By Nnamdi Elekwachi, ESQ
The new President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Prof George Obiozor has just shot himself on the right calf by making a false start. This self-destructive beginning shall leave him struggling to fly.
The starting point for Obiozor’s Ohaneze should have been to consult Ndigbo and find out what they want.
Those Governors and Unitary One Nigeria apologists that the Prof Obiozor thanked and listed, are not representative of Ndigbo! They are not Igbo Youths nor do they reflect the opinions of the masses that make the majority of Igbo. Those Governors are rather the ugliest opposite of what a people’s representative should be.
Prof Obiozor is being advised by the wrong people. Prof Obiozor is now in the wrong crowd.
First and foremost Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (MNK) is not Biafra and has not decided Biafra alone. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is the Supreme Leader of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) Worldwide and certainly at the head of the Biafra restoration movement, but he is certainly not alone as erroneously suggested in the press statement of the new Ohaneze President.
IPOB is an ultramodern Worldwide sophisticated organisation with world-class best practice organisational and decision-making structures.
IPOB Worldwide is the greatest mass liberation movement in the world today. IPOB is the biggest and greatest “political party” or mass peoples movement in Nigeria. IPOB has a membership that is larger than all the political parties in Nigeria (PDP, APC, APGA etc) put together.
It is, therefore, unfortunately, most short-sighted, ignorant and insulting for Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze to present Biafra Movement as only just MNK as if IPOB or Biafra restoration movement is just one person alone.
Such a failure to recognise reality has only assured his failure. It is incredible that the press Statement failed to mention or acknowledge IPOB and its efforts. If nothing else, Prof Obiozor should at the least, acknowledge and commend IPOB for establishing Eastern Security Network (ESN) given that Security of Ndigbo is claimed to be Ohaneze’s topmost priority. Refusing to do that confirmed the fact that Prof Obiozor was unelectively selected by those same people who do not represent Ndigbo. No wonder there is another President General leading another faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
IPOB Worldwide constitutes the active population and the majority population of Eastern Nigeria, including the Igbo Nation. Therefore the decision of that majority of the population to actualise Biafra represents the WILL of the nations of Biafra, including the Igbo nation.
Certainly, Obiozor’s Ohaneze cannot wish itself success by failing to acknowledge and support the WILL of the majority of the population of the nations of Eastern Nigeria including the Igbo Nation.
Secondly, Prof Obiozor is correct in his observation that “The Igbo nation is not at war with Nigeria” and partly wrong in the assertion that the Igbo nation “has nothing pending before any institutional authority that demands a separate existence from Nigeria”.
If by Igbo nation Prof Obiozor intended to mean Biafra, then he is confused because Biafra is not Igbo nation. The Igbo nation is only part of Biafra.
It is most important that Ohaneze must first understand the difference between the Igbo nation as a nation in Biafra and Biafra itself as a nation comprising Igbo nation and the other great nations of the East such as the Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Anang, Ogoni, Urhobo etc. Without a clear understanding of the make-up and dynamics of the nations of Eastern Nigeria, Ohaneze would, of course, be confused as it presented in its press release.
Truly, neither Igbo nation nor Biafra is at war with Nigeria as in any of them making war against Nigeria. On the contrary, Nigeria as represented by the Fulani Caliphate Colonial Master of Nigeria is at war against the Igbo nation and Biafra by making war against them in their own territories. Surely Ohaneze is more than anyone else aware of this fact.
Agitation for Freedom and Self Determination is not war. Prof Obiozor himself is supposed to be an expert in international relations and Diplomacy. Prof Obiozor himself knows more than anyone else that Self Determination of nations and peoples is a right in both international law and municipal laws. Therefore the Prof Obiozor should know that agitation for Biafra is not making or asking for war.
Even so, IPOB is a none violent Self-Determination movement, such that acts of peaceful civil disobedience as consistently undertaken by IPOB are not acts of war.
Indeed, the Ohaneze press statement appears to contradict itself in that the “Restructuring of Nigeria” that it seeks to pursue, is itself, a form of Self-Determination, albeit of a very limited nature. Even so, Ohaneze is yet to put before Ndigbo the exact nature, content and details of the “Restructure” it proposes to seek in Nigeria.
