BIAFRA IS A STATE OF BEING

Biafra is a state of being.

Until we have achieved that state of being, the desired geopolitical region remains at risk. So we must pursue both tasks together.

And the State of Being is as follows:

We have to do as the Catalonians do in Spain.
When they realized that the Castelianos (Madrid) will never voluntarily or easily give them Independencia, the Catalonians (Barcelona) decided to turn inwards and develop their region Technologically, Economically and Infrastructurally – and now they are the economic powerhouse of Spain.

The same thing is with Bayern in Germany. When Germany was declaring itself as a nation, Bayern (Bavaria) had the choice to stay out and be a country on its own (like Austria did) . Instead it opted to stay within a greater Germany and become it’s best part. Today Bavaria is the most technologically and economically powerful region in Germany – and it has the whole of Germany now as its primary and biggest market.

The same thing is with California in the USA.
It’s not only the biggest economy WITHIN the US, it’s also the 6th largest economy in the World! However, this is only because it is within the US and can leverage on all the synergies that come with that, that it can be so powerful. If it were suddenly to try to break away overnight to stand alone, as a competitor against the rest of the US, things would not be so easy.

Nigeria does not fear IPOB as it is. In fact, they WANT IPOB to challenge them, so they can militarily wage war on the Igbos. IPOB at present is not the Biafra that Nigeria fears. They fear the Biafra that becomes like Catalonia, like Bavaria, like California. That’s the Biafra they fear. So they NEED this militant IPOB to give them an excuse to come and reduce Ala-Igbo to a wasteland again and turn back the hands of our clock once more to Zero, like they did in the last Civil War. Even if we don’t want and don’t start any hostilities, they will use the slightest excuse or provocation or accident to send in their troops. Britain will support them and in the end USA will establish a military base in Igbo Land, to keep the peace. And that is how we will become occupied territory.

We have to be smart, and shift the battle to the field where we can win.

What I am saying is this: yes we will continue to ask for Referendum, like Catalonia does in Spain, like Scotland does in Great Britain.
But it is not Referendum that will give us the Biafra we need. And of course It is not guns that will give us Biafra, that we know. As Igbos, we have to conquer our chronic INDIVIDUALISM – and we have to pool our wealth, intelligence and efforts together to turn Ala-Igbo into a First World region, right here and now. But this is the most difficult thing for us because we are individualists! It is easier to protest.

The second point is: Our Governors. As much as we don’t like them, we have to work on them and with them.

If IPOB mobilises the people against the Governors, the same way it is mobilising them against the Federal Govt, you will see how fast things will change. What will the governors do? Start shooting their own people? If any governor does that, where will that governor run to hide from the people’s revenge? They have nowhere to hide. Your State is your home – so they MUST listen to the people. If the people are united, (and IPOB can unite the people because IPOB is very powerful), they MUST start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY from EVERY elected official in the South East.

Demand that they invest in INFRASTRUCTURES. Roads and transportation. Potable water. Drainage systems. Housing. Health. Education. Tax breaks for small businesses. Regional economic integration. Constitute expert groups accross every field from within and the diaspora to develop and advice on the framework for regional development.

Instead of going to Abuja, the Governors should come together, put money together from their budget and start building a second Niger Bridge. Start dredging the River Niger at Onitsha. Start developing the dry port at Abia. Start NOW and make it mandatory that EVERY South East governor prioritize regional integration. Taxes and tarrifs for business MUST come down to encourage investors.

Computer Village in Lagos is full of Igbos.
The governors and leadership should put their moneys together and build TECHNOLOGY TOWN in Aba. Follow up on the likes of the Geometrics power project in Aba, with a view to completely electrifying Ala-Igbo. And many more of such things.

Put their money together and elevate Enugu Airport to a level HIGHER than Lagos or Abuja airport. Things like that. Developing the Owerri Airport to a full international cargo airport and take advantage of the central location of Owerri in the South East.

Quality educational institutions are lacking in the East even though we constantly produce the highest number of applicants to universities. Let us build more by collaboration with our foreign diaspora. They’re the best in many parts of the world. Lets harness this advantage.

