Biafra Sovereignty: MASSOB Mobilizes for Referendum
Biafra Sovereignty: MASSOB Mobilizes for Referendum
By Larry Onwuta
The Movement for Actualization of the Sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday announced its new programme that focused on mobilizing and sensitization of the people of Biafra on the need and pattern of the Biafran Referendum that will commence soon.
MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu in a press statement forwarded to Reformist Nigeria Newspapers said the organization has seen it as imperative at this hour, as every self determination struggle had its methodology, the non violence Biafra struggle and restoration urgently and earnestly demand for the long awaited Referendum.
Madu described Nigeria as a colonized area and a creation of the British government who amalgamated the Southern protectorate, Northern and Lagos Colony in January 1st 1914 and called the entity Nigeria purposely to achieve their political reasons.
According to him, the mind-boggling failures of this otherwise giant promised on the African Continent have been the subject of many researches and academic inquisition.
More so, “the decades of routine, massive bloodletting which punctuate these monumental failures came to global reckoning in the years of 1967-1970, Eastern Nigeria, one of the four Federating Regions that constituted Nigeria, found itself in a war that is described as a genocidal against the people of Biafra.
The MASSOB leader noted that” the war was levied on it by the rest of Nigeria, having proclaimed itself the Republic of Biafra in a desperate bid to preserve the remnants of its population who were being decimated in mass xenophobic killings by rampaging Northern elements who clung unto a false interpretation of a botched military putsch in January 1966 in which leading Northern politicians lost their lives”.
“These pogroms collapsed the Union of Nigeria and the attempt to revive the Union failed in January 1967 after an Accord reached in Aburi, Ghana was jettisoned by the Federal Side”.
“In the war that erupted, over 3 million Biafrans perished as a result of coalition of Arabs countries with Nigeria and British sponsored Western back up amidst the search for self-determination, in circumstances that cast a shadow of doubt on the humanity of mankind of that era. The gory pictures from the killing fields of Eastern Nigeria, particularly defined by the bony frames of thoroughly malnourished infants, with protruding stomachs signaling the terminal stages of hunger-induced kwashiorkor”.
At the cessation of bomb and bullet hostilities against the people of Biafra in 1970, the acclaimed victorious Federal side isolated the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria and continued the War by other means, particularly on the economic, political and other fronts.
MASSOB draws more insight in the words of Lamido Sanusi Lamido, the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and now the Emir of Kano:
"The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments, and deprived of public services. The rest of the country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity. Our present political leaders have no sense of history. There is a new Igbo man who was not born in a 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the streets who were never Biafrans”.
“They were born Nigerians and are Nigerians, but suffer because of the actions of earlier generations. They would soon decide that it is better to fight their own war and maybe find an honourable peace than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity. The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbo. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered. If this issue is not addressed immediately, no Conference will solve Nigeria's problems." (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at a Public Lecture titled, "Issues in Restructuring Corporate Nigeria" 11th September, 1999, at Arewa House Kaduna).
“For the sake of brevity, MASSOB in consonant with the Lower Niger Congress adopts this succinct 1999 encapsulation of the Igbo misery in Nigeria, though as to be expected, the situation has gone much worse for the Igbo, with the introduction of violent sharia by 12 States of Far North since year 2000. There is no doubt that the 1999 prophesy of Lamido Sanusi Lamido is simply fulfilling itself now, simply because nobody heeded that sober call for equity”.
Madu also said that” there is no need to recount several debilitating Constitutional shackles, consciously emplaced by the same victorious Alliance of the rest of Nigeria against the people of Biafra, in what now translates to a master-servant Constitutional Order, comparable only to the apartheid era of South Africa, presently anchoring Nigeria's "Democracy."
“It is against this backdrop that one can meaningfully examine the dynamics driving both the relentless, ubiquitous demand for 'Biafra," and the world-wide outrage of the people of Biafra against the incarceration and molestation of "Biafra" agitators”.
“It is also against this backdrop that one can appreciate the urgency of Richard Branson's recent reminder to the whole world of this dark, shameful chapter of human history when he republished those horrifying pictures and war-time editorial comments on his Twitter page, indicting his home country, Britain, for leading other Allies, including the United States and Russia, to visit such genocide upon a people for no reason beyond oil”.
Probably prompted by the resurgence of the agitations for the resuscitation of Biafra, Richard Branson had queried aloud, why 48 years after the Biafra Genocide, the World pretends that nothing happened.
For purely commercial reasons, the more endowed Southern Nigeria was politically subjugated to the North in what the British creators of Nigeria explicitly envisaged as a permanent marriage between a poor Northern husband and a Southern Lady of means that gives Britain an indirect control of the Country.
By a cablegram message of December 1913, the then British Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Harcourt, boss to Lord Frederick Lugard, had captured the purport and import of the impending Annexation of the then Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to the then Protectorate of Northern in the following words:
"We have released Northern Nigeria from the leading strings of the Treasury. The promising and well conducted youth is now on an allowance of his own and is about to effect an alliance with a Southern Lady of Means. I have issued the special license and Sir Frederick Lugard will perform the ceremony. May the Union be fruitful and the couple constant."
MASSOB, Biafra Peoples National Council (BPNC) and other pro Biafran groups have resolved to thwart and undue this British enslavement call Marital Union which will never work again. We have also resolved to work in unity of strength, cohesion and one accord in pursuant of achieving a resounding Referendum exercise that will determined our future existence as an indigenous people.
The current escalation of the quest for an exit from the failed Nigerian Union must therefore be seen by the global Community in its true context as the continuation of an almost 50 years old fight for Self-determination driven by a clash of irreconcilable civilizations and cultures, erected by Colonial fiat.
Providentially, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, offers a fresh window of engagement with these volatile issues in a manner that steers everybody away from the specter of violence, since a simple Referendum can resolve the matter instead of War and violence.
It was in pursuit of this non violence option that MASSOB support the Lower Niger Congress Solemn Assembly of The Peoples of The Lower Niger in Port Harcourt on 27th April 2015 at which it was unanimously resolved that the Peoples of the Biafran Territory shall go to a Referendum to determine their political future in exercise of their Right to Self determination