The Big Story: Biafra launches new map, why Niger Delta opt-out

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The self determination and struggle to have a separate State from Nigeria to be called Biafra as a country is increasingly covering many mile stones to see this long awaited dream come true, but the struggle may hit the rock if the Southeastern Nigerian who wants to be cut off insist on annexing South-South States, née the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The struggle which was reactivated by the 21rst century Igbo youths to drive home late General Odumegwu Ojukwu dreams is already meeting so many road blocks in some States which the promoters of Biafra want to annex to the dreamed country.

Going memory lane, the South-South States, née Niger Delta region is unearthing history of ill treatment given to one of their heros Isaac Adaka Boro by Odumegwu Ojukwu and Aguiyi Ironsi when Boro was also struggling to have a Nation carved out of Nigeria to be known as Niger Delta Republic.

History from Niger Deltans have this to say about Ojukwu and Ironsi ill treatments:

“Those who arrested and sentenced Isaac Adaka Boro to death for declaring Niger Delta Republic were neither Hausa-Fulanis nor Yorubas but two supposed brothers of his and Biafrans named Odumegwu Ojukwu and Aguiyi Ironsi who were still on the side of Gambaris and still trying to please them as at then. For declaring Niger-Delta Republic Ironsi, the then military head of state, ordered Ojukwu to get Isaac Boro arrested for treason”.

“Ojukwu, in an attempt to please Gambaris, fought Isaac Boro for 14 days within which he used Federal might of “one-Nigeria” to kill 150 soldiers loyal to Isaac Boro, caught Isaac Boro, stripped him naked and sent him over to Lagos where Ironsi charged him to court and within just 2 months got him convicted, at the Supreme Court, of treasonable felony of trying to break away from Azikiwe’s one Nigeria, got him sentenced to death by hanging.
While Ironsi​ and Ojukwu did all that to Isaac Boro​, they left untouched their own Igbo brother soldiers who planned a coup with which they killed Innocent Hausas, Yorubas, Niger Deltans, Middle belters leaving Igbo politicians unharmed despite the fact that the like of Zik and Okpara, were part and parcel of the corrupt Balewa government”.

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“However, before Ojukwu and Ironsi could execute their sentence on Isaac Boro, God intervened and the counter coup happened. Ironsi was overthrown and killed. Gowon took over, declared Isaac Boro innocent and released him. But just fifteen months later Ojukwu too declared Biafra Republic due to the way Igbos were being killed in the North. In declaring Biafra, rather than first apologise to Isaac Boro for what he earlier did to him and then ask for his cooperation in fighting to realize the Biafra dream, Ojukwu did nothing like that but without consulting Boro at all went as far as arrogantly including in his Biafra map the very Niger Delta areas which Isaac Boro earlier tried to pull out of Nigeria and which he (Ojukwu) nearly killed him for”.

“This angered Isaac Boro and Ken Saro Wiwa who both pledged support for Gowon in order to teach Ojukwu a bitter lesson for his arrogance and dishonesty. That was why Isaac Boro and Saro Wiwa fought on the side of Gowon during the war. Naturally Isaac Boro couldn’t have come out of prison to join the Ojukwu who jailed him and fight against the Gowon who released him. It would have been absurd. No rational human being does that”

“This is the truth of what happened and which Igbos hate to hear but prefer to blame everyone else as if they themselves were 100℅ innocent”.

“Igbos must learn to say the truth because if the Biafra/Niger Delta Republic they now seek is founded on lies and deliberate falsehood, like Nigeria, it will not stand but will soon become a failed state like Nigeria. We can’t leave Nigeria for another Nigeria”.

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The above history is what happened to a South-South hero Isaac Adaka Boro who wanted a self determination as well.

On a separate sheet, respective States of Niger Delta are telling their stories of ill treatment of their heros by Ojukwu

On General Philip Effiong who was Ojukwu next in command Akwa Ibom State people have this to say:

“General Philip Effiong, stood his grounds to the last fight even when Odimegwu Ojukwu had escaped the shores of Nigeria for safety in Ivory Coast” .

“But surprisingly, his name was never mentioned, he was never honoured even when Ojukwu was alive”.

“He saved Igbos from being wiped out.
But no honour was accorded him in the Biafran struggle”.

“I am convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is going on as a result of the war. I am also convinced that the suffering of our people must be brought to an immediate end” , General Effiong said while surrendering in January 1970.

In a 1996 interview, Effiong reflected on those events as follows:

“At the end of it all when I saw they (Biafran soldiers) could no longer continue and Ojukwu had fled, I did what was ideal after wide consultation”.

These are the reasons, Akwa Ibom State people do not want to associate with Briafra.

On the other hand, Delta and Edo States are opting out the struggle for the following reasons:

“There is no better time for us to start speaking than now. Delta and Edo States have never been part of Biafra, so they should be expressly removed from the Biafra Map”.

“We respect the right of self-determination of a people; we respect peaceful agitations for Biafra land and if we are to advise the Federal Government of Nigeria, I would say Biafra should be allowed to go since they so wish”.

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“However, it’s wrong on the part of Biafra actors that are seeking self-determination to act in a draconian, autocratic and undemocratic manner by adding Delta and Edo States to their Biafran Map”.

“How did that happen? No consultations, no negotiations, no lobbying, no agreement or what have you?”

“For the records, may we state emphatically that Delta and Edo States have never been part of the East or Biafra and we are not ready to be”.

“If other States in South South are ready to be that would be understandable; they were part of the defunct Eastern Region”.

“Delta and Edo States, however, were part of the defunct Midwest Region and later Bendel. We are a distinct and very peculiar people in the history of Nigeria”.

“We understand that there are lots of imbalance and marginalisation in the current system of Nigeria. The defunct Midwest Region for instance has been the most cheated since the creation of States began”.

“While the then Northern Region now has 19 States with the FCT, the then Eastern Region has 9 States, the then Western Region has 6 States and the the then Midwest Region has only 2 States – Delta and Edo”.

“We make bold to say that no other Region has been as marginalised as the former Midwest Region. It may interest you to know that it is only the then Midwest that has not produced a President since the return of Democracy in 1999”.

“Despite this high level of marginalization and cheating, we the people of Delta and Edo believe in dialogue”

“We are not part of Biafra; we won’t be Biafrans” –

Engr. Oghenekome Terry Okoro, National President Isoko Elite

About Samuel Abasiekong 597 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, National Convener of National Public Interest Group - NPIG, Secretary Uyo Division of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria

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