We need a world class Stock Exchange in Ala-Igbo. We can achieve that without the Federal government, because we own trading. Encourage our diaspora to work with government to establish and run QUALITY WORLD CLASS HEALTH CARE institutions in Ala-Igbo.

IPOB has already come up with a blueprint for an Igbo-wide democratic customary government, the people’s government, very republican in nature, and this is good. THIS IS POWER. Ironically, it might even be in accordance with the Nigerian constitution. If peacefully achieved, this can be the leverage with which to control the elected executive and legislative levels, if Nigeria stays together. And if Nigeria falls apart, then automatically we already have a framework state in operation.

However, IPOB must win Igbo people over by championing their welfare with their own governors and officials. Threaten them with no re-election and criminal prosecution if they fail to serve their people. They must also encourage the training, standardization, integration and sharing of information by the different state security groups to stamp out crimes like robbery, kidnapping, human trafficking, etc. We are Igbo. We are in the communities and we know those who are into crime. People MUST start explaining their sources of wealth. IPOB can utilize its huge following to ensure crime is wiped out and good governance is entrenched in the South East.

Then IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu would forever be remembered kindly by history.

If we are doing things like all these, Arewa will not need to issue quit notice – NDIGBO will come back in droves to build up Ala-Igbo.

Is it beyond the Igbo to venture into modern and very lucrative cattle rearing and be the leaders in all of Africa? Are we not known to come late into any venture and excel beyond those in it for centuries?

The governors in Ala-Igbo should AS A MATTER OF URGENCY introduce RANCHING across Ala-Igbo for prospective and enterprising IGBO CATTLE FARMERS, after which they will enact, implement and execute ANTI OPEN-GRAZING LAWS in their States, then call on all indigenes and States security groups to participate in monitoring its implementation. This will empower all Igbos and we will rid ourselves of these gun-totting Fulani Herdsmen in no time.

*This is priority. Every passing day is too much.*

Ekiti State did it. Benue State has done it. It’s not impossible. Why cannot the States of the South-East ALL do it as ONE? *Anti Grazing Law.* This will shake the Nigerian Govt more than asking for referendum.

IPOB has power. If they use it wisely they can bring about tremendous change in Ala-Igbo without a single blood shed. They are uniquely positioned at this period in time to use their massive following and break the individualistic Igbo trait to bring about change that will positively shape Igbo history for generations. If they misuse it by going the route of war, that didnt work decades ago, then it would be a great loss indeed.

If Nigeria stays together, Ala-Igbo can become the most advanced region of Nigeria if we START NOW. If Nigeria breaks up, we have to be ready to survive on our own. And at this moment, we are not yet ready. This is where we need to put our eyes into. Because the ball is already rolling.

What we want is for people to come and start investing in Ala-Igbo, from all over the world. They will do this massively if they see the political will and infrastructures being laid down in Ala-Igbo. If that happens, everybody will protect Igbo land. Biafra will grow from within. Let Nnamdi Kanu, all Igbo leaders and thinkers read this and run with it.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije (Ogbuehi)
August 2017.

BUHARI PUSHING THE BIAFRAN ISSUE INTO THE ONLY FIELD OF BATTLE HE UNDERSTANDS: MILITARY CONFLICT.

A soldier without a war must be a lonely man. So lonely that he feels no shame at taking military conflict into the towns, neighbourhoods, streets and homes of unarmed or poorly armed civilians of even his own supposed country just to assuage his thirst for blood and domination in the only language comprehensible to his one-dimensional soul. It matters not to him that the victims in question are civilians untrained in martial combat and lacking in the sophisticated weapons which he has purchased from foreign countries with the wealth of the very people against a section of whom he has now turned that same military machinery. While other great generals feel militarily fulfilled only when matched in even combat against a worthy and equally trained adversary, the small-minded blood-thirsty little soldier will leave real terrorists undefeated and, instead, withdraw his troops from true battle and send them into the homes of civilians, to intimidate, to brutalize, to maim and to kill, just in order to satisfy his desire for a sense of victory, however cheap and shameful.

