BETWEEN BIAFRA AND KOSOVO
For about one year starting from the beginning of July 1966 to May 30th 1967, the entire landscape of Nigeria became a vast mass killing field. Biafrans were hunted down and smoked out of every hiding place and brutally murdered en mass by all the various arms of the military force of the Nigerian government and by the Nigerian people who were supposed to be fellow citizens. These killers were driven by nothing other than extreme hatred and the mad desire to cleanse the Nigerian state of every person of Biafran stock. At the last count on the 30th of May 1967 500,000 children, women and men of Biafran origin had been murdered by Nigeria and her citizens. It was in the bid to forestall further killings of its people that Biafra declared her independence from Nigeria on the 30th of May 1967. The Republic of Biafra existed from that day till the 15th of January 1970.
In the past two decades the political and sovereign states maps of East Europe and Asia are constantly being redrawn and the United Nations has been actively involved in the whole process. From Kosovo to Montenegro, the UN has been pro-active in making sure that everything is done right and in an orderly manner, with less bloodshed. Yet despite the fact that the same situations responsible for the events in these places are prevailing in the black African region of the world, United Nations is simply not noticing anything. Take the case of the Republic of Biafra for instance, the situation is worse than any other in any part of the world today. Therefore it really becomes necessary at this point to remind the UN that it cannot afford to be seen as being partial and discriminatory in its policies toward the people of black Africa. If it should allow such suspicion to arise it will definitely erode trust and confidence that people everywhere should have on the organization and damage its image. The black African political and sovereign states maps must be redrawn today to reflect the true national boundaries. And in this call for the redrawing of the black African maps no one will ever doubt that the Republic of Biafra’s case comes in at the number one place due to the urgency of her situation and the extent of damage already done. It goes without saying that Ban Ki-moon must see to it that this long overdue injustice is addressed and righted in his watch.
Nigeria by every definition is a multinational federation which is made up of notably Igbo, Ijaw, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, etc nations. Therefore going by some of the pre-conditions whereby a people could assert their right to self-determination as contained in the Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations and going by the basis on which nations like Kosovo asserted their rights to self-determination and independence, the Republic of Biafra qualifies as having acquired the status of ‘separate governing during times when they were part of the last empire (Nigeria) that dominated’. And it also qualifies as having been a republic within a multinational federation, from the 30th of May 1967 to 15th January 1970.
Kosovo after all never acquired the status of a republic within the Yugoslav Federation prior to her unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008, so what makes the case of Biafra different? The UN as the international arbiter must not be seen as being partial and discriminatory in its policies toward any group or people.
As at the end of the Biafra-Nigeria war in 1970 more than 3,000,000 Biafrans that included majorly children, women and men had been murdered by the Nigerian state in what has been described as the worst kind of genocide anywhere in the world since World War II. In fact because the magnitude and dimension of it defies categorization within the worst examples of pogroms of history some people now call it GENOCAUST; genocide and holocaust combined. This means that for anyone to understand the extent of the atrocities committed against Biafra and Biafrans by Nigeria and Nigerians he or she has to imagine the worst kind of genocide that has ever occurred and the Jewish holocaust of Auschwitz gas chambers and death camps and try to imagine them as occurring at the same time and place against the same people.
The persecution of and various discriminatory policies by the Nigeria government and its people against Biafra and Biafrans has been a continuous and an interminable program. Since the end of the Biafra-Nigeria war they have intensified with no end in sight because the hatred is so deep-rooted and boundless. It is a criminal unity that must be maintained forcefully by continuously sacrificing the lives and properties of a group of people within any state. Such runs contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter that states that:
“. . . it is recognized that compliance with the right of self-determination is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of other human rights and fundamental freedoms, be they civil, political, economic, social or cultural.”
For the UN to retain the trust and confidence that the entire world reposes on it, it must be seen to be above board in all its dealings. It must be seen to stand on the side of justice and the preservation of the rights and lives of all peoples everywhere without discrimination or bias. There is absolutely no humane reason holding back the UN and the rest of the world from acting now to stop further dehumanization of the people of Biafra in the hands of the Nigerian state.
Without belaboring the truth, Nigeria has failed as a sovereign state and can no longer govern itself. So, is it justified to continue to hold down Biafra and Biafrans in such decrepit and irredeemable ghost of a state? Nigeria is incapable of maintaining any form of security of the lives and properties of the people within its borders. Kidnapping, armed robbery, treasury looting, extra-judicial killings by both state agents and mobs are the norm throughout the length and breadth of the country. Each community maintains their own security outfit by coming together and as mobs lynch suspects and burn the properties and homes of the alleged criminals. This form of administration of criminal justice is unacceptable to us the Biafrans in today’s world because it is debasing of a society and its people. We therefore demand for a modern state where decent and conventional rule of law and criminal justice system prevail and human life is sacred. For some decades now Nigeria as a state has been unable to provide any of the essential services that a state normally provides to its citizens. Each individual provides his own water by digging well or borehole. He provides his own electricity by buying a power generating set, individuals even build their own roads and bridges. When a state can no longer run its official administration, provide security, justice system and basic amenities for the people within its borders, does it still qualify as one?
The rejection and endemic persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state and Nigerians are purely based on hatred of the people due to all kinds of unfounded phobias. It began in Jos, the capital city of the present day Plateau State in 1945 during the British colonial days when thousands of Biafrans were murdered by a mob action and their properties looted. The trend has continued till today without remission because it is the official Nigerian government program. The killings and lootings happen in every city and town outside the Biafran homeland on a yearly basis and even multiple times in some of the years.
When in the name of decency and world conscience, will it be right for the UN and the rest of the world to declare these numerous crimes as committed against Biafra and Biafrans as Crimes against Humanity that they are? Several catalogs of these heinous crimes of skinning people alive, feeding people with feces and urines, opening up pregnant women and taking out the unborn babies and smashing them to the ground before their mothers and then beheading the women, are already submitted to the United Nations for several years now. How long will justice wait when it is Biafra and Biafrans who are the victims? Take another look at the Biafran images of the Biafra-Nigeria war do those not give the UN and the rest of the world enough nightmares for them to act? The question is, what is the UN and the rest of the world waiting for?