In addition the song of “Restructure” sounds more like a broken record, having failed since from the first attempt at “Aburi” in 1966, through a war to various failed attempts including as recent as the Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s regime in 2014. Attempts at “Restructure” have failed repeatedly in the past. Why or how would it succeed now?
If agitation for Self-Determination were to be deemed to be “war” as Prof Obiozor will have Ndigbo to believe, then Ohaneze itself would also be classified as a warmonger by advocating “Restructuring of Nigeria”.
Even so, Prof Obiozor identified “Security” as the topmost agenda of his Ohaneze regime.
The Prof pointedly and relevantly stated “At home in Nigeria the story of insecurity of Ndigbo has reached an incrementally dangerous level of EXISTENTIAL THREAT. Ndigbo are indeed in terms of security, the most vulnerable and victims of violence throughout Nigeria”
The erudite Professor says it all himself.
Is it that Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze is unaware of the invasion of Igboland and the entire Eastern Nigeria by Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists, Boko Haram, ISWAP and other Islamist Jihadist Terrorist Militias from all over Northern Nigeria and the Sahel?
Or is it that Ohaneze is unaware of the occupation of forests and bushes in Igboland and Eastern Nigeria by these Islamist Jihadist Terrorist Militias?
It cannot be truthfully said that Ohaneze is not fully aware of the killings of innocent Igbo citizens in their farms and homes all over Igboland by the invading Fulani Terrorist Hordes. Indeed, Nnia Nwodo’s Ohaneze of recent past was known to press it upon South-East Governors to establish a South East Regional Security Vigilante, which the Governors refused. South-East Governors at the time preferred to instead take direct orders from Inspector General of Police Adamu in Abuja and from Sokoto Caliphate to adopt Unitary One Nigeria Community Policing pathway which would see Fulani Caliphate citizens continuing to dominate security personnel in the South East just in the same way as the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Police architectures.
Former Ohaneze Ndigbo president Chief Nnia Nwodo was on record to have berated and condemned South-East Governors for their decision which he called a “betrayal” of Ndigbo.
Certainly, Ohaneze is aware of the massacres of Igbo and Biafra youths by Nigerian Army, Police and Security Forces, including the massacres at Obigbo, Enugu, Aba, Afaraukwu, Abakiliki, and other places all over Eastern Nigeria. The massacres have not stopped.
Ohaneze is also aware of the fact that the Unitary Government at Abuja has consistently since the Buhari regime, integrated Boko Haram, ISWAP, Fulani Herdsmen Terrorists, Hunters and other like Islamist Jihadist Militias into the Nigerian Army, Police and other Security Services.
It is on record that most of the massacres carried out and being carried out by the Nigerian Army, Police and Security Forces are perpetrated by these Islamist Jihadist Terrorist elements in Nigerian Army and Police Uniforms.
Islamist Jihadist Terrorists are known to carry AK-47 freely all over Igboland and Eastern Nigeria without hindrance by law enforcement agencies, and they shoot and kill innocent citizens at will without reproach, arrest or prosecution.
So what WAR again is Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze talking about?
The war is already raging brought to Ndi Igbo at home from the entire Fulani Caliphate North and the Sahel.
The Igbo nation is already at war being waged against it by the Fulani Caliphate.
Eastern Region is at war brought home to it by the Fulani Caliphate.
So what does Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze propose that Ndigbo and Biafrans do in the face of war brought to their homes by the Fulani Caliphate?
Would Ohaneze advise Ndigbo and Biafrans to just surrender their lands, lives and properties to the invading hordes of Fulani Caliphate Islamist Jihadist Terrorists?
What would Ohaneze have Ndigbo and Biafrans do? Watch their nations annihilated and their lands occupied by the Fulani Caliphate?
Lastly, the Igbo nation as part of Biafra, has, under both international customary and treaty laws, Sovereignty claims before both local and international institutional authorities that demand a separate existence from Nigeria. Prof Obiozor seriously gaffed to state otherwise in the Ohaneze press statement.
- Biafra existed as a confederation of nations before the British came to begin its colonisation.