And what is the crime of this brave civilian population in question, these Igbos? Only one: self-awareness. They committed the deep, unpardonable, human crime of becoming and articulating their awareness of their own self, their own individual nationality, their own distinct identity as a People. This crime, already problematic as it is on all continents, is most heavily frowned upon and most viciously punished, it seems, on the African continent. The very continent most desperately in need of internal soul-searching and honest appraisal of its own inherent primordial intuiting of what the root of a nation is and what the forms of nations are. The very continent whose peoples most desperately need to redefine all concepts of nationhood foisted on them by colonial intent and later further militarily appropriated by feudal desire. A continent that should today enrich mankind with new schools of thought in the field of the different possibilities for the expressions of human civilization. The very continent that, even generations later, most urgently finds itself still recurrently placed before the need to question the chains, the borders, the constitutions and the conflicts into which, partly splintered and partly moulded, it was birthed through the labour throes of a deliberate colonial curriculum. Yet, this continent is the very same one that most violently and most vehemently refuses to look at itself in the mirror and dialogue with itself as to the best way to create the political and policy spaces that most favour its multi-ethnic nature and further its development. Instead it fights tooth and nail to defend and preserve what other civilizations designed and then forced upon it, without permitting any investigation by its indigenes into how they themselves would have done it if no external force had foisted it on them.

And now it is Nigeria’s turn, on that troubled continent, to fall (again) into conflict with herself over this very issue: of sovereign African ethnic nations – of different languages, of different centres and concepts of power, and of different directions of loyalty – but forced into an artificially conceived and created country by profit-minded non-Africans; and which Africans have now since become no longer at ease as they perpetually run around an irreconcilable puzzle promised them by colonialism and inevitably overtaken by deep-rooted feudalism. The sense of a Non-fit keeps breaking out time and again, embodied in calls for self-determination or restructuring at the one pole, or even by extreme ethnic envies, marginalisation and blood-letting at the other extreme.

The spirit of Ala-Igbo has re-embodied itself, and the dawning recognition begins to settle in, that this is not a Biafran army that can be defeated in battle, or a state-land that can be appropriated by occupation, or an ethnic identity that can be obliterated by marginalisation, nor is it a tribe that can be cleansed by genocide. This is something else entirely. This is a spirit that no matter how many times you kill them, will NEVER GO AWAY. This is a People that has re-become self-aware, conscious of itself as a Unit, as a nation-continuum. This is a People who want Sovereignty in all its depths and ramifications. This is a People that have the clarity and sense of proud adulthood to yearn to be their own Nation, themselves! And if you must give them something else, it must be one in which they feel and know they are represented!

But Nigeria was conceived, and brought together, under the barrel of the gun. And Nigeria, finally, has continued to keep herself together, like a masochist, through the self-inflicted pressure and violence of a forced marriage. It is thus not surprising that Nigeria, bewildered and baffled, bemused, insulted and continually embarrassed by increasingly vitriolic and contentious calls for secession, for restructuring, for self-determination by separate ethnic regions – a natural manifestation of her inability to address and redress the clash of civilizations brought about by her unnatural birth – begins to react in the only way she knows: The way of violence, intimidation and coercion.

It thus becomes imperative for President Buhari, a former coup plotter, a former military head-of-state, a veteran of the genocidal 1967-70 Nigerian war against the Igbo people of Biafra, to concentrate his efforts now on militarising the current Biafran resurgence in order to create the sick impression of a pseudo-justification to send federal troops into the streets and homes of a section of the people, an ethnic group, the Igbos, who have hitherto not launched even ONE ATTACK on the military or on any other ethnic group; a people who’s sole call is for the permission to hold a Referendum on the issue of self-determination, but who now find themselves internally attacked and surrounded by the armed forces of the very country which claims that these same Igbos are a part of her. What an irony of machiavellian proportions!

