Africa Business and News World

ABW Breaking News–North Supports Biafra Self-determination

June, 19th 2017

His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,

Acting President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja

              OPEN LETTER
Your
Excellency,
APPRECIATION  on
behalf of this coalition and all the peace-loving people of
Northern Nigeria, we begin this letter by commending your
efforts towards finding a lasting solution to the lingering
Igbo-induced crisis that is undoubtedly overheating the
polity. We sincerely believe Your
Excellency’s good intentions as shown by your prompt and
genuine actions towards ensuring peace and stability in
holding talks with leaders of the North and the
South-East. Though we do not
doubt Your Excellency’s bona fide concerns for the
peaceful resolution of the crises, we nevertheless have
reservations as to the efficacy of this approach in ensuring
lasting solutions. Our doubts are
informed by the following historical antecedents that have
characterized the behavior and conduct of the Igbo in
Nigeria and previous efforts at containing
them.
PASTEXPERIENCES
1. The Igbo of Eastern Nigeria manifested their hatred for Nigeria’s
unity barely five years after we gained our independence
from the British when on January 15, 1966, their army
officers carried out the first-ever  mutiny that marked
the beginning of a series of crisis which has profoundly
altered the course of Nigeria’s
history.
2.  By that ill motivated, cowardly and deliberate action, the Igbo
killed many northern officers from the rank of lieutenant
colonel upwards and also decapitated the Prime Minister and
the political leadership of the Northern and Western regions
but left the zenith of Igbo leadership at the Federal level
and the Eastern region intact.
 3. In line with the Igbo plan, General Aguiyi-Ironsi took
advantage of the vacuum and, instead of returning power to
the remnants of the First Republic government, he
appropriated the coup and attempted to consolidate it for
his people.
4.  Army officers of the Northern Region were eventually compelled to
execute a counter coup on July 29, 1966 following a
coordinated series of brazen provocations from the Igbo who
taunted northerners on northern streets by mocking the way
leaders of the region were slain by the Igbo. This
unfortunately resulted in mob action which resulted in the
death of many Igbos.
5.  And when Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, from the North took over as Head
of State following the counter coup, the Igbo through Lt.
Col. Ojukwu, characteristically refused to recognize
Gowon. 5.  Ojukwu declared
the secession of the Igbo people from Nigeria and the
formation of the republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967
resulting in a civil war that led to the tragic deaths of
more than 2 million Nigerians.
6.It is important to note here that the Igbo eventually
capitulated and conceded defeat in an unconditional
surrender, not an armistice,  on January 15, 1970 which
renders any talk about Biafra at any other time,  a
repudiation of the terms of that surrender signed by Phillip
Effiong and other Biafran
leaders.
BIAFRA REINCARNATED 1. In a shot out of
the blues,  the Igbo have over the last 2 years
regrouped and fiercely and openly started discussing Biafra
again under Ralph Uwazuruike of the Movement for the
Actualization of the Sovereign State Of Biafra
MASSOB.
2.  This was given greater impetus by a more furious Igbo rogue group
called the Indigenous People Of Biafra IPOB under Nnamdi
Kanu who even operates an illegal radio station spreading
hate and war messages across the nation,  calling other
ethnic groups all sorts of names and threatening them with
violent extermination.
 3.  The activities
of the Igbo under Kanu’s IPOB has grown exponentially
ranging from ordering people of other regions out of the
South East – particularly the Yorubas and Hausa /Fulani from
the South West and the North respectively, to open
declaration of the amassing of arms and forceful total
shutdown of the entire South-East.
KANU and IPOB have declared full allegiance to a
 “Republic of Biafra” and continue to preach
hatred and war virtually every day, and not for once did any
Igbo leader call them to order. Instead, many of the leaders
including Mr Ike Ekweremadu,  the deputy senate
president, the most senior elected Igbo, pay Kanu courtesy
calls to prove that he is speaking for the entire Igbo. It
is glaring to all that Kanu has serially breached all the
terms of his stringent jail conditions in total disregard
 to the sanctity of our justice system
.  5. Even the latest
statement by the South-East Governors Forum signed by
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State in a response to the