- Under British colonialism, the nations of Eastern Nigeria/Biafra were separate colonial territories with separate colonial governments just as the nations of the West and the North had their own separate colonial territories and governments. The Eastern nations, Western nations and Northern nations had their separate colonial Sovereignties prior to the amalgamations.
- Even following the British amalgamation of Eastern and Western nations into the Southern Protectorate, the East and West still maintained separate territories and governments. Both the East and the West maintained their separate colonial territories and governments (separate Sovereignties). The North also had its own separate colonial territory and government (Sovereignty).
- Even at the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates in 1914 to form Nigeria for the first time, not only did the Southern and Northern Protectorates each retain/maintain their separate colonial territories and governments (Sovereignty), but in fact, each of the Eastern nations and Western nations maintained and retained their separate colonial territories and governments (Sovereignty).
- At the independence of Nigeria in 1960, all of the Eastern, Western and Northern nations retained and maintained their separate independent territories and governments (Sovereignty). In 1962/63, the three Sovereign Regions agreed to creat the fourth Sovereign Region being the Mid Western Region with its own separate territory and Government (Sovereignty).
- On 30 May 1967 Eastern Region exercised its Sovereign rights to become the Biafra Republic, an independent nation separate from Nigeria. The Republic of Biafra was formally recognised by four member nations of the United Nations. Biafra had informal recognition by a host of other nations including France, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Ireland, Isreal, the Scandinavia nations and a host of others.
The Biafra Republic is a country and remains in the records of the United Nations and all nations of the World including Nigeria as such.
The records are indelible because Biafra has entered the records as part of the practice of customary international law of nations. Biafra is indelible from the records as a country.
- Biafra Sovereinity claim is before the United Nations, international organisations and member nations of the UN both formally and in their records in the context of international customary and treaty laws.
- The Unitary One Nigeria structure was unilaterally imposed by a military coup, war and conquest and established by unilateral Military Decree Number 24 of 1999 imposed by Fulani Caliphate Military Officers under orders and control of the Sokoto Caliphate. The indigenous nations and peoples of Nigeria including Ndigbo and nations of Eastern Nigeria were not consulted and did not give their consent to Decree 24 of 1999 and therefore never agreed to hand their Sovereignty to Unitary One Nigeria Colony of the Fulani Caliphate.
- Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze must be aware of the Allianz Territories Group comprising the West, East and Middle Belt nations and the Sovereignty Dispute that they have declared against Nigeria to restore the Sovereignties of their nations, namely the nations of Eastern Nigeria, Western Nigeria Mid Western Nigeria and the Middle Belt. The Middle Belt was not part of Northern Nigeria at the advent of British Colonialism nor was it part of Northern Nigeria before the British created the Northern Protectorate. Nnia Nwodo, the immediate past Ohaneze PG is a signatory to the Sovereignty Dispute against Nigeria.
The Alliance Territories Sovereignty Claim will shortly join other formal claims at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other appropriate UN adjudication institutions.
- From all of the above, Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze should know that Biafra, including the Igbo nation, has recorded claims and practice as a Sovereign nation with territory and government separate from Nigeria both in customary international law, international treaty law and in practice as a nation recognised by other nations.
The claim of Biafra including the Igbo nation to a separate existence from Nigeria is one grounded in natural law and backed by customary and treaty international laws and practice.
Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze has taken off with a false start. The erudite Professor is ill-advised and is listening to the wrong crowd of expired retrogressive Unitary One Nigeria apologists.
Prof Obiozor’s Ohaneze should retrace his steps and go back to the grassroots and ascertain from the masses of Ndigbo what the Igbo nation wants. Ohaneze will then realise that an overwhelming 92% or more of Ndigbo and especially Igbo Youths want Biafra as an independent nation from Nigeria. An opinion poll conducted by an Australian firm on behalf of Global Igbo Alliance confirmed that supermajority of Ndi Igbo wants Biafra.
If Ohaneze claims to represent and lead the Igbo, then it must necessarily represent and advocate the WILL of the Igbo people. That WILL IS BIAFRA!
*Barrister Nnamdi Elekwachi is a great Historian and a Legal Practitioner.