodies such as seas, lakes, rivers, and other endorheic basins with watercraft and naval personnel.

Yet, some deluded folks present "being landlocked" as a reason for Biafra to remain entrapped within Nigeria. 

Isolation and seclusion from international seas even come in various degrees.

Three countries are landlocked by a single nation on the present political world map: Vatican City and San Marino (both encircled by Italy) and Lesotho (surrounded by South Africa). In the next level of isolation and semi-enclaved countries, seven countries are surrounded by two neighbors which are Andorra (between France and Spain), Bhutan (between China and India), Eswatini (between Mozambique and South Africa), Liechtenstein (one of the double-landlocked countries, between Austria and Switzerland), Moldova (between Romania and Ukraine), Mongolia (between China and Russia), Nepal (between China and India). Three countries in this group have restricted international recognition. They are: the West Bank (between Israel and Jordan), Transnistria (between Moldova and Ukraine) and South Ossetia (between Georgia and Russia).

Finally, there are countries that are double-landlocked; meaning that they are only bordered by landlocked states such as Liechtenstein (surrounded by Austria and Switzerland) and Uzbekistan (surrounded by Austria and Switzerland), Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan).

Austria, Serbia and Zambia are the landlocked countries with some of their neighbors each, having with eight countries on their borders. Therefore, to many bigoted Nigerians who unfortunately think that being landlocked is a curse, I will not fail to let such know that it still comes with a few other advantages.

Landlocked countries are frequently spared the worst effects of oceanic weather, such as tsunamis and storms. They also have the ability to monitor all commodities and people entering and exiting the country via land borders. And equally, they are protected against maritime incursions. 

Biafrans are too sophisticated to be handled or intimidated. Too educated to be cowed, especially in a country like Nigeria. They are too blessed to be under Fulani Janjaweedism. We change the environment and the cause of nature to our advantage. Every difficulty bows before us because we are a people blessed by God above others.

Bless us and be blessed, curse us and go under. Remember, no red sea can hinder the Israelites. Every road block is to our advantage and advancement. We know whom we are, we transcend heights, we reach the farthest, we race the fastest, we grab the swiftest, we survive the harshest, we endure the most painful, we laugh the loudest and we are builders.

The difference is clear! Nigeria is brainlocked while Biafra is landlocked. Northern Nigeria is brainlocked while Biafra is landlocked. When you are landlocked, you can still do wonders in your world but when you are brainlocked, you are similar to a dead person.

Whether landlocked or not, we are not bothered! Freedom is all we need and freedom we must surely get.

Written by Chidiebere Obulose

Edited by Ogah C.S. Maduabuchi

For Family Writers Press International

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