Northern reaction,  did not condemn Kanu and Uwazuruike
but characterised their action as “peaceful”.
While all this is going on,  neither the Igbo political
and cultural leaders nor other regional leaders of the North
or West nor the international community or any religious
body ever found it necessary to call these renegade groups
to order or in the very least admonish their leaders to do
so.Furthermore,  none of the Igbo leaders
holding various positions in this government ever disowned
IPOB or condemned its operations until lately with Governor
Rochas Okorocha’s mild condemnation after the Kaduna
Declaration by our Coalition
.  GROUNDS FOR
SUSPICION Given the unrepentant
antecedents exhibited by the Igbo as highlighted above,
 we strongly believe that the gruesome picture that the
Biafran agitation represents is beyond a few people
showcasing to Your Excellency that the Igbo will eventually
heed the call for peace and desist from their dangerous
campaign against
Nigeria.   The seed of
hate planted in the name of Biafra is evidently so deep that
the ongoing interaction between you and the leaders from the
South East can not in our well informed opinion douse or
address the underlying deep seated  underlying problems
  We base our concerns on the following
grounds.  1. Despite the
fact that the Igbo have been the most accommodated and
tolerated of all the ethnic groups of Nigeria, the renewed
incessant, spiteful and vile threats and insults on Northern
leaders and their people, culture and religions that are the
targets of this venomous agitation for Biafra,  can
hardly be addressed through a series of two hours
dialogues. 2.  As if to
prove this, barely hours after Your Excellency’s meeting
with the South-East leaders,  the Biafran Igbo openly
disowned the leaders and dissociated themselves from the
meeting.
More disturbingly,  Kanu has openly claimed that the
Biafran agitators have amassed arms in readiness for a war
of secession which is quite conceivable given the fact that
since 2009, catches of dangerous weapons routinely smuggled
into the country and occasionally intercepted  by the
Nigerian authorities , were all traced to Igbo sources.
 4.The situation continues to be baffling and alarming
and therefore unacceptable  – especially with the Igbo
political and opinion leaders openly legitimizing the
violent comments, insults, threats, hate speeches and call
to anarchy that the Biafrans led by Nnamdi Kanu are making
against the North and the Nigerian state in
general.  5. South-East
leaders have instead, enthusiatically given Kanu the
platform, patronage and symbolic legitimacy through an
ignominious display of homage, reception and open
embrace.   OUR
CONCERNS 1. Concerned by the fact
that the Biafrans have confessed to arming themselves for a
violent breakup,  we feel that it is risky for the rest
of the country particularly the North to go on pretending
that it is safe for us to co habitate with the Igbos given
how deeply they are entrenched in our societies
. 2.  And since evidently
the Igbo have not been sufficiently humbled by their self
imposed bloody civil violence of 1966, we are strongly
concerned that nothing short of granting their Biafran dream
will suffice.  3. And since
the Igbo have virtually infiltrated every nook and cranny of
Northern Nigeria where they have been received with open
arms as fellow compatriots, we
strongly believe that the region is no longer safe and
secure in the light of the unfolding threats and the fact
that for a long time,  the Igbo have gone to extra
ordinary lengths to ensure that in their domain in the South
East, Northerners and Westerners are as much as possible
disenfranchised from owning any businesses whereas in Kano
alone,  they own not less than 100, 000 shops across
all the business
districts.  4.  That
since the younger generation of Nigerians makes up for more
than 60 percent of the nation’s population, it is our
hope that they inherit this country in better shape so that
they can build a much better future for themselves and their
offsprings in an atmosphere that is devoid of anarchy, hate,
suspicion and  negativity that characterize the
polarized, and clearly irreconcilable differences forced on
us by the Biafran Igbos.  5.
To make a bad situation even worse, their leaders have
continued to show support for  this treacherous cause
and thus giving credence to our concern that what they say
against us is what they truly mean and intend – “Kill
everyone in the Zoo” (North). Your Excellency, we cannot
afford to discard this as mere mischief as the utterances
that caused the terrible Rwandan genocide still resonates in
our minds. 6. Lastly Sir, it is
quite impossible to expect that other nationalities would
simply stand by and watch while a certain ethnic group
perpetrates all the above heinous misconducts that involve
threats, call to violence and extermination, insults and
songs of war without
responding.   OUR
STANDWhile we unequivocally restate that we are
not waging war or calling anyone to violence,  we
nevertheless are also not willing to continue tolerating the
malicious campaign and threats of war that the Igbos have
continued to wage against us.
  Neither can we afford to
continue giving the keys to our cities to a people whose
utterances, plans and arrangements are clearly geared
towards war and anarchy.  We
therefore demand that the only enduring solution to this
scourge that is being visited on the nation is complete
separation of the states presently agitating for Biafra from
the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a peaceful political
process by: 1.  Taking steps
to facilitate the actualization of the Biafran nation in
line with the principle of self-determination as an integral
part of contemporary customary international
law. 2. The principle of
self-determination has, since world war II become a part of
the United Nations Charter which states in Article 1(2),
that one of the purposes of the UN is “to develop friendly
relations among nations based on respect for the principle
of equal rights and self-determination of
peoples. 3. We submit that this
protocol envisages that people of any nation have the right
to self-determination, and although the Charter did not
categorically impose direct legal obligations on member
States; it implies that member States allow agitating or
minority groups to self-govern as much as
possible.  4. This principle
of self-determination has since been espoused in two
additional treaties: The United Nations Covenant on
Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the United Nations
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 1 of both
international documents promote and protect the right of a
people to self-determination. State parties to these
international documents are obliged to uphold the primacy
and realization of this right as it cements the
international legal philosophy that gives a people the right
to self-determination. 4. As the
Igbo agitations persist and assume threatening dimensions,
we submit that there is need to ensure that they are given
the opportunity to exercise the right to self-determination
as entrenched under the aforementioned international
statutes to which Nigeria is a
signatory.   PRAYERS: 1.
 Aware that the right of self-determination in
international law is the legal right for a “people” that
allows them to attain a certain degree of autonomy from a
sovereign state through a legitimate political process, we
strongly demand for a referendum to take place in a
politically sane atmosphere where all parties will have a
democratic voice over their future and the future of the
nation. 2. The Igbo from all over
the country and in the Diaspora should be advised to
converge in their region in the South-East for a plesbisite
to be organized and conducted by the United Nations and
other regional bodies for them to categorically to decide
between remaining part of Nigeria or having their separate
country. 3.  That government
should at the end of the plesbite implement whatever
 is agreed and resolved in order to finally put this
matter to rest. 4.  Lastly,
we pray His Excellency to study the references forwarded
with this letter dispassionately and decide who is more in
the wrong between those who openly pledge allegiance to a
country other than Nigeria backing it up with persistent
threats of war and those of us whose allegiance remains with
the Nigerian state but simply urge that the secessionists be
allowed to actualize their dream peacefully throw
universally entrenched democratic
options.   CONCLUSION
Your Excellency, we want to reiterate our high
respect for your office and acknowledge the efforts you are
making to lower tensions. We assure you, as well-brought up
northerners, we listen to the advise and cautions of our
elders, and in particular, their concerns that we do not
create the impression that any Igbo or any Nigerian will be
harmed in the North. We assure you that we will defend the
rights of every Nigerian to live in peace and have their
rights protected.
While we do not see this clamour for Biafra as an
issue over which a single drop of blood should be shed,
 we at the same time,  insist that the Igbo be
allowed to have their Biafra and for them to vacate our land
peacefully so that our dear country Nigeria could finally
enjoy lasting peace and stability.
Long Live the Federal Republic of
Nigeria.
   SIGNED: Amb.
ShettimaYerima
Joshua Viashman Aminu
Adam  Abdul-Azeez

Comments

What's your opinion?

Leave a Reply

Translate »