Again, Kanu Restates Conditions for Biafra Agitation to End
Harps on Wholesome Restructuring, FG-Funded Socio-economic Infrastructure for South East Region
Contrary to widely held perception that the quest for Biafra self determination was cast in iron, the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has restated that the agitations would end under certain conditions.
Kanu dropped the hint in a 10-point position document he sent out from his detention cell through his junior brother, Prince Emmanuel, who made it available to the media in Umuahia.
The IPOB leader stated that true reconciliation would start with “wholesome restructuring” of the Nigeria nation along the 1963 Constitution under which the country was a true federation in every ramification.
He also demanded that the Southeast zone should be given a genuine sense of belonging by getting its wrongfully denied critical federal government funded infrastructure such as functional seaport and rail networks, including East-West rail line.
Other infrastructure which he said were “deliberately denied” the Southeast included international airport with cargo wing, dry port, enhanced electricity generation, export free zone, good road network.
According to Kanu, if the federal government would put in place these basic infrastructure in the Southeast it “will help our people feel like being truly part of the country” and spur full reconciliation.
The Biafra activist reminded his critics that he has remained consistent in his demand for early return to true federalism, signing that the present chaos could have been avoided in the Southeast if the federal authorities had listened.
“My position has remained unchanged for very many years, regardless of my unjust and unfair incarceration,” he said, adding that he has always stood for peaceful, consensual restructuring of the country.
The IPOB leader pointed out if the status quo remained, the sepatatist group would stick to “our demand for a referendum to determine whether our people will choose to remain in the country that has so unkindly treated us for decades”.
He said: “We remain committed to our demand for a referendum as long as those totally opposed to the restructuring of the country along the lines of true federalism and power devolution continue to resist the cry for a new fair, just and equitable constitution along the lines of the 1963 Republican constitution.
“We will be betraying our people and selling away their future, if we continue to wobble along in this unhelpful 1999 unitary constitution designed and written and given by unelected soldiers”.
Kanu noted that the Biafra agitations would not have taken the unsavoury dimension over the past six years if the peace process was not scuttled by those vehemently opposed to peaceful restructuring and true federalism.
He had tabled his position in Enugu at the August 30, 2017 meeting between him and the Southeast governors in the presence of late renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze and the founder of Igbo Youth Movement(IYM), Elliot Ukoh.
Kanu was so sure that peace would have been achieved if the next meeting with Igbo leaders scheduled for September 15, 2017, in Enugu, was not aborted.
According to him the “vicious military attack(on his family homestead) to violently eliminate me on the 14th of September 2017, a day before the follow up concluding meeting” effectively ended the peace efforts.
He explained that “our decision and preference for our own country where our children will be fairly treated is as a result of the unacceptable unabating mistreatment since 1966”.
“We are resolute because the oppressor leaves us no choice (because) since the 1980s and the 1990s, every plea to return the country to the 1963 constitution, has sadly fallen on deaf ears,” the sepatatist leader said.
“Their stiff opposition to a peaceful restructuring of the country, made our agitation inevitable.They are simply telling us “to go to hell” and “do our worst,” he added.
However, Kanu made it clear that “we have no regrets whatsoever articulating a better future for our progeny” by asking for the restoration of Biafra sovereignty.