The contention that a certain individual, Nnamdi Kanu, has been exceedingly vitriolic in his verbal agitations, is a shamelessly lame excuse for a military offensive against an entire ethnic region. All it shows is the inability of this administration, as indeed of the colonially born African complex – compounded by delusions of ethnic superiority – to address complex issues in anything but military and militaristic terms! This is a shame for Africa and the Black race, as well as a mark of dishonour upon every person who supports this military aggression against civilians. In the end, President Buhari remains still General Buhari, a military dictator who criminally uses the organs of State to persecute his opponents, rather than applying and following the rules of the path of judicial law. Africa returns to the past, and time stands still.

But much deeper than Nigeria is the Igbo Spirit! It is the ROOT. And if it ever needed further proof that it does not belong in this contraption called Nigeria, at least in its present form, it is being furnished this daily in these times. If it ever needed any proof that it will NEVER be snuffed out no matter how many times Biafra is beaten down, it is being birthed daily into this certainty in these times of modern pharaonic oppression to which it is being subjected in broad daylight! Buhari’s desperate attempt to militarize the eternal Igbo issue and the Biafran puzzle, apart from causing untold pain and hardship to many civilians, individuals, communities and families, only serves the purpose of further accelerating the Igbo soul’s abnegation of the Nation that repeatedly wages war against it! Ndi Igbo will stand together, will fall together, will rise together! Ndi Igbo can NEVER BE DEFEATED OR BROKEN!

Once upon a time, Sovereignty was brutally, cunningly and mockingly taken away from Sovereign African ethnic nationalities! In its place they were given arbitrary illogical amalgamations, full of culture clashes, and told that this is the way forward if they want to develop! In Nigeria’s case, this amalgamation – in order to survive – should have submitted itself, in Nigerian hands, to a process of positive metamorphosis that would eventually allow the reawakening and the harmonious, reciprocal and mutually supporting blossoming of that which was taken away: our sense of individual sovereignty as well as the substance of it. Instead it has birthed anomalies and monstrosities and exposed an inconvenient truth that just refuses to go away: African Tribes are the true African Nations. This was why, to place a fundamental impediment before their development, Colonial Design struck them at that core, to hamper the national self and create an illusionary centre that cannot hold. Don’t mind the lie. For, in truth, Igbo world and Bini world and Yoruba world and Ijaw world dwellt side by side for centuries, and got along – and so will their Nations too one day, if it ever comes to that. We know how to do it, when each person is allowed to be himself.

You cannot make Igbos into Nigerians by sending Nigerian soldiers into Ala-Igbo to surround them and occupy their land and forcefully force all of them to vote, and to forswear Biafra, and hail Nigeria, under the barrel of the gun! On the contrary – you thereby make them into non-Nigerians. Infact you cause them to retreat deeper into what they are – Ndi Igbo!

You cannot make Igbos want to be Nigerians by harassing them and brutalizing them and humiliating them and killing them with Nigerian soldiers and Nigerian might! On the contrary you strengthen them in their Sense of Self as Ndi-Igbo, for nothing binds together as tightly as shared persecution. You thereby simply midwife their determination to become one African Nation, either purely as Ala-Igbo or in the family ethnic groups of the Republic of Biafra, that survived persecution and learned and matured through its vicissitudes and mistakes, drew on its strengths, and made it alone into the First World!

You awaken their Inner Igbo Voice which will tell them loudly, proudly: “I AM IGBO! I AM SELF! I AM NATION!” – Maka onye kwe, chi ya e kwe!

IGBO KWENU!

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

Background:
The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in September 2017, sent the Nation’s military into the south-eastern parts of the country where they tortured, humiliated and murdered citizens of largely the christian Igbo ethnic tribe, many of whom for decades have desired to break-away from Nigeria and establish their own country Biafra.

