The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is under prison detention while facing charges of treasonable felony, has blasted Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari over his remarks during Eid Kabir celebrations. The Nigerian leader was quoted telling National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members on Tuesday 12 September 2016 to urge their colleagues who support the actualization of Biafra Republic, to “forget about it.”
In a statement signed by IPOB spokespersons Emma Nmezu and Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya, the group said on Friday 16 September:
“The first question is, why can’t Buhari come to Biafra land to lecture Biafrans on unity rather than mouthing it every time he visits his cow ranch in Daura or someplace in Northern Nigeria?
“Is Northern Nigeria the only place that a president travels to? Can anyone point to a single visit that Buhari has made to Biafraland from May 29, 2015 till date?
“Buhari has more regards and affection for his cows than the average Biafran because he finds time to visit animals rather than those he claim to be his fellow citizens…
“Buhari has made 30 foreign trips as at the end of May 2016 as well as countless trips to the Northern part of Nigeria including Boko Haram controlled regions but he has not set his feet on Biafran soil since he was sworn in on May 29, 2015.
“Buhari must understand that a nation develops organically and is predicated on the commonality of shared value systems. A nation is markedly different from a country even our colonial masters know this.
“That is why Scotland which is a nation can seek independence from Britain which is a country. The same way that Biafra a nation is seeking her independence from Nigeria. Buhari must know that Nigeria may claim to be a country but definitely not a nation.
“Muhammadu Buhari should also understand that unity cannot be force-fitted or enforced by one region on other regions within a geographical expression. This is why David Cameron, immediate past British Prime Minister, did not deploy troops to Glasgow or Edinburgh with Rules of Engagement, ROE, to kill innocent Scottish people in the quest to preserve one Britain.
“If Britain our colonial masters and the creator of Nigeria can allow the Scots to determine their fate, how much more their product Nigeria refusing the nation of Biafra the same right.
“Therefore the assertion by Buhari that Biafrans must stay together with the rest of Nigeria is not enforceable under any known law on this planet earth.
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, UNDRIP, makes it clear that Biafrans have the inalienable right to be on their own as a sovereign nation. The right to self-determination is not synonymous with war or violence.
“Buhari should therefore, not juxtapose self-determination with war because the two are not interchangeable. The least he can do is to use the instrument of referendum to test the resolve of Biafrans in their quest for the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
“We will also like to remind Buhari that the sovereignty of a nation is not premised on size.
The excuse that Nigeria is big enough and therefore Biafrans are bound by the sheer size of Nigeria to be part of it, is not logical. The Soviet Union was big and a super power but they broke up.
“Yugoslavia went their separate ways with the active support of Britain. Those familiar with the history of British politics will know that it was Paddy Ashdown, MP the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party that sought and gained the backing of the British government of the day to support the independence of the Muslim enclave of Bosnia Herzegovina from Yugoslavia.
“There are nations that are significantly smaller than Biafra both in size and in population. For Buhari’s information, Biafra has a population of over 70 million. The total area of Biafra is over 29,400 square miles. Thus Biafra is almost as big as Gambia and Sierra Leone put together, and is bigger than Togo or Rwanda and Burundi combined, and is four times the size of Israel.
“Additionally, we do not need Buhari to lecture us on the resources in Biafraland because we are already aware of them. For us in Biafra, we cherish and give the greatest priority to human resource unlike Buhari’s Nigeria which operates a rentier economy with heavy dependence on Biafran oil and gas resources. Buhari should understand that one of the requirements of a soldier is endurance trekking.
“Therefore, that he may have trekked from one location to the other should not be used to scare Biafrans from exerting their rights to self-determination. After all General Ratko Mladic walked all the way from Serbia to Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina to commit war crimes in the name of preserving Yugoslav unity yet in the end he lost. Buhari intentionally refused to inform the graduates that during his trekking experience from Degem to Biafra’s boundary with Ambazonia (Southern Cameroon), he committed genocide along the way and this includes the two million Biafrans he killed at Owerri in 1968.
“Because Buhari was a junior officer in the Nigerian Army, it is understandable that he was not privy to the motive behind the war of genocide on Biafra which had the backing of our colonial masters.
“It may interest Buhari to know that in August 1967, the British Commonwealth Minister George Thomas informed the British Parliament that: The sole immediate British interest in Nigeria is that the Nigerian economy should be brought back to a condition in which our substantial trade and investment in the country can be further developed, and particularly so we can regain access to important oil installations.
“It should now understand that oil is the main reason why they got the support of Britain. It was because of the control of oil in Biafraland that Britain in 1968 alone supplied hundreds of armoured personnel carriers, APCs; 10,000 machine guns, 20 million rounds of ammunition, 3,000 bayonets, 10,000 rifles with grenade launchers, 15,000 pounds of explosives, 21,000 mortar bombs, 42,500 Howtizer rounds, 5,000 submachine guns and other weapons of mass destruction deployed, in one year alone, leading to the killing fields in Biafraland under the supervision of Muhammadu Buhari and his co-travellers.
“Without this one-sided military support from the British to Nigeria while at the same time denying Biafra access to weapons, even Buhari himself knows that there is no way in a billion years Nigeria could have defeated Biafra in a war.
“Buhari must know that 1967 to 1970 is in the past and similar conditions are no longer obtainable in today’s world. Self-determination by an indigenous people is not equivalent to declaration of war especially as is being peacefully pursued by Biafrans.
“However, should Buhari tow the path of war then he must know that Nigeria cannot win it. We are peaceful campaigners for the self determination of the peoples of Biafra. We have not come to war with anybody but if in the end Buhari chooses war then we can assure him that it will be the greatest mistake of the Caliphate. History is on the side of Biafra because the youths of Niger Delta have woken up to their responsibility in the organised resistance of Biafrans of all persuasions to oppression from those that think they cannot live without oil.
“He should stop living in the past and face the realities of the 21st Century. War-mongering and regurgitation of the stories of Biafra genocide will not shake the resolve and determination of Biafrans on the restoration of their God-given nation of Biafra. The earlier Buhari understands that nothing on this earth can stop the restoration of the nation of Biafra, the better for him and his blood-thirsty Hausa-Fulani parasites and oligarchs.
“We reiterate that the restoration of the nation of Biafra is divine and beyond the whims and caprices of Muhammadu Buhari and his co-travelers. Biafra or death!!!”