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Thursday 13 June 2024

A Biafran US-Based Acknowledges IPOB's State Actor Role, Says IPOB Now Government Of The Eastern Region Of Nigeria

 A Biafran US-Based Acknowledges IPOB's State Actor Role, Says IPOB Now Government Of The Eastern Region Of Nigeria

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a peaceful, nonviolent Self-determination movement, formed by it's leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, around 2012. Advocating for the exit of the Eastern region and the establishment of an independent Biafra, from Nigeria through a United Nation supervised referendum.

Over the years, IPOB's non-violent modus operandi towards Biafra Restoration has drawn criticisms and concerns from various quarters within and outside Nigeria. However, within the confines of the Eastern region of Nigeria, also called Biafraland, IPOB plays a  complex role, ranging from undertaking initiatives, ideas and implementing policies considered to bring positive contributions to the region and also making vital decisions for the overall betterment of the entire Eastern region.

Some of the change-oriented actions and policies that earned IPOB her state actor role and authority include:


1: Filling The Void On Security Of The Eastern Region.

One of the most debated aspects of IPOB's activities, is its armed wing, the Eastern Security Network (ESN); a vigilante group formed by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu; charged with flushing out marauding Fulani herdsmen terrorists encroaching into the Eastern region through the forests and bushes; maiming and killing farmers and innocent residents of the region, as well as securing the safety of the region from any threat of terrorism attack by external aggressors.

With the emergence of ESN, IPOB earned itself a state actor position in the region, despite the various calls on the political leaders of the region to float a regional security outfit to wade off the terrorists herdsmen massacring innocent people in the region. Their failure and politicizing of the security of their people by the political leaders of the region, especially the 5 Southeast governors, opened the door for a nongovernmental actor to fill the gap. 

The Nigerian government often accuses ESN of violent activities, labeling them as terrorist group. However, many residents of the region argue that ESN fills a security void deliberately left unattended by the Nigerian government and security agencies. Decades of neglect of the security of the people in the Southeast led to the rise in kidnappings and violence activities by criminal gangs. In some communities, ESN presence is seen as a deterrent to such terrorist activity. The people of the region view IPOB as a government of the people, for the people and by the people themselves with a massive support and high compliance to IPOB directives.

2: The DOS: A  Sophisticated Leadership Structure.

It is important to acknowledge the complexities surrounding IPOB leadership structure. Their rhetoric can be inflammatory, and their methods has never for once resulted in violence.  IPOB is a well identified peaceful movement in various parts of the world, registered in many countries in Africa, Europe, America and Asian continents without any indictment of violent activities.

The group's leadership structure is opaque, such that one can not penetrate through it, to talk of bringing it down. At various false flag operations carried out by detractors and agent provocateurs recruited by the Nigerian government against IPOB, have continued to be futile to bring IPOB leadership down to the mud.

However, violent activities were been indiscriminately leveled on ESN by the Nigerian government and security agencies especially the Nigerian Army, which were still proven null and void as IPOB continues to maintain it's peaceful agitation for referendum to have a sovereign state of Biafra. 

This is made possible due to the leadership structure, where best think-tanks were assembled for administrative and governance purposes. These group of men and women of impeccable characters are the reason why the state actor position attained by IPOB has been carefully managed and not abused in the last 10 years The leadership of IPOB serve as the fulcrum to the positive changes in the Eastern region.

3: Regional Development Catalyst.

Beyond security of the region, IPOB engages in developmental policies and projects. As a state actor in the region, IPOB have attracted and contributed to the compliance, completion and startup of various abandoned, new projects in the region by Federal Government, State governments and local and foreign investors.

IPOB singlehandedly secured the forests from Fulani herdsmen terrorists, encouraged farmers in the region to go back to farming as well as improved on the food security of the region. A void left for over 40 years since after the Biafran genocide.

Recently, IPOB embarked on a vital policy action to electrify the region inorder to boost and attract industrial growth and development into the region. This is evident through their ongoing campaigns for the withdrawal and removal of incompetent, monopolistic Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, from the region. This policy action is best understood from the positive perspective aimed at ensuring institutions charged with providing social amenities to the people of the region are held accountable and charged to provide their services to the public.

These actions address the very real needs of a region grappling with political malfunction and infrastructural challenges.  To many residents in the region, these efforts demonstrate a commitment to improving lives – a commitment they over years seen that the Nigerian government and their controlled Eastern governors lack. IPOB state actor role is  borne out of necessity.

4: Promoting Igbo Cultural Values And Preservation.

IPOB actively promotes Igbo cultural values Through organizing festivals, sponsoring educational programs, and advocating for the inclusion of Igbo language studies in schools in the region. Through IPOB's campaign of back to root, spread through several  sponsored Radio Biafra Broadcasts, a sense of identity and self-esteem were reengineered into the psyche of many Youths in the region. This however, led to many in the region embracing the Igbo cosmology and spirituality. In a globalized world, cultural preservation is an ongoing struggle, and IPOB's efforts resonate with those who fear the dilution of Igbo identity. Hence, IPOB using her state actor role, generated massive interest into culture consciousness now spreading across quarters in the region. 

5: A Complex Reality

Until the restoration of Biafra, IPOB remains a major stakeholder in the affairs of the Eastern region. This reality may not go down well with some individuals and institutions, however, it is proven that when the desirable is not available, then the available becomes desirable. IPOB occupies this void position left by the Nigerian government and the governments in the region. While their methods seem to bring developments into the region, they undertake initiatives that many residents see as positive catalysts.  Ultimately, the group's future hinges on its ability to embrace non-violent means and contribute to a more democratic and prosperous sovereign state of Biafra, whether as part of the contentious Nigeria or in a truly independent and sovereign Biafra. Therefore, it doesn't matter how long it takes for anyone to deny the complex reality in Eastern region, IPOB have come to stay. 

The difference is clear; IPOB is the people and the people are IPOB. A government of the people by the people and for the betterment of the people. It is empirically obvious that the people are with this government, judging from the just concluded 30th May, Biafra Heroes Day anniversary Sit-at-home, there are no second thoughts, IPOB is moving forward everyday and they will definitely get to their destination. It's just a matter time. The Nigerian government should stop being blinded with delusions and be bold to acknowledge this fact. Dialogue with this movement and conduct referendum for their peaceful exit. This is candidly wise to do.

Dr. Chikwe Onwuchakwe

Published by Family Writers Press International.

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