MANDELA, LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES : 3 – (Tunisian Troubles, Libyan Losses, Ethiopian Woes)

(Lessons from the first (mis)steps following modern Africa’s independence)

In Tunisia, in the so-called French Maghreb region of North Africa, Habib Bourguiba endured imprisonment and persecution, bravely kept up the struggle for liberation, and eventually led the country to independence in 1956, pushing the French out of the political helm of affairs in Tunisia. He applied himself to the economic betterment of his country, experimented with socialist models and, when they did not yield the desired results, switched to more liberal economic strategies. Internationally he was very concerned about securing an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. In the mean time, however, politically he set about instituting himself as the sole authority and system in Tunisia. He pushed through a constitution that gave him near dictatorial powers, and was eventually elected “president for life”. He maintained an authoritarian regime until, after more than three decades as president, a doctor declared him medically unfit to rule any longer. Ben Ali, his minister, succeeded him and he too applied himself to Tunisia’s economy, more than tripling its GDP within a twenty-year period. Politically, however, he too went down the road well trampled. He spent the next twenty-four years refining and perfecting his control over state and government, stage-managing elections, persecuting opposition, blocking free speech and incessantly perpetuating himself in power. But the long arm of the people’s fury, come to fruition in the Jasmine revolution, eventually caught up with him and his cohorts, at long last, in 2011.

Apart from in Egypt, the Tunisian revolution also triggered a similar revolution in neighbouring Libya, which historically has also not fared better, plunging that country too into riots, bloodshed and conflict, leading to the overthrow and death of their own once-liberator turned lifetime-dictator, Gadddafi. Today, more than five decades after modern independence, the present generations of these countries have to struggle desperately and painfully in a volatile, polarised, changing world, to attain what their Independence-generation failed to do: to motivate all sections of their populace into finding, anchoring and practicing a sustainable self-rotating form of representational constitutional democracy, one in which tolerance and reciprocal respect of differing wishes, inclusion, reconciliation and rule of law, within the context of a global modern world, hold sway.

In Ethiopia, Emperor Haile Selasie enjoyed the reputation of being the head of the only nation in Africa that was never successfully colonised. In the 1930s he courageously resisted Mussolini and the Italian invasion and then continued to rule Ethiopia, as Emperor, for many more decades to follow – until in a 1974 coup he was overthrown and dethroned, and then imprisoned in his own Grand Palace by his own people, where he died a few months later, a lonely old man. In his many long decades as leader of the Ethiopian Empire, he had fired the imaginations of Africans and Blacks all over the world, and hosted and reigned as founding chairman of the Organisation of African Unity. He inspired religions and movements, stood as a bastion of global racial equality and dignity, abolished slavery, and pumped much time, effort and the scarce financial means available to Ethiopia into a forward-thinking infrastructural modernisation and industrialization effort. Only one thing he did not do: show any interest in a political game-changer that would replace the monarchy with a true representational democracy in which all the different peoples, classes and sections of the nation would have, and unitedly administer, a joint stake. Civil wars with Eritrean, Oromo and Somali liberationists destabilised the state; a state in which Selasie ruled over and decided everything – administrative, adjudicative, financial, military and ministerial – an autocratic monarch. After the Wollo droughts and the famine came in the late sixties and early seventies, the disconnect between the leaders and the peoples tore the old establishment down. The army mutinied, popular revolts tore through the streets, and strikes and demonstrations paralysed the land. Emperor Haile Selasie was eventually deposed – after almost six decades as Ethiopia’s leader – and a new dictatorship under Major Mengistu took his place. Post-Selasie Ethiopia was then plunged into years of coups, dictatorship, Red Terror, uprisings, dispute, war and violence – all compounded by drought and famine. The Emperor had never built or championed a political system that could harness the patriotic, broad, representative efforts of the whole country’s peoples towards peacefully and constitutionally finding and executing a joint self-sustaining, rotational solution to their problems. He left a divided, politically adrift nation behind. Ethiopia was thus cruelly and ironically sent back to square one, despite its great history and iconic leader.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

… continued in Part 4 of 11:
MANDELA, LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES: 4 – (Sudan and South Sudan)

Preceding Chapters:
MANDELA, LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES: Part 1 (Preamble)
MANDELA, LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES: PART 2 (Egypt’s modern pharaohs)