Secession: Why We Desperately Want Biafra
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has explained that the South Easterners demand for a Biafra secession is because Nigeria seems not to be functioning and can never function.
Kanu disclosed this in an interview with Al-Jazeera to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Biafran war on Tuesday, May 30th in an apparent flout of his bail conditions granted by Justice Binta Nyako in April.
The IPOB leader who granted the interview in the parlour of his father’s home in Umuahia, Abia state, insisted that the Igbo people have nothing in common with Nigeria. Waving his hand in frustration, Kanu said:
“Nothing seems to be working in Nigeria. There is pain and hardship everywhere. What we’re fighting [for] is not self-determination for the sake of it. It’s because Nigeria is not functioning and can never function.”
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When asked if he was worried that his show of defiance and apparent flout of his bail conditions by granting media interviews will land him in trouble with the federal government, Nnamdi Kanu said:
“I don’t care. I can’t go outside to call for a press conference. I can’t go on Biafra Radio to broadcast. I can’t allow large [groups of] people to basically congregate outside to see me … it’s like asking me not to breathe.”
Kanu decried the perceived marginalisation of the Ibos in Nigeria, saying that they have been prevented from aspiring to assume important positions in the country such as President, Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff amongst others.
“I’m not allowed to contest for the presidency of Nigeria because I’m Igbo. I’m not allowed to aspire to become the inspector general of police because I’m Igbo. I’m not allowed to become chief of army staff because I’m Igbo. What sort of stupid country is that? Why would any idiot want me to be in that sort of country?” he said.
Meanwhile, a south-eastern non-political pressure group – the South-East Youths and Elders’ Forum (SEYEF) has warned Nnamdi Kanu against the continued flouting of his bail conditions.
In a communique signed by Maxi Ikechukwu K Edwin, the group’s director of media and publicity, Nnamdi Kanu was advised to keep a low profile though his release calls for joy. They warned the IPOB leader to avoid another round of face-off with the government.
SEYEF also called on south-east leaders to start massive sensitization campaigns ahead of next year’s census exercise in the region. They enjoined political parties in the region to field their first eleven candidates in preparation for the conduct of the 2019 general election.
Alleging that south-east leaders in Abuja are not doing enough to attract development to the region, the group called for enough sensitization on the upcoming census by the National Population Commission (NPC).
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They also noted that “the current crisis of confidence in the south-east is not about the development of the region, but a fallout of the move and counter moves by political actors of the region to manoeuvre each other.