The day, the 15th of January, is very significant in Nigeria’s history, reason being that it was on this day in 1970, that the Biafra war officially was called off.
Though the casualties of the war was higher on the Biafran side, the Nigerian civil war still has not killed many Igbo’s quest and longing for a Republic.
Nnamdi Kanu, the nee face of the Biafra struggle has continued to wax strong, even in prison, and on Tuesday, April 25, he was granted bail by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Having said this, the resolve of pro-Biafrans have grown stronger over the years, and below are 6 crucial reasons why they stand a chance to actualize the dream that was born over over 50-years ago.
1. It is legal
When a people believe that they have been oppressed for too long, and cannot remain as part of the community in which they thrive, its is their right to request that they be set apart from the parent group.
There are justified reasons for secession, especially if it has to do with rectifying grave injustices, and violence is not involved in the process.
The pro-Biafra agitators are of the believe that they have a legal right to demand an exit, and they have continued to push vehemently for that which they believe in.
2. Foreign countries support
Just few months back, the struggle for the actualisation of a sovereign state of Biafra received a massive boost following the reported visit of a Phillippian envoy to Imo state.
According to Vanguard, the Phillippian Senate president’s aide, Lady Cynthia Esgurrna Touraha, was a guest of Imo Bilie Initiative (IBI) a non-governmental organization that is also strongly behind the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) getting justice in an Owerri high court.
The Phillippian was to witness the court proceedings on Thursday, March 31, 2016, in the suit filed by IBI against the federal government.
The president of IBI, Innocent Amadi, who spoke with journalists in Imo state, informed that the visitor was in the court to witness the day’s proceedings.
He said: “We were at the Federal High Court, Owerri, to keep our date, but we were told that the court always enjoyed one week break after the Easter festivities. Our case has been adjourned to May 2, 2016.
“We shall employ legal framework and diplomatic channels in fighting for the sovereign state of Biafra.”
With more support such as this, the push for Biafra may not be a far cry.
3. International organization lending their voices
In 2015, the Organization of Emerging African States (OEAS), expressed its support to Biafra’s immediate from Nigeria, simultaneously presenting a list of demands to the Nigeria federal government.
The Organization that promotes self-determination and the end to colonial era boundaries in Africa has declared its support to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and its adherents in a letter to the Nigeria federal government.
“Today the people of Biafra are locked in an emerging struggle with the Nigeria federal government, the inevitable result of which will be self-determination for Biafra. Unfortunately the Nigerian government has resorted to summary execution and detention of Biafran patriots. The situation will surely escalate unless immediate action is taken.”
Asides the OEAS, many other groups have spoken in favour of the pro-Biafra agitators, and many more are still speaking for the course. Many are also listening to the pleas of the pro-Biafrans.
4. The power in Numbers
Without a doubt, there is a massive growth in size as regards pro-Biafra agitators and pro-Biafra groups.
Some argue that having too many groups might be a problem in itself, this is based on the theory that too many hands spoil the stew.
However, there is straight in numbers and the pro-Biafrans are using this mightily. As the numbers swell, confidence is built stronger and with such confidence, they say “victory is certain”.
5. Aligning Niger Delta militants and the South South Support
Not too long ago, the IPOB, stated that Biafraland is not only the areas inhabited by the Igbo-speaking people of the country.
The IPOB claimed that Biafra spans from Itsekiriland on the western boundary with Oduduwa to Bakassi on the eastern boundary with the Cameroons, and also stretches from Idoma and Igala land on the northern boundary with Northern Nigeria to the Bight of Biafra which is South of the island of Bonny.
In a statement by the spokespersons of IPOB, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, the pro-Biafra group pointed out that “in the present-day Nigeria, Biafra consists of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states as well as Igbanke in Edo state, Igala in Kogi state, and Idoma in Benue state.”
It said the above revelation showed that Biafra is not populated by the Igbo-speaking people, adding that the last head of state and commander-in-chief of Biafra was not from the Igbo-speaking area of Biafraland.
Similarly, MASSOB pledged its total allegiance to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), along with other pro-Biafra groups operating in the Niger Delta region.
The Niger Delta Avengers has carried out a series of bombings in the Niger Delta region and also threatened to assassinate President Muhammadu Buhari if he visited Ogoniland in Rivers state.
Along with pledging allegiance to the militants, MASSOB also demanded the release of Radio Biafra Director Nnamdi Kanu.
A few months back, Comrade Joseph Evah, the national coordinator of the Ijaw Monitoring Group, said that the Niger Delta people were against the Igbos during the civil war but are now ready to support them in their agitation for an independent Biafra state.
In an interview with Vanguard, Evah said the Niger Delta people made amends by participating in the burial of the late Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu who championed the Biafra civil war.
He said the Igbos had forgiven the Niger Delta people which was why they were supporting them in their agitation.
If the aliance work, then the Biafra agitators might have found an answer to the questions they seek.
6. Peaceful, simple but tactical approach
In more recent times, secession has been approached from a no violence angle, the less report of violence by prio-Biafrans is a testimony to the fact that other very smart means are currently being employed to see that the dream is achieved.
Recently, the European Union (EU) said that though it holds strong diplomatic and economic relationship with Nigeria, the “protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains a priority for the EU and we encourage the authorities [Nigeria] in every occasion to respect such rights.”
The EU went on to caution the OEAS and Biafran that the push for self-determination and border changes must be carried out within the ambits of established international law.
It added that Biafra can only be recognized through international law and not through armed secession.
On this day, it is wise for us as a nation to sit back and sober reflect on the Biafra war. The tragic, historic event, gives every one of us the chance to ask ourselves the one true question: “is Biafra the answer?